On weekends, I’m up and out of bed a minimum of 90 minutes before Astronaut Mike Dexter — more often, 2 hours before. Weather permitting as it was today, I’ll walk the dogs for 25 minutes or so. I used to do 40 but Puppy, the younger/littler one, gets tired at about the half-hour mark. (And no, I’m not the one who named him that; he was a rescue.)
Coffee may come before or after, depending on whether I’ve brought my French press with me to Detroit. The coffee is what has enabled me to become a morning person, something I never would have thought possible before I got my first full-time job after college. Now I joke it’s the reason I get out of bed in the morning. When my insomnia has recurred well-meaning people have advised me to give up coffee; my immediate response is that I’d rather live with the sleep deprivation than surrender one of my life’s greatest joys. (Ironically, after a night without sleep a morning coffee loses its appeal — as does anything that isn’t sleep, for that matter.) I don’t touch caffeine after noon, though.
I am not especially picky about the bean itself; I’ve been buying Espresso Royale in Ann Arbor lately but at the grocery store I find 8 O’Clock’s whole bean roasts do the job quite well at a nice price point. I prefer dark roast. Most importantly, it has to be brewed strong. During the week when I’m at home, I’ll boil the water in my kettle on the stove. Here in Detroit I’ll microwave 16 oz in a liquid measure for 4 minutes, pour it over a heaping cupful of grounds and a teaspoonful or so of brown sugar, and let it sit for a few minutes. I heat up 2% milk and maybe a splash of half and half in the microwave and pour it into the coffee through a little mesh filter to prevent the nasty clumping that sometimes happens when the dairy hits the coffee
All of this ends up being a very time-consuming and elaborate ritual. It’s perfect for unrushed weekend mornings when I have nothing but time. It is not ideal for weekday mornings, needless to say. I actually bought a programmable coffeemaker a couple of months ago in the interest of saving time. It did the job very efficiently but the drip coffee simply doesn’t taste as good as the French press, so I only used it a couple of times. I still usually manage to get to work by 7:30 when I’m coming from my condo in Ann Arbor. After I move to Ferndale with AMD in September, I might give the programmable coffee maker another chance, since I’ll have to get up and be on the road earlier.