The connections, caffeine and community that coffee brings to students can be seen all over campus. From students in their dorm rooms inviting new students over, or just making a huge pot to share during test week, coffee has a way of bringing people together, and some students on campus have unique ways of getting their caffeine intake.
Sophomore Bonnie Spann lives in Cathcart Hall and makes coffee with a French press multiple times a day. While she does not have a stove to heat water on, she recommends that students buy an electric kettle to use.
“Spend some more money on a really good French press and electric kettle,” Spann said. “You will end up saving money in the long run.”
Spann attributes her switch from a more traditional method of making coffee in the dorm to saving money. Her advice to those who want to start making coffee more often is to buy a bulk bag of beans and grind them fresh before making the coffee.
While saving money is a large part of making drinks in dorm rooms, it can lead to missing out on the environment at a coffee shop. Senior Carter Shields is a barista at Midnight Oil who enjoys ordering coffee as well as making it in his apartment.
“I love making my own coffee manually because of the rhythmic process and the reward of creating something delicious,” Shields said.
Shields and Spann both enjoy the process of making coffee by hand and prefer the taste. While Spann uses a French press, Shields switches between a Hario V60 and a Chemex for brewing at home. These coffee makers use the pour over method to saturate the grounds with water to produce an even taste.
Entering into the world of home-brewed coffee can be daunting with so many options and tools to use. Shields suggests asking a barista or friend who is also interested in coffee.
“I would advise [you] to simply ask around,” Shields said. “This could mean looking on Google or YouTube. I would recommend James Hoffman for information about manual brewing methods.”
Junior Grant Countess got into brewing coffee in his dorm room after talking to friends who work at local coffee shops in town. Countess’ first manual coffee maker was a hand-me-down from Shields, but he said there is nothing wrong with using a Keurig, either.
“Hey, if K-Cups are your thing, go enjoy your favorite K-Cups with friends, learn which flavors you like and don’t like,” Countess said. “It’s so open and really has no boundaries to it at all.”
Most people who are invested in making coffee and the process really enjoy the connections that it brings, and Shields, Countess and Spann frequent the local coffee shops for this purpose. Countess also said learning how to make coffee with someone is another way to make connections.
“Find someone who already enjoys the practice of making coffee,” Countess said. “Share a few cups with them. Practice with them and let them teach you.”