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2016/2017 Holiday Hours

The holiday season is here which means we’re heading into holiday hours at Ellipsis Coffeehouse…

Once the holidays are over, we’ll be back to our normal hours, but until then, make sure to plan accordingly.

December 2016
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
18 19 20 21 22 23 24
7am-6pm 7am-1pm
25 26 27 28 29 30 31
Closed 7am-1pm


January 2017
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
Closed 7am-6pm


We will be closed on Christmas Day (Friday, December 25) and New Years Day (Friday, January 1).

We will be observing holiday hours from December 23 – December 31.

Perk up your garden with spent coffee grounds…

After what feels like an eternal winter here in Chicago, it’s finally that time of year again! Time to get outside, enjoy the weather and plant your garden.

Spent coffee grounds are rich in nitrogen (along with calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and more) and make a great addition to the soil in your garden. So, instead of throwing out your coffee grounds after they’ve perked you up, recycle them and perk your garden up in the process.

Here are some great ways that you can use spent coffee grounds in your garden:

  1. Add used coffee grounds to your compost bin. The spent coffee grounds increase the internal temperature of your compost pile and help to speed up decomposition. Try not to exceed more than a 1:4 coffee to compost ratio.
  2. Add coffee grounds directly to your garden as a mulch and soil conditioner. You can mix it into your soil when planting, scratch it into the top few inches of your garden or just sprinkle it on top. Different plants/herb thrive at different levels of soil acidity, so make sure to check what type of soil your plants prefer before adding too many grounds. Some plants and herbs that thrive in higher acidy soil include (but are definitely not limited to) basil, catnip, fennel, sage, garlic, dill, hydrangeas, blueberries, cranberries, and citrus fruits.
  3. Make a liquid feeder. Place two cups of coffee grounds into a five-gallon bucket of water. Leave for a day or two to create a nice amber-colored liquid and then use it as a liquid fertilizer for garden and container plants.
  4. Create a slug and snail barrier. Coffee grounds are abrasive and acidic and make for a very unpleasant experience for slugs and snails. Make a barrier of grounds near slug-prone plants to protect them from those slimy pests.
  5. Add coffee grounds to your worm bin. Worms love coffee grounds! Add some to your worm bin every week or so. A cup or so of spent grounds per week for a small worm bin is perfect.


We’ve got plenty of spent grounds here at Ellipsis that we’d be happy to share with anyone who wants them. All you have to do is bring in a container and we’ll fill it up for you!

We generally have enough grounds on hand to fill up a small container. If you’d like a large amount of spent coffee grounds for a big project, you can bring in a five-gallon bucket and leave for a couple days and we’ll call you when you’re grounds are ready.

Let’s Talk Cold Brew…

What is Cold Brew?

Cold brew is a brewing method where you soak coarsely ground coffee in room temperature or colder water for 8 – 15 hours and then strain it through a filter, resulting in a coffee concentrate. This coffee concentrate can be cut with hot water to create a cup of hot coffee or mixed with cold water (or milk) and ice to create a delicious iced coffee like we do here at Ellipsis Coffeehouse.

The beverages made from cold brew coffee will be less bitter than standard coffee and will also have ~67% less acid than hot-brewed coffee. This makes cold brew a great option for people who don’t like or can’t handle the acidity of many coffees.

How Do I Make Cold Brew Coffee at Home?

The coffee:

When picking a coffee to use for cold brew, we generally lean towards coffees with chocolate and caramel flavor notes because the brewing process enhances those flavors.

Your coffee will need to be coarsely ground, like what you would use for a French press. You’ll want to use a burr grinder rather than a whirly blade grinder so that you get a consistently coarse grind. The whirly blade grinder will give you too many fine particles, which will cause your cold brew to over-extract and have a bitter taste. It will also be hard to filter out all of those fines, so rather than getting that smooth mouth feel that cold brew is known for, you’ll end up with a more gritty texture.

Don’t have a burr grinder at home? We’d be happy to grind your coffee for you at the shop or you can purchase a Baratza Encore Grinder from us.

The device:

Essentially any vessel could be used as a cold brew coffee device. Canning jars work suprisingly well, but are limited by the small volume they produce. If you are looking for a high-volume brew system, Toddy™ has a similar product to what we are using at the shop here.

The water:

We always recommend using filtered water when making any coffee or tea at home. This helps to control the quality and taste of the final product, but if you don’t have access to filtered water, that’s fine.

The process:

We recommend a 5:1 or 6:1 water to coffee ratio, but you can tweak that based on your taste. Layer water and coffee grounds in your chosen devices as follows:

1. Add ¼ of total water
2. Add ½ of total grounds
3. Add ½ of total water
4. Add remainder of grounds
5. Wait 5 minutes
6. Add remainder of water

Make sure all of your coffee grounds are saturated without over-agitating the slurry. Pour slowly and use your stream of water to break up any clumps of grounds. Do not stir your cold brew. It may seem like a great way to make sure that everything is saturated, but it will over-agitate it and result in a bitter end product.

Leave at room temperature for 8 – 15 hours.

After you have let your slurry sit, strain the coffee grounds out. Metal, paper and cloth filters will all let a slightly different amount of oil and particulate through, so feel free to use whatever you prefer.

The final product:

Your coffee concentrate will stay fresh for up to two weeks in your refrigerator. We recommend storing it in a container with a tight-sealing lid so the cold brew doesn’t absorb any flavors from your fridge.

The concentrate can be cut with hot water to create a cup of hot coffee or cut with cold water and ice to create a delicious iced coffee like we do here at Ellipsis Coffeehouse.

How We Do It

At Ellipsis we are currently using containers designed to brew 12oz of ground coffee per use. The coffee steeps for twelve hours after being layered into the container in a 5.3:1 water to coffee ratio. This produces a concentrate that we mix with equal parts water before serving.

Thank you…

It’s official… We have survived our first week and now that we have a brief moment to sit down and breathe, we’d like to thank you all for helping us get to this point.

Even though we only took over the space on March 1, it’s been a long journey and there have been a lot of people that have helped us get to this point. From helping us get our business plan together to dolling out free business advice to helping scrub every square inch of the shop to painting the walls and ceilings to collecting coffee trinkets for display to recovering chairs to feeding us to fixing equipment to spreading the word to friends to tweeting/facebooking/instagraming about us and the shop to giving us tools, drawers, doors, screens and so much more – our friends and family have been instrumental in getting the shop up and running. We always knew we had awesome friends, but I don’t think we realized quite how much people would be willing to give of themselves to help us make our dreams come true.

We are completely floored by the level of support we have felt throughout this whole process, not only from friends and family, but also from complete strangers. Your kind words and engaging conversations have solidified that we are doing the right thing. It’s amazing to see new friendships forming after only one week and we can’t wait to see how things progress and grow from here.

We’d also like to send a HUGE thank you out to our staff. It’s always nerve-wrecking to think about other people bringing your vision to life, but they have been nothing short of spectacular. Every single person on our team has embraced the shop and (at times daunting) quality standards that we have set for them. It’s amazing to see them so engaged – asking questions, practicing techniques and doing everything they can to become better baristas. Plus, they are great people to be around and are quickly becoming family.

To be honest, “thank you” doesn’t seem like nearly enough to express our gratitude to all of you. But, since we are struggling to come up with a way to express how thankful we are we will stick with “thank you” with a strategically placed ellipsis at the end of it. We are so grateful to know you and and have the opportunity to serve you all delicious beverages and look forward to doing so for many many years to come.

Thank you…

-Chris & Meghan


You may have walked past the former Stella Espresso Co at 1259 W. Devon and noticed that the windows are papered up. Maybe you tried to peek in to see what’s going on. I don’t blame you – we all want to know what is going on in our neighborhood.

Since you are here, I’m assuming you read the signs on the window, ran home and immediately plugged in our URL. Ok, more likely you plugged it into your smart phone browser and you’re reading this as you continue to walk down the street. If that is the case, please be careful.

Rather than leave you in the dark, allow me to shed some light on the situation. Ellipsis Coffeehouse is taking the place of Stella Espresso Company. Yes, there will be changes – lots of them.

The major changes include:


Ellipsis Coffeehouse!

New Ownership:

We are the Zimmerman’s and we have a passion for coffee and customer service. If you want to know more come on in and chat with us!


We’ll be giving a new feel to the space – pulling it out of the 90s and into a more modern but comfortable setting. Some things will disappear (sorry Miley Cyrus lamp and pink cowboy hat) and others will appear…


When the doors reopen, we will be operating 7am-7pm every day… at least until summer.


We will be serving Counter Culture Coffee instead of Kickapoo Coffee. They have a similar mission to ours, one of education and transparency. Plus, they have a kick-ass product.


We will be using Rishi Tea. Based out of Milwaukee, they also have a drive for education in the industry and highlighting the root flavors of the product.


We will be sourcing a variety of goods from a few local vendors. We are looking to be able to provide not only pastry but also a few savory items to fill the hunger void. Don’t expect any full entrees from us though – there just isn’t enough space for a prep kitchen.


In order to improve the quality of beverages, the staff will be taking a variety of coffee courses in order to advance their knowledge and in turn make you better drinks. But, it doesn’t stop there! The staff at Ellipsis will be continually taking classes to improve quality with every drink the shop produces.

We are really excited to get things rolling and we hope you are too!