By Matt Kyle | Associate Editor
Common Grounds has introduced a new limited time latte last week to honor Justice Joy Reynolds, Baylor’s longtime bear mascot, who passed away in July.
The latte, dubbed “Spirit of Joy,” premiered on Wednesday and will be available at locations in the Student Union Building and Eighth Street through September 9. The latte is flavored with honey and cinnamon, inspired by some of Joy’s favorite things. Additionally, 15% of the proceeds from sales of “Spirit of Joy” benefits Bill and Eva Williams Bear Habitat.
Sales will also benefit housing conservation mission to “provide excellent bear care at Baylor and serve the entire community by presenting unique educational experiences”.
The latte is available both hot and iced, with the flavors of honey and cinnamon complementing each other. The added flavors are subtle but noticeable and the latte is sweet, but retains some bitterness from the coffee. All in all, the “Spirit of Joy” is a nice limited addition to the Common Grounds menu.
Common Grounds chief operating officer Chris Henderson said it was the staff’s idea to introduce a latte to honor Joy. She said Common Grounds is very closely tied to Baylor, with the owner being a graduate and many of the staff being students, so honoring Joy was a no-brainer.
“I wish I could take credit for it, but 100% the staff wanted to do it,” Henderson said. “It was easy to say yes.”
Henderson said the “Spirit of Joy” latte has been popular since its introduction, being the top-selling drink on the first two days of its sale. Henderson also said the latte can be ordered after Sept. 9 — just ask for a honey cinnamon latte.
Dakota Farquhar-Caddell, associate director of student activities, said Common Grounds contacted her a few weeks ago with the idea of honoring Joy through coffee.
“They reached out and said, ‘Hey, we love bears, would there be an interesting collaboration in a way where we pay homage to Joy? And are we able to give back to the mission of stewardship, education and habitat conservation? said Farquhar-Caddell. “So we talked a bit about Joy’s favorite things and what they wanted to do on the menu, and then it all went from there.”
Farquhar-Caddell said Joy, like most bears, likes honey. He said cinnamon was used as a perfume-based enrichment with Joy. The trainers sprinkled cinnamon dust around the habitat and Joy used her nose to explore and find the scents.
Farquhar-Caddell said donations to bear habitat will directly fund Lady’s daily care and go towards education and habitat conservation efforts.
Senior Las Vegas co-head coach Sam Lebow of the Bears said he loves coffee and enjoys latte because it contains a piece of joy.
“You get the flavor of coffee while enjoying the things Joy loved,” Lebow said. “It mixes my love of Joy and my love of coffee. Joy was one of the main reasons I came to Baylor. So two and a half years later, I transitioned from knowing her as a Baylor spirit, and then transitioning to being able to take care of her as a primary caregiver. There’s a lot of emotion in it. »