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About Me:

My name is Olivia and I am a senior at Butler University. I spend most of my time in Lilly Hall as a BFA Dance Performance major. When not in rehearsal or ballet class, I write papers for my English Literature second major. In my super-abundant, never-lacking, this-is-highly-sarcastic spare time, I attempt to cook in my apartment kitchen, watch Youtube videos of ballet, knit sweaters that never seem to come to an end, and read books both silly and serious. If I could take any class at Butler just for kicks, I'd go for DiffyQ.

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Posts Tagged “tea”

The Coffee Saga: French Press

Remember my post about starting to like coffee this past summer? This fall, I took over my roommate’s coffee machine precisely the same week she moved on to bigger and better things (i.e. French press). And so I had the means to make coffee myself. I picked out a tin of medium roast coffee at Trader Joe’s with my boyfriend, learned (thankfully not the hard way) that you do indeed need a coffee filter, and took to making my own mochas.

Mocha Recipe:

  • A spoonful of cocoa powder
  • A spoonful of sugar
  • Coffee
  • Milk
  • Hot water if desired
  • Coffeemate, carmel sauce, or chocolate chips to make it fancy

So there I was at Hubbard and Cravens with Boyfriend, finishing exam stuff before the end of the semester. We’d done the tea thing when we first arrived, chai for him and white tangerine for me. Paper writing… Time passed… Coffee smells… (sentence fragments, and not even parallel ones…)

[Side note: If you want to run into a bunch of Butler people, drive/bike/walk to this coffee shop. On this particular day, I saw my roommate and her friend, a former member of the dance faculty, and my English advisor.]

My roommate also loves Hubbard and Cravens and had been raving about the homework-increasing powers of a French press she ordered the day earlier while writing the “What is dance?” Theory and Philosophy paper. I went for it — I ordered a French press. When asked what kind of coffee I wanted, I hemmed and hawed. I was new to coffee-drinking, I told the barista, and I had a medium roast I liked. All their flavors were rather bold, he said. Well, I said, I tried one that was supposed to be “delicate” and didn’t much like it. I loved mochas. Could I have something with chocolate overtones?

Boyfriend ordered a mocha. Smart lad.

When my French press came, it was in a tricked-out Bodum container — at least a Level 5, I decided. The flavor was quite bold, reminiscent of honeysuckle, with the faintest aftertaste of sunshine mingled with the crisp and raw punch of cherries. Basically, it was just sour to my n00b coffee-taste-buds. The French press might have been a Level 5, but I had only recently attained Level 2.

Those sips of mocha which I stole were awfully good. And adding different combinations of cream and sugar to the coffee made for a wonderful diversion from Shakespeare.

The coffee saga

My cousin at Giant's Causeway

My love affair with tea began at the tip of Northern Ireland, in a restaurant at Giant’s Causeway. My geology-minded cousin wanted to visit the site, so there we were, the four of us–my grandparents, my cousin, and me.

The Irish table--site of my tea testing experience

Once we had clambered among the rocks, it was time for lunch. The table was so small, we had to put the tea pot underneath the table! My grandfather ordered the tea, but when it came, it was hot. He had hoped for iced tea and asked if anyone wanted it; I did not think I liked tea but figured I should try it since, hey, I was in Ireland, land of tea and sheep.

Ireland is green and filled with sheep.

I loved it, and I proceeded to drink my way through Ireland–with tea. I kept a journal, and at the end of our trip, I had had something like twenty-four cups of tea. That’s somewhere around six cups of tea a day!

Of course, when I returned home to Richmond, I could not keep consuming tea at that prodigious rate. Too much caffeine, not enough walking-everywhere-as-a-tourist exhaustion. But my love of tea remained with me for the next three years.

I read books on tea, collected teapots, gave a speech on the benefits of tea-drinking for speech class, bonded with my not-at-that-point boyfriend over mutual coffee dislike, frequented the tea store in Richmond, began every morning with a mug and like as not ended the day with the same.

I still love tea. But I have long wanted to drink decaffeinated coffee after dinner parties. It seems so elegant, the delicate white cups on their saucers, a dessert more refined than a brownie. A few months ago, I began to accept a half-cup of coffee at every catered event I attended. I mixed in milk and mounds of white sugar and sipped at it a few times, disliking the bitter taste but enjoying the sophistication aura of dessert coffee. Silly, I know. I feel the same way about cheesecake; I don’t like it, but it seems so refined!

And then I ordered a decaffeinated coffee from Starbucks. I managed to get about half of it down. Then came the decaffeinated vanilla latte from the Monon Coffee Company. Then the vanilla latte at the airport Caribou Coffee a mere week ago–the first caffeinated coffee drink I’d ever tried. I managed to drink most of the small size, wishing there were a half-cup size I could order.

Now I sit in Hubbard and Cravens, having tried my first mocha. And I want another. This might be the first coffee drink I really enjoyed… and I might have been craving coffee for a few days prior to the event.

Tell me now. Am I treading a dangerous path? Should I nip this coffee craving in the bud before it gets out of hand? I don’t want to have to have coffee in the morning to function. Tea is quite sufficient. And mixed coffee drinks are expensive. And I feel a traitor to tea. But the foam, the foam! Mmmm….

Skewed perception

What has the Midwest done to me? Yesterday was full of sunshine, slush-free sidewalks, and a notedly absent wind. It was practically balmy! I stopped by a friend’s room on the way to the car–we were going to study at a coffee shop before doing some grocery shopping–and asked to borrow a lighter coat. My heavy winter coat just seemed to get in the way.

Freshman year snow day

“It’s 34 degrees,” I said with some surprise, checking the weather once we were installed in the corner of the Monon Coffee Company in Broad Ripple. My friend’s sweatshirt, serving as my jacket, hung from the back of my chair. (Great service today, Monon Coffee. I got the decaffinated Earl Grey, though I’m also partial to their green jasmine tea.)

The response came with a smile and head shake. “Look what the Midwest has done to you.”

I paused, considered. “Oh no! This feels warm just because it’s not freezing!” Since when has thirty-four been balmy?

Doomdoomdoom. Headdesk.