It is also the thing that has sparked the creation of coffee interest groups (IGs) in every UTown Residential College (RC) and Pioneer House. There is something magical about the aroma of coffee, learning how to make different types of coffee, and just bonding with others over the shared love for this bold, bitter, and black beverage (although many do enjoy it with some milk). If you would be interested to join one of these coffee groups, or read more about the stories that members of these respective IGs have to share, this article is for you!
Hi I’m Bryan Chong, (Y2, Data Science, FoS). I am also the current IG head of CAPTcoffee.
Source: Bryan Chong (Right)
It has been a heart-warming experience to be able to bring so many together over a shared love for coffee. I think when it comes to coffee, many people have this impression that black coffee is just bitter and difficult to drink. Hence, a big highlight for me is helping those who come for sessions to discover the variety of notes that specialty coffee can have, and to change their perception of it.
Brewing coffee (Source: Bryan Chong)
Being able to find a community within the RC that shares this same love for coffee has often reignited my love for it as well. Having others to share a cup with, exchanging pointers, and visiting different roasters together has been nothing short of a blessing. Many of the best conversations I have shared with others within CAPT were sparked over a single cup of coffee.
Blending coffee beans to choose CAPT’s 10th anniversary coffee blend (Source: Bryan Chong)
Hello, I’m Zuhair (Y1, Social Work and Sociology, FASS). I am also part of the Executive Committee (EXCO) of RVRCoffee.
RVRCoffee has become a weekly routine that I look forward to every Friday morning. I was able to try out making filter coffee as well as use the espresso machine to make lattes. We kind of formed our own community as most of the people who come for the coffee sessions are regulars. However, we welcome everyone to join!
Members of RVRCoffee in action (Source: Zuhair)
RVRCoffee has a very welcoming and warm atmosphere. The coffee sessions are chill sessions where everyone has the chance to try making their own coffee, or they can just choose to relax and hang out. I really look forward to meeting the people who come down for the coffee sessions because we can talk for almost two hours about anything. Overall, I think that this interest group has allowed me to get closer to the people in my RC who share common interests as me. I was also able to meet new people through this interest group. It is something I definitely did not regret joining.
Coffee-making sessions (Source: Zuhair)
Hi, I’m Clarice (Y1, Chemistry, FoS)! I like coffee.👍🏻
Source: Clarice (Left)
Participating in Coffeehouse’s morning shifts have been a really fun experience through the past two semesters! I like that it’s a really good opportunity for me to make new friends and bond over coffee, and it’s a good platform to learn from your peers without judgement (it also forces me to wake up in the morning😴😴).
An artistic impression of the V60 (Source: Clarice)
I joined Coffeehouse initially because I really enjoyed making and tasting coffee. I previously had a short stint working as a barista, so Coffeehouse was a great way for me to keep in touch with my coffee-making skills. But these shifts also allowed me to meet new people and have fun with my friends, making my RC experience much more fulfilling!
RC4 Coffee Academy
Hello! I’m Fangqing (Y1, Philosophy and Sociology, FASS). I’m also part of the EXCO of RC4 Coffee Academy.
RC4 Coffee members (Source: Fangqing)
As said by someone (probably), “Take a breath of fresh air. Take a sip of freshly-brewed coffee.”
I remember not thinking much about Coffee Academy when I first joined its IG chat. Yet, the fact that an IG centred around coffee-making existed alone was enough to intrigue me. Through the IG sessions, I quickly realised that Coffee Academy had so much more to offer than bossa nova (a style of music that merges Samba and Jazz, often played in cafés) and free coffee. The seniors there provided ample resources and training on various aspects of coffee-making, and we all had the opportunity to try our hand at making various coffee drinks, ranging from cold brews to funky Frappés. Most importantly, the chill atmosphere of the IG sessions gave me ample space and time to get to know (and talk about coffee with!) residents from other houses, which can be difficult due to the house-centric nature of many RC events. In that sense, Coffee Academy feels very much like a respite from the pandemonium that is university life.
Drinks made during IG sessions (Source: Fangqing)
Pioneer House Coffee IG
Hi! I’m Lingga (Y4, Food Science and Technology, FoS). I am also the head of the Coffee IG in Pioneer House (PH).
Lingga (far-right) with other Coffee IG members
Since I was young, I have been a coffee lover, and I drink coffee every day. I arrived at PH in my first year of university, and the moment I knew that they had a Coffee IG (which had just been started that year), I immediately joined it.
Through participating in the IG, I learned a lot of methods to make coffee, including doing latte art and carrying out manual brewing. It makes my hall life a lot more fun! It also provides an opportunity for the PH residents to chill during sessions and chat about their university life.
Heyo, I’m Brandon (Y1, Pharmaceutical Science, FoS & USP), and am one of the EXCO members for USCaffeinated.
Growing up in a household fuelled by caffeine, love and memory are ascribed to the smells of coffee and tea. I was hence ecstatic to find out that USP had an IG for it: USCaffeinated (me and some others call it USCaff).
Initially, there I had a sense of trepidation joining USCaff, as serving drinks is drastically different from enjoying a drink. Thankfully, the community-centric USCaff made the experience of serving enjoyable. USCaff usually hosts sessions twice a week, one in the morning and one at night, where we serve coffee and tea to the community. As USCaff, we pride ourselves on our diverse menu, which ranges from pour-over coffee to cold brew tea, with each session serving different drinks.
Brandon (second from the left) in one of USCaff’s weekly sessions in Cinnamon College’s Dining Hall. (Source: Amanda Loh)
Drinks aside, the community is central to the USCaff experience. As a service-based IG, we interact with and talk to the community a lot during our sessions. It is a good way to get to know more people, be it the people we serve, or those we serve with! We also pride ourselves on keeping our sessions light-hearted, such that our members serving drinks also enjoy the session itself.
Occasionally, USCaff will also hold special events (or what we call “Ground-Up Initiatives”). A recent event we had was “Coffee, Tea or IndoME?” which provided the USP community with refreshments to accompany their late-night study sessions during recess week.
“Coffee, Tea or IndoME?” initiative done during Reading Week (Source: Amanda Loh)
Although USCaff’s chapter comes to a close with the transition into NUSCollege (NUSC), I hope that the new USCaff, whatever its new name will be in NUSC, will retain the spirit and some traditions of the USCaff that I have come to know and enjoy! Regardless, the aroma of brewed coffee and tea will always be nostalgic, whether it’s in NUSC or in USP!
Hopefully this article has piqued your interest with regards to coffee-related IGs in RCs, or maybe even coffee in general! Such opportunities to connect with others over the shared love for making and drinking a simple yet wholly affecting beverage don’t always come by easily, and should be thoroughly cherished while we are still in university. Be sure to look out for these IGs if you’re an incoming freshman who’s interested in being part of such communities, and share your caffeine-fuelled stories with us at @nusresidentiallife as we would love to hear them.