By Jacob Repsher
In the ever so pleasant weather of our awful winter season, the local farmer’s market has since been moved from the center square to the second floor lounge, making for an interesting sight of stalls hidden behind a sea of mingling students.
As someone who’s always thought highly of small local businesses, I decided to start a series of interviews with the wonderful people we have the pleasure of seeing every Wednesday.
Wednesday afternoon, the room was filled with the clamor of various conversations, but in this small pocket of the lounge, there was the sweet sound of a nearby tea stand’s owner strumming their guitar, a calming rhythmic drip of a coffee machine, and, of course, a table of twelve people screaming.
“Could you tell us your name and the name of your coffee stand?”
Shannon: My name is Shannon and we are Monocacy Coffee Co.
Me: Where does that name come from?
Shannon: The name is from the Monocacy Creek River. It’s in celebration of something local, and the beans are roasted locally, and I would say that the value, something I like most about the value of this company, is that they really try to do everything as locally as possible and they’re really a true friend of the community.
Me: Do you know specifically, like, you said locally, do you know specifically where?
Shannon: Yeah they roast over at Lit [Coffee Roastery & Bakeshop] in South Bethlehem
“When and how did you start selling here?”
Shannon: Well, I was part of the NCC farmer’s market when it began a few years ago. I was with a different vendor, so, all these people were already familiar with me and then I started to work at Cosmic Cup [Coffee Company] a few months ago. When the girl who was working the market, Amanda, wanted, she was planning to go back to Texas, so they knew they would need a replacement, and they thought I would fit the bill. So here I am back at the market, with Monocacy, and we all love coffee.
“How do you feel about the atmosphere of NCC?”
Shannon: Well, I used to go to NCC, so for me it’s a place of memories. I feel like the lounge is always a good place for people to get to know each other, and I think that for such a community oriented thing like a farmer’s market, the lounge is a great place to have it, because everyone is just mingling and friendly… hopefully. And, I think people come here with an open mind and everybody’s a friend.
Me: Generally very nice here, is there any other place where people can get Monocacy coffee?
Shannon: You can get it at Lit in South Bethlehem, you can get it at Cosmic Cup in Easton, or, I think they actually have it at Coffee House Without Limits in Allentown as well.
“What would you say is your most popular item?”
Shannon: I would say our most popular roast is Bound for Glory.
Me: Bound for Glory?
Shannon: Who knows! It could be the name, it could be the fruity flavor. That’s the roast I was drinking at home for a good while.
Me: How would you describe the taste of it?
Shannon: I would describe the prominent flavor as fruity, but let’s see if there’s any flavor notes… it says Almond, Picao, and Cedar, however I disagree, I think it’s very fruity.
Me: Any specific fruits that come to mind?
Shannon: No, I would just say something very tangy.
“Now, I know I just asked for your most popular item, what’s your favorite item?”
Shannon: Well, my current favorite roast is Rwanda.
Me: Tell me about Rwanda.
Shannon: Well, I feel like a lot of the roasts have a strong personality, each one. Like, for example, the Bound for Glory, like I said, it’s fruity. El Salvador, very nutty, and I feel like for how extreme a lot of the roasts are, Rwanda meets in the middle in a perfect harmony. A perfect flavor combo. I get excited whenever I see it.
“Now, I have never drank coffee before. What would you recommend for my first coffee?”
Shannon: Okay, so my brother actually went through that and the way I would set anyone into coffee is: start with your beginner coffee, get a latte that’s flavored, you know and then you can slowly work your way in, but anything, like, a latte with a flavor, a latte is like a textural experience, so it’s not just the cafeine, it’s not just the flavor of the expresso, but you’ve got the texture of the milk and the expresso coming together and on top of that you have the flavor. May I recommend a raspberry mocha?
Me: That actually sounds wonderful!
Shannon: It’s really good, anyone would like it. But right here, we’ve just got drip coffee, so we’ve got nothing for beginners, but it’s a very good example for anyone.
Me: I’ll come here after I get my coffee legs.
“What do you do for fun?”
Shannon: For fun?
Me: Besides making coffee, of course.
Shannon: Well, for fun, I like to sing and play guitar, and I like to hang out with my cat Stevie and I like to make things out of paper mache, and I like to watch Steven Universe.
Me: Oh, hey, you know the finale just came out?
Shannon: I’m still just on season two, it’s very slow moving, I’m group watching it with [my roommate], Jorge.
Me: Don’t go on Twitter or Tumblr or whatever and search it up, I guarantee you will get spoilers.
Shannon: Oh, trust me, I know.
“What’s your favorite cryptid?”
A cryptid, for those unaware, is a creature studied by cryptozoologists that has entered the zeitgeist through folktale Common examples include Bigfoot, Chupacabra, and Mothman.
Shannon: Probably Slenderman?
Me: Slenderman, that’s a very modern pick.
Shannon: It’s because I really like the feeling of being scared, like once I went to Dutch Springs, and I pretended there was an alligator in the quarry, so I was afraid while I was having fun. If you go out in the woods and you try to believe in Slenderman you can get that similar feeling.
“Is there anything you’d like to say about Monocacy Coffee?”Shannon: I would just like to say that everyone associated with it is super chill, and they have great values as a company, and I couldn’t be happier to be associated with them.