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Things to Do , Cafés & Coffee Shops , Places to Eat & Drink

ECR Park – DiscoverNEPA Coffee Club

Welcome to the DiscoverNEPA Coffee Club, a series for anyone who loves the smell of freshly roasted beans and the warmth of a steaming mug in their hands. We’re visiting NEPA’s local coffee shops and giving you an inside look at all they have to offer, from handcrafted drinks to cool spaces to work and hang out. Join us and discover your new favorite spot for a caffeine fix.

Get a Sip of Electric City Roasting Co. at Their Peckville Café

Just days before the 2018 Steamtown Marathon, Electric City Roasting Company found out that the race would pass right by ECR Park, their new café in Peckville. Crowds of spectators would be outside the door at daybreak, desperate for caffeine and a bit of warmth to ward off the autumn chill.

There was just one problem: the café wasn’t finished yet. They planned on opening later that month, but the opportunity was too good to pass up.

“In 48 hours, we opened this café. It was awesome,” remembered Kyle Mervau, Director of Sales & Coffee at ECR. “We got here at 6:30 in the morning to get things going. There were already 50 people in the parking lot setting up chairs. We were slammed all day.”

Since that opening day, ECR Park has been a destination for specialty coffee. Like the race day spectators, many people discover it by chance. But once you know it’s there, it’s a go-to spot.

We first met the ECR team a few years ago at their headquarters in Throop. (If you missed the original video, go ahead and catch up on their incredible story. We’ll wait.) This time around, we thought we’d check out the Peckville shop and see what else was new with Scranton’s own roasting company.

 

This Café Embraces the “Off the Beaten Path” Vibe

 

 

You expect espresso bars and fancy pourovers downtown, but it’s a welcome surprise on the quiet, suburban streets.

ECR Park is located along the Lackawanna River Heritage Trail, right beside the Blakely Borough Recreation Complex. Mary Tellie, founder of ECR, often biked past the location and saw the chance to combine her two passions: coffee and cycling. A bike rack sits out front, inviting cyclists to take a rest, and plenty of runners and walkers wander up to the shop, excited to discover a hidden gem along their route.

Since the pandemic, ECR has closed their indoor area and built a walk-up window. It’s been a huge success, especially since people are spending more time at the park and trail during quarantine. The café also has a soaring awning—think like a retro gas station—where benches and bistro tables offer plenty of outdoor seating.

The laidback, outdoorsy feel makes visiting the café an experience in itself, but the real treat is getting to try ECR’s coffee firsthand.

“Customers see us online or taste our stuff at a restaurant or a partner café,” said Kyle. “Then they get to come here and talk with ECR people and try the coffee that we literally just drove down the road. It’s an interesting way to get to interact with a company that’s a bit bigger behind the scenes. We don’t want to lose that local connection.”

 

“Trust Through Taste”

 

 

The drink menu is enough to turn you into a foodie.

If you think all coffee tastes the same, then you need to try one of the pourovers. These higher-end, single-cup drinks are a great way to sample ECR’s latest blends. One of the featured coffees right now is Winterfest, a medium roast with cocoa and citrus flavors. And of course, they’re always brewing batches of their flagship Blue Moose, which is smooth enough to sip all day.

The nitro cold brew is the best. For real—they won first place in the US Regional Cold Brew Championship in 2020. They competed in New York City just weeks before COVID turned the world upside down, putting Scranton on the map when it comes to coffee.

“I always make this joke, but fire me tomorrow and I’m still going to drink this cold brew,” said Kyle. “We put a lot of work into it.”

The espresso drinks are crafted with just the right ratio of coffee to milk (no supersized lattes or milky, diluted macchiatos here). They make a lot of “fun” drinks too. Their winter menu features specials like the Lumberjack (a cozy maple latte) and the Arctic Fog (a mint melange tea latte).

The best part is, you don’t have to be a connoisseur to explore the world of specialty coffee. The baristas make everything super approachable. No worries if you don’t know a light roast from a dark roast. Just tell them your usual drive-thru order, and they’ll help you find your new favorite drink. But if you want to geek out about Ethiopian coffees with a wash process from the Guji zone, they’re down for that too.

And if you’re not a coffee drinker, ECR Park has a “without coffee” section of their menu with teas, chai, hot chocolate, flavored seltzers and more.

 

Drink Local, Eat Local

 

 

The coffee’s the main draw, but the menu offers so much more.

As for snacks, ECR shares the love with other local businesses and sources directly from their partner cafés. They supply the coffee, and their partners supply the treats, like fresh-baked pastries from Cocoon Coffee House in Hawley and savory soups and wraps from Zuppa del Giorno in Scranton. Fresh-baked muffins, bagels, cookies and biscotti all go perfectly with a warm cup.

 

Enjoy ECR Coffee at Home

 

 

So many blends, so little time.

The café is just one of the exciting new changes since we last sat down with ECR. The company just launched several new products, which you can buy at the café or order from their website.

Their latest blend is Boom Roasted, a dark roast that they’ve shipped to Office fans all over the country. Flavor notes are listed as bears, beets and Battlestar Galactica. (Just kidding. Although they’ve had a few people call the service line, concerned about their beet allergies.) This rich, full-bodied blend has a nostalgic cocoa flavor without the lingering aftertaste.

ECR also introduced brand-new steeped coffees. They work like a tea bag—just dunk them in hot water, let them sit for five minutes and you have a perfect cup of Blue Moose. You can also put them in cold water, let them sit in the fridge overnight and make an awesome cold brew. Even better: they’re totally sustainable and compostable.

 

Treat Yourself to a Coffee Break

 

 

Swing by the café or shop online.

ECR Park is serving from their walk-up window only. They are currently open Saturday and Sunday from 7 a.m. till 4 p.m. and will return to full-time hours in the spring. Follow them on Facebook or Instagram for the latest updates.

 

Must Try

Cold Brew – Award-winning cold brew served on tap; smooth without any add-ins, but extra irresistible with a drizzle of caramel.

Winterfest – Cozy seasonal blend with notes of citrus and cocoa; available in a pourover.

Boom Roasted – Rich, nostalgic dark roast with a nutty, cocoa flavor; available in a pourover.

Lumberjack Latte – Winter special made with pure maple syrup and a sprinkle of cinnamon.

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