Lee University class helps Bonlife create new drink
by Special to the Banner
Oct 20, 2013 | 993 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
STUDENTS in a public relations writing class at Lee University pose for a photo with the owners of Bonlife Coffee in downtown Cleveland. The students made up fictional coffee drinks for a class assignment, and the owners ended up making one of the recipes a reality. Contributed photo
STUDENTS in a public relations writing class at Lee University pose for a photo with the owners of Bonlife Coffee in downtown Cleveland. The students made up fictional coffee drinks for a class assignment, and the owners ended up making one of the recipes a reality. Contributed photo
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Visit Bonlife Coffee on Inman Street and you will notice a new drink on the menu called Luchador en Fuego. What you may not realize is how this drink originated as a project in one of the communications classes at Lee University.

Jeremy and Erika Moore, owners of Bonlife Coffee, posted on their Facebook page a contest to create a new signature drink. As a class assignment, students in the public relations writing (COMM 316) class were asked to come up with this drink and write a news release that fictionally announced it had been chosen as the newest menu item at Bonlife.

“I thought it was a great chance for the students to be creative, not only in developing a new signature drink, but prepare a news release announcing that selection,” said Allen Mincey, instructor for the public relations writing class. “There were many interesting creations, ranging from seasonal drinks to unusual combinations.”

The drinks ranged from those which mixed coffee or espresso with Moon Pies, French Silk pie and spice, pretzel M&Ms, birthday cake, Samoas Girl Scout cookies, pumpkin crumble cake and Moose Tracks ice cream, to some which mixed many different flavors of coffee, to seasonal iced drinks and smoothies.

“I was very impressed with the creative drinks that the students came up with,” said Jeremy, a former Lee University student himself. “I actually think that several of these would make excellent drinks.”

The new signature drink that was chosen was actually proposed by a non-coffee drinker, Rachel Spencer, a Lee University senior. She named the drink “the Mexican Flame” and designed it in honor of Lee’s Missions Week.

“I wanted to incorporate Lee’s vision with Bonlife’s contest,” Spencer said in her initial news release assignment. “I thought it was a great idea to combine the two together.”

Her suggested drink included coffee, cream and chili peppers.

The new drink is composed of Direct Trade espresso from Central America, organic chocolate from Mexico and a secret blend of spicy chilies.

“We changed the name also, though we understood the significance of ‘Flame’ in the title,” Jeremy said.

The class got to sample the drink recently as guests of the Moores at Bonlife. Many who were unsure of the combination said they enjoyed the drink and might order it again as they visit the Inman Street location.

Bonlife Coffee has two locations, and the other one is located in the Cleveland/Bradley County Public Library. The Luchador en Fuego drink is only available at the Inman Street location.