What's A Great Coffee To Drink Black?

What's A Great Coffee To Drink Black?

As I was aimlessly scrolling Facebook the other night (let's be honest, do any of us know why we end up on Facebook, or how we suddenly wake up an hour later having no-idea where we are) I saw a question posted by a friend. She asked her Facebook network, "What's a great coffee to drink black? 

After participating in the thread by adding my thoughts on the question, I thought this would make for hopefully a helpful post for our Zetêo Coffee community. 

Our commitment to clean water



We’ve committed as a company to support clean water projects around the globe by partnering up with Living Water International, and here’s why.

In this post we’ll tell you about:

  1. How clean water plays into the ZetEo Coffee story.

  2. How access to water impacts communities

  3. How we plan to do our part to help

Exceptional coffee requires a high standard of water quality. Similarly a high standard of life requires a high standard of water quality.”


We’re transparent with our staff and our customers when we tell our story. We tell them that supporting clean water projects was not a part of our original plans whenever we began dreaming about and planning Zetêo Coffee ten years ago (as I write this in 2017). Back in 2007 social business wasn’t something that we were aware of, but with the success of Tom’s Shoes (started in 2006) and other local businesses around us like Tacos 4 Life, we realized that it is possible to have a for-profit business while at the same time giving company dollars towards a cause that helps solve a bigger problem.

Why water?

The definition of water is a colorless, transparent, odorless, tasteless liquid that forms the seas, lakes, rivers, and rain and is the basis of the fluids of living organisms.

After reading that definition, words like, “simple”, “pure”, “basic”, and “life” immediately came to mind. Water is such a simple and pure element, and yet it’s one of the most basic and essential parts of all life. It’s plentiful on the earth but not all of the water on the planet is acceptable for supporting life.

As the years past and we began to travel more with our local church on international mission trips, we started to see first-hand the impact that clean water has on people.

Between 2010 and 2013 we traveled to Rwanda, East Africa several times, and we witnessed the amount of time and energy that many times, the women and children of the communities  devoted to obtaining drinking water for their families on a daily basis. Most times getting water means walking several miles to a shared “water hole” that may or may not be readily suitable for drinking. They will carry one or two empty five gallon jugs to the water source and then have to carry full vessels, weighing approximately 41 pounds each, back for several miles, on foot.

This is an extremely time consuming and labor intensive activity, but it’s essential to life.


So let’s look at the bigger picture, beyond daily life, of how this impacts people in these parts of the world.

If children are spending hours and hours each day helping their mothers or fathers haul water, then they’re most likely not going to school to further their education.

This means that they get stuck in a perpetual cycle of not being able to improve their situation. They’re not gaining valuable knowledge and skills that could be used to provide a better future for their family.  If mothers and fathers are spending this time gathering water then they’re not in a position to spend that time being entrepreneurial, or working to provide financially.

You can see how the lack of access to something like water can quickly have an enormous impact on a community.

Making a Difference

You may be reading this and saying, “that all sounds pretty heavy, and these people probably live far away from me, how can I make a difference”. That’s a great question, and a question that there’s a hopeful answer for. Living Water International is an organization that we at Zetêo Coffee partner with, and they are passionate and focused on making clean water accessible to the communities that need it.

Water access is about more than just installing water systems. It’s about installing the right systems, which might mean water wells, rainwater harvesting, protected springs, or something else entirely. And it’s about helping whole communities and regions have enough safe, accessible, reliable water to significantly improve the lives of the people who live there.

LWI (Living Water International) has the expertise to go and be the hands and feet on the ground to help make these clean water systems available. What they require to do this work is financial and human resources, and that’s where we (and you) come in.

We determined before we launched our first store in 2015 that we would give 5% of our profits to LWI to be applied to water projects in the parts of the world most needed. That means whenever customers decide to do business with Zetêo Coffee, they are automatically partnering with us in impacting communities across the globe by helping to provide them with clean water.

If you know anything about a new small business though, you know that true profitability from month to month can sometimes be a challenge while the business is establishing itself. We believe in this cause enough, and in the power of giving, that we’ve decided that we will give in faith on a monthly basis regardless of profits.

Let us know if you have any questions or if you’re curious about how you can get involved more in helping with this cause.


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Have you ever walked into a new found coffee shop and just stared at the menu, wondering what – or how – to order? Of course you have. We all have at least once.

One of the most common comments we hear from people whenever they come in for the first time is, “I’m not sure what I want,” or “what’s good?” Let’s all be honest, none of us want to look like we don’t know what we’re doing, but let me set your mind at ease, and let you know that this is an understandable and perfectly acceptable reaction to coming into an unfamiliar place.

One of our top priorities at Zetêo Coffee is to create an environment where our customers feel comfortable and free to learn what they like at their own pace. An environment where they are encouraged to ask questions and experience the exhilaration of new discoveries.

So, to help our new guests – or new coffee drinkers – determine what they might like to order, we thought we’d suggest a few questions one could ask themselves to help make a decision easier.

Something to keep in mind as well is the fact that we offer much more than coffee. So, if you’ve ever uttered the phrase “I’m not really a coffee drinker,” we even have suggestions for you. So let’s dive in shall we?


Back in the day, during the “first wave of coffee” your options were hot black coffee…. and hot black coffee.

Today our customers have wide array of options that are both hot and cold. Of course you have the classic hot espresso beverages like the doppio espresso (two shots of espresso or 60 mls), lattes and cappuccinos. Of course you’ve also got your batch brew coffee (also known as “drip coffee”) and the more specialty slow brew methods like pour overfrench pressclever dripper, Chemexvacuum pot (also known as siphon) as well as several other methods – all of which we’ll talk more about in future blog posts.

There are also great iced or blended versions of the most popular hot espresso beverages mentioned above. For instance you can get an iced vanilla latte or a blended or iced mocha. Ordering in this manner will give you the same great tastes but will offer you a variety of textures or mouth-feel.


We all like different things and that’s why they (whoever “they” are) say “variety is the spice of life”. Some will really like a stronger coffee flavor to come through their drink and some will want a more subtle coffee flavor or none at all. There are options for all preferences.

If you like drinks on the sweeter side, the caramel macchiato and white or dark chocolate mocha are some of the most popular drinks and a great place to start. These drinks will have a few pumps of your syrup of choice (we use non-GMO syrups that have no high fructose corn syrup), espresso and finished off with milk steamed to a specific temperature.

If you want to try drinks that are a little more traditional and probably will have a more pronounced and balanced coffee flavor you may try a latte or  with no flavored syrups (espresso and velvety steamed milk) or our popular house made Bourbon-Vanilla or Rosemary-Vanilla lattes.


You know, believe it or not we actually hear this comment frequently – and it’s okay, we still love these people and want to get to know them.

Actually we want to study them to figure out what planet they’re from – but I digress.

At Zetêo Coffee (and most any other coffee shop honestly) we have so many other options that don’t involve coffee at all. From fruit smoothies, to a variety of hot teas, to the fresh cold Roots Pressed Juices made locally, or even San Pellegrino and soft drinks. You too can be cool and hang out with your friends at the hippest coffee shops without feeling left out because you don’t like coffee (yet).

Don’t be afraid to let the friendly Barista know that you’re not really a coffee fan and they’ll be glad to recommend something that will hopefully interest you.


So to wrap up, we hope these few suggestions will equip you to confidently walk into any local coffee shop and by asking yourself a few simple questions, be able to narrow down what sounds good to you. Also, the staff at our shop are there to help answer any questions you may have and help guide you to your new favorite drinks as well.

We’d love to hear about your journey with coffee. What are some of your favorite drinks? What did you start out drinking when you were first introduced to coffee? How has your love for this heavenly treat grown since you discovered it? We love getting to know our customers stories.