Daniela Rojas

Members of the Cornell community wait to sample the three ice cream flavors at Mann Library on April 12, 2024.

April 18, 2024

Lifestyle Endorses Brewing CommuniTea: Freedom Of Expression

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Editors note: This piece was originally published in the print edition of the Sun on April 18.

Transitioning from spring break to the grind, the “Freedom Of Expression” Ice Cream Voting was the silver lining to an otherwise difficult week at Cornell. Inspired by this year’s inaugural academic theme, the project featured flavors developed in Food Science 1101, available for free sampling around campus. With three different delectable options, participants cosplayed food critics, voting online for their favorite dessert. And after ample research, the Daily Sun’s Lifestyle team has come to a consensus about which flavor we think deserves to become a Cornell classic.  The victor of this sweet competition will make an official debut at commencement and appear at Cornell eateries later. 

Five opportunities to taste and vote took place from April 10 to 12, at various locations on campus 12:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. or 6:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. On Wednesday, students sampled at Stocking Hall and Toni Morrison. Thursday welcomed flavors to Ho Plaza and Flora Rose before tasting culminated Friday at the Ag Quad. All voting opportunities were so heavily attended that creators often ran out of ice cream by the first-hour mark. In the name of free speech, this initiative was a resounding success. This event further helped put a spotlight on Cornell’s “Freedom of Expression” theme, where free t-shirts and swag featuring the theme were distributed alongside the ice cream to attendees.

But the highlight of this new project was its selection. The Fall 2024 students of Food Science 1101 produced three divergent finalists after much consideration — they were received with unanimous satisfaction. 

Toni S’morrison introduced a twist on the classic s’mores flavor with a brown butter base and graham cracker bits. It’s intended to remind the senses of fond memories by the campfire. Meanwhile, Brewing CommuniTea celebrated Earl Grey flavor with hints of caramel and shortbread cookies. It could revolutionize Cornell Dairy Bar choices by presenting their first take on tea in history. Coming Out Of Your Shell was a tangy addition to sampling across campus with a strong combination of raspberry and citrus. Decadent flakes of dark chocolate add a fabulous touch to the fruity richness of this treat. 

And after surveys, polls and interviews, Lifestyle has placed final predictions on which ice cream will win over our hearts and taste buds. We surveyed 84 tasters at the final Friday distribution and while all flavors had their fans, Brewing CommuniTea claimed the prize of crowd favorite. 40 participants in our survey advocated for its return while 33 preferred Toni S’morrison and 11 liked Coming Out Of Your Shell best. 

Lifestyle editor Daniela Rojas conducted an exit poll at the April 12 tasting event at Mann Library, in effort to predict which flavor will win at commencement.

Another poll with the Daily Sun’s Instagram solidified our choice as Brewing CommuniTea acquired a dramatic 57 percent of the vote. 28 percent was secured by Toni S’morrison and 15 by Coming Out Of Your Shell but neither could triumph over our successor. With its refreshing interpretation of Earl Grey tea, the bold combination of ingredients has captured the attention of the Cornell student body. 

When asked why this was the leading choice, undergrads, grads and faculty alike had a lot to say. Caroline Colclasure ’26, who attended the Flora Rose tasting, was particularly taken with Brewing CommuniTea. She supported that it stood out in comparison to other on-campus flavors. “I also drink copious amounts of tea so it tasted very nostalgic and delicious,” she added. One Cornell IT member expressed her love for Brewing CommuniTea as she tried flavors at a table of friends. “I am loving the community brewing. Oh, it is really just like having my favorite cup of tea. I could eat it morning, noon, night, and tea time for sure,” she said. Regular tea drinkers were enthusiastic about their drink of choice appearing in an official Cornell desert. Although it wasn’t an easy decision, we at Lifestyle have chosen to endorse Brewing CommuniTea as our flavor for the win. The possible introduction of tea-based ice cream to the Dairy Bar’s repertoire excites us as Cornell Dining embarks on new projects to expand their flavor profile.

Daniela Rojas is a third-year student in the College of Arts & Sciences. She can be reached at [email protected]

Kira Walter is a second-year student in the College of Agricultural & Life Sciences. She can be reached at [email protected]

Aurora Weirens is a third year student in the College of Arts & Sciences. She can be reached at [email protected]