Wildcat Blend Coffee from Abbey Coffee is now available at IWU’s Admissions Office.

IWU’s Admissions Office on the residential campus in Marion is actually a great place to stop whenever you’re on campus. They offer comfortable chairs, good conversation, and, starting today, some seriously good coffee.

They’ve had coffee for a while now. But starting today, they’re offering delicious beany caffeinated sustenance from Abbey Coffee, a company founded in 2012 by IWU alum and frequent United States Barista Championships competitor Chris DeMarse.

Chris is a longtime participant and a leader in what he calls the “burgeoning movement of progressive coffee.”

“Our desire is not only to produce exquisitely sourced and roasted coffees, but to tell the story behind our quality by linking people to the often obscured side of coffee cultivation,” says the website of Abbey Coffee.​

Over the years, he’s earned the respect of his fellow baristas on a national level.

​”Chris and I both competed for the first time at 2008 Great Lakes and shared a bond only two first time competitors can share,” said Trevor Corlett, a member of the Executive Council of the Barista Guild of America, in 2010. “Being a spectator and participator of his coffee journey over the last few years has been a big inspiration. I always know that the wealth of coffee knowledge that is Chris Demarse [sic] is always only a phone call away.”

The website Food GPS offers some commentary on Chris’ 2009 championship entries which demonstrates that people who take their coffee very, very seriously find it quite good:

“In a shot of espresso, you’ll find a spicy anise and blueberry flavor, with an anise aftertaste,” writes Joshua Lurie of Food GPS, “For his cappuccinos, DeMarse selected an organic milk with buttery sweetness. The natural processing provides sweet buttery tone in the base of the coffee that matches well with the milk. There’s spicy clove up front, with anise, raisin, and a sweet buttery toffee.”

So stop by Admissions sometime, and judge for yourself whether Chris’s coffee is championship quality. You’re welcome to the brew, but we’d love it if you dropped a dollar in the cup in the drawer next to the refrigerator, just to help us offset costs.