Dorm Daze: Back to School 2015
As August marches on and cicadas buzz lazily in the afternoon heat, you'd be forgiven for forgetting the dread that the coming September heralds - the looming Fall semester. As students nervously gather themselves for their first time away from home alone, or for another year of classes and exams, we at Prima recall our college years and empathize. The yearly return to dorm life is nothing if not stressful. Old lives will be left back at home, as students move ahead into the unknown to discover new wisdom, new hairstyles, and many new friends. But every student seems to have one new friend in common, especially once those first mid-term exams hit: caffeine.
The modern student seems to subsist on a balanced diet of instant ramen, Easy Mac, and a steady supply of coffee. The smart student knows that the key to saving what scant money they have in their first years of school is to make their own coffee in their own dorm (and the enterprising student finds a way to sell it to their dorm-mates). With that in mind, we've collected a few recommendations for making the transition back into dorm life even easier, and prep this year’s class of returning students for the semester ahead.
For the incoming Freshman: the Campus Coffee Kit
First-timers, heed our words: as much as you don't want to wake up for that 8:30 AM class, it’s actually worth your while. But if you need some help rousing yourself because you've just discovered what it feels like to have no designated curfew or bedtime, let us help. The Aeropress is one of our favorite brewing devices, because it is dead simple to use and to clean. Our Campus Coffee Kit is here for a limited time, and includes an Aeropress brewer, a KeepCup to take your brew with you (unless you’re the rare student with time to stay and sip), and a Bonavita Dual Voltage Travel Kettle.
The kit is compact enough to store in your limited dorm space, but versatile enough to beat the pants off the sludge they call coffee at the cafeteria. It’s everything you need to brew a great cup of coffee in just a few minutes in the morning, so you're ready to roll and carpe diem for that early morning freshman seminar. Your classmates will be in awe as you march dutifully into the lecture hall, head held high, eyes bright and mind sharp. At least, that’s what you can tell yourself when you’re still out at 4 AM the night before. Bonus: the Dual Voltage kettle runs on both 110 and 220 V power (just flip the switch in the base from one to the other as needed), so you can even take it with you when you decide to study abroad next year.
Sophomores, Take it Easy
It seems that second year students have enough experience under their belts to know that their college courses are serious about deadlines and high expectations, but they haven't yet mastered the time and resource management skills needed to relax a bit. Sophomores, we feel your pain - we've all been there, and you can rest assured that this year will mold you into the upperclassman you aspire to be. To help get you there, we've got tools to make your life easier.
The Clever Coffee Dripper couldn't be simpler to use, and with its 16 ounce capacity, you can fill up that entire travel mug of yours before you head to the library to hit the books. Just load up a filter with your ground coffee of choice, add hot water, let it steep for 2-3 minutes, then set on your cup to release the flavorful brew. When it’s drained, toss the spent grounds and filter, give it a rinse, and you're on your way. No need to watch it brew, no need to carefully pour water for 3 minutes, just steep, release, and go. You can take that time to cram in a few more paragraphs of review before your test, or even that quick shower you’ve been neglecting.
And to add a bit of organization to your hectic life, give an AirScape container a shot. AirScape's patented inner lid pushes excess air out of the container and locks it away from your beans with its signature one-way valve. That way, your beans stay fresh for longer, so you can return from your three day group study session and not have to worry about stale coffee ruining your day.
For the Juniors, a junior Bonavita Brewer
You've made it to your third year of school, so you've certainly got a handle on how all this works. Your core curriculum is past you, you may even have an internship under your belt, and you can see graduation on the horizon. Congratulations, you've made it halfway! Now, reward yourself with even better coffee for the year ahead.
The Bonavita BV1500TS is a smart automatic brewer that matches both your demand for caffeination and your mature sensibilities. This five cup brewer makes about 25 ounces of coffee, just enough for a mug to start your day and some to take to go. No need to worry about wasting half a pot because you couldn’t slug it down before you hit the road. The 1100 watt heating element is powerful enough to brew at a constant 200 F, for an excellent and consistent extraction. Plus, it will look great even in your apartment kitchen, and it’s compact enough to not hog all your precious counter space. By now you know that a good cup of coffee is more than just a pick-me-up, and the BV1500 is a treat well-deserved.
For the Senior: Keep it chill
Your final year of school is ahead of you, and your adult life has begun. You've worked hard to get here, and it's almost time to take things a bit easier. Before senioritis has a chance to set in, you can start making things simpler by taking a more hands-off approach to your coffee: it’s time to get into cold brew. Cold brew is smooth and mellow, it's a bit sweet, and it pairs perfectly with a splash of cream. Even in the cooler months, it's got enough richness to give you a nice kickstart to your day, or an afternoon recharge as you work on that thesis or final project.
There are many ways to make cold brew, but one of our personal favorites is the Hario Mizudashi brewer. It’s got a fine mesh filter built right in, so you can get all the great flavor of cold brew without the muddy fines that can muck up a similar brew made in a french press. Just measure your ground coffee into the filter, pour water over the grinds to fill the pot, then put the whole thing in the fridge overnight. In the morning, remove the filter and toss the grounds, and you've got a couple days' worth of cold brew ready to go. You can dilute it with a bit of water to stretch it longer, or serve it straight over ice with a splash of cream. If you prefer a hot drink, you can even add a splash of water just off the boil to make a pretty good cup of hot coffee as well.
Pair up that Mizudashi with a KeepCup of your choice to take your coffee on the road with a more distinguished look. The glass KeepCups are a classier way to grab your coffee to go, and they were developed with baristas and coffee enthusiasts in mind. There are plenty of color options available to suit your style, including the spiffy special edition cups with real cork handles.