On Saturday morning (what was Saturday afternoon for him), my friend Troy updated his Facebook status to read “Coffee, programming and NPR…too geeky/nerd?” I quickly replied with “I’m coffee, writing a textbook style guide, and New York Times. I think we’re in the same vein.” As more people responded and answered what they were doing with their coffee, this got me thinking about my morning coffee ritual, and how it completely defines the kind of morning I’m going to have. Can I sit at my kitchen counter, leisurely reading what’s coming out of Sifton’s National Desk and catching up on Words with Friends games? Or is it one of those days when I actually need to stumble out of bed, throw on clothes in a way that at least mildly resembles fashionable, swipe on some lip gloss, and pretend I’ve been awake for hours? (Pinching your cheeks before walking into a meeting helps. Makes you look vibrant instead of totally dragging.) Those days call for a double espresso on the run down Broadway (and oh, I have gotten so good at doing that in heels.) The kitchen counter days mean I can make my coffee the way I like to – that is, completely sloppily with soy milk splashed in.
I read a lot about coffee – the Chemex brewer, how my tiny 4-cup drip machine is far inferior to basically any other method of coffee preparation, how I really should be grinding my own beans instead of having Zabar’s do it pound-by-pound – but this never stops me from my process. Rinse carafe from yesterday’s coffee. Pour in cold, filtered water. Two tablespoons of grounds from the air-tight jar that sits next to the machine. Press magical button. Wait impatiently. Spill coffee while pouring into favorite Tortfeasors mug.
I’ll stumble into brunch on a weekend and look pleadingly into a server’s eyes as they ask whether I want coffee. ”Desperately,” I usually reply, and they’ll break a knowing smile. Stir. Sip. And the clouds start to lift.