Seth has been a great mind to have conversations with over the past few years. Service is his passion and he continues to strive for better ways to make newcomers feel welcome in this intimidating industry. We are excited to have him!
Name and Occupation: Seth Mills, Director of Coffee at Mistobox Coffee.
Where were you born and where did you grow up?
4th Generation Arizonan. Raised in Tempe. Still here. Great city.
What was your first coffee job?
I was tired of pushing carts in 115° summer heat and bagging groceries at 17, so I applied for the Starbucks kiosk in the Safeway I was working at. Worked there for about 8 months before getting hired and working at a company operated Starbucks for a couple of years.
What made you fall in love with coffee?
It was the first thing that I applied myself in that I found fulfilled my interests and I was good at. Started roasting at home, geeking out on brewing, and people I shared it with were generally interesting in tasting coffees and talking about it. I love serving people and being able to connect that hospitality side of things with a personal passion just made sense to me.
Tell us one thing about yourself that most people probably don't know.
I love cooking and making cocktails at home. I'm a total food nerd and watch and read everything I can to make super tasty food and drinks at home for my wife and friends. Alton Brown is my hero and would love to become best friends with him. Also, I'm a huge fan of Disneyland.
What do you do when you're not making coffee?
Taking care of my two kids, watching movies or The Office episodes on Netflix, or cooking/making drinks.
Whats one piece of advice for someone new to coffee who has aspirations to turn coffee into a career?
Immerse yourself in it. Taste as many coffees as you can. Don't be afraid to be wrong or to not know the answer to everything. Find a mentor who is super passionate and willing to help you learn and support you along the way. Always be open to learning.
Who was your first coffee hero?
It has to be James Hoffmann. I was just starting to really get into coffee when he won the WBC in 2007, learning that there was this whole other world in coffee beyond Starbucks. I definitely wanted to learn everything I could from him and still really look up to him.
What's in your hopper right now ?
On espresso I just got a fresh bag of Quills' Blacksmith Espresso and for pourover I have been loving this honey processed Colombia from Augie's we are going to feature this month.
Tough one. Hard to limit it to just one. I'd have to go with The Lord of the Rings Trilogy or Star Wars.
Favorite food item?
Anything that Chef Jeff Kraus from Crepe Bar here in Tempe makes. Everything he puts out is so good.
Favorite brew method?
I've been a V60-01 fan for a long time, but recently picked up a Gino dripper that I've been really digging. Chemex is also up there. Any kind of pourover really.
Favorite city to visit?
Anaheim, because Disneyland. No question. (I also love visiting San Francisco)
What are you worst at?
Haha, oh man. So many things. I'm probably worst at doing laundry or putting clothes away. My wife is a saint. Also, I'm a really terrible singer.