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Café Corner: Non-Coffee Options

It is no secret that coffee is a staple in college life. In an attempt to balance classes, activities, social events and all the other chaos of college, students often find themselves running on fumes… and a ton of caffeine. Plus, now more than ever, coffee is associated with social gatherings, status, tastes and ultimately “the aesthetic.” Coffee drinking is about so much more than just the beverage— college students love everything the bean juice scene embodies.

As a college student, I know how much I rely on coffee myself, but as a barista, I have the opportunity to be behind the bar and behind the scenes in the coffee world. It is an amazing perspective to see what goes into making all the café drinks that are so popular. From coffee secrets and hacks, to personal favorites, I will be offering my expertise here in the café corner.

Welcome back to the café corner! The past few weeks, we have looked into all things espresso and highlighted drinks where the espresso shines. This week however, we will be taking a different route.

Your friend invites you to a coffee shop. You’re excited, but definitely a little worried. There’s a small problem: you don’t like coffee.

It happens. It’s incredibly common. Coffee is not for everyone! But what do you do when you don’t drink coffee and you end up at a café? What do you order? This week we will be discussing how to tackle the coffee shop scene for non-coffee drinkers.

Fortunately, coffee shops offer so many beverage options that are not coffee. Specifically, teas are a great alternative to coffee, and there are plenty of different kinds of teas and tea-based drinks. For starters, cafés typically boast countless kinds of hot teas, both caffeinated and herbal. Some cafés also serve iced teas as well!

However, if you are looking for a coffee substitute more along the lines of a latte or another fun coffee drink, you may want to venture from regular brewed teas to more tea-based beverages. One incredible tea drink is the matcha latte, which is made of green tea finely ground to a powder. The matcha latte is served with steamed milk, creating an overall sweet refreshing flavor with evident hints of the green tea. Just like regular lattes, matcha can be iced, too.

Another great tea drink is the well-known chai tea latte. Highlighted in a previous café corner that discussed the dirty chai, the classic chai tea latte is made with chai tea, a strong black tea, spices and either steamed or cold milk. Black teas are strong and are actually the most caffeinated of teas, making any black tea drink a great substitute for coffee. The chai tea latte specifically has a sweet and spicy flavor, with strong tastes of cinnamon and ginger.

The final tea latte we will discuss is the delicious London Fog. The London Fog is made from the Earl Grey tea, which is also a black tea, sweetened with vanilla and steamed milk. Although it is most commonly served as a hot latte, the London Fog can also be made iced.

Overall, cafés love to serve drinks other than just coffee, and teas are fantastic drinks that are in generous supply and variety. So in the event you end up in a coffee shop and are looking for something other than coffee, rest assured that there are plenty of non-coffee options for you!

From, your barista.

Claudia Cava is a third-year finance and economics major with a journalism minor. CC887936@wcupa.edu

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