Java B&B serves up hot coffee, warm atmosphere

Valentina Vargas, Multicultural Reporter

The strong aroma of ground coffee beans drifts all around the first level of the Martin Luther King Jr. University Union.

A huge red mug sign reads “Java Beanery and Bakery” displayed across a variety menu of ice and blended drinks.

Two young baristas, a slender man with brown, short, wavy hair and a short, blonde girl, are behind the counter, facing away from the small crowd of students and faculty gathered by the cash register.

Small talk of people lingering by the cash register is overpowered by the harsh, stomach-churning sound of the coffee machine as the baristas prepare hot, steaming liquid to pour into the red cardboard cup for customers waiting patiently.

“Hot chocolate for Chris,” blares barista Jem Sutton who has worked at Java for almost six months now.

In the morning, Sutton said the little coffee shop gets filled with students and faculty coming in for hot or iced coffee, but between 11 a.m. and 12 p.m., it settles.

As Sutton finished one order, he sees another customer approach and asks the young lady, “Hi, what would you love to drink?”

She responds, saying she was not sure yet what she wanted, and tilts her to the side, peering up at the menu displayed above the counter.

The first time Sutton started, he knew very little about blending coffee drinks for people. After the one-day training, he said he now has the hang of working at the quaint college coffee shop.

He said even though he is still sort of the new person there, he tries to make it enjoyable by getting along with the people who work with him during shifts.

“I think we all recognize that we are in the same boat,” Sutton said. “Like we are all just students trying to make a little bit of money, so I guess there are those sort of relation factors that we are all, you know, how to make it the best way possible without even trying.”

The customer’s chestnut brown hair matches the round brown coffee tables all around the coffee shop and the tables by the two white and maroon pattern sofas.

There are dull spotlights all around the ceiling, giving Java B&B a warm and cozy atmosphere.

A man with a gray “Football Panthers” hat sits amid the sunlight streaming through the windows. His laptop is dressed in stickers, including Billy the panther.

A pop sound comes from him punching a hole in his drink with his straw. The cup reads “Seattle’s Best Espresso.”

Sutton said this was his first coffee shop place he has worked and so far; he has enjoyed how chill it is after the morning time.

The girl with the chestnut brown hair decides to take the last blueberry muffin displayed on the gourmet baked goods glass display with a caramel mocha that Sutton hands her.

A smooth female Spanish voice sings over the speakers, the band “Jesse and Joy,” a pop Latino band, singing their song “Ecos de Amor.”

Sutton said the music played varies from day to day, but that same cozy, refreshing atmosphere remains. This is where Eastern comes in to read, study and take advantage of that free Wi-Fi.

Valentina Vargas can be reached at 581-2812 or [email protected].