The Methods.

Upon entering Seth’s Coffee, you might notice the local artwork, the fantastic pottery or perhaps an array of delectable treats in the pastry case. If you venture in closer, however, behind the #wooden# bartop, and #stone# counters, you’ll notice all sorts of scientific looking gizmos and gadgets. Many of those gadgets allow us to prepare your drinks using various different brewing methods. There are hundreds of ways to make a divine cup of coffee, but we at Seth’s have narrowed them down to 6 of our favorite brewing methods.

Hario V60

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The V60 is type of manual pour over. If you order a single origin and don’t specify the brew method, it’s going to be made in one of these bad boys. The V60 features a cone shaped vessel, usually made out either ceramic or glass, lined with spiral ridges to aid in the brewing process. The V60 offers the thinnest paper filter than any other pour over device. Estimated brew time 4-5 minutes

Chemex

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The Chemex is in the same pour over family as the V60, but like its bigger, sassier, sister. The Chemex uses a thicker paper filter causing the water to pass through more slowly. The thicker filter also helps yield a very clean cup of coffee. Created by a chemist, the Chemex was designed not only as a reliable brewing method, but also as an art piece. The Chemex can be found on display at the MOMA in New York! Estimated Brew time- 6-7 minutes

Aeropress

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The Aeropress is quite different than the V60 and Chemex since it is an immersion brewing method. The coffee grounds are all completely submerged during the duration of the extraction time. The Aeropress is compact, perfect for travel, and makes one cup at a time. Estimated brew time- 3-4 minutes

French Press

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Probably the most recognizable brewing method, the french press is also a full immersion brewing method. Due to the metal filter, more oil from the coffee grounds can pass through creating a full bodied cup. Estimated brew time- 5 minutes

Cold Drip Ice Coffee Maker

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Last Summer we introduced a new brewing method to the team, a Japanese cold drip ice coffee brewer. It’s responsible for making our incredibly smooth and delicious cold brew here at the shop. It usually takes 24 hours to make one batch of cold brew, and it is well worth the wait!

Batch Brewer

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Our newest addition is our Fetco XTS batch brewer. This awesome machine allows us to control the brew time, temperature, and volume. We use the Fetco for our House Blend coffee ensuring faster service for our top selling coffee. That way we can also execute single origin pour overs more efficiently, as the top selling coffee doesn’t interrupt the flow of doing pour-overs of the higher end ones.

Interested in learning more about coffee? Want to learn how to craft an amazing cup of coffee using some of these methods? We offer Coffee 101 classes for those of you looking to learn more about what exactly is going into your cup. And Brewing 101 classes for our customers who want to try and bring one of our brewing methods into their own homes.
Just ask one of our baristas to sign up!

that first sip

There’s nothing like taking that first sip. For me, it’s often painful and a regretful timing on taking the first sip. For others, piping hot is perfect for their feelingless mouth. But the first real sip is the one I’m pining for right now as I write this. You know, after you dunk your nose in your coffee, taking in every speck of the aroma as possible before slurping away. The buildup is just plain excessive with some coffees as I prepare to sip them. After smelling the beans, then the fresh ground beans, then the slurry as I bloom the coffee, and then the actual brewed coffee in the cup–with every step the aroma gets more refined and exciting, sometimes leading me to fully expect a coffee that’ll be overwhelmingly floral, earth, etc. Well then I actually take the first sip, and when I’m smart and wait until it’s cooled a bit, I find the truth of the coffee on my tongue. I am nearly always surprised by the contrast between the smell of a coffee and the taste. It’s usually not a bad surprise, but a surprise nonetheless. I can be anticipating blueberry cobbler based on how a coffee hits my nose, but then take the first sip and find a liquid form of a chocolate tart assaulting my taste buds. It’s glorious.

Maybe all coffee is just coffee for you. If that’s the case, a part of me envies you. You have a unique ability to enjoy the benefits of a caffeine fix and a heart-warming beverage on a budget. I simply cannot anymore. Great coffee isn’t just a luxury item for me, it’s the only option when it comes to consuming coffee. If I ever do consume bad coffee, it’s out of politeness to a host, or of complete necessity for lack of availability of great coffee. If this weren’t the case for me, any old grocery store tin of pre-ground coffee would be my best friend. It’d save me a fortune. But hey, some things are worth the extra money for the satisfaction of my palate.

Cheers, ya’ll.

The goods

Hey all, we’ve got lots of new and exciting things going on at Seth’s, so I really think you ought to know about them…

COLD BREW: we are now using a fancy Japanese cold brew tower to make our iced coffee for the Little Chute store. This is an excellent, full-bodied iced coffee that is great by itself or with a splash of cream. We are still able to do any of our current coffees as an iced coffee using the Japanese pour-over method to-order, but we recommend trying this cold brew.

BEER & WINE: we have lots of great new wines to try, most of them available by the glass or bottle. We had a staff wine tasting last week and chose our favorites from that night. We also will have a few bottles available for full-bottle purchase only. Come check them out! As far as beer goes, our beer selection changes constantly, as we always want to have something new available (like the coffees). Right now we have 16 available by the bottle/can, including a Belgian Tripel and Belgian Quadrupel from La Trappe available in the 750mL bottles, making it a great option for two people to come and share a bottle of this liquid gold. We always have at least 1 cider, and a hard root beer available. We have a few great Wisconsin breweries, as well as our favorite nationwide beers as well. Two rotating taps often include Spotted Cow and a seasonal beer.

COFFEE: we’ve got the famous Otono Blend from Intelligentsia, as well as 3 other excellent single-origins from Ruby & Intelligentsia.

ESPRESSO: Pumpkin Pie Lattes are back! Additionally we currently have a Pumpkin Egg Nog Latte made with Pumpkin flavored egg nog from our friends at Lamer’s Dairy. Try them out! Be on the lookout for our made-from-scratch Gingerbread Latte to join the lineup in November.

NOT COFFEE: Caramel Apple Cider!

AND IT’S OUR 7TH BIRTHDAY ON FRIDAY SEPTEMBER 30TH! We celebrated one year in business at our Appleton Drive Thru last Saturday, and are so excited to have been in business for 7 years here in Little Chute. What a ride it’s been, and you guys just keep on coming. Thanks for making this place a rockin’ success. We are blessed!

Community

In a time when mentioning your political opinions can get you punched in the face, we just want to remind you that coffee is great, and so are people. You can come here, keep politics at home, and enjoy community. We are jaw-dropped at how many people have met here and are now casual acquaintances, good friends, dating, or even some that are now married, finding their relationships’ birth here at Seth’s. That is incredible. This place was dreamt up with the hope of providing a meeting place for people, and it has become all that and more. Thanks for making Seth’s great. We love what we do, and love that you love it, too. Feelin’ the love. See you soon.

Seth’s Is Coming To Appleton

Hey all,

the cat is out of the bag — Seth’s Coffee is coming to Appleton! We’re opening a drive-thru version of Seth’s in the old North Shore Bank drive thru at 323 E Washington St., which is directly behind the Houdini Museum downtown Appleton. We will be offering a full drink menu with slightly scaled back options for brewed coffees (in the interest of service time in a drive-thru environment), but will have all drinks from coffee to espresso drinks, smoothies, frappes, chais, and teas. In addition to the drive thru, we will also have a walk-up window on the front of the building (facing College Ave) for those on foot. We can’t wait to join the slew of other great cafes in downtown Appleton that we’ve been regular customers at for many many years. Kate and I have personally resided within blocks of downtown Appleton for the last 4 years and have fallen in love with the community and the direction it is headed. So we figured we’d be a part of it!

We’re shooting to be open by the end of September, give or take a few weeks. We’ll keep you all posted as we get a more solidified opening date. Can’t wait to serve you in Appleton! Thanks for all of your overwhelming support in all we’ve done in Little Chute!

5 years!

As we approach our 5th birthday as a business, I am awestruck at everything we’ve experienced since opening in September of 2009. It has been an incredibly trying, fun, eventful, surprising, and rewarding couple of years. We’ve had an incredible number of transitions from when we first opened. It’s hard to imagine the day when we used to brew coffee by the airpot. Then, after less than a year of doing that, we had done so many experiments that we simply could not serve coffee that way anymore! We began doing pour over coffees in the Spring of 2010, and made the full switch and got rid of our coffee brewer by the end of that summer. Since then we’ve added 5 more brewing methods just for coffee, implemented using scales to weigh everything out for all coffees and espresso drinks to ensure quality and consistency, and done away with certain coffee-related products that we just couldn’t stand by as quality products. This year has also been a crazy one, as we added craft beer and fine wines to our beverage offerings in conjunction with a deeper personal appreciation for a broader variety of beverages made by people who view their work as a craft. We added some delicious tapas to add some classier food options to pair well with wine and craft beer, and we found a great local coffee roaster, Ruby Coffee Roasters (shout out to Jared!), to work with alongside our strong partnership with Intelligentsia’s lovely coffees. We’ve been the recipient of the Fox Cities Magazine Golden Fork Award for Best Cup Of Coffee in 2011 and 2013, been involved in lots of events, and met some incredible people.

We want to sincerely thank all of you for being great customers. We’ve not only served you food and drink, but gotten the chance to hear about your lives, share ours with yours, see you change, have kids, watched your kids grow, walked through good and bad times with you, and even developed deep friendships through our meeting at the coffee shop. Thank you for being a part of this business. Little Chute has never had this type of place before, and I’m glad to be here with Seth’s Coffee. When I opened Seth’s Coffee, I was 1 day into my dating relationship with my now-wife, Kate. Oh how things have changed! Kate and I are 1 month away from celebrating 4 years of marriage, and we now have 2 beautiful little boys, Everett (2 1/2) and Moses (1), as well as another child due in February. You’ve been a great network of friends and support through my life of single-hood ending when Kate and I married in October of 2010 as well as in preparation for the birth of our kids. You helped us come up with some great options for names, talked about approaches to parenting, shared marital advice from your years of experience beyond ours, and so on and so on. We’ve been blessed.

Thank you for being patient with us as we figure out all the changes that we are constantly facing–from new staff from time to time to the ever-evolving way we approach our craft (coffee). There have definitely been rough spells in there while we were figuring out the flow of what we do, but I believe we’re more efficient than ever, having beefed up on staff to make sure we’ve got adequate workers to handle the volume we’ve grown into. Here’s to the next five years! May they be as fun and successful as the first!

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the joy of coffee

hola folks!

Glad you stopped by today. Today’s post is pretty much just what’s on my mind and touches on a few things I want you to know about Seth’s…

What is coffee to you? Coffee to us is far beyond a caffeine-fix every morning. It is a sensory experience to be enjoyed. Not only should coffee taste incredible on the tongue, but it should provoke a reason for you to keep using your nose, as well as offering a visually pleasing experience.

Coffee is a fruit, coming from a bright red cherry. It is not to be treated as something able to sit on a shelf for many months or years before being consumed. We buy coffees from Intelligentsia that are as close to their harvest date as humanly possible, taking into account the amount of time it takes to ship it all to the states (via actual ships). It’s not unusual to purchase coffee elsewhere that has literally been sitting in a warehouse for 6 months or a year. You won’t find that to be the case here. The only sitting that this coffee does is in transit to Intelligentsia’s roasting works, and maybe a few weeks after it arrives before it’s ordered by a wholesale customer like Seth’s and its roasted and shipped to us the next day. Fresh. As it should be.

Why would we offer several brewing methods for coffee? Coffee, after all, is just coffee…right? Well, we beg to differ. Certain coffees are outrageously different when brewed as a pour over vs French press or any other method, for that matter. They may have a few common flavor notes or characteristics, but everything from the acidity to the flavors to the body of a coffee can change based on the brewing method. Beyond that, even certain variables within the same brewing method can change coffees drastically, such as: water temperature, grind, speed of the brew, the barista’s attitude ;), and even the humidity that day. It’s crazy.

Coffee is best when cared for, specifically roasted to bring out each bean’s characteristics, and hand-crafted to ensure it’s not just your average beverage. We put as much energy into making our coffee as we do in preparing a meal for a candle-lit dinner with our love. We hope you can come and enjoy the experience of coffee, not just the caffeine buzz. Come and sit a while.

Many folks just see coffee as a means to an end: being jacked full of caffeine. There is nothing wrong with that, we just simply don’t see it that way. We are also not offended at all if someone chooses a faster, cheaper venue for their caffeine-fix if they are happy with product elsewhere! That said, we do hope to show you a bit of what coffee can potentially be to anyone willing to try it our way! That’s all. Bye bye.

Beer & Wine

We have enthusiastically added craft beers and wine to our offerings at Seth’s!

We are featuring only craft beers (no basic Miller Lite, Bud Light, Busch, etc) and fine wine (sorry Sutter Home lovers). We will have a constantly rotating offering of tap beers from primarily Wisconsin breweries with the occasional national brand of beer on tap, as well as around 15 other beers by the bottle and 6-10 wines available by the glass. All of our offerings will change seasonally and as we try new things.

you may ask “why would you add alcohol to a coffee shop?! we have plenty of bars around here!”. Well, to answer that, I want to make it very clear that we are not going to be just another bar. We feel that craft beer and wine will be a great addition to the coffee shop. This is relatively unusual in our area, but for those of you who have been to a city with a population over 50,000 in the last decade will find countless establishments of this sort. Coffee shops generally are known for providing a relaxing atmosphere that can accommodate to a person by themselves working on their laptop, a couple on a date, two friends wanting to catch up, or a group of people just hanging out. That’s exactly what Seth’s already is, and we feel this atmosphere is perfect for being able to enjoy a nice glass of wine or beer as well.

We are proud to be responsible servers of alcohol and look forward to seeing you soon…

As always, we absolutely love the craft of coffee and will continue to enthusiastically serve you the best cup of coffee we can make!

It’s Fall!

Hey folks,

we have a lot to thank you for! We recently celebrated our fourth year in business on September 30th. We also were voted best cup of coffee in the Fox Valley via the Fox Cities Magazine’s Golden Fork Awards. Thank you! We also just finished our new private meeting room, which is intended to be a meeting room to be reserved out by groups of 6 or more, and during all non-reserved times, it’ll act as a quiet room for all those wanting to work without any music piped in, as well as with a mutual understanding of all users of the room to not use cell phones, music, or talking while in there.

I’d also like to announce that my wife, Kate, and I just welcomed our 2nd son into the world on September 14th. His name is Moses Maximum, and he’s a wonderful boy, absolutely adored by his older brother, Everett, who will be 2 in March.

It’s been a very exciting few months for us! And we’re coming into our favorite time of year! We are rockin’ the caramel apple ciders, pumpkin everythings, and, our favorite (of course) would have to be all of the exciting coffees coming out in the next 2 months. We anticipate a glorious variety of Colombia coffees to be headed our way, as well as many other South American glory coffees! Agua Preta, Brazil, is one of my personal favorites, and that is likely to be released in December.

Thank you for all of your support as we do life together! See you soon!

Latte Art

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So, many people ask us about the “little flowers” or hearts on top of the lattes. Many wonder how it’s done, and many also wonder why it seems to be different every time they come in.

We’ll break it down just a bit for you…

Latte art is art that is attempted with every latte we make. It is a difficult skill to develop and hone, as it’s subjective to many variables. So many things can affect our ability to consistently make the same art on top of your latte, including the way the milk is steamed, what type of milk is used, how old the espresso is, the size and shape of the cup, and which barista is making the beverage. Side note: latte art is nearly impossible when using soy milk, very difficult with almond milk, relatively difficult with skim milk, and much more likely to impress with whole milk. Who wants to look at the same thing every time, anyways?! If you’re given a latte that even has a glimpse of art on top, that tells you a lot about the drink you’re about to consume. Milk that is steamed improperly can almost never be successfully used for free poured latte art. So if you see a relatively pathetic looking leaf on top of your latte, do not be dismayed, as this beverage is almost guaranteed to taste much better than if the top of your latte had froth that resembled soap suds. You may have seen the cute little puppy faces or smiley faces on some shared picture of a cappuccino on Facebook, but those are not the drinks we’re aiming for. In order to make a puppy face or Bill Clinton’s face in your latte, the froth has to be unacceptably thick and tools must be used. Our goal is to use free pouring only to make your latte art. The puppy face or Bill Clinton faces in lattes use a method called “etching”, which is not our method.

We hope to consistently provide you with an espresso-based drink that not only tastes stellar, but also is a piece of art. We take much pride in our attention-to-detail in drink production, and we hope you can enjoy this pursuit with us!