Fortnight of Coffee
By Ben Bowers
on 2.27.13

Coffee is the 2nd most valuable traded commodity after oil, employing 25 million farmers and coffee workers in over 50 countries according to some sources. The U.S. market is worth 22 billion annually alone by some estimates, with over 79% of the population stating they’ve had a cup in the last 12 months.

Given the global nature of this precious brew, our Fortnight of Coffee has tried to address every aspect of the subject, ranging from its natural origins and the art & culture behind it to the various gear and methodologies that have evolved to make it. But there’s still one gaping hole left to fill: the variety of roles (both major and minor) it plays in peoples’ lives.

Here, we’ve gathered together a series of brief interviews with 16 leading men, whose ranks include actors, authors, athletes, chefs, designers, editors, and founders. Chances are, you’re already familiar with some of their life’s work. Read on, and learn about their own personal coffee habits and how it compares with yours.

fortnight-of-coffee-teaser-box-230x40Don’t Miss: 30 Caffeinated Stories. 50 Best Tools of the Brew. Countless beans. It’s Fortnight of Coffee here on Gear Patrol »

Author, Co-founder of The Morning News
Chef, Restauranteur
Managing Editor, Highsnobiety & Selectism
Actor
Founder, Grady’s Cold Brew
Editor-in-Chief, Motor Trend
Editor-in-Chief of ReadWrite, aka: Fake Steve Jobs
Partner, Owner of Rocket Espresso
Founder, Editor-in-Chief of Valet
Hotelier
Designer
Founder, Inventor, Editor-in-Chief of Cool Hunting
YouTube Celeb
USAT Triathlete of the Year, 2012
VP of Men’s Editorial, Creative & Customer Experience GILT.com
Founder, A Continuous Lean

Rosencrans Baldwin

Paris, I Love You But You’re Bringing Me Down, The Morning News @rosecrans
rosecrans-baldwin-bw Author of Paris, I Love You but You’re Bringing Me Down. It was selected as GQ‘s 17th Favorite Thing of 2012; number 15 on the list were the new basketball jerseys for the Brooklyn Nets. His debut novel, You Lost Me There, was one of NPR‘s Best Books of 2010 and a New York Times Book Review Editors’ Choice. He co-founded the online magazine The Morning News. themorningnews.org
How do you make it? Nespresso.
How do you take it? Black unless it’s a cappucino, then with one sugar.
# of cups in a day? About five.
When do you drink it? All day
Any coffee loyalties? Nespresso.
What’s your routine? Coffee + work, or coffee + reading.
What do you like most about it? The smell.
Favorite coffee shop? I don’t like coffee shops.
Most memorable cup? Driving from Salt Lake City to Bear Lake Valley, Idaho, I combined a double espresso with a Diet Coke. It was great. I named it “The Bomb of Heaven Singing”.
Has coffee ever done you wrong? My cousin once made me go rock climbing after drinking an entire Nalgene bottle of coffee. I had to lie down for a long time afterward because the shakes were so bad.
Ever tried to quit or switch? I quit for a day in 2006. That was the only day since 1995 that I’ve gone without coffee.
What’s the worst cup you’ve ever had? The time I brewed coffee with coffee instead of water.

Jimmy Bradley

Chef/Restaurateur @redcatny
jimmy-bradley-bw The chef and owner of The Red Cat and The Harrison, two top-notch New York restaurants. chefjimmybradley.com
How do you make it? Espresso in the morning from an old-school machine that has been in the family for years. I use Graffeo, Danesi, Torrefatzione or a custom bean and roast that I have made from Kubrick’s.
How do you take it? Short.
# of cups in a day? Maybe two or three all day and night.
When do you drink it? Before breakfast or after dinner.
Any coffee loyalties? Not from France.
What’s your routine? I’m usually with the dogs outside when I have my morning coffee, working when I have my mid-morning coffee, afternoon coffee after I run, and evening coffee while reading.
What do you like most about it? The high, duh.
Favorite coffee shop? I don’t like coffee shops in America.
Most memorable cup? In Tanzania with David Robinson, peaberry. What an experience.
Has coffee ever done you wrong? I never abuse it, so no.
Ever tried to quit or switch? Yes, ginger tea sometimes as a substitute.
What’s the worst cup you’ve ever had? Can’t recall because I’m sure I spit it out and moved on. It’s not like I’d drink a cup of a bad coffee.

Jeff Carvalho

Highsnobiety & Selectism @jeffcarvalho
jeff-carvalho-bw Managing Editor of Highsnobiety and Selectism. highsnobiety.com
How do you make it? My homebrew machine is a 2003 Saeco Magic Plus super automatic, which has served me incredibly well. In 10 years, it has been serviced twiced and brewed more than 5,400 individual cups of espresso — well worth the original $1k+ investment. I stick to espresso beans and am currently running through a bag of La Colombe’s espresso mix. Solid stuff.
How do you take it? Cortado, modified: rather than adding milk into the espresso, I pull a double shot and top it with a touch of half and half.
# of cups in a day? Three.
When do you drink it? All day through about 18:00. If I am having a late dinner with plans to dance in the evening, I’ll take a double espresso just before midnight to hold me over.
Any coffee loyalties? La Colombe, and Barismo Coffee from Arlington, MA is also exceptional. Handsome Coffee in Colorado does it right as well. In a pinch I turn to Trader Joe’s Organic Fair Trade Five Country Espresso Blend. At $8.00 for a can of beans it is not only economical but provides a great cup of espresso when brewed in my Saeco. How it does with other machines is beyond my knowledge.
What’s your routine? Watch the news. Takes about 5 minutes to finish it off in the morning. That’s just enough time to catch the Headline News recaps.
What do you like most about it? The routine and slight sharpness it gives me.
Favorite coffee shop? Barismo in Arlington, MA.
Most memorable cup? First time I drank a Barismo cappuccino I was pretty blown away by the sweetness in the milk without the addition of sugar. I have yet to replicate that experience.
Has coffee ever done you wrong? I need half and half in my coffee. Black coffee is not my thing. The purists who slow pour and refuse to let me top it with half & half or sugar not only let me down, but are giving me heartburn.
Ever tried to quit or switch? I have gone off coffee for weeks at a time. After my system has leveled off the missing caffeine, I find myself asking why on Earth I bothered stopping. Quitting has not benefited me at all.
What’s the worst cup you’ve ever had? The new BARN in Berlin. They’re a bit too much with their restrictions. Not only on adding milk or soy milk to coffee — they made it worse by banning sugar and children’s strollers from entering their premises. Do note that I am talking about the BARN on Neue Schonhauser. The old BARN still serves milk and sugar.

Tony Hale

Actor @mrtonyhale
tony-hale-bw Tony Hale is best known for his roles on Arrested Development as a handless Motherboy and Veep as a loyal aide to Julia Louis-Dreyfus. imdb.com
How do you make it? Well, I need to preface this whole thing with the fact that I don’t really drink coffee. I just started drinking it because I’m trying to cut out desserts. Some days on set the food tables look like a wedding buffet, and those desserts… I just can’t stop myself. I don’t just want a bite. I want the whole thing and more. So I started drinking decaf because I’m so sensitive to caffeine.
How do you take it? Decaf. About half the cup is sweetener and sugar and the other half is sugar.
Any coffee loyalties? Not really.
Favorite coffee shop? In Pasadena there is a great shop called Jones Roasters where I get a decaf almond latte. That’s probably my favorite drink, actually. And it’s funny because I was always turned off by those people in coffee shops with their orders and lists with “a little this but not that”… it seemed pretentious. But now I have kind of become that guy.
Has coffee ever done you wrong? No. It gives me shakes, actually. Plus I’m a morning person and so I’m up. No problem. My wife drinks coffee every morning, but it’s just never been a part of my life.
Ever tried to quit or switch? I drink Decaf Tea often. Herbal, mint, chamomile. I’m kind of an outcast to be honest. The show creators [of Veep] are British, and they drink their Earl Grey and English Breakfast, so I don’t fit in with them, and all the regular coffee drinkers look at me funny because of decaf.

Grady Laird

Grady’s Cold Brew @gradyscoldbrew
grady-laird-bw Founder of Grady’s Cold Brew. gradyscoldbrew.com
How do you make it? To be honest, I’m usually drinking leftover Grady’s Cold Brew (Indonesian, Ethiopian, French chicory blend). I’ve got bottles everywhere. It’s pretty convenient to just reach into your fridge at home and pour yourself a cup of coffee. It takes seconds, and you don’t necessarily have to be wearing pants. But if I’m making my own, I like to keep things simple: For both traditional and cold-brewed, I’m using the basic 32-ounce French press from Bodum. It’s cheap, easy to operate, takes up no space, and makes an incredible cup of coffee.
How do you take it? Whether iced or hot, usually with just a little 2% milk. But when it’s really steaming outside, I’m drinking it black over ice with absolutely no sugar. I find it to be incredibly refreshing. It’s a myth that coffee is a diuretic — it hydrates as well as water if you keep it under 5 cups (which I don’t!).
# of cups in a day? Waaaay too many. I’m probably good for at least four or five cups a day. Even more in the summer. Luckily, caffeine barely affects me, so I’m not all hopped-up and jittery. Everyone here plows though it though. We haven’t had to do an intervention yet, but it’s only a matter of time.
When do you drink it? I’ll drink coffee all day until about 5 pm. If I’m drinking it past that point, it’s probably got booze in it. I like to make Grady’s Wake-up Calls (our version of the White Russian), or you’ll find me dropping an ounce in a good stout like Guinness or Left Hand’s Milk Stout.
Any coffee loyalties? No. I try not to take coffee too seriously. It’s a phenomenal beverage but could loosen up a bit. I’m really not too picky. Taste is important, but so is the cost, the setting, the convenience, etc. I just like a good value.
What’s your routine? My weekend routine is to grab a shitty cup of coffee from my local bodega ($1.25, baby!) and enjoy it with my 3-year-old son on the bench outside. There is nothing better than people watching in Brooklyn.
What do you like most about it? I love the ritual of it. Whatever your taste may be — either brewing yourself or heading to a coffee shop — it’s something you likely do hundreds of times a year. That familiarity is comforting to me.
Favorite coffee shop? Porto Rico Coffee Importers on Bleeker. It’s such an old-school place with absolutely no pretension. They’ve been around NYC for over a hundred years. They also do a wonderful job roasting our beans. Definitely worth a visit if you are ever in the neighborhood and want a chill cup of coffee (or bottle of Grady’s).
Most memorable cup? A cup from Cafe Du Monde in New Orleans. It was the first time I’d ever had coffee with chicory. That cup inspired me to try cold brewing with it.
Has coffee ever done your wrong? Only when the piping-hot variety spills on you. My old bank offered free hot coffee, but they never had any lids. I was constantly trying to drive off with an open cup of coffee (yes, stupid AND dangerous). You know how many times that worked out for me? Zero. The streets in Brooklyn are too damn pothole ridden, so it always ended up in my lap.
Ever tried to quit or switch? No. Coffee is the most PG of my vices, so I’ve never felt the need to give it up or slow down. I think I’ll be drinking it for a very long time. Maybe I’ll switch to 5-hour Energy when I’m 99, but it’s doubtful.
What’s the worst cup you’ve ever had? Anything over $5. That’s too much to pay for a cup of coffee.

Ed Loh

Motor Trend @edloh
ed-loh-bw Editor-in-Chief of Motor Trend. motortrend.com
How do you make it? I’m all about convenience, so two devices changed my life in 2012. As a birthday presents from my parents, I received a simple Hamilton Beach electric kettle, which I disdained at first (I’m a bit of retro grouch when it comes to kitchen tools; I favor technique over toys) but found to be incredibly quick on-the-boil and oddly stress relieving. I’m a bachelor and travel a lot, so the auto-off function means never having to sit on plane worrying that I left the stove on…

The second device was an Aeropress from my cousin Alan. This was equally life changing. I had experimented with regular drip machines in my wasted youth, before discovering the strength and simplicity of the French press. My only qualms with the French press is that clean up is kind of a mess (I have been advised not to rinse grinds down the drain after an unfortunate and expensive sink clogging incident). Not to sound too much like a commercial, but the AP solves this main gripe, and makes a fine cuppa cawfee.

To actually answer your question, my routine is simple:

1. Boil water in the electric kettle.
2. Grind beans in my 20-year-old Mr. Coffee electric grinder (or use any pre-ground stuff I have left in the freezer)
3. One full scoop into the Aeropress, which is about equal to a single shot of espresso.
4. Fill to the top with boiling hot water.
5. Paper filter (versus metal — to reduce cleaning).
6. Wait 30 seconds? A minute? For my electric toothbrush to pulse twice indicating that I’ve brushed long enough…?
7. Invert my dope double-walled Bodum glasses (another gift, notice a theme here?) on top.
8. Press down (paying absolutely no attention to the speed or foam or whatever). Maybe add water to make an Americano.
9. Pop the coffee ground and filter paper “puck” out into my compost bucket (apparently earthworms love the buzz from coffee too).
10. Rinse the filter holder and two-part syringe and let dry on the kitchen window sill.

*Please note that it took me about four times as long to write this out as it actually takes to do it.

How do you take it? Strong and black. Like my __________.
# of cups in a day? It varies quite a bit. The latter half of last year was pretty rough for me; so I found myself doing 2-3 strong cups a day. Morning and, 3pm-ish, and then at night when cleaning the inbox. Since the New Year, and my new BADASS BLENDER PURCHASE, I’ve basically detoxed. Don’t need it in the morning, and drink socially in the afternoon. I expect to be back on 2/day round mid-summer when things start to get rough again.
When do you drink it? See question above.
Any coffee loyalties? No. In fact, my lack of loyalties, reverence, attention to coffee making details really pisses off the coffee snobs at work (Hi Jim!). One of the first things I did (and still do) with the Aeropress was find the cheapest, crappiest pre-ground coffee to put into to it, just to see if can make a decent cup of Joe. And you know what? It does. I’ve tried a bunch of the cheapo canned stuff and even Mylar bag crap they leave out in motels.
What’s your routine? In the mornings it’s usual, you know: brush my teef, change my shirt a couple of times, clear the history on my web browser (oops). At Motor Trend Global Headquarters and Central Command, we usually do a coffee break around 3:00-3:30. We share a parking lot with Starbucks, so they know most of our team by name over there. It’s not great quality, but it provides a “screen break” to our art department (my usual cohort) and time to talk shit be collegial.
What do you like most about it? Triggers the poop reflex in the morning. Helps me power through my inbox in the afternoon/evening. Provides an opportunity to talk shit and be collegial with my staff.
Favorite coffee shop? Oooh, I have a few:

1. Blue Bottle in Mint Plaza, San Francisco CA, because my brother’s office is right around the corner.
2. Banh Mi Che Cali in Westminster, CA. Can’t beat a super strong Café Su Da and banh mi dac biet for like $4.50.
3. Deus Ex Machina in Venice, CA. Café racer motos, surfboards, open air seating and some seriously good snacks.

Most memorable cup? When I first started in the biz in 2001, I worked for various Japanese tuner magazines and would occasionally go overseas to visit parts manufacturers and tuning shops in Tokyo and Yokohama — from big ones like HKS and Rays Wheels to little underground tuner shops. One thing that struck me as odd was not that you get offered coffee at the beginning of every business meeting in Japan (same as the US), but that it will generally be some of the foulest crap you have ever tasted. Typically jet black, often sludgy, definitely instant with powdered creamer and sugar on offer as well. Combine in a little JDM-sized cup and you have a tar-like substance that churns my stomach as I write this. But I’d always drink it to be polite (social pressure, hai) and because I’d typically be suffering from horrendous jet lag.

Even now, on trips to Japan with big automakers, you’ll get the offer of crap coffee. Still strikes me as weird for a country with more Michelin-starred restaurants than France.

Has coffee ever done you wrong? Once, maybe? In college, I made the mistake of downing some Starbucks mocha frappucino nonsense on an empty stomach after studying all night for an Organic Chemistry midterm. I remember a sickly cold sensation in my stomach and being so jittery/wired I thought I could see the future. I ended up totally bombing the midterm, which contributed to my failing grade in the class, which nuked my GPA and prevented me from getting into medical school.

Is that wrong though? I dunno, life’s pretty good at Motor Trend, so THANKS STARBUCKS.

Ever tried to quit or switch? You know how some people have “addictive personalities?” That’s not me. I don’t have a problem going cold turkey on coffee: no headaches, no withdrawal; no cravings for the taste or buzz. Now pork products — there I do have a problem.
What’s the worst cup you’ve ever had? See most memorable coffee.

Dan Lyons

ReadWrite @realdanlyons
dan-lyons-bw Editor-in-Chief at ReadWrite, former writer for Newsweek & Forbes. Creator of Fake Steve Jobs. readwrite.com
How do you make it? I’m disgusting. I drink Nescafe instant coffee. No lie.
How do you take it? Half and half, one equal.
# of cups in a day? Minimum one, maximum four.
When do you drink it? First thing in the a.m., then maybe a second mug right after the first. Then, right after lunch, and maybe one in late afternoon, around four.
Any coffee loyalties? No.
What’s your routine? Read.
What do you like most about it? The buzz.
Favorite coffee shop? Forgive me: Dunkin Donuts. I live in New England.
Most memorable cup? First cup I had in Italy. Wow. Knocked me over. And then every cup after that in Italy. It was as if I’d never had actual coffee before, and was just discovering it for the first time.

And, the one really memorable one — at a beach in a national park in Maremma, from a take-out truck parked in the pine trees near the beach, served in a paper cup. We sat outside on plastic chairs. Magic.

Has coffee ever done you wrong? Never. Coffee is my best friend and would never betray me.
Ever tried to quit or switch? I quit for a while and drank tea instead. It was fine. Sort of.
What’s the worst cup you’ve ever had? Too many to count, or remember, or single out. Every cup ever on an airplane. I’m writing this on a Virgin America flight and just had a terrible cup.

Andrew Meo

Rocket Espresso @rocketespresso
andrew-meo-bw Partner/Owner of Rocket Espresso. rocket-espresso.it
How do you make it? At home I use our new dual boiler machine, the R 58, and generally drink espresso. Despite the “third wave” of coffee, with many of these newer roasters/companies favoring single-origin espresso, I definitely prefer a blended Arabica medium-to-dark roast for espresso. These single-origin, lighter roasts make for great siphon or filter coffees, but I find the acid makes the espresso too “bright”. On occasion I will use a filter machine or mocha pot.
How do you take it? Generally espresso, the extraction cut slightly short, no sugar. On occasion a latte, slightly sugared.
# of cups in a day? About six espressos a day in total I guess; the last few years I think my consumption has come down a little for no particular reason. When I roasted my own coffee in New Zealand under the label The Immigrant’s Son (which was reference to my Italian father), I possibly drank more.
When do you drink it? Coffee consumption used to be an all-day affair, but since moving to Italy, with perhaps more Robusta in the blends, I tend to knock off about 4 or 5 p.m. at the latest.
Any coffee loyalties? My only loyalty lies in drinking plenty of great coffee! I keep an open mind to the latest trends in coffee and will always search out the new “hot” coffee places in a city I visit. I like to see what is cutting edge in coffee and taste what they are up to.
What’s your routine? My coffee routine involves switching on the machine as soon as I get out of bed, followed by letting the dog out. The longer the machine is on, the better, as the group requires a decent heating time for optimum extraction.

Once I am showered and dressed it’s ready to go. Arriving at work, I always start the day in the factory seeing the boys (and girls) who will have already started the day — I will have another espresso then. After that, it depends on how the day is shaping up: generally another three or four espressos, however it’s not a vice to get me through the day if things aren’t going to plan.

What do you like most about it? What I like most about drinking coffee is it makes me stop for a moment. I am busy by nature I guess, but with a coffee I stop for that brief moment, I taste the coffee, good or bad, and give it a moment’s thought. But I do stop.
Favorite coffee shop? Being an ex-restaurant owner, I look at three factors when I rate the place: ambiance, service and coffee quality. Does great coffee and really poor service make great coffee? Not in my book. I appreciate both the new places really pushing the boundaries and taking traditional coffee to new fronts, and then equally the grand old institutions of coffee that haven’t sold out to the might of the dollar and still take the craft very seriously.
Most memorable cup? Memorable cups come and go. In my book, the perfect cup is the Holy Grail. You always try to make the perfect cup but it is an elusive beast, as coffee is really a very complex animal that requires a great deal of coaxing to get the best from.

The Italian Autostrada has the Autogrill, and in the height of the summer holidays the place is pumping. They stand ten-deep around the bar, and the coffee they produce, despite the pressure, is consistently good; that in my book is memorable.

Has coffee ever done you wrong? Coffee has generally been very good to me. My interest in coffee has indirectly led me to reside in Italy (I am a New Zealander) with my family, and to share ownership — with my Italian partner — of Rocket Espresso, so there has been more up side than down side in the journey. There was a particularly bad experience with a company I was with a long time ago, and that has been perhaps the only blemish in my association with coffee.
Ever tried to quit or switch? A substitute for coffee is not really necessary unless it becomes a vice for something, I think. I enjoy coffee but am not dependent on it. If the only coffee on offer is average or worse, I would sooner go without. However that would mean I just go farther down the street rather than doing without!
What’s the worst cup you’ve ever had? The worst cup is far too prevalent in many places. Those who do not understand coffee and aren’t interested in understanding coffee — that’s a crime. Why try and be very average when you can be better? A good barista has a skill, but making good coffee is not really very difficult if you follow the rules and above all care about what you are trying to produce.

Often you can tell what the coffee will be like before you have set foot in a place: which roaster do they use, is the place clean, is it part of a multi-national chain, what sort of machine are they using. These are all telltale signs of what you may be served.

Cory Ohlendorf

Valet @valetmag
cory-ohlendorf-bw Editor-in-Chief/Founder of Valet. valetmag.com
How do you make it? When it comes to beans, I’m not too particular. Sometimes I’ll splurge on Intelligentsia’s El Gallo blend, but usually I just get the “Three Beans” medium roast from Whole Foods. It’s shockingly affordable — $4.99 for a pound. But what I do care about are freshness and heat. That’s why I swear by my Krups KT600 coffee machine. This chrome and woodgrain beauty has a thermal stainless steel carafe (instead of a glass pot and warmer plate), so it keeps my morning Joe piping hot without the charred aftertaste. Plus, it’s more energy efficient and looks good sitting out on my counter.
How do you take it? I wish I was one of those people who could order my coffee black. But when it comes to java, my palate never quite developed past adolescence. Milk and sugar for days. Four or five sugars and then enough milk to turn the coffee a dark shade of beige. I often tell waiters, “extra cream and sugar, like what you’d serve a child”.
# of cups in a day? I have two cups every morning. But “cups” is a relative term. I now drink out of 16-ounce mugs I found at Crate & Barrel. I love them because before, I’d end up slurping back four or five cups every day, which seemed excessive. Now I just have two and that seems downright restrained.

Klaus Ortlieb

Hotel Magnate
Klaus-Ortlieb-bw Owner of several popular hotels, including The Gotham Hotel in New York and The Hotel Modern in New Orleans.
How do you make it? I make it first thing when I get up in the morning in a single cup automatic coffee maker. I like Colombian coffee, but I try out different kinds.
How do you take it? Black with no sugar or milk.
# of cups in a day? Maybe two or three all day and night.
When do you drink it? In the morning, around 10 a.m., after lunch and another around 4 p.m.
Any coffee loyalties? Being from Germany, we were not allowed to have coffee until I was 16 years old, mother’s rule, and over the years I have had various brews and have settled on Colombian.
What’s your routine? In the morning I have my coffee, check my emails and prepare for the day’s work in the hotels.
What do you like most about it? The ritual of drinking coffee gives me time to take a quick break before continuing on with the day’s work.
Favorite coffee shop? In New York, I love La Colombe. I am also working on a new project in Reykjavik (more soon!) and when there, I like to visit Cafe Haiti. Their coffee is strong!
Most memorable cup? The most memorable cup of coffee I had was also my first! It was in one of the old coffee houses in Vienna, Austria, where I was actually traveling with my family. It was the first cup of coffee I was allowed, and the environment made it even more special.
Has coffee ever done you wrong? No, not really, I think I consume it in moderation.
Ever tried to quit or switch? I also drink green iced tea in addition to coffee.
What’s the worst cup you’ve ever had? On a business trip on an airplane. One sip of it and I returned the cup as fast as it was handed to me. Ha!

Joey Roth

Designer @joeyroth
joey-roth-bw Product Designer. When taking a break from design, he likes long-distance skateboarding, reading and cooking with kale. joeyroth.com
How do you make it? Cowboy coffee in my titanium mug, black. I like beans from Blue Bottle and Plow and Gun that are roasted with a gentle hand.
How do you take it? Black.
# of cups in a day? Three to six.
When do you drink it? Morning, noon, night.
Any coffee loyalties? Blue Bottle and Plow and Gun are my go-to roasters, but I recently tried Handsome’s San Sebastian and it was GREAT!
What’s your routine? I’m usually with the dogs outside when I have my morning coffee, working when I have my mid-morning coffee, afternoon coffee after I run, and evening coffee while reading.
What do you like most about it? Pretty much everything.
Favorite coffee shop? Float, in Pasadena.
Most memorable cup? I was talking with Blue Bottle founder James Freeman about the beautiful brass-and-glass device at their Mint St. location. Instead of getting into technical details with me, he drew me a small cup of the slow-brewed iced coffee that it produces. I actually tasted flowers, cardamom, etc., not just the variations of the coffee taste that remind you of those things.
Has coffee ever done you wrong? Only when I exercise right after a cup.
Ever tried to quit or switch? I give up coffee when I get my yearly cold or I’m traveling somewhere without good coffee available.
What’s the worst cup you’ve ever had? The first time I tried to use my mom’s Mr. Coffee with some Chock Full O’Nuts. The beans aren’t bad, especially for the price, but I had no idea what I was doing.

Josh Rubin

Cool Hunting, @joshrubin
josh-rubin-bw The founder and Editor-in-Chief of Cool Hunting, Creative Director at Largetail and inventor of Freehands Gloves. coolhunting.com
How do you make it? For the first cup or two I need to balance quality and simplicity. I use the DeLonghi Gran Dama to make an Americano using the Heartbreaker Espresso roast from Cafe Grumpy.
How do you take it? Black. Brewed or Americano.
# of cups in a day? Three to four. Unless I’m traveling in another time zone and need to pretend I’m not jetlagged — in that case it can be up to seven or eight!
When do you drink it? Two first thing, one around 11 a.m. and one more around 3 or 4 p.m.
Any coffee loyalties? I’m loyal to quality and taste over brand. Of course, this means that there are brands that I love and others that I don’t.
What’s your routine? I usually drink my first cup (or two) while reading emails or RSS feeds.
What do you like most about it? It’s warm, energizing and delicious. Plus, if I don’t do it I hurt all over.
Favorite coffee shop? In NYC it’s Cafe Grumpy; LA: Handsome Coffee Roasters; and SF: Four Barrel.
Most memorable cup? The first time I tasted Grady’s Cold Brew was the most memorable experience in years. It’s so smooth, bold and delicious. I never knew cold brew could be that good, nor did I know how much I like chicory.
Has coffee ever done you wrong? I metabolize caffeine very quickly, but from time to time I have one cup too many and get the jitters.
Ever tried to quit or switch? No. Never. I’m hooked. It’s also medical, though. I get migraines and caffeine staves them off.
What’s the worst cup you’ve ever had? Starbucks. Their brew isn’t meant to be served black. It’s tuned to break through the heavy amounts of milk and sugar that most of their customers prefer to add to their drink.

Gar Ryness

YouTube Star @battingstanceg
gar-ryness-bw Gar Ryness is known across the internet as The Batting Stance Guy. nytimes.com
How do you make it? Wife makes French press. Makes house smell good. I’m realizing I like coffee socially. I buy it when I’m out with friends, rarely drink it solo.
How do you take it? As much like coffee ice cream as possible. The person listening to Neon Indian on their iPod in Intelligentsia just rolled their eyes.
# of cups in a day? If I need a boost I’ll have an Americano with hazelnut, but only because I hate my life choices when drinking a Diet Mountain Dew before 10 a.m.
Favorite coffee shop? If I want to spend tons of money, be sized up and possibly run into an indie-darling iconic-beard-wearing musician/producer/actor, Intelligentsia in Silverlake. I trust my wife, and she loves Proof in Atwater Village.
Has coffee ever done your wrong? Only when I come home from spending too much time at a Starbucks and my daughters say my clothes smell like skunk.
Ever tried to quit or switch? I wish I hated Diet Mountain Dew. Plus, in the coffee genre I prefer hot chocolate. Every time I read my answers they appear as if I’m 6 years old.

Christopher Thomas

Athlete
christopher-thomas-bw USAT Amateur Triathlete of the Year, 2012. usatriathlon.org
How do you make it? In a Keurig.
How do you take it? I drink my coffee black.
# of cups in a day? Usually have one to two cups a day.
When do you drink it? First thing in the morning.
Any coffee loyalties? Newman’s own.
What’s your routine? Drink my coffee with Breakfast.
What do you like most about it? Warmth and caffeine.
Most memorable cup? Huge mug at Lava Java in Kona, Hawaii looking out at the swim course of the Ironman World Championship.
Has coffee ever done you wrong? Yes, it stresses my GI system. I’ll leave it at that.
Ever tried to quit or switch? Yes, in fact I have not had a cup in over a month. I have been drinking Green Tea in substitute. I did a healthy detoxification that prohibited coffee for two weeks in January and I have not gone back to it yet.

Tyler Thoreson

GILT @tylerthoreson
tyler-thoreson-bw Vice President of Men’s Editorial at GILT, former editor of men.style.com. gilt.com
How do you make it? I’m usually up before 6:30, and I gotta have my morning Joe. I set our coffee maker every night.
How do you take it? With half and half, no sugar.
# of cups in a day? Four to five, rarely after noon.
When do you drink it? 6:31-11:59.
Any coffee loyalties? My loyalties are shaky. I’m not proud to say that I survived the aftermath of Sandy on an ancient canister of Maxwell House instant.
What’s your routine? As a rule, I try not to drink beer or brush my teeth while drinking coffee. That’s about it.
What do you like most about it? There are few things better than a perfectly brewed cup after an amazing night’s sleep. A perfectly brewed cup after a crappy night’s sleep isn’t so bad, either.
Favorite coffee shop? Dunn Bros., St. Paul, Minnesota.
Most memorable cup? My first cup of Irish coffee happened on a Friday night at around 10 in the summer of 2000 at a friend’s place in Noe Valley, San Francisco. I remember it well. Unfortunately, I don’t remember much of what came after it.
Has coffee ever done you wrong? Yes, but it does me so right so regularly that I am happy to forgive.
Ever tried to quit or switch? Never.
What’s the worst cup you’ve ever had? I remember the coffee in the green room at the CW affiliate in Dallas not being all that great. But I got to meet Tom Arnold, so it all evened out.

Michael Williams

A Continuous Lean @acontinuouslean
michael-williams-bw A native son of Cleveland, Ohio and the founder of A Continuous Lean and the Paul + Williams agency. acontinuouslean.com
How do you make it? I drink espresso. I don’t make it at home except on occasion when I fall back on a Nespresso.
How do you take it? In the morning, Cappuccino or Mezzo (Latte with an espresso base) or a Marocchino. In the afternoon, macchiato. I never drink anything with milk after noon.
# of cups in a day? Most often, one or less than one. If I were consistently near Gasoline Alley more, I would drink more.
When do you drink it? 9 a.m.-ish. In the summer when the weather is nice I go on these long bike rides on my road bike and I will stop in the middle of the ride for an espresso — it is one of my favorite things to do. I ride up and over the GWB in New York and enjoy the rush hour from an entirely different perspective.
Any coffee loyalties? Yes. Gasoline Alley, 9th Street espresso and Four Barrel in SF. Not to mention almost anywhere in Italy. I love the Italian “bar” experience.
What’s your routine? Walk or work. One of those things.
What do you like most about it? The drinkability? I don’t know how to answer that.
Favorite coffee shop? There’s a place in Tokyo called Mocha Coffee in Daikanyama that is by far the most expensive and most delicious cup of drip coffee I have ever had. That said, I like good coffee, but can appreciate the regular stuff too. I’m not above hitting McDonalds for a cheap cup. The high and the low together, that’s sort of how I see the world.
Most memorable cup? I really cherish the coffee I drink in Milan with my good friend Courtney. She has has taught me so much over coffee; every cup comes with a lesson.
Has coffee ever done you wrong? No. How is that even possible? My addictions are centered more near Diet Coke land than coffee.
Ever tried to quit or switch? No. The purpose of life is to live it.
What’s the worst cup you’ve ever had? I would rather remember the great coffee than worry about the bad. Without bad coffee, you can’t recognize the great stuff.
fortnight-of-coffee-teaser-box-230x40Don’t Miss: 30 Caffeinated Stories. 50 Best Tools of the Brew. Countless beans. It’s Fortnight of Coffee here on Gear Patrol »

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