Kalamazoo, MI
one-hundred-forty-one Years of Service to the Student

Behind the Scenes

A Look at the Book Club

(Robert Manor / Index)

Returning back to K means tiring nights in the library. Thankfully, the Book Club Café baristas have our best interest in mind. On late nights in the library, it’s not unusual to find a line of students waiting to get that essential cup of coffee, tea, or another specialty drink. I was given the opportunity to go behind the scenes of the Book Club Café and try making my own coffee to see if I had what it takes to be a barista.

Emily Pizza K’16 was my guide in making the perfect cup of coffee. Once a barista receives an order the process begins. Each drink has a specific amount of flavoring, shots of espresso, and steamed milk. For a caramel mocha there is two full pumps of mocha, a half pump of caramel, two shots of espresso, stir, and pour in steamed milk till the cup is almost filled. Of course, I had to leave room for the best part, whipped cream and garnish.

It may seem like the baristas have it easy, but many things were more difficult than expected. Barista Bianca Delgado K’17 has her fair share of work when serving students.

“It’s hard because you don’t want to mess up any drinks, but it can get tricky when you’re making 4 or 5 different drinks that people are waiting for,” Delgado said.

Standing in line gives students time to think about other things other than academics, and Josh Vance K’17 caught himself noticing the hard work of the baristas.

“I often wonder how hard it is to remember every specific detail that goes into each drink on the menu,” Vance said.

When I made my own drink, I was in no rush, but it did take me some time to learn how the equipment worked and to remember the instructions Pizza gave.

“It gets especially hard if people have to run to class or quickly get back to studying or cramming” Delgado said.

I admit that I enjoyed my finished product and went right to studying once I figured out the perfect way to add whipped cream. Of course, if made by a veteran barista, it would’ve been better.

“It’s important to note the baristas at K because most of them are students like us, and they’ve been doing a good job serving the students,” Vance said.

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A Look at the Book Club