Eleos: Growing faith and community through coffee

Nikki Lansford
Editorial Assistant

Coffee, faith and community are at the heart of Eleos Coffee House. Located at 3401 Independence Ave., the coffeehouse is a place to bring people together over a freshly brewed cup.

The menu at Eleos offers a wide variety of drinks, from traditional cappuccinos to modern macchiatos, they have it all. Due to the coffee house directly dealing with two importers, Anthem Coffee Imports and Kapeh Utz, they are able to offer an array of coffee types as well.

Head Roaster Vicky Pjecha describes the different varieties Eleos offers. Photo by Nikki Lansford

“Our Ethiopia is the most popular,” head roaster Vicky Pjecha said. “It has notes of blueberry, white grape juice, maybe white wine and black tea.”

In addition to their Ethiopia, Eleos carries several other single origin coffees, or coffee grown within a single known geographic location, such as their Brazil, Sumatra, Guatemala and decaffeinated Colombia coffee. These, along with any of their coffee blends, can be purchased at the store in 12 ounce, two pound and five pound bags.

The array of coffee doesn’t stop there, Eleos also offers specialty drinks within their seasonal menu. In the spring and summer they use honey and vanilla for light and airy drinks, while in the fall and winter the company brews up drinks to warm the soul, like their drink called the lumberjack.

“It’s a nice, sweet molasses and spices drink,” barista Garrett Jeffries said. “It tastes like Christmas.”

Pjecha roasts beans on-site for Eleos. Photo by Nikki Lansford

Eleos roasts its own beans every Wednesday and sometimes more depending on how busy the business is. Sometimes they will roast on Monday and Tuesday as well, especially in the fall when they have another company they are roasting for, Pjecha said.

At Eleos, coffee also comes with a side of art as each barista is well trained in the practice of latte art.

“Dan, the owner, is really keen about making sure able to do an excellent job at latte art,” Jeffries said. “It’s good to be able to give someone something that not only tastes good, but also looks really pretty.”

In addition to their drinks, Eleos provides a breakfast and lunch menu for its patrons. With sandwiches, soups, wraps and breakfast sandwiches there is something for everyone to enjoy.

“It’s been a blast, coming in as a barista knowing coffee… but also just really enjoying getting to do the kitchen side as well,” Jeffries said.

Barista Garrett Jeffries makes a latte at Eleos Coffeehouse. Photo by Nikki Lansford

Eleos is more than just a coffee shop, though. They also pride themselves in their community work. Being a faith-based business, they use their ministry work to extend a helping hand to those in Northeast Kansas City.

Every Tuesday through Saturday the coffee shop hosts a bible study in which those in the neighborhood and on the street are invited in to partake and enjoy some free coffee and snacks along with the event.

Director of Community Impact Catie Harbor said Eleos tries to be a sort of bridge between those in need and those who can help.

“There’re so many amazing nonprofits and ministries in the Northeast, so when somebody comes in in need of shelter we call people that can find them shelter,” Harbor said. “We also have connections with different food banks and clothing banks.”

The coffee shop has other avenues in which they help the community, as well. On Fridays, they deliver food from Jerusalem Farms, a Catholic intentional community who has a small urban farm in Kansas City. Afterwards, Eleos hosts a women’s study to foster community and deeper friendships among the women, Harbor said.

“In the Northeast there are a lot of people who are struggling with addiction and poverty and maybe overlooked in certain ways,” Harbor said. “We really want to be a group and like a nonprofit that really sees those individuals and values them and empowers them and helps them get out of those broken dysfunctional cycles.”

Eleos Coffee House is open Tuesday through Friday from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. and Saturday from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

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