We are a team of coffee drinkers. Before quarantine began, we often took a mid-morning break to walk down the street to our favorite West Hollywood coffee shop, DayGlow, to get our caffeine fix and say hello to the owner, Tom. After Emily and Thao posted their enviable coffee routines, we got to thinking about our own, which we've shared below. Here's how Leslie, Kelly, and Jess kick off their days on the right foot:
What time do you drink your coffee? I brew it as soon as I wake up, at 6 AM!
How many cups a day do you drink? These days I drink one, but I used to treat myself to a second cup a few days a week. I've since realized that "shaky jitters" is not a good look on me...
Go-to coffee order from a shop? Flat white, or a shot of espresso with sparkling water, downed at the counter, when I'm pretending to be Italian
Go-to coffee drink at home? Bulletproof coffee
Why Bulletproof coffee? I started drinking Bulletproof coffee about two years ago. I began because I'd heard that it keeps you full for longer (strict Bulletproofers have the coffee as their breakfast, but it's nowhere near enough for me—I have three eggs about two hours after coffee, but it keeps me sated until then). I also heard that the high-fat content is supposed to help the caffeine release more gradually. I'm not sure how valid those claims are, but anecdotally, I do notice that I feel significantly less jittery when I drink Bulletproof as opposed to black coffee! Be forewarned: If your digestive system isn't used to so much fat in the morning, you could experience the strong urge to (how to put this delicately?) poop your pants. Start with a tiny bit of MCT oil and work your way up to the recommended one to two teaspoons.
What do you do while you drink it? I spend about two hours each morning either working, reading, or writing fiction, fueled by my coffee! 6 AM to 8 AM are my most productive hours so I try to use them wisely.
Can you walk us through how you make your coffee? Purists can follow this recipe, but here's what works for me... the night before, I set up my coffee machine. I add three scoops (using this reusable filter) and half a cup of water per scoop (1.5 cups total) since my husband doesn't drink coffee. In the morning, I add about 1 tablespoon unsalted butter (nothing fancy, just Trader Joe's brand) and 1 teaspoon MCT oil to my favorite mug. Once brewed, I add about a half cup of coffee to the mug and use this immersion blender to blend it into the butter and oil. I add the rest and blend it some more to mix (careful that it doesn't splash over the sides of your mug!). It creates a slightly thicker, creamy coffee that isn't for everyone, but I love.
Favorite beans to use? I prefer Stumptown Hair-Bender, Tartine's '04 Latin America' blend, and most beans from Heart, but I recently made the switch to Trader Joe's pre-ground "Medium Roast," which I know will make the coffee connoisseurs reading this cringe. But as much as I love the flavor of good coffee, I couldn't justify the cost of around $15 per bag compared to $3 per bag, especially since I'm brewing it in an automatic machine (where a lot of the quality of good beans gets lost). My daily coffee routine is all about practicality—which makes my splurges from DayGlow and Go Get Em Tiger all the more special when they happen.
Do you prepare your coffee differently for special occasions or Sunday mornings? On weekends, I usually drink English Breakfast Tea (which I find goes better with the pancakes I'm usually eating). Otherwise, I'll add warm frothed milk and Turbinado sugar or, if I'm feeling really fancy, I'll make zabaglione and add it to my coffee.
Any coffee "gear" you love? I keep my beans fresh in this Airscape coffee canister—which admittedly made more of a difference when I was buying the "good" stuff! I love my coffee maker although, in my dream world, I'd own this coffee maker which at the moment only lives in my secret "dream products" Pinterest board.
What time do you drink your coffee? Around 9 AM. It's the first thing I do before starting the workday, and lately, I've been enjoying it with a pain au chocolat.
How many cups a day do you drink? Always one! I'll refuse a second cup, no matter the circumstances (even through jet lag). If I don't drink any coffee, my caffeine headaches are real, and that's after a daily single cup. I committed to sticking to one a few years ago and have kept to it.
Go-to coffee order from a shop? Usually a specialty drink off their menu that I can't make at home. Bonus points if it includes the words "vanilla," "cinnamon," or "mocha." If it's more of a bare-bones shop, can't go wrong with an iced oat latte.
Go-to coffee drink at home? I rotate between a pour-over, a cold brew, or a vanilla latte (hot and iced, depending on the weather in the morning), all with oat milk. But I've been mixing it up and incorporating some of these recipes lately to keep it fresh.
Why is that your preference? Variety is the spice of life! I love having a few options to choose between since my preferences change every day. Some mornings are cooler and I love wrapping my hands around a mug, others are warmer and I can't get to my cold brew quick enough.
What do you do while you drink it? Plow through emails during the weekday, walk around the neighborhood while listening to a podcast over the weekends.
Favorite beans to use? Geoffrey influenced me to exclusively purchase Ethiopian beans a few months ago (apparently I have a preference for coffee with bright fruit/floral undertones?). Before that, while traveling, I'd pick up bags of beans from coffee shops I've loved as a drinkable souvenir, and I love this variety in particular. Recently, I purchased these beans from Patria, and this bag from Portrait, and I'm definitely going to be a repeat customer.
Do you prepare your coffee differently for special occasions or Sunday mornings? I walk to one of my favorite local restaurants, Superba, once a weekend to pick up an iced oat Spanish latte (they add cream and cinnamon, and it's divine). I start looking forward to the next one the moment I finish my drink!
Any coffee "gear" you love? How much time do you have? Since my coffee ritual brings me an immense amount of joy, I've invested in quite a few products. I use an electric Fellow kettle, a glass Chemex, and a reusable metal mesh filter for pourovers, and after realizing we'd be working from home for the foreseeable future, I bought a small Breville espresso machine that I love more than anything. I also purchased a silicone ice tray to begin making coffee (and chai!) cubes and keep my beverages from getting too watered down.
What time do you drink your coffee? Usually around 8 AM, as I'm tackling my inbox and preparing myself to look at the "My Tasks" section of Asana.
How many cups a day do you drink? One! This is a big change, though. I used to be a major caffeine addict, and drank two cups in the morning and one in the afternoon. I went to the ER in 2018 for an SVT attack (due pretty much to dehydration and way too much caffeine), and I gave up caffeine cold turkey. I now drink one cup of decaf per day, and that's it.
Go-to coffee order from a shop? A decaf Americano with half and half. Maybe a decaf oat milk cappuccino if I'm feeling fancy. I will order an iced Americano, but only if it's hotter than 85 degrees outside.
Go-to coffee drink at home? Literally the only thing I have ever made at home is drip coffee (except when I'm at my parents' house, because they're fancy and have a Nespresso). I have a Chemex pourover, and you can usually find me drinking Dunkin' Decaf with half and half.
Why is that your preference? It's not a preference; it's honestly more of a necessity. My body can't handle caffeine anymore, and more milk than just a splash of half and half gives me acne, so I avoid lattes made with cow's milk, even though they're my favorite. All coffee tastes better with sugar, obviously, but that's not a habit I wanted to get into on a daily basis. Oh and I'm too cheap to buy an espresso machine, ha.
What do you do while you drink it? Emails, mostly. Usually while listening to one of many Bachelor-related podcasts in my regular rotation.
Can you walk us through how you make your coffee? I spend most mornings doing my (many) dishes from the day before while the hot water for my pour-over heats up. It's become a desperately needed daily routine during the recent months of COVID, and something that keeps me sane through the unfortunate circumstance of not having a dishwasher. When the water is hot, I pour it while scrolling Instagram or choosing my morning podcast episode. It's literally just ground coffee that I put into a Chemex filter–very uneventful, and very hard to mess up.
Favorite beans to use? These days I'm drinking Dunkin' Decaf because, as a decaf convert, I no longer feel the need to buy "fancy" coffee. (Just kidding, I've always been a grocery store coffee fan, all the way back to college. I have never been a "coffee connoisseur" and probably won't become one any time soon! 😂)
Do you prepare your coffee differently for special occasions or Sunday mornings? Nope. Most Tuesday and Thursday mornings I walk to Starbucks around the corner and pre-order a decaf Americano with my phone, is that special?
Any coffee "gear" you love? I love my copper Fellow kettle, it's very pretty and looks great as a permanent fixture on my stovetop. I bought two "fake" Chemex-impersonators on Amazon before investing in the real thing after they both smashed into a million pieces, so yes, I certainly recommend buying a Chemex the first time around.