From iced coffee energy boosts to warm chai with friends, The Jumping Bean is the ideal place to convene for coffee and community.
“There were a couple of baristas that I started talking to when I would come, and I would always order an iced Pick-A-Date, and so people started to figure out who I was,” senior Kate Johnson said. “I formed bonds with the people here, and they would tell me about how wonderful this job is.”
Johnson applied to work at The Bean the summer before her sophomore year. She is now a senior barista who enjoys meeting new regulars, along with her coworkers.
Some drinks, such as secret menu drinks, are kept alive by the regulars who order them and spread the word to others. One such drink is the Vanilla Undertow, a favorite of Jeffry Cramer, associate professor of computer science and engineering.
“It’s less of a sip drink, and more of an experience drink,” sophomore Sophie Recknagel said. “It’s vanilla syrup, so it’s sweet. Then it’s cold, because it’s got half-and-half cream, and then you very gently pour espresso on top. And then you drink it all in one chug or gulp.”
Other Taylor students and professors have simpler drinks that they order consistently.
Jesse Brown, dean of students, is a faithful patron at The Bean.
“I always know Jesse Brown will come in and get a small Americano with honey, and he gets it in his own little mug,” junior Hannah Cherry says. “Being able to predict the drink before they even order it is just super fun for me.”
According to Johnson, the most popular specialty drink orders that come from students, faculty and alumni are the We Covenant, Joe Freshman and Fika.
The contents of these drinks certainly make them special, but part of the charm of The Jumping Bean drinks is their unique names.
“A lot of the specialty drink names will just pull from different aspects of Taylor culture,” Cherry said.
Though some may be more self-explanatory, such as the Clive Staples (named after the much beloved C.S. Lewis), not all of the drink names are clear.
One story behind the name of the the We Covenant, often shortened to “WeCov,” is that it gets its name from Taylor’s Life Together (or “We”) Covenant. The blended peanut butter chai with vanilla syrup has many devoted fans.
“I get so many alumni who come back and are like, ‘I had a WeCov when I was a freshman at Taylor, and it changed my life!’” Cherry said.
One of Recknagel’s go-to orders is an iced vanilla “Faith For All Seasons.” The drink’s name is a nod to a book by Ted Dorman that students read when they take Historic Christian Belief.
Another drink name that takes inspiration from Taylor life is the Pick-A-Date: a mocha with dark and white chocolate. Originally called the Pick-A-Date Pick-A-Mate, its name was shortened so that visitors would not get an impression of aggressive dating culture.
“I will drink an iced pick-a-date every day until I die,” Johnson said.
“Joe Freshman” is a name given to incoming students who are clearly new to campus. But it is also the name given to a caramel vanilla coffee from The Bean, served hot, iced or blended — a safe option for newcomers, and an enduring favorite of upperclassmen and alumni.
According to Cherry, the “Bigger Swimming Pool Fund” is a joke about how tiny Taylor’s swimming pool is. The “TU Segway One” has similar roots, but it also has traces to an actual fundraiser that once took place.
“There were people who tried to raise money to get Segways here at Taylor, so that’s what we named our drink,” Johnson said.
If none of these specialty drinks strike your fancy, no sweat — you can customize your drink order to your heart’s content.
“I love making the regular drinks, but I also love when people give you funky orders,” Recknagel says. “And then you get to try it too and be like, ‘Oh! This person just created the next best drink.’”
And who knows, if you order it enough and word gets around, it may become the Bean’s newest secret menu drink, completed, of course, with a uniquely Taylor name.