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ND Food Services to offer coffee tastings

| Thursday, January 23, 2014

Notre Dame Food Services is set to host coffee tastings next week, at which students can sample free coffee and vote on which type will be served in the dining halls and at events catered by Food Services.

The coffee tasting, which will feature six vendors, will take place from 7 a.m. to 2 p. m. on Jan. 27 in the South Dining Hall Hospitality Room and from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Jan. 28 in the North Dining Hall Gold Room.

Chris Abayasinghe, director of Food Services, said that the change in coffee vendors comes in response to student feedback.

“This change has been in the works for quite a while, but you wouldn’t believe all there is to consider in brewing a cup of coffee,” Abayasinghe said. “We have heard feedback from our students; however, the main reason [for the change] is we want to serve a great cup of coffee.”

According to the Food Services website, the vendors at the coffee tasting will include Paramount Coffee, Intelligentsia Coffee, Hubbard & Cravens, Douwe Egberts, Javo and Nestle Professional. Representatives from each vendor will be at the tasting events to answer questions about their products and efforts to produce coffee sustainably.

“We chose three local vendors [Paramount Coffee, Intelligentsia Coffee and Hubbard & Cravens] who source and roast their own beans for our brewed options,” Abayasinghe said. “Some people believe that on-demand coffee is the best option out there, so we chose three vendors [Douwe Egberts, Javo and Nestle Professional] to represent this segment as well.”

Abayasinghe said student feedback would be critical in the selection of a new coffee vendor.

“We are looking for what flavor profiles the students prefer, as well as which stewardship and sustainability issues mean to our students,” he said. “This will guide NDFS in obtaining a product that our guests enjoy.

“This [coffee] will replace the coffee in the dining halls, so we wanted the input of the people who will be drinking it regularly.”

Students can use their ID cards to access the coffee tasting, Abayasinghe said. Each taster will receive a card on which to note their preferences and will fill out a brief survey at the end of the tasting.

“This is [the students’] chance to voice their opinion on what some deem the most important dink of the day and to let us know what issues in sustainability we should consider,” Abayasinghe said.

Abayasinghe said there would be more coffee tasting events in the future.

“After a vendor is chosen, we intend to conduct education sessions with our students about different brewing methods or styles of coffee.”

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About Nicole McAlee

Nicole McAlee is a sophomore at the University of Notre Dame.

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