In My Opinion: Choose local coffee not corporate

Max+Rowdon%2C+the+barista%2C+pours+coffee+for+a+customer.+He+has+been+the+barista+at+Mojo%27s+for+several+months.
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In My Opinion: Choose local coffee not corporate

Max Rowdon, the barista, pours coffee for a customer. He has been the barista at Mojo's for several months.

Max Rowdon, the barista, pours coffee for a customer. He has been the barista at Mojo's for several months.

Taylor Galmiche

Max Rowdon, the barista, pours coffee for a customer. He has been the barista at Mojo's for several months.

Taylor Galmiche

Taylor Galmiche

Max Rowdon, the barista, pours coffee for a customer. He has been the barista at Mojo's for several months.

Taylor Galmiche, [email protected]

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To all the freshman new to campus, new to the city, and new to the local fare, I have some advice: drink local.

“Think local,” “shop local,” “stay local,” we hear. We’ve been told this is an important concept that ends unfair wages and boosts the local economy, but the importance of knowing our local options goes further than moral conviction. For instance, it pays off to travel the extra mile and enjoy a cup of coffee at a local coffee shop.

Local food, drinks and artistry are often better quality than the products spit out of the bigger, corporate machines. It is a reciprocal relationship: we support our local businesses and our local businesses give us their best.

atilyn Woltz and Dillon Tauzin, Loyola seniors, enjoy drinks while studying. They represent the growing trend of frequenting coffee shops.

Taylor Galmiche
Catilyn Woltz and Dillon Tauzin, Loyola seniors, enjoy drinks while studying. They represent the growing trend of frequenting coffee shops.

If you haven’t tasted freshly roasted, ground, and brewed local coffee, have you tasted coffee at all? I’ll argue that you haven’t. I know plenty of people who would not consider drinking their coffee black before they knew just how great coffee could taste. That is because the coffees they were introduced to were usually Starbucks or Folgers, both companies notoriously offering a burnt, bitter taste.

This burnt taste can be attributed to larger companies’ call for mass production. With over 21,000 stores worldwide, Starbucks must roast beans at higher temperatures to produce large quantities of coffee at a faster rate.

For independent companies, this isn’t so. They have the time and resources to appreciate and roast their beans at an appropriate rate. This lends to the smooth and robust taste local coffee will offer.

The taste of fresh local coffee is only the icing on the cake. Local coffee shops are personable. Imagine this scenario: you walk through the door, beeline to the counter, your barista greets you by name and starts working on your order. There weren’t 10 people impatiently fiddling their fingers behind you. Your barista knew your name and your order. For me, this brings a feeling of peace. This deconstructs the busy, impatient atmosphere.

You can stop and remember that the person behind the counter is a person, as are the connoisseurs around you. This brings another, almost communal dimension to enjoying coffee. So simple, yet so satisfying.

Food tastes better when you know where it comes from. There is a common misconception that larger companies sell their product for less than local businesses. This is hardly true.

With as much coffee as we consume, we should realize our effect as the consumer and the responsibility that comes with that power. It is important to know that your growers and roasters are benefiting from your purchase as much as you are. Fair-waged coffee will have more care put into it, tending to make sure it taste better.

Starbucks is great for seasonal drinks and sweet, icy treats. However, if you want to experience coffee in its essence, you’ll need to take your business elsewhere. Find an independent coffee shop that cares about the coffee they create.

These coffee shops aren’t for the faint of heart. They aren’t as convenient as Starbucks or the Keurig machine in your suite. I would argue that they are better, though. Better for the world, better for our community, and better for the consumer, which is why you should check out a local coffee shop right now.

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