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What’s your coffee ritual?

This is a guest post by our friend, Shawn Dempewolf.

The sound of the coffee brewing, the rich smell filling the kitchen, the feel of your favorite mug. For true coffee lovers, morning coffee is more than a jolt of caffeine before you jet out the door. It’s a daily ritual that’s as individual as the person partaking in it.

I asked a few coffee aficionados to share their approach to morning coffee. They range from fast and easy to intricate and persnickety. No matter the approach, everyone is particular. Here are the survey responses, in order of persnicketiness.

Sean: Drip coffee. Diner mug.

Seattle coffeeCoffee roaster Sean invested in a drip coffee maker with a carafe that makes coffee hot and keeps it fresh. “We have a drip coffee machine made by Bonavita.  It's one of a few brands of home drip machines certified by the Specialty Coffee Association of America.”

He prefers a heavy mug with a splash of whole milk. “I like diner style mugs ... the smaller, thicker type. I really dislike those large, thin mugs.  I like my coffee just hot enough to drink down fast, and those large mugs just don't hold the temp quite long enough for me, even though they hold a lot of coffee.”

Lisa: French press. Big mug.

Lisa, a former ballet dancer who helps run a ballet company, goes for strong, thick coffee. She buys her French roast already ground because “I ain't got time for grinding.” She says, “I use a French press. I like it thick. Almond milk creamer and honey. Big mug.  Every. Single. Morning.” 


Shannon: Espresso. Bat mug.

Seattle coffeeFor Shannon, a former barista and current e-commerce website manager, daily espresso preparation is consistent and no fuss. “I use a basic home espresso machine to make an Americano (one shot of espresso + hot water) and add organic half and half. I use fancy grounds shipped from Amazon. If I have time (or guests), I steam whole milk and add enough to make it dark khaki in color with a scoop of foam on top.”

She uses no sweetening, unless the coffee is iced, in which case it has to be vanilla syrup.  Her current mug of choice is her bat mug (she likes bats).

Sheryl: Fancy espresso. Glass mug.

Seattle coffeeSheryl, a classical singer and freelance web designer, makes her coffee in a fancy DeLonghi espresso machine she bought nine years ago. She calls it “the Pope” because it dispenses blessings. “Dropping $800 on a machine that has, so far, lasted 9 years has saved us a crazy amount of money over time.”

Sheryl has a particular recipe for her coffee. “I add one packet sugar, dark-chocolate almond milk, sometimes a splash of flavored creamer if I feel like it needs more sweetness. Probably works out to 1/3 espresso, 1/3 hot water, 1/3 almond milk.” She prepares her perfect concoction in a small glass mug from Ikea.

Her coffee preferences are inspired by a visit to Italy. “Drinking little cups of espresso or cappuccino in Italy made me feel like a real Italian ... until one would ride by on a little Vespa. Then I knew I was a fraud.” 

Kevin: Percolator. Old mug.

Seattle coffeeBefore getting ready for a day of work at the IRS, Kevin starts his coffee early. “I buy whole beans and grind them right before making, then brew up a pot in a stainless steel stovetop percolator, as the gods intended coffee to be made. No sugar, sometimes a splash of half and half.”

He drinks from a favorite coffee mug that “I’ve had so long that the logo that used to be on it is long gone.”

A frequent traveler, Kevin’s other coffee of choice is after-dinner espresso. “Every time I’ve had an espresso after a great meal in Italy or France is a cherished memory. Especially when my traveling companion picks up the tiny coffee spoon and stirs his espresso, which he does Every. Single. Time.”

Steve: Drip, percolator, or espresso. WSU mug.

Seattle coffeeSteve (Kevin’s lifelong best friend) says, “I buy coffee beans, which I grind using a burr grinder, as well as espresso-grind Lavazza Qualita Rossa from Italy. I usually use the Scoop Single-Serve Coffeemaker by Hamilton Beach but I also have a stove-top percolator purchased for me by my friend Kevin.” He also occasionally makes a cappuccino or strong French-pressed coffee.

“Regardless of what or how I brew, I take it black. The only time I have milk is in the form of foam in a cappuccino. I never add sugar.” His coffee-making is equally particular. “I rarely have pants on when I’m brewing or drinking my morning coffee. It’s shorts or boxers.”

Like Kevin, Steve says, “One of my fondest coffee memories is having an after-dinner espresso in Italy or France. Because it makes my traveling companion so happy (aka Kevin), I always take the opportunity to do my impression of an Italian. This involves me taking the tiny coffee spoon and vigorously stirring my espresso for several seconds while talking and gesticulating with my free hand. I do this every time and every time my traveling companion laughs and laughs.”

What’s your coffee ritual? Please share below. The fussier the better.

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  • I am amazed at how elaborate some rituals are! Mine is quite basic in comparison. My morning is not the same without my Trader Joe’s low acid french roast. I grind my beans at the store and use a standard drip coffee maker. Add a bit of half and half, and my day can officially begin. I prefer to use a superhero coffee mug that I got for my birthday a couple of years ago but, if I have to rush out, I use a stainless steel Contigo insulated mug that keeps the coffee lava hot for a super long time. I can have iced coffee later in the day, but morning coffee must be hot!

    Tom on

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