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October 7 - 9, 2022 / Metropolitan Pavilion
21 August 2015
The Coffee Club at New York University
When Arnold Byun took a part-time job as a barista in New York, he never expected to be swept up in the city's coffee culture.

In this guest post, he explains how he became a proclaimer of coffee and set up the Coffee Club at NYU.
By Arnold Byun, Founder of The Coffee Club at NYU

What initially started as my first part-time job in the city has blossomed into a community now known as the Coffee Club at New York University (NYU).

Prior to moving to NYC in pursuit of a college degree, I’d never taken interest in coffee. I would often overhear people proclaim their so-called love and addiction for coffee — many announcing they could not begin or proceed their day without some.

The first experience with coffee came in the form of an itty-bitty white ceramic demitasse cup — undeniably bitter, acidic and greatly unpleasant. I thought $3 for this? What the hell is espresso?

Undeterred and not one to easily surrender, I propped open my laptop in my dorm and google’d “coffee”. With a rudimentary understanding, I found myself yet another coffee shop the very next day, determined to demystify the various coffee offerings. Utterly milky, barely reeking of bitter espresso and a decent-size, the latte became a go-to option as I scoured the city for the best coffee.

Not long after, I came across the forefront leaders in the Third-Wave, specialty coffee scene: Intelligentsia Coffee, Stumptown Coffee Roasters & Blue Bottle Coffee. With such serious commitment to quality control and deliciousness, the staff’s passion about coffee naturally rubbed off on me.

Thereafter my time as a barista, my obsession over coffee never truly subsided. I spent the summer traveling to Portland and San Francisco (two great cities known for superb coffee) and to my surprise, planning visits around neighborhoods that hosted coffee shops that I had been dying to try.

Within months, I had become one of those — a proclaimer of coffee. If I could undergo this transformation and foster a respect and appreciation for coffee, its processes and history; I wanted to help students better understand coffee as well.

In a sense, I wanted to give back to coffee. And the timing couldn’t have been more perfect. In days’ time per the new club submission’s requirement, I secured 200+ signups for members of the college community that had expressed potential interest in a Coffee Club on campus.

Now with 10 Executive Members, 200+ General Members and the largest annual Club Fest due in early-September, we’re anticipating to make a big splash this year as an official club at NYU.
Proudly sponsored by
Barista Attitude
Battenkill Valley Creamery
Bluestone Lane
Counter Culture
East One Coffee
Espresso Parts
Fetco
Fiorenzato
Global Coffee Institute
Guatemalan Coffees
Mr. Black
Oatly
OXO
Pacific Foods
Print Cup USA
San Remo
Slayer Espresso
Project Waterfall
Big Picture Media
5THWAVE
World Coffee Portal
Fnbtherapy
Patron Tequila
Zing
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