By Sydney Snjader
A few weeks ago at the Evergrain Bakery, my friend decided to finish off her croissant breakfast by ordering a macchiato. Behind the counter, the employee hesitated. He asked, “Are you thinking of a Starbucks macchiato?”
Apparently, our favorite chain has been spreading some coffee falsities. Ordering a macchiato at Starbucks gets you a 16-ounce beverage made of steamed milk, vanilla-flavored syrup, shots of espresso, and a layer of foam on top.
In reality, a macchiato is a very different drink, made out of a shot of espresso with a small amount of hot or steamed milk added. The word “macchiato” is Italian for “mark” or “stain”, which is a reference to the imprint the milk makes on the surface of the espresso. According to Starbucks, their macchiatos are “marked” twice, once by the shots of espresso and again by the lines of syrup on the top of the drink. My friend at the Evergrain admitted that she was indeed thinking of the Starbucks variety of macchiato. This incident prompted me to do a little research on the enigmatic terms that make deciphering coffeehouses menus so difficult.
Though many areas of the East Coast would beg to differ, here at WC—miles and miles from the nearest Starbucks—the coffee world can’t be divided smoothly into Starbucks and other. Instead, our campus provides a number of alternatives for students needing to satisfy their caffeine addiction.
For many, a visit to Java George is a necessary component of the day’s schedule. Others rely on the free coffee provided upstairs in Hodson Hall, which recently went through a revamp. Hodson’s old coffee supplier, the Chesapeake Roasting Company, was challenged by another brand, Farmer Brothers. Beginning on March 3, WC’s dining serves gave each brand a week-long stint in the dining hall and asked students to vote on the victor, which has yet to be announced.
Other students rely on private, individualized methods of brewing to get their coffee jolt. Sophomore Alex Levy recently acquired a French press machine for her dorm room. Though her favorite way to satisfy her coffee needs on campus is an iced mocha at Java George, Levy likes the convenience and value of having coffee accessible in her own room.
“My plan is to drink it before my 8:30a.m. to help wake me up,” says Levy.
Freshman Maggie Perry has a Keurig mini on her desk in her dorm room. Though an avid fan of Starbucks, Perry also frequents Java George on campus, favoring a white chocolate mocha, which is also her favorite drink at Starbucks. Additionally, she uses the Keurig three or four times a week and takes advantage of the machine’s versatility, brewing hot chocolate and tea in addition to coffee.
“Whenever I need a pick-me-up I turn to coffee,” says Perry. “It is my go-to for a caffeine fix.”
Both Levy and Perry favored the Chesapeake French vanilla brew during the Hodson challenge, though both acknowledge that—like many frequenters of Starbucks—they didn’t have a particular preference when drinking regular coffee as opposed to a blended beverage.
Sophomore Jaleh Waroich, on the pre-med track, is also a coffee drinker, though she is even less selective than some of the other caffeine connoisseurs on campus. She uses coffee purely as a vehicle for caffeine, drinking it as a means to stay awake or when she knows she’ll be up late working or studying for a test.
“I don’t know coffees, I just drink them,” she said.