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Uncommon Coffee Roastery Opens for Mail Order in Essex

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Maya Crowley - PHOTO COURTESY OF JACQUELYN POTTER
  • Photo Courtesy Of Jacquelyn Potter
  • Maya Crowley

Maya Crowley, co-owner of Uncommon Coffee at the Essex Experience, will take a step toward opening the new coffee shop, roastery and restaurant on June 25 when she makes house-roasted coffee beans available for online ordering.

Crowley, former manager of the now-closed Uncommon Grounds on Burlington's Church Street, has been working since the fall to renovate the former Under Armour Factory House at 21 Essex Way. She is launching Uncommon Coffee with business partner Peter Edelmann, owner of the Essex Experience and managing partner of the Essex Culinary Resort & Spa.

For now, customers can get coffee beans by mail, but Crowley anticipates starting curbside pickup of both beans and brewed coffee within the next couple of weeks. On-site coffee consumption and breakfast and lunch dining are also in the works — soon, Crowley hopes.

Crowley grew up five minutes from the mall, she noted, and has seen many changes there. Also part of her childhood was chef Mark Tkach, who will bring the restaurant and bakery part of Uncommon Coffee to life; he most recently cooked at Sweetwaters American Bistro on Church Street. "I rode the school bus with him," Crowley said.

The two went on to work together at Burlington's New Moon Café. Another of Crowley's former coworkers coming to Uncommon Coffee is Uncommon Grounds veteran and longtime roaster Rob Maynard.

Rob Maynard - PHOTO COURTESY OF JACQUELYN POTTER
  • Photo Courtesy Of Jacquelyn Potter
  • Rob Maynard

The wood-paneled, bookshelf-walled space features benches — former church pews — that were salvaged from the Church Street coffee shop. Crowley said much of the equipment comes from Uncommon Grounds, too, and regulars will recognize the house blend and a couple of other signature coffees.

In addition to its regular brews, the roastery will offer a "second price point of higher-quality, smaller lots of coffee that are really exceptional," Crowley said. Customers will be able to educate themselves by ordering virtual coffee tasting kits, including a scheduled video brewing and tasting session with Uncommon Coffee staff, beginning on Thursday, July 2.

Crowley is also excited about offering Vietnamese coffee, by which she means both high-quality beans from Vietnam and coffee prepared with the Vietnamese filter system called phin (pronounced feen).

"There is an incredible Vietnamese coffee movement in the U.S. right now," Crowley said. "As the daughter of a Vietnamese refugee, I am eager to honor these unique and often overlooked beverages."

Meanwhile, Uncommon Coffee is percolating collaborations with other new businesses in the Essex Experience, including Black Flannel Brewing & Distilling (see story). "We hope to work with them to include coffee in their beer and spirits," Crowley said.

The original print version of this article was headlined "Uncommon Connections"