Ocotillo Business Offers Coffee From Around World - SanTan Sun News SanTan Sun News

Ocotillo Business Offers Coffee From Around World

December 3rd, 2018 SanTan Sun News
Ocotillo Business Offers Coffee From Around World

By Colleen Sparks

Managing Editor

The rich, distinct smell of roasting coffee beans greets anyone who walks into an unusual business in Ocotillo, where a fresh cuppa joe can be savored in a casual setting or ordered online, delivered anywhere in the country.

Sagebrush Coffee, which opened six years ago, sells single origin, direct-trade coffees roasted in its headquarters on West Chandler Heights Road.

The diverse beans come from farms in Guatemala, Ethiopia, Honduras, Brazil and other countries around the world. The beans are roasted once customers place their order and then shipped via FedEx 2Day service so they will stay fresh.

Customers can find special coffee and tea gift baskets this Christmas season at the store.

Husband and wife team Matt and Jenna Kellso, co-owners of Sagebrush Coffee and Chandler residents, started the business six years ago, after Matt bought an expensive home coffee roaster many years before.

The couple had begun roasting coffee and selling it to friends and family members. Matt and Jenna relaunched the company and revamped its website in July of 2013.

“I developed a flavor to the beans I liked,” Matt said. “It’s kind of surprisingly a new industry. We’re still learning with coffee. It’s a good drink, too. We’ll have coffees from the same farm year after year.”

He said he has liked coffee since he was a child, when he would “steal coffee beans out of the pantry.” Matt read many books on coffee roasting and talked to roasters before he and Jenna started Sagebrush Coffee.

Jenna said she began drinking coffee after she and Matt got married. She said Sagebrush Coffee is “not a coffee shop per se” but a business where coffee beans are sold off shelves and online.

Anyone may visit the business, where they can try samples of the coffee and sit as long as they like at a table or on couches, where large bags of coffee and coffee brewers sit nearby.

Coffee beans can be processed in “different ways on the same farm,” Matt said.

“Washed coffees generally have the flavor of the origin,” he said.

Sagebrush is a third wave coffee roaster, meaning it focuses on smaller roasts of more specialty coffees.

Matt said the best-selling coffees from their business are from Guatemala and Ethiopia. Sagebrush mostly sells coffee sold as whole beans rather than already ground, but customers can order them either way.

“We prefer to stay whole bean; it stays fresher,” Matt said.

Sagebrush carries about 10 to 15 different types of coffee at a time. Matt and Jenna work with importers to get the coffee to their business.

One of the farmers who grows coffee beans lives in El Salvador and has visited the Chandler shop in person, while Matt emails with all the other farmers.

Customers can find lots of choices in light, medium and dark roast coffee in caffeinated and decaf at Sagebrush.

For example, the Ethiopia Tafachi Limu Faysel Washed light-roast coffee has “complex flavor profiles” and a “peach-like juiciness with a smooth caramel flavor,” the Sagebrush Coffee website said.

Among the medium roast coffees sold at Sagebrush Coffee is a Guatemala La Bolsa Gold Label described on the shop’s website as “creamy and smooth” with caramel, vanilla and chocolate flavors.

In the dark roast category, among the many choices at Sagebrush is the Nicaragua Dry Process Javanica Gold Label, which the local company said on its website has “a wide range of flavor notes” and “stunning dark chocolate and nutty flavors.”

Sagebrush started online only before adding the brick-and-mortar site.

Some of their regular customers include people in the restaurant and catering industry, as well as a shared working space operation. Jenna and Matthew also provide coffee at no charge at Grace Bible Church, where they are parishioners.

For those who prefer tea time over coffee breaks, Sagebrush also sells tea through its subsidiary, Hackberry Tea. It sells about 75 different loose leaf teas made by other blenders that can be brewed hot or iced. The business carries black, green and fruit teas.

Sagebrush is a family affair, as Matthew’s sister, Zoe Maiden of Gilbert, is the company’s general manager and does much of the roasting.

“It’s really fun,” Maiden said. “I’ve always loved coffee, but I didn’t know the whole process of it,” previously, she added. “I feel like we’re a good team.”

Matthew and Jenna’s son, Jonathan, 17, a junior at Hamilton High School, does the logos and artwork for Sagebrush.

The couple also has two other children: Noah, 13, an eighth-grader at Bogle Junior High; and Eden, 11, a sixth-grader at Jacobson Elementary School.

Matthew and Jenna named their company Sagebrush for the street they previously lived on, and Hackberry Tea is a nod to the street they now live on – Hackberry Drive.

The coffee at Sagebrush is getting rave reviews online. Many people have posted praise for the local business on the Sagebrush Facebook page.

“Excellent customer service & super fast shipping… and the coffee?!? It is amazing!” Lisa A. Mays posted on Facebook. “I could smell it as soon as I opened my mailbox & when I brewed my first cup it was heaven!”

Donna Jean Warlick also praised the brews at Sagebrush on the business’ Facebook page.

“Sagebrush Coffee is always so fresh, they roast it just for me!” Warlick posted. “They offer so many varieties, and I love trying out different brews. I do have my favorite, though. The shipping is super fast too.”

Scottie Brown also was jubilant about the java at Sagebrush.

“They sell some of the best coffee I’ve ever had,” Brown wrote on the company’s Facebook page. “Sagebrush only buys the best and because they always roast it the same day they ship it, the coffee arrives amazingly fresh. I also love the email updates where Matt and crew teach us about the coffee and about various other caveats one would not think to ask.”

Shoppers looking for Christmas gifts can check out the gift baskets being offered while supplies last, available at the store on West Chandler Heights Road.

The coffee gift basket has two, 12-ounce bags of Guatemala Gold and Ethiopia Tafachi that will be roasted fresh for the recipient after they have received the present.

That gift basket also comes with a Fellow pour-over kettle in matte black and a Kalita ceramic pour-over brewer and filters, all packaged in a festive way, for $135.

The Hackberry Tea Gift Bundle features the Flavors of Fall combination pack: three, two-ounce bags of tea that encompass the holiday season: New England Maple, Carrot Cake Rooibos, and Hibiscus Cranberry Cherry, as well as a copper Fellow Tea Kettle with a built-in thermometer and a Grosche tea brewer. The tea bundle is $115.

Sagebrush Coffee is open from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays in its brick-and-mortar store at 985 W. Chandler Heights Road, Suite 1, Building E. Information: sagebrushcoffee.com.

Photos By Kimberly Carrillo/Staff Photographer