Ath Tea Returns!

Athanaeum Tea will be making its 2011-2012 academic year debut today, Monday September 12th, at which a variety of free snacks and drinks will be offered in the Marian Miner Cook Athenaeum Monday through Friday from 3:00PM to 4:30PM. Last year, CMC Magazine, a publication of the Office of Development, featured an article titled "101 Reasons to Give to CMC" and gave Ath Tea its number one spot. Ath Tea is an ongoing tradition over the last 40 years, a daily ritual during which students craving sugar at 3:00 in the afternoon can stop by the Athenaeum  and grab a cup of tea or coffee, cookies and cakes, or the hands-down favorite: Rice Krispies treats. CMCers sink into couches while reading newspapers and magazines and enjoy chats with their professors and peers on topics ranging from class to the latest CMS sports triumph.

Athenaeum Assistant Manager Hannah Burak '13 describes the Ath Tea to be a "nice liberal artsy environment" while the Maitre D' of the Athenaeum, Marcello De Rada '14, says that the tea is "a pit stop for students to relax, get a cup of coffee and a Krispie treat before they go back to the hustle and bustle of daily life at CMC."

Ath Tea originated with a chef who was originally a baker before joining CMC. The menu at Ath Tea was mostly mom and pop items from magazines, but over the years Pastry Chef Sid was hired to run the Ath Tea. Sid expanded the set of offerings by incorporating french pastries, cream tarts, fruit tarts and chocolate tarts. Sid would later hire the current pastry chef, Chef Juan, who has brought his baking skills to CMC and has increased the current selection of desserts available.

Ath Chef David Skinner says that the current menu for this year includes, chocolate-dipped-strawberries, carrot cakes, cheese cakes, miniature eclairs, cream puffs, granola bars, rocky-road chocolate bars, expresso brownie bars, and white chocolate chunkies bars. New this year at the Ath Tea is the addition of ice-tea to the other drinks commonly served. He also says that the Ath Tea serves the same desserts as Ath dinners but in small proportions. The Ath goes through 540 pounds of marshmallows and 380 pounds of crispy rice cereal a year, to keep up with the tradition of Tea. The menu at the Ath is very flexible, with students working on the Ath staff choosing their dessert of choice to be made.

While the food is truly special, it is not the most important element of Ath Tea. The Athenaeum is the cultural heart of the Claremont Mckenna community and afternoon Tea facilitates discussions between students that enrich our student body in numerous ways. The Athenaeum is a place to share our stories, political preferences, and recently acquired knowledge from class. I encourage all students, especially freshmen to check it out.