Tag: folio cafe

(Pumpkin) spicing things up at folio café: An interview with barista Nicholas Willms

“Oh my GOURD. This pumpkin spice latte from folio café is SQUASH goals.”

Alright, so you may get tired of really bad pumpkin spice puns, but I can guarantee you’ll never get tired of the one, the only, folio café pumpkin spice latte (PSL). This cup full of spicy fall magic is something folio-frequenters wait for all year long. I talked to barista Nicholas Willms about the beverage and learned a LATTE about the famous flavour.

Nicholas Willms, barista extraordinaire

So Nicholas, what makes folio’s PSL so special?

“One thing is that we actually make our own syrup from pumpkins grown at the farm right here on campus, by the Metanoia [Farmers Worker Cooperative]. That’s a big thing. We’re also not big fans of super sweet drinks, so we make our syrup a little less sweet so the focus is really on the pumpkin and the spices, not on how sugary it is.”

Thank you Metanoia farmers for making our PSL dreams come true! Can you tell me a bit about the process? What happens from the moment I order a PSL to the moment I hold the mug in my hands?

“It’s very easy. We put the cup on the scale and weigh out one ounce of the pumpkin syrup that we’ve made. Then we pull an espresso shot, steam some milk, pour it, make a little bit of latte art if we’re feeling a little artsy, and then we hand it over.”

And then we sip and smile. So I’m looking at the menu board, and you have another pumpkin spice drink! Tell me more.

“So we also have the pumpkin chai, which is a chai tea latte but with our homemade pumpkin syrup, which I think is a nice twist. It gives the chai latte a little extra flavour, a little extra spice. It makes for a fun change!”

Mm, that sounds delicious. I’ll be sure to tell all my chai-loving friends about it! Speaking of my friends, I have plenty of pals who look forward to the pumpkin spice season all year long. What’s the hype like leading up to adding the drink to the menu?

“People were asking for it for a couple weeks, even before it was up on the menu. We had to tell them that we didn’t have any pumpkins yet, so we couldn’t make it yet. But once it was up there, people got pretty pumped about it.”

People including me. I think I audibly cheered when I saw that it was back on the menu. What’s your personal favourite part about pumpkin spice season at folio?

“I think it’s really cool to be able to make things from stuff that’s grown right here. I think it makes it taste better, I think it makes it more special because you could walk past the farm and see an actual pumpkin, and then be drinking it in a latte.”

Three cheers for a farm-fresh, subtly sweet, extra spicy, pumpkin dream of a drink! Thank you so much Nicholas for indulging me in this interview about one of my passions. Now, I just have one more question for you…

Could I order one PSL please?

– Chloe Friesen, 3rd-year Communications and Media student

Jerseys, London fogs, and green chairs: The beauty of rituals at CMU

I’m sitting in Marpeck Commons (Folio Café, specifically) glancing out the lofty windows at the green-to-golden leaves that frame the stately castle on the north side of the campus. There’s a perfectly poured vanilla latte in my left hand and a pencil in my right. I’ve got a reading from my Art of Worship class spread out on the table in front of me. It’s discussing the beauty and importance of rituals, and I’m beginning to realize that my study sessions in this space, with a cup of coffee in hand, are a vital ritual for me throughout the school year.

Due to my Art of Worship course this semester, I’ve been dwelling on the concept of rituals. The significant actions and behaviours that I repeat week after week. These small actions make CMU feel like a space of my own, and add comfort and structure to my busy days. Today I began to wonder, what are my CMU rituals? Here’s the list I quickly compiled…

  • Ordering a half-sweet vanilla latte from Folio at the beginning of a long study sesh, and then taking a photo of the latte because I’m a millennial comm-student (and because the baristas at Folio have some serious latte art talent)
  • Stopping for a conversation with Charlie Peronto, CMU’s Residence Director, as I pass by his office on the way to my apartment. “What’s the word?” he asks. Maybe the word is “Gilmore Girls”, his adorable pup Rigby, how classes are going; anything!
  • Fall walks through the Assiniboine forest with my roommates, marvelling at the colour of the leaves and the sound of the songbirds, and enjoying a short reprieve from our books.

These are some of my beloved rituals I take part in at CMU, but I was interested in what my classmates had to say as well. Here are some of their sweet and quirky rituals they shared with me:

Ryan WaschukI wear one of my many sports jerseys on Fridays to men’s chorus!

  • Ryan Waschuk, Music Therapy Student (1st year Music Therapy, 3rd year at CMU)


Joycelyn OforiMy CMU ritual would have to be keeping myself busy after class in Marpeck every Tuesday afternoon. Or buying a London Fog from Folio before my morning lecture!

  • Joycelyn Ofori, Psychology Student (2nd year)


Marnie KlassenAs a commuter, I spend a lot of time studying in Marpeck Commons. I always go for a green chair if there’s one available.

  • Marnie Klassen, Interdisciplinary Major (3rd year)

As we go through the various academic “seasons” that come with a university experience (projects, readings, midterms, exams, performances, travel) it is comforting to rest in these rituals. To do them consciously and mindfully. To drink that London Fog slowly, to lay out that sports jersey every Friday, to seek out that green chair in the library.

So here’s to our rituals, to the actions that make CMU a place of our own!

– Chloe Friesen, 2nd year Communications and Media student

The pros and cons of CMU’s many study spaces

It’s that time of year again…the time of year when you’re breathing a sigh of relief from finishing all your papers and assignments, yet holding your breath for your upcoming exams. Well, hopefully you’re doing more than just holding your breath for your exams and actually doing some studying as well. That makes finding a good study spot integral to success. CMU has a vast array of study spaces, each with a different vibe. So how are you supposed to choose? Here are a few helpful hints to get you started:

Study Rooms:

Study Rooms - The Pros and Cons of CMU’s Many Study Spaces

Some days, these are the most coveted study spots on campus, so you had better be on top of things if you want one. There’s a reason they are so well liked; you can create your own study atmosphere. It’s just you and whomever you invited to study with you, so everything from dead silence to heavy metal jams is cool. Most of them have windows to let in natural light too, so that’s a bonus. And there’s whiteboards in each room for those of you who are visual learners.

Folio Café and The Mezzanine:

Folio Cafe and the Mezzanine - The Pros and Cons of CMU’s Many Study Spaces

You shouldn’t ever have trouble finding a study buddy here, as these places are constantly bustling. Unless you go late in the evening, in which case it can rival the library for quietness. But if you’re going during the day, expect a constant din in the background and a steady flow of friends to distract you. But if you’re struggling to stay awake, at least you can grab a cup of coffee.


The Library - The Pros and Cons of CMU’s Many Study Spaces

It’s hardly even fair to consider this one study space, since there are a variety of study space options within the library. Whether you prefer a large table, a comfortable chair, or a study carol, it’s all there. On top of all that, you’re sure to get plenty of natural light during your study session. And even though the sunlight might tempt you out of your study habits, the silence that surrounds you is sure to keep you on track.

North Campus Lounges:

North Campus Lounges - The Pros and Cons of CMU’s Many Study Spaces

The only place that has couches that rival those of CMU’s lounges is the Blaurock Café…and that’s because they have the same ones. Seriously, comfort will be the least of your concerns in the lounges on north campus. Trying not to fall asleep, however, might be a little more challenging. The lounges are relatively small too, so they have a nice intimate feel. And you know they won’t be as busy as Marpeck Commons, so if seclusion is your thing, this might be the place for you.

Blaurock Café:

The Blaurock - The Pros and Cons of CMU’s Many Study Spaces

“The Blau”, or CMU’s original café, is still the cosiest spot to study on campus. With comfy couches abounding and warm beverages brewing, it’s a great place to set up your studies for many hours, particularly in the cold of winter. And despite popular belief, you don’t have to be a music student to study there. Just like the north campus lounges though, napping is a serious threat to productivity here, especially with the warm, dim lighting.

Jason Friesen is our lead blogger, and he’s in his final year of a Communications and Media degree at CMU.

Four Folio Café faves

folio café has become an important part of the CMU community, whether it is to satisfy your caffeine need, reward yourself after completing that three-thousand-word essay, or catch up with a friend over some gelato. Whatever the occasion, folio always has delicious selections for all who visit Marpeck Commons!

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