Campus News

New club ‘perks’ Bethel students’ interest

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Bethel caffeine addicts can rejoice as the school is starting up a Specialty Coffee and Tea Club this 2012-2013 school year. Led by its president, Neil Silveus, the club will be focused on widening students’ knowledge of the popular beverages, as well as giving them hands-on experience in roasting coffee beans and blending teas. “Just coffee roasting in general, I think is kind of fun and I think people will find it really fun,” said Silveus. “It's a lot about just exploring how to make a better coffee and so that'll be a huge part of what the coffee club is doing… Melissa Peebles is actually gonna be in charge of tea blending, so it's not going to be exclusively a coffee roasting club, but we'll also have this element of tea blending too.” It is overseen by coffee connoisseur and linguistics professor, Eric Oglesbee, who hopes it to be “a place [for students] to enjoy coffee and tea and help out other organizations.” He aims for the club to give back to the school and eventually supply Sufficient Grounds with student-made coffee. It all started with the Bethel alum’s personal interest. Oglesbee wanted a place for students to find community and knew that coffee was a popular topic amongst students. “I love coffee—I roast it myself,” he said. “I heard from another professor that Neil loved to roast…I approached [him] about starting a coffee roasting club.” The club, which was approved at the end of this last academic year, will teach students about the process of making tea and coffee, as well as feature lessons and outings. “Part of the club will be, like, taking field trips basically,” said Silveus. “There's a green coffee wholesaler over in South Bend. So we might go visit that facility. The guy who owns that company is actually really, really well-versed in coffee and coffee roasting and coffee cupping so we'll probably try to learn from him too… We also have people lined up that know a lot about tea blending and even coffee flavoring so there will be either field trip opportunities or, like, mini seminars that we can put on so that will be another element of the club.” Though the group has gotten a late start, it has already gotten positive reviews from the informal advertising by those involved. “We've gotten a really good response,” said Silveus. “People are interested. Not just students, though. Faculty, too, are pretty into it.” While a date for the first meeting hasn’t been set just yet, it is looking to happen in the next few weeks. Oglesbee isn’t deterred. “We feel it can be a very popular club once we get started.”
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