The Hope Café Coffee and Tea House in Liverpool has been steadily percolating toward its Aug. 18 opening for a couple months now. In an area with plenty of options for food and drink, it offers something different, including coffee, tea and food with a Peruvian and Italian flavor.
The café is a lounge, gathering place and funding stream for The People Project, a nonprofit based in Central New York. The ministry-based organization is dedicated to outreach and offering hope to people locally and around the world. In countries like Peru and Kenya, the organization has built churches, schools, orphanages and soup kitchens. In Syracuse, the organization has operated Hope4Cuse, a center offering life improvement services to members of the community.
Leaders in The People Project and the café endeavor are Robert Strickland and Matthew Cullipher and his wife, Mary, with assistance from volunteers. Mary is a native of Peru who helped her parents operate a food cart in Lima. The café opened early Friday morning and stayed open late to host its first weekly open mike night.
Hope Café Coffee and Tea House offers an eclectic mix of coffee, tea and food from other places, with a touch of American flavor, too. If you like espresso, try esencia de café, a smooth, stovetop style of coffee popular in Peru. Hope’s espresso drinks, like lattes and mochas, are made with esencia de café. Pour-over coffee is available.
Also on the beverage menu is emoliente, an herbal tea that Cullipher says is sold by street vendors in Peru. At its base is toasted barley, flax seeds and a “proprietary blend” of herbs, which are steeped in boiling water.
Emoliente can be sweetened with honey, sugar or Stevia, flavored with lemon and other ingredients and enjoyed hot or cold. The beverage is believed to aid digestion and have other soothing, healing properties. Other teas on the menu include loose-leaf teas and a “Flu Shot Tea’’ made with honey, ginger and turmeric.
Hungry? Indulge in some baked empanadas, crispy turnovers filled with your choice of carne molida (ground beef), aji de gallina (creamy chicken with onion and chili peppers) or more familiar choices like pulled pork and Buffalo wing-style chicken. Homemade sauces are served on the side.
Also on the menu is a selection of paninis and arepas, a traditional dish of Latin America and South America. Arepas are maize-based patties, cooked on a griddle. Hope Café’s arepas are available with ham, egg and cheese, Buffalo-style chicken or pulled pork.
Sweet temptations include homemade blondies and s’mores bars. Belgian liege waffles are made from a yeast-risen dough and contain pearl sugar, which makes the waffles crisp up and caramelize as they cook, Cullipher says. They’re served with powdered sugar on top and with your choice of whipped cream, berries or Nutella (optional).
The venue has WiFi, books and seating for about 40 at tables and comfy sofas and chairs. Food and beverages are available to go, but staying a while to relax over a beverage and bite is encouraged.
Hope Café Coffee and Tea House is at 305 Vine St., Suite 5, in the Village Mall in Liverpool, across the street from The Retreat. Hours are Mondays through Thursdays, 7 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Fridays, 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.; and Saturdays, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Hours are subject to change as the cafe gets on its feet. For information, call (315) 400-7717 or visit hopecafeandtea.com and facebook.com/hopecafeandtea.
More Java Jonesing
Soleil Café, a coffee shop in Fayetteville owned by Taylor and Shem Doupe, has launched the Soleil Coffee Cart, a portable espresso bar tailor-made for weddings and other private events.
The cart sports a custom, reclaimed barn wood top made by Salt City Fab and a bright, white La Marzocca espresso machine from Italy for making espresso and drinks like cappuccinos, lattes and cortados. The cart is staffed by two baristas and, like the coffee shop, uses coffee beans roasted at Peaks Coffee Company, in Nelson.
For more information or to book an event, go to soleil-cafe.com/coffeecart.
Recess Coffee and Roastery makes its debut this week at the New York State Fair with a full-service café behind Chevy Court, near the fair’s main entrance.
In addition to its signature coffee and baked goods, the fairgrounds Recess will offer specialty items, like maple bacon espresso milkshakes and the Affogato Special Donut Espresso Utopia from Geddes Bakery topped with ice cream, maple syrup, crumbled bacon and espresso. For information, visit facebook.com/Recesscoffee.