Op-Ed: Enjoying the morning joe

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Everyone has a story, whether they think it’s worthwhile or not. All that you have seen, experienced, done, all of the people you’ve met — everything has led you to this point, sitting here reading this. And what a shame it would be if everyone you met from this point on took you at face value, neglecting your larger story and reducing you to something interchangeable, a commodity.

In fact, this happens every morning in homes, diners, markets all over the world. Not to someone, but to something. Coffee.

What do you see when you gaze into your morning cup of joe? A dark, bitter liquid asking to be tamed with cream and sugar? Purely a source of energy for the day? Whatever you choose to see, there’s no denying that some sort of process brought it to you.

Before, it was somewhere else and now it is here. Just like you. Now you’re here. And just like us, who all have our own story to tell, the cup of coffee in front of you is distinct, and it too has a story to tell. Food for thought.

Now ironically, although not really, I’m drinking coffee as I write this, a Kenyan coffee with flavor notes of citrus and grape jelly. Wait, what? Not a pumpkin spice latte? And who the heck wants grape jelly in their coffee? Yeah, that’s right.

And now I probably just earned the title of “coffee snob.”

But seriously, there’s more to coffee than you think. You could say my goal here is to educate on the “art of coffee” but really that’s something a true coffee snob would say.

All I want is for you not to take that little brown bean at face value.

First, let me say that a healthy appreciation of coffee and all its caffeine glory takes time to develop. My journey began with harmless visits to my local Panera. Needless to say, I enjoyed the step up from my Keurig at home and over the course of next several months a steady progression ensued.

After Panera, Starbucks became my fountainhead for caffeine and study space, until finally the climax: a mysterious stand-alone coffee shop opening up in my small suburban town.

It had a name I could not pronounce — that’s how hipster it was. Kaioen Coffee. In addition to its espresso offerings, teas, and bakery items, Kaioen lured me in with its eclectic ambiance.

A different world compared to the clamor and bustle of a chain shop. Here, I could bask in smooth indie tunes while sipping a creamy “cortado,” studying, and possibly sparking a conversation with a barista or random patron.

If you don’t think I’m a coffee nerd yet, now would be a good time to let you know that I brought my V60 pour over brewing system with me to Lehigh, with which I brewed my cup of grape jelly.

I’ve also biked all over the town of Bethlehem in search of a worthy coffee roaster, but to no avail.

Although, in case you missed it at the club fair, a new coffee shop and roastery “LIT” will be opening downtown. Fingers crossed.


Elliot Nasby, ’20, is a writer for The Brown and White. He can be reached at [email protected]

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