College Students Help Grow Coffee Beans from the Grass Up

WILLIAMSPORT -- Spend enough time on a college campus and you'll see it. Studying and coffee seem to go hand in hand for a lot of students. Pretty soon students at Cafe 1812 at Lycoming College will have another coffee flavor option, Warrior Gold.

"I think it's a little herbally. This is really, odd it has a caramel or toffee flavor at the end. It's really, really yummy," said Caroline Payne

The beans in the Warrior Gold roast were grown in El Naranjito, a region in the Dominican Republic. They were picked and perfected by students for students at Lycoming College.

"To know that maybe I'm drinking a coffee bean I held in my hand a few months ago, is pretty neat," said Elizabeth Ritter.

About 5 years ago, political science professor Caroline Payne found herself at a coffee bean farm in the Dominican. She says the people were paid little and living in poor conditions.

I thought there had to be a way to help that community, but also provide really unique learning opportunities for our students," said Payne

Now every year, students from all studies go with Payne to the Dominican Republic. Students learn about the coffee beans and the lives of the people in the community growing them.

"The students are actually going through bags of coffee and they are seeing the quality and making decisions on what we are going to bring back to the US," said Payne.

"To be a part of something so much bigger is very humbling," said Ritter.

Payne and her students are now hoping to expand their reach. This year Alabaster, a coffee shop in Williamsport is helping bag the roast.  The coffee will be sold on the Alabaster website or people can buy it through the college for 15 dollars a bag.

"I think it's really cool that we are able to help out another country and be able to have good coffee and good product here," said Mishia Springs.

For the people in the Williamsport area, Lycoming College plans to have Warrior Gold on the shelves at Wegmans soon.

1 Comment

  • Cheese

    I was going to make fun of the student who used the word “yummy” but then I read she was a professor and it all made sense.

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