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Campus Celebrity: Jake Leigh Howarth

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at Leeds chapter.

Her Campus Leeds talks to Jake Leigh Howarth, President anf founder of the Coffee Society!

Hey! So, tell us a bit about yourself…

Hey, I’m Jake, I study history and am currently in my second year. I’m from Catterick in North Yorkshire, although you couldn’t guess if you actually spoke to me since I was gentrified in a Nottinghamshire boarding school!

How did you get involved with coffee society?

I actually created the coffee society this year, but the germen of the idea started right at the beginning of first year. When I was eagerly browsing all the different societies and deciding which ones to join, I was surprised at the absence of a coffee society, even more so because of the existence of societies dedicated to several other beverages like wine, tea, and real ale. I thought there should be a society where the Leeds coffee cognoscenti could convene and so I started the application at the end of first year. We had our first event just a few weeks ago.

What’s your favourite thing about coffee?

My favourite thing about coffee is when you’re having a really nice cup and you can just sit and think as the world passes you by. The rich wholesome flavour of a good coffee really goes well with introspective thought in my opinion! Now you couldn’t get that with a cup of tea…

What’s a typical week like for you?

The basic framework of my week is basically just going to Laidlaw in all my free time and reading! Apart from that it varies; as well as being president of Coffee Society I’m also the Tab news editor so I constantly have to be on the alert for news stories and often find myself embarking on journalistic adventures around campus! I also try and find time to represent the history football team every Wednesday afternoon. As for coffee society stuff, I have to allocate some time to planning our events and ordering all the coffee in as well as having committee meetings with Zyggy and Emily. Having lots of responsibilities is really stressful but enjoyable at the same time!

How can people get involved in the coffee society?

At the moment we’re not registered on the union page but that should be sorted by next week. Ways to get involved now though are liking our Facebook page ‘LUU Coffee Society’ so you can keep up to date with all our events. Also, message me or Zyggy on Facebook and we will add you to the mailing list as we’re hoping to send weekly emails. At all our events we will have coffee society cards to purchase; it’s just 3 pounds for the whole year and you get free access to most coffee society events as well as a range of discounts from Hidden Café, Balcony, Opposite Café, Café Niro, Café Jojo, Costa (above Blackwell’s on Bleinheim Terrace), Layne’s Espresso, and Caffeine and Co! At the moment we are still in the process of negotiating discounts with other coffee shops too. We’ve also been offered a members only online discount at a certain Leeds roastery’s website. Keep up to date with the page for all our progress.

Sounds great! So is there anything exciting planned that we should know about?

So much exciting stuff! Our schedule for semester 1 is pinned at the top of our Facebook page so you can get a nice overview of the kind of things we will be doing, such as ground your own coffee beans, our regular Monday meetups which take place at a different coffee shop around campus every week (next Monday it’s the Café Jojo Java Palaver), cupping sessions with Opposite Café and Maude Roastery, barista training with Hidden Café and Balcony, coffee film nights, the coffee run (our caffeine-inspired interpretation of the Otley Run), a joint SocieTEA, Coffee Society, and Baking Society event, and even some educational coffee lectures! In the future we want to do some trips and work together with even more societies.

Anything else to add?

“I have measured out my life with coffee spoons.” – T.S.Eliot