The Charleston Coffee Cup: Showcasing local coffee culture

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Various coffee stands offer tastings to the attendees. (Photo by Grace Samuelson)

One notably chilly morning, as the city of Charleston slumbered under the dull gray sky, the aroma of coffee beans and the rhythm of soothing music lured a few out from under their covers. Coffee seems to elicit a prompt wake up call for many, whether it be due to the caffeine it contains or the taste it leaves behind. To some, a coffee bean smells like home, to others a comforting study spot. Whatever the scent, coffee is a reliable alarm clock that wakes up the city.

On Sunday Nov. 13, Memminger Auditorium hosted the third annual Charleston Coffee Cup, bringing in around 20 coffee venders to hand out samples to those in attendance. Upon entrance, the staff provided each person with a three ounce tasting mug to carry with them up and down the coffee-tainted aisles to test each brew. The coffee proved effective as slowly the chatter increased and hands started to slightly shake due to caffeine overdose. People expected nothing less, after all the event was for coffee, and coffee is what the people were provided. Even when a break from the drink was offered, the event’s clothing and mug stands as well as a latte art competition kept the audience entertained. The beautifully planned event was supplemented by an air filled with the flavor of rich coffee beans.

Coffee itself has become a staple of contemporary culture. For many, it is the first thought that enters their mind every morning.

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Mugs, t-shirts and a latte art competition make the event more than just coffee. (Photo by Grace Samuelson)

The thought of holding a good-tasting, caffeinated warm (or cold) drink is what gets them out of bed. It is precisely the satisfying liquid that enables many to form comprehensible sentences early in the morning. The vitality of coffee in so many people’s lives is almost like a caffeinated placebo. People feel they cannot live without it, cannot function without it and cannot properly be awake without it. Charleston Coffee Cup proved this theory correct. Hundreds of people were up early on a rainy Sunday just to indulge.

The bitter-sweet drink seems to be taking not only Charleston, but the collegiate world by storm. A typical college student drinks multiple cups of coffee a day. Late night studying causes a lack of sleep that creates a need for caffeine — and coffee is the easiest source. But caffeine aside, some students just have a taste for the drink. Every coffee shop has a unique, relaxed vibe to it that makes students want to keep going back, whether it be to work on schoolwork or socialize. For the college community, coffee is taking over one cup at a time.

The Charleston Coffee Cup allowed coffee lovers of the city to come together and show their love for the decadent beverage. As each person went from booth to booth, testing which coffee bean produced the best taste, the caffeine kicked in, creating a sense of alertness throughout the auditorium. The attendees will undoubtedly continue to keep up their local coffee shop visits and daily drinks, molding it into the only alarm that would wake up them up on a lazy Sunday morning.

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