How THS Teachers Like Their Coffee (Part 2)


Daria Levy, Staff Writer

As we approach the end of semester one at THS, teachers at Tenafly seem to be busy grading papers and—you guessed it—drinking their favorite cups of coffee. If you enjoyed part one of the series: “How THS Teachers Like Their Coffee,” you’ll enjoy part two, as I interviewed more teachers and, this time, recorded more coffee-drinking methods, including a light-hearted anecdote by Mr. Rendell. This article is best read along with a hot cup of joe….

1. Mr. Rendell: Sugar Cubes 

The last cup of coffee Mr. Rendell drank was in college… why? He explains, “When I was a kid, my maternal grandmother used to make coffee for me with only steamed milk and no water. To sweeten the coffee, she taught me how to hold sugar cubes between my lips and drink the coffee through the sugar cubes…putting a new sugar cube at the front of my mouth after the sugar cube dissolved. I drank coffee this way through high school.” He later recalls, “When I was in college, I bought coffee with some friends and was shocked that the coffee was so bitter. That was the last cup of coffee that I have drunk.” Today, Mr. Rendell enjoys a hot cup of tea, hot chocolate, or apple cider. 


2. Mr. Nyfenger: Life Is Too Short for Black Coffee 

Mr. Nyfenger explains, “I used to drink my coffee black, but then a few years ago, I decided life’s too short for that.” Now, Mr. Nyfenger enjoys a cup of coffee using “Hutchbrew” from a local cafe, Café Barrett, with a splash of cream and sugar. Don’t we all crave just a hint of sweetness in our day-to-day? 


3. Mr. Hegarty: Iced Coffee Only  

Interestingly, even in cooler seasons, Mr. Hegarty will only be found drinking a cold coffee with several cubes of ice. He reveals, “I really only drink iced coffee… I prefer it this way because I do not like hot drinks (in general), but I do enjoy the taste of coffee.” In the mornings, Mr. Hegarty brews a bag of “Dunkin’ Donuts: Regular” or “Dunkin’ Donuts: French Vanilla” with a splash of 2% milk and a little sugar from a “Sugar in the Raw” packet. When he brews his coffee, he makes enough for a few days at a time, and takes his coffee to school in a travel mug. 


4. Ms. Ahn: Black Coffee with Soy Milk 

Ms. Ahn enjoys a black coffee with, occasionally, a splash of soy milk. Adjusting her preferences based on the season, she adds, “I prefer iced coffee during the summer and hot coffee during the winter.” 


5. Mr. AC: Caramel Macchiato at Starbucks 

Mr. AC enjoys a macchiato* with a splash of caramel at Starbucks with almond milk (or oat milk if almond milk is not available). During the warmer seasons, he enjoys a hot caramel macchiato, while in the cooler seasons, he preferss drinking a caramel macchiato, but iced. Mr. AC orders his caramel macchiato with two pumps of caramel syrup, rather than three, to tame the sweetness of the drink. When it comes to his coffee, Mr. AC playfully admitted in his email reply to me, “Yes I am a diva! LOL.”

*An espresso coffee drink with a “dot” or “stain” of milk at the top 


6. Senora Kim: Medium Roast with Milk and no Sugar 

Senora Kim prefers a medium roast coffee brew, explaining, “I like medium roast coffee because I dislike the burnt taste of dark roast.” Senora Kim adds a splash of milk to her coffee, but avoids adding creamer, as she points out, “[creamer] is way too rich and heavy for my taste.” She admits to enjoying some sugar in her coffee, but explains, “I have forced myself to drink it without it because of the calories.” 


7. Ms. Ihn: Black Coffee 

Enjoying the simplicity of an authentic, black coffee, Ms. Ihn explains, “I like my coffee black, no sugar, no cream, no milk, no nothing. I genuinely like the original taste of coffee and prefer to drink it completely untainted.” She even adds, “The stronger the coffee, the better I like it.” 


As we approach the end of this two-part series, I would like to thank all the teachers who kindly participated and took time from their busy schedules to speak with me. After interviewing 17 THS teachers and staff, I can affirm that Tenafly High School is a building with some seasoned coffee drinkers!