Teachers Get Their Caffeine Fix at “The Coffee Club”

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Jack Stenger

Warrior Store manager Avis Eichelberger pours up another cup of joe for the North Atlanta "Coffee Club."

The teachers at North Atlanta may seem all sunshine and rainbows but this general cheeriness is not on account of their sleeping schedules. They work too much! And for the tired and bleary-eyed, what’s the best antidote? Coffee, of course.

But with no Starbuck’s on the premises, where do teachers go for their caffeine fix? If they are members of the North Atlanta Coffee Club, they head straight for the Warrior Store for a much-needed piping hot cup of joe.

If coffee makes the world go around, then the North Atlanta Coffee Club is the caffeinated crew’s organizing body at this school. The “Coffee Club” – it’s an informal name – is something started a few month back by Avis Eichelberger, the Career and Technical Instruction Coordinator and the manager of the Warrior Store. She figured that busy teachers needed a place where they could fill up. Like the coffee poured in the morning, the reception has been warm. “You see these rings under my eyes?” said journalism teacher Jack Stenger. “They come from late nights. And late nights require coffee.”

Membership in the club is wide open: Pay up and you’re in. The cost is $5 for a month’s worth of unlimited coffee. For those they don’t want to go all in, it’s $1 for single serving. Eichelberger gets to campus to start the first pot of coffee before the window is opened for business at the store. Keeping Coffee Club members happy – and cups filled – usually requires about two pots brewed per day. “It’s been fun to have people stop in. Teachers are able to have some nice chit-chat before a busy day begins,” said Eichelberger.

School regulations mean Coffee Club membership is limited to teachers and staff. But the club does feature some student participation. Freshman Louis Mintze, who volunteers at the store, is on hand to witness the early-morning java proceedings. “I can see that some teachers are not happy until they get their coffee, so it’s fun to watch them come in,” Mintze said.

No, it’s not Starbucks or Caribou. But the North Atlanta Coffee Club does serve its freshly brewed purpose of giving teachers a convivial and caffeinated way to start their day.