Judging Java: Downtown Media Hub

Written By Jake Dabkowski, Coffee Columnist

Located directly next to PPG Plaza, the recently opened Downtown Media Hub is a wonderful resource for communications students. The Hub houses six different media outlets in the area and is open to students to work on projects and network with industry professionals. Although not a replacement for the temporarily closed Center for Media Innovation, the Media Hub offers many of the things that the CMI offers to students.

The ability to work and network in a space like this is an amazing resource, arguably the best resource that Point Park offers journalism students aside from getting involved with The Globe (e-mail me at [email protected] for more information). But today, I’m not here to talk about the inner workings of the Media Hub, I’m here to talk about an even more amazing resource: free, high-quality coffee.

The coffee machine in the Downtown Media Hub is, simply put, the nicest coffee machine that I have ever used in my entire life. I’m not sure if the coffee machine and high-quality roast were put together by Andy Conte or Tanner Knapp, two people involved with the Media Hub, but both of them deserve high praise.

The machine itself is an ENA 4 from the company JURA. This machine is a work of art and has the ability to brew both espresso and regular coffee. Currently, the beans in it are regular coffee, so I recommend using that setting.

The machine is a bit complicated, so I recommend pulling up instructions on your phone before using it. You may think “well, it looks kind of like a Keurig or other coffee machine that I have used before,” but I assure you that it is different from a Keurig or other coffee machine that you have used before.

What I’m trying to say is that the last thing that you should want to do is break an expensive coffee machine that professionals in the industry you are entering rely on. Coffee is the lifeblood of journalism, and without it, people will be very upset.

The actual roast being offered by the Media Hub is a fascinating one. As of now, they are serving up Onyx Coffee Roasters’ Las Lajas blend. The blend is described as being “one of [their] favorites every year… juicy and bright with notes of dried berries and semi-sweet red wine.” That is one way to put it.

This coffee tastes like strawberries. It isn’t just “notes of dried berries;” it is dried berries. It isn’t just a note; it’s a whole chord progression. Underneath that chord progression is a bassline, with a funky drumbeat, a groovy saxophone solo, and Strawberry Shortcake playing rhythm guitar. The taste of strawberry within this coffee is incredibly strong, and if you aren’t into that then you should either get your free coffee elsewhere, wait for the Media Hub to get new coffee, or suck it up and say, “hey, it’s free.”

The only thing about the coffee offerings: when I went, they did not have to-go cups. They have mugs available, so you don’t need to bring your own unless you want to take it to go. Please make sure that you wash your mug after using it. We as students are very fortunate to have this space, and let’s all treat it with the respect it deserves.