Lehigh Coffee Club, which was started in the beginning of last year, offers kits of local coffee beans for purchase. Prior to the pandemic, the club hosted in person events, but now has virtual giveaways and a newsletter. (Courtesy of Lehigh Coffee Club)

The Lehigh Coffee Club helps students ‘stay woke’

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All it takes is a cup of coffee to find common ground.

The Lehigh Coffee Club has made it a mission to do just that by prompting challenging conversations while sharing a common love of coffee.

“Our mission is to use coffee as a vehicle to stimulate important conversations,” said Otto Capps, ‘22, Club President.

The group has adapted to a new normal over the last year and has continued to keep their members engaged despite a primarily virtual setting.

Some of the key adjustments they have made over the last year include themed coffee kits, Instagram giveaways and weekly newsletters.

Before the pandemic, Capps said the club participated in group coffee tastings and in-person discussions.

Jieun Song, ‘22, marketing director and vice president of finance, said when the pandemic first hit, it was a lot harder to plan things, since the club primarily met in person.

Alec Kruger, ‘21, club member, said the club shifted away from being a place on campus where students could get everything and try different coffee to “more of an at home coffee sampling.”

The club’s take home coffee kits are not only made for members, but also for anyone looking to purchase them. They contain four coffee bags, coffee roasters and more.

Capps and Song said every kit has a different monthly theme and features various types of coffee, from different shops and brands, be it local or from across the country. The club has featured local shops such as Lit 610, Saxby’s and The Joint. It has extended its reach to Partners Coffee Roasters from Brooklyn, New York, and Counter Culture Coffee from Durham, North Carolina.

March’s kit theme revolves around mocha, hence the name Mocha March, which is being sold for $12.50.

Along with this, the Coffee Club has been doing multiple giveaways on Instagram.

Song said the club has been doing Mocha March giveaways where someone can send a selfie of themselves drinking coffee for the chance to win a free mocha pot.

She said this has been a great tool for the club, since members can utilize the platform to advertise and communicate with each other.

Kruger said they are staying in touch with the members and keeping them up to date through promotions, word-of-mouth, Instagram and GroupMe.

“We are hoping to be able to start to be able to reach out more so through channels such as the parent’s page,” he said.

The Coffee Club’s new newsletter, The Busy Bean, helps with this goal.

Capps said the newsletter has three main topics of conversation which are coffee, community and conversation.

Capps said there’s also a bonus section within the newsletter, called Stay Woke, which fits the idea of a double entendre, as the effect of caffeine makes you stay awake and emphasizes the importance of being aware of social issues and world affairs.

In regards to the future, the club hopes to not only start up in-person events again, such as coffee tastings and networking events, but to have a more permanent outdoor presence on campus.

Kruger said the club is looking to open an outdoor mobile coffee stand that will have barista classes for students.

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