Cedarville’s Guide to Caffeine

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February 3, 2022 by

I am like a lot of people: I need some form of prescriptive lenses to correct a misshaped cornea so that I can see clearly. I need contact lenses to see the world, but what about seeing other people? What helps me focus then? I see people most clearly and most deeply when I’m looking at them across from a cup of coffee. Yes – for some odd reason, some of the most intimate conversations I have shared with others have started because of a little chat happening over a little caffeine. Whether I’m conversing about grateful and joyful topics (like new jobs, deeper friendships, or fun adventures) or mentioning gut-wrenching pain (from family deaths to sin struggles to heartbreak), I have been so encouraged by the people who share their own life (or pain) with me while we both get to share our favorite caffeinated beverages with each other.  

This could be my best reason to turn my caffeine-addiction into a personality trait. Another college student that adores all things caffeine should not surprise you. I promise that I have my reasons for consuming around 200 mg of caffeine daily. In fact, it all began when Brian Burns (Director of Campus Experience) decided to hire me to work at the coffee shop on campus. Now, my job – my livelihood, my paychecks, my time – center around the crafting of good coffee and (most importantly) the curating of intentional conversations. There are good and even godly things associated with these coffee shop conversations.  

So, let’s have one. No, not a coffee – although you are more than welcome to, if it helps you focus too. What I mean to say is – let’s have a conversation. Let’s talk about caffeine in Cedarville. 

 

Where can I get coffee on campus? 

If you want to save a few bucks, our dining hall (Chuck’s) has coffee that you can have at any mealtime. The benefit is that it is free – but the disadvantage is that you may not like the way that dining hall coffee tastes. Here is my tried-and-true Iced Coffee Recipe that might be your best shot at a tasty Chuck’s coffee. 

  1. Fill a water glass with ice, let it chill the cup for a minute, then dump it 
  1. Fill 1/3 full with hot brewed coffee 
  1. Add fresh ice until mostly filled (or cooled down) 
  1. Top off with milk or creamer (or both), and any other fixings, such as honey and cinnamon 

 

Fortunately for people who enjoy lattes and all other delicious varieties of espresso drinks, there is a beloved coffee shop called Rinnova located in the Stevens Student Center (shameless plug for where I work). Students automatically receive $125 in flex dollars with their meal plan to spend on campus. Rinnova is a lot of people’s favorite place to spend those flex dollars. It is an authentic coffee shop where I and other baristas love to craft delicious drinks and even dabble in some latte art.  

Honey Oat Milk Latte  

This is my personal favorite. Warm and subtly sweet, combined with the hearty flavor of oat milk.  

Dirty Chai  

This is everyone’s favorite. The sweetness of chai pairs well with the bitterness of espresso. 

Coconut Almond Milk Latte 

This is the most unheard of yet tasty and smooth pairing of flavors. It is smooth. 

 

What if I don’t like coffee more than a cold walk in the snow? 

Let’s face it – winter in Cedarville can be cold! The strong, icy cedar-wind that blows across the lake is the one force of nature that can rival my craving for coffee. While my fear of wintry elements encourages me to stay cozy in my dorm room, I can still get my caffeine fix. If coffee is important in your routine, there are many available options besides buying a Keurig or coffee pot. If you are a coffee snob like me, you might enjoy making your own pour-over coffees in your dorm room (don’t forget you’ll need an electric kettle). You can also opt for buying/making cold brew and creating iced drinks yourself. I have even seen all varieties of Moka Pots, espresso machines, and Aeroespressos scattered throughout the college campus.  

I promise you will really enjoy hosting coffee and tea parties in your dorm room and making all your friends a hot drink … or maybe that’s just the extrovert in me talking. *Sips coffee* 

 

What other locations sell caffeine? 

Vending machines. Yeah – if you really need tons of caffeine to sustain you, there are energy drinks located across campus too. Be careful with these – one day, during finals week, I had 1 1/2 energy drinks and 2 coffees and then used the synapses in my brain that had been spared to add how much caffeine I just consumed. My caffeine consumption that day was one gram – which is at least five times the amount of caffeine considered healthy (that’s the sort of fun info I learn in my nutrition class).  

Right in the town of Cedarville are two more coffee shops – Orion and Beans-n-Cream. Both are delightful spots to study and sip some coffee.  

 

Whether you are an iced vanilla latte type of person, a die-hard black coffee drinker, or a poor soul who prefers tea (sorry, I’m biased), you can get your favorites around campus. If you’re a professor, you’ll need it; if you are a student, you’ll survive on it.  

However, coffee is more than an addictive routine for tired college students –– at Cedarville, it’s a conversation starter. Many students visit Rinnova with a friend to chat about life –– or even share testimonies –– over a good ol’ cup o’ joe. Coffee is really just some warmed, flavored bean-water, but it has this unique ability: It can initiate some sweet interactions and conversations across our campus, even on a cold, bitter, winter day. 

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