Coffee is one of college students all time favorite drinks, if you’re me at least. You might be surprised to know that I used to hate coffee. I thought it tasted like dirt, and I never understood why anyone would spend so much money on coffee. Then, I got a job at Caribou Coffee, which if you know what that is, it’s like a Midwest version of Starbucks, but a little less common. I went through a week full of training which included espresso tasting to make sure that the espresso machine was calibrated properly. I acquired a taste for coffee thanks to being surrounded by it. Moving from the Midwest to Florida Tech did change my taste for coffee just because I don’t always have the option to go off campus.
Thankfully, there at least three places on campus to get some good coffee. Now, I find myself waking up, grabbing breakfast and getting a coffee from the cart that serves Starbucks at Pete’s Java Den in the SUB Cafe & Deli. It is my personal favorite to go on campus. At the SUB, you get a café atmosphere. They have outlets to plug in your laptops, it’s not usually that loud, and, well, the coffee and baked goods just make everything smell great.
Another great place on campus to go is the Black Kat Kafe. The Black Kat Kafe is my second favorite. The only reason I say that, is that they are not known for their coffee, but for their milkshakes. Even though milkshakes are their primary focus, the coffee they have is still great. I can never turn down their version of frappuccinos. This late night hot spot has video games and the periodic karaoke night.
The Library Coffee Shop has a few really good options. My personal favorite here is the Kona blend, that none of the other shops offer. The only thing is that it’s a little small. You can still find something you’ll like; sometimes they’ll have pumpkin bread! One serious pro of the shop is the benefit of being in the library. If you need a caffeine boost to finish a project, this is the place to go.
Coffee is everywhere nowadays, even on our Florida Tech campus. What people don’t always seem to realize is that there is science behind growing, roasting and consuming coffee. The beans that come from trees take about 7 to 11 months to produce fruit. Coffee beans are actually seeds of the tree fruits. These trees need a hot climate to grow, which is why there are so many coffee types named after the countries close to the Equator: Columbia, Ethiopia, Guatemala, Puerto Rico and Costa Rica. After coffee is harvested, it is roasted. Roasting is where flavor combinations are added. The longer you roast the beans, the more rich the flavor. Coffee beans start out green and often get their brown color during the roasting process. The color gets darker the longer the beans are roasted.
Coffee can have a unique effect on you, and it is the third most consumed drink in the world, just behind water and tea. Contrary to popular belief, coffee does not dehydrate you, even if you drink as many as five cups. It does, however, have a diuretic effect. Coffee’s most famous effect, caffeine, has been directly related to increased performance in activities, especially in endurance. The higher the caffeine content, the more bitter the drink will taste to you.
Even the simplest and smallest parts of our lives include so much science we often forget about. The next time you try some different coffees, see if you can tell if there is a high or low caffeine content in the coffee. Or, check if you can tell the difference in color from a light roast to a dark roast.