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This weekend the undergraduate organization Penn Coffee Club, unaffiliated with the Coffee Club, held an event featuring an open coffee bar with a selection of single-origin coffees. 

Credit: Garett Nelson

For some students, a love of caffeine is actually an extra-curricular activity.

 The Wharton Coffee Club is a Wharton graduate student organization that gives students the opportunity to bond over their shared love of coffee. Started three years ago, the club now has over 60 members and a three-person board.

The club’s main draw is its coffee-centric events, which are hosted several times throughout the year. Recently, the club co-sponsored a coffee and dessert night with the Wharton Food Club and hosted a coffee and chocolate night last year. The club also gives its members free coffee during midterms and finals, setting up shop in a Huntsman group study room.

One of the club’s popular events is a Philadelphia “coffee crawl,” in which members go together to a number of different coffee shops in Center City. The shops they visit are “off the beaten path or shops members haven’t heard of,” club co-president and MBA student Emily Clayton said. The club board hopes to help broaden members’ knowledge about coffee and enable them to try new varieties.

The organization’s other co-president, MBA student Yuji Ogawa, also emphasized that the club wants to “educate [its] members about coffee.” To this end, the club organizes “coffee cupping” events, with coffee shops around campus. At a coffee cupping event, members learn about the origins of different types of coffee and try to identify differences in taste. Ogawa also enjoys showing other members different methods of brewing coffee and plans to host an event to teach members how to use different brewing techniques and coffee makers.

Though primarily a social organization, many members of the club are interested in the coffee, agriculture or food industries. Some members have worked in the coffee business. Ogawa, for instance, works for his family’s coffee business, which owns 40 shops in Japan and recently opened one in Boston. Clayton said the club hopes to host a “Coffee 101 Chat” next semester so students involved in the business of coffee can share their expertise with other members.

The club recently started a coffee subscription service for its members. The club purchases coffee beans from roasters in bulk that members can then buy at half the retail price. The coffee would often otherwise “be out of someone’s price range,” Clayton said. The subscription service lets students try out a new type of high-quality coffee from various regions before buying a whole bag.

Penn undergraduates who also want their caffeine fix can join The Penn Coffee Club, which is known for hosting its open coffee bars. 

A popular Wharton organization, the Coffee Club “brings together people with a love of coffee” outside of the classroom, Clayton said.

Correction: A previous version of this article referred to the Wharton Coffee Club as the Penn Coffee Club. The Penn Coffee Club is an organization for undergraduate students, while the Wharton Coffee Club is primarily for graduate students. The DP regrets the error.

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