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  • Ah, Ann Arbor. One of the most heartwarming cities I have ever stepped foot in, and home to the oh-so prestigious University of Michigan. Simply walking around the campus made me feel like I could be a Noble Laureate. Downtown Ann Arbor With great education must come great coffee, and I suspected that I would find some low-key fancy coffee shops hiding in the corners. I was not at all disappointed. The first stop was Literati coffee. This was an interesting coffee shop which was a bookstore on the first floor of the store and it had a stairway that led up to the second floor where you could order your coffee and drink it with a nice view of the city street. It was like a cozy, tiny version of Barnes-and-Nobles where you could find your fellow local bookworms. The inscribed walls outside the Literati bookstore The menu was Continue Reading
  • Some days are especially long. Turkish-style coffee can give you that extra kick you need in the morning or evening when nothing else is doing it for you. This blog post is to teach people: 1) What is Turkish coffee? 2) How do you make it, featuring a how-to video from a real Turkish PhD student 1) What is Turkish coffee? Obviously it must be from Turkey right? Wrong. Turkey doesn’t really grow coffee. The word “Turkish” is a reference to the Ottoman empire, which championed control over a majority of the Middle East beginning around the 1400s. Legend has it that the Turkish governor of Yemen, Ozdemir Pasha, discovered that coffee was being grown and shared it with Suleiman the Magnificent, the sultan at the time. Being early innovators, the Sultan’s staff made a new way of preparing the coffee by grinding the coffee very, very finely, and brewed Continue Reading
  • This summer, I had the wonderful opportunity to visit Michigan during a work trip. As usual, I couldn’t resist trying out all the coffee shops I could set my eyes on. As old-fashioned and labor-intensive as it sounds, going and visiting the stores in person and speaking to the owners and staff has consistently been a worthwhile experience to me. Generally, the coffee industry in the United States is very open to sharing knowledge and quite frankly, visiting coffee shops can also sometimes be the best way to meet people and make new friends in the business. My first stop in my work trip was in the Detroit area which was especially interesting to me considering Detroit’s popular view as an old and abandoned city. It was my first trip to the area, and I was surprised to learn Detroit’s close proximity to Canada which happened to be where my Continue Reading
  • Just earlier this week, President Trump vetoed a congress resolution to end military sales to Saudi Arabia for warfare against Yemen. If the veto is not overturned by congress, the United States will continue to contribute to what is being called the world’s worst humanitarian crisis to-date. Notable politicians, such as Senator Bernie Sanders, have thankfully begun to focus on these issues to educate the public and end the war in Yemen. However, Saudi Arabia’s devastating warfare was supported by the United States government under most Americans’ noses since 2004. And the delayed attention received by the public is by no means the first time United States involvement in the Middle East has been ignored. Afghanistan, Iraq, and Syria are only the most obvious examples.  There are numerous possible explanations for why there is such little reaction for issues in the Middle East. Mainly, it might be due to poor Continue Reading