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BWW Blog: What I Wouldn't Do For A Bad Cup of Coffee - An Ode to the Green Room Café

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I’ve only ever heard anyone refer to this place as “The Green Room,” because duh, we’re theater students, and the pun was right there. 

BWW Blog: What I Wouldn't Do For A Bad Cup of Coffee - An Ode to the Green Room Café

Few things will get me out of bed for an 8am class like the promise of a cup of coffee afterwards. The fact that I can simply will myself out of bed, onto the bus, and into a dance studio for the reward of coffee is absolutely ludicrous, but there I was, every morning. As soon as my acting class let out in Studio 5, I practically skipped down the wide concrete hallway toward the Kelly Green building I could see just beyond the drama offices. The building itself is an eyesore; the whole exterior matches the color of fake grass you'd see on a run-down mini golf course. The glass panels have cheesy vinyl stickers reading "Java City," marking the exterior with the official title of the coffee shop. However, I've only ever heard anyone refer to this place as "The Green Room," because duh, we're theater students, and the pun was right there.

Arts campus is its own little world, and every 8am class on the arts campus let out at exactly 9:50am. The brisk, quiet morning would erupt into chatter as our little world was waking up, and between 9:50 and 10am, all roads seemed to lead to The Green Room Café. In a split second, it would become nearly impossible for anyone to find seating on the café's patio, as the 30 or so chairs seemed to fill up at the blink of an eye. Nevertheless, the party spilled onto the long stone benches in the arts plaza every morning, and students buzzed back and forth between both seating areas. You couldn't go to The Green Room without running into someone you know, and in a sense, it felt like home base for every theater student that managed to stay awake through their 8am class.

If you brought your own cup to The Green Room, they would give you fifty cents off your order. In total, my large coffee costed me a whopping $1.87 every day, and I truly don't think there was a day I went without buying one. This is not a testament to how great the coffee was; in fact, it actually kind of sucked. They never brewed enough of the hazelnut blend and their French vanilla blend tasted like a stale sugar cookie. We all swore the coffee itself was actually at a rolling boil when it was poured into cups because we'd all burnt our tongues more times than we could count. It wasn't the best, but we smiled and drank it anyways, simply grateful that it was there.

BWW Blog: What I Wouldn't Do For A Bad Cup of Coffee - An Ode to the Green Room CaféIt was over those sub-par cups of scalding coffee that everyone chatted with their friends and almost forgot how early they'd woken up that morning. With each sip, the under-eye bags got smaller, the crowd looked livelier, and smiles began to spread across the faces of every student that finally received their caffeine fix. For those up early enough to witness it, mornings in The Green Room were perfect.

I don't know about you, but waking up for an 8am class hits different on Zoom. Since UC Irvine decided that our fall term would be entirely online, I suddenly find myself sitting in my room at 9:50am, staring at the blank screen on my laptop after the Zoom call ends. I stumble from my room to the empty kitchen to pour a glass of cold brew and cook breakfast. It's almost always dead silent; my parents work and the dog is probably sleeping. I put my headphones in and play music or watch Grey's Anatomy while I eat because if I sit in silence, I'm reminded of the deafening chatter of The Green Room. The coffee is better at home, but there's nothing I wouldn't do to hear the barista tell me they're out of the hazelnut blend and offer me the dreaded French vanilla instead. I think $1.87 is a small price to pay to settle into a comfy chair at UCI's own Central Perk for arts students, and right now, burning my tongue on a large cup of Green Room coffee sounds pretty good to me.

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From This Author Student Blogger: Lauren Knight