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Hipsters Rejoice For Cold Brew Coffee On Tap In West Commons

On-campus coffee shops at Penn State provide an indispensable service to students: on-demand, extremely cheap coffee. Sure, bagels and pastries are available, too, but at the end of the day, the lifeblood that sustains both college student and college coffee vendor is caffeine — hot or iced.

Now, students on the west side of campus can add a new stream of sludge to their dosage regimen in the form of on-tap, cold brew coffee.

The Sisu coffee shop in Waring Commons in West recently debuted a swanky cart from Chameleon Cold Brew Coffee, an Austin-based coffee start-up that is as hipster as beanies, beards, and Mumford and Sons.

You pay at the register and fill your coffee up yourself from a tap that will make you feel like you’re behind the bar at Champs. And the best part? Not having to wait an eternity in the HUB Starbucks line for a serious cup of mud that packs a punch.

For the uninitiated, cold brew is a kind of coffee concentrate prepared by steeping coarse coffee grounds in room temperature or cold water for anywhere from 24 to 48 hours (or longer, if you’re into coffee extremism). This method of preparation extracts more caffeine and flavor from the beans but less acidity, so the final result is a naturally sweet, intense coffee with pronounced notes of wood, chicory, and chocolate.

Yes, the above description matches up with the way that absolutely intolerable people talk about coffee. But believe you me, cold brew demands that kind of ridiculous language. It’s just on a different tier of coffee consumption.

“The Chameleon Cold Brew Coffee Program was brought to West because of how successful Edge’s cold brew program has been in East,” said Jim Meinecke, associate director of Residential Dining. “We didn’t have this niche filled on the west side of campus, but the early reviews are very positive there as well.”

Students can purchase either standard cold brew or Nitro cold brew at Sisu. The latter option improves upon the former by infusing the drink with nitrogen gas, giving the coffee a smooth, foamy head above a dark, bitter, slightly sweet body, not dissimilar to beer. As a result, Nitro cold brew looks more like a freshly poured Guinness than your average cup o’ joe.

Those accustomed to the standard Penn State coffee shop fare — which is not exactly known for potency — might find themselves surprised at just how strong this stuff is. Iced coffee devotees are advised to sip.

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About the Author

Steve Schneible

Recovering Bethlehem, PA native. English & Psych student, PSU SHC class of 2021. Paterno Fellow. Narcissism Hour Showrunner. Kalliope Fiction Coordinator. Earnest and usually good-natured milquetoast. Baby Onward State contributor. Email: [email protected] Moderately amusing Twitter account: @steve_schneibs

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