For many of us, coffee is the essential start to a day: the aroma, that sweet first sip, a necessary perk to get moving. Without a doubt, it is a ritual. It’s not just going through the motions — often, it is the day’s very first indulgence. Yet for something so ubiquitous, the preferences, from method to taste, are endless. Maybe mornings are stacked with workouts, maybe picking up after a two-year-old, or if you rise early enough, a leisurely read of your favorite periodical.
We all have morning routines. It sets the stage for the day ahead. It gets us prepped to take on the conference calls, build the decks, lead the meetings or mentor the students. There is no one size fits all when it comes to the morning, or to caffeine intake. At home with some of Gear Patrol’s own, we’ve singled out three of the best methods — suitable for just about any type of morning and any type of guy.
If You Need to Set It and Forget It
“Our family’s morning routine is pretty dialed. My wife, Emily, is up at 6:15 a.m., me at 6:30 a.m. That way we both have a chance to shower before our preschooler wakes up. My first stop after the shower is coffee prep. We all chip in making breakfast and we’ll usually chat and read the news while we eat. The overall vibe is a mix of keeping things moving since the schedule is pretty tight, yet fun and light since it’s typically the only time all three of us are together (and awake) in the house during the weekdays. We have a divide and conquer approach after that. I take care of cat duty and breakfast clean-up and Emily takes care of making the beds and getting our son ready for school. I’m out for work via the subway at 8:00 a.m. and she leaves 30 minutes later — she pretty much needs all of that difference in time to get him together.
My coffee ritual has evolved as my life has become busier and more scheduled. There was a time when I was using a scale for pour over but now that time is more precious than ever, our daily ritual is an easy drip coffee maker. We need to create efficiencies wherever possible. What hasn’t changed however is using quality beans and grinding them every morning. And the only difference between the weekday and weekends is making more coffee on the weekends since we’re at a much slower pace and can take more time to enjoy it.” — Zach Mader, Vice President, Partnerships
OXO 9-Cup Coffee Maker
There is nothing average about this coffee maker. The water temperature is precisely heated, the LED screen shows brewing status, time and coffee freshness, water is dispersed evenly over grounds with a rain-like shower function and the double-walled stainless steel carafe keeps your coffee hot. Not to mention, for busy people everywhere, it’s equipped with an automatic brew-start timer. $200
If You Like to Take Your Time
“I’m usually up around 6:30 a.m. and the very first thing I do is start heating water in my pour-over kettle. Then I’ll weigh out enough beans to make two mugs of coffee: one for me and one for my boyfriend, Brian. (The tradeoff is that if I make coffee, he makes the bed.) We both have to be at work around the same time, so he’ll get ready for the day while I’m in the kitchen. By the time he’s out and dressed, the coffee is ready, and then we have a few minutes to talk about our days over a cup of coffee before I start preparing for the day ahead.
Truth be told, I started making pour-overs to impress Brian when we first started getting serious. One of the thousands of things that we have in common is a deep appreciation for and reliance on caffeine, and coffee’s place in our culture. We can recite the scripts for almost all of Lauren Bacall’s High Point Coffee commercials verbatim at this point. We also tend to need a little kick in the mornings to help get us going.
I’ve gotten pretty specific about how to grind the beans — I’ve learned that you have to have a conical burr grinder to get a really good, consistent grind. I’ve also learned that I really like Ethiopian beans and that I tend to prefer something closer to a medium grind, even if most people on the Internet will guide you to something on the finer side. I’m pretty precise about water temperature, too. I tend to brew right at 200 degrees, depending on which beans I’m using.
But the thing that’s so fun about making pour-overs is that you have to be so careful about controlling every element of the process. It makes every decent cup I make feel like a reward for a job well done.” — Justin Fenner, Senior Associate Editor
OXO Glass Pour-Over Set
This ultra-stylish, modern design, mixing a hand-blown double-walled borosilicate glass carafe, glass with stainless steel and cork finishes, is made to speak to those who like to savor their mornings. Taking a bit of extra time is often the joy of the process, but for those a bit rushed, OXO has also created a simple, unfussy Pour-Over Coffee Maker equipped with its own water tank to meet the needs of pour-over lovers with a bit less time on their hands. $50
If You’re Always on the Move
“Before I started working at Gear Patrol, I never drank coffee. Then someone told me not to let my boss know that I didn’t drink coffee because he doesn’t trust people who don’t. I started the next day. Being around people like our resident coffee expert Will Price has led me to become more and more interested in different beans, techniques and the gear required to make great coffee. I bought a digital scale to weigh my beans which was the next step in my rise to coffee nerdery. Next on the list? A conical burr grinder. My tiny blade grinder just wasn’t cutting it.
I’m a cold brew drinker now so that usually involves prepping coffee for the week over the weekend. During the week, I try to be up around 7:00 a.m. to get a quick run or workout in. Then it’s music, shower, checking Slack, email and my Google feed. I toss a few ice cubes in a thermos with the cold brew and oat milk with some maple syrup and I’m out the door by 8:30 a.m. at the latest. It usually only takes me about 30 minutes to get ready for the day, so I like my coffee routine to be quick and easy. I won’t eat breakfast unless I grab something quick on the way to the office.” — AJ Powell, Assistant Editor
OXO Cold Brew Coffee Maker
OXO’s trademark Rainmaker™ is the key to evenly distributing water in this well-designed cold brew maker, ensuring your low-acidity concentrate is perfectly brewed. The borosilicate glass carafe not only has measurement markings for portioning, it doubles as a storage container thanks to a well-designed and very handy lid. $50
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