It’s that time of the year when the leaves are crisper, the air is cooler and coffee just tastes better. This fall, the hottest place for a handcrafted cup is Tempest Coffee Collective, Appleton’s newest coffee shop opening November 17 in RiverHeath’s new apartment and retail development, Prairie, just beside the Fox River.
Stephan Witchell, the mastermind behind Tempest, has been part of the coffee community in the Midwest for 14 years and has been dreaming of opening his own coffee shop since he was a teenager. “My inspiration primarily came from loving coffee and loving people,” Witchell says. “The coffee shop is not an extension of me, but it is its own thing that’s meant to be enjoyed by everyone else.” Witchell and his business partner, Tyler Lonadier, have finally achieved this dream and cannot wait to share it with the community.
Considering how humble Witchell is, he really can make a cup of coffee worth bragging about. I had the pleasure of trying a caramel latte with fresh homemade caramel (topped off with some latte art of course) and it was an absolute pleasure. Tempest will have a buy-one-get-one half off event during their soft opening on November 17. Tempest will be brewing coffee from the Minneapolis-based Spyhouse Coffee Roasting Co. (winner of this year’s U.S. Roaster Championship) as well as coffee beans from a variety of places. Along with espressos, cappuccinos and blended drinks, Tempest’s menu will also feature a contemporary twist on common café dishes. You can find a variety of specialty toasts, smoothie bowls and waffle sandwiches – a new take on the bagel breakfast sandwich – while also enjoying classic sandwiches, soups and homemade bakery items. Tempest will also be offering vegan and gluten-free options like their vegan chili dog.
Tempest Coffee Collective is focused on harboring an environment that is community-oriented, but not limited to the local community. Witchell and his team of baristas will be making coffee that is sourced from different crops of farmers from various regions in order to diversify the menu. “What makes us different is our personalities, our own personal identity,” Witchell says. “As the coffee shop advances the employees will too. We want to be sustainable not only for ourselves, but for other people.” Tempest also plans on supporting the local art and music scene by sponsoring events and partnering with different businesses and organizations.
Witchell aims for Tempest to be a hub for the community in that the coffee shop will help the community thrive rather than just exist within it. “In us dwells a hope for greatness. A sense that we must venture deeper, further, to a more grand sense of existence.” Tempest’s mission is to reach this aestheticism by perfecting its relationship with the customer through each cup of coffee. “By the way, Tempest has nothing to do with ‘The Tempest’ by Shakespeare. It’s based on a poem I wrote when I was in Ukraine a while ago.” In the poem, Witchell imagines himself as a sailboat that shifts with the elements and is completely at the mercy of life’s complexities. The coffee’s flavor, as well as the café’s environment seeks to create as deep of an experience as Witchell’s poetry. Be sure to ask Witchell about it over your next cup of joe.
Visit them at tempestcoffeecollective.com.