No more late nights, by Deb Emily

Emily Winslow by Jonathan PlayerI used to be a night person. Ideas percolated all day, while I was in school or at work. Finally, at night, I was free to imagine and write. I’d often stay up quite late. Sometimes, in the case of deadlines, all night.

I’m turning 40 this year. Dude, I can’t pull that off any more. By evening my brain is used up. I can do some decent brainstorming, but not so much with the productive word counts. And all-nighters are no more. Interruptions to my sleep cause actual migraines. Midnight is as late as I go, and even that catches up with me if I do it too much.

But I can’t really claim to be a morning person either. I don’t hop out of bed ready to take on the day. I roll out of bed and lurch toward coffee. But, after savoring the cup and catching up with email and blogs, I can be nicely productive. So what does that make me? A mid-morning person??

For those of you who, like me, look forward to that morning cuppa, I’d like to point out the Aeropress. It’s a dandy little way to make good, STRONG coffee simply and with easy cleanup. I love this thing.

A poll for coffee drinkers:
Do you use
1) Instant (Easy and convenient, but vile.)
2) Drip (Lovely aroma, but comparatively weak result.)
3) French press (Easy and convenient, but comparatively weak result.)
4) Aeropress (Mmmmmmmm.)
5) Fancy machine (Lovely result once you’ve mastered it. Downside: complex and sometimes expensive maintenance.)
6) Coffee shop (Delicious, but expensive. And you have to be properly dressed and socially interact to obtain the beverage. Isn’t the point of coffee to help make dressing and social interaction possible??)
7) Other (Intriguing! Do explain….)

Answer in the comments!

22 Replies to “No more late nights, by Deb Emily”

  1. Ooh, coffee…. One of my favorite things to do is to get to Trader Joe’s, a great grocery store, right when it opens at 9 a.m. Since my kids go to school right near TJs, it’s pretty easy to do. I have the store mostly to myself, and the best part is, there’s a little tasting section with strong, French-roast, freshly-brewed coffee. I savor a few mini-cups and the baby noshes on cut-up bagels or strawberries or other tasting treats.

  2. Ooh, I miss Trader Joe’s! Also Whole Foods. My older son begs to move back to America because he misses…mountains? sandy beaches? his buddies? a favorite cartoon? Nope–goldfish crackers. We get sentimental about our fave foods πŸ™‚

  3. Coffee is the most divine substance in the world! I come from a long line of persnickety coffee drinkers – my grandmother used a percolator, as does my mother ( I believe the same dented tin one that has been handed down in my family for years as a coffee talisman). I use a French Press honing my ratio and grinds through the years so for now I have a perfect blend. Currently, I’m in love with a Nicaraguan shade grown coffee from Dean & Deluca that is absolutely smooth perfection. Not too light, not too dark. No bitter aftertaste. But the Trader Joe’s beans come in a close second. Obviously, you can tell my early morning comment here has been fueled by more than a few cups……..

  4. I vote ‘fancy machine’. Lurve my Keurig. And it’s been maintenance-free so far (though it could do with a descaling). As for cost, we re-use the K-Cups with a product called My-Kap. So it isn’t particularly expensive at all.

    Now, if only I could persuade the powers-that-be to install a Keurig at work πŸ˜‰

    And aren’t there ‘American shops’ over there, just like there are ‘British stores’ over here? (Any time we go back to Britain, we always have several bags of groceries in our luggage on the way home!)

  5. I’m a dripper, but I come from a household which only used instant Folger’s, so I’m moving up in the world. I’m not a coffee snob at all, which means I’m probably missing out on a taste sensation, but it keeps my mornings simple, at least!

    Emily, I’m with you on being all “used up” by the evening. It’s not just age, I suspect, as child-rearing. After a whole day of that who’s got any brainpower left?

  6. We’re drinking drip at my house this morning, but that’s only since the burr grinder broke β€” which means the previously typical French press isn’t as much of a ritual, nor as tasty β€” and we lacked the funds to replace it.

  7. The morning coffee ritual is grinding then drip brewing. One of the coffee chains around here as $1 coffee on Monday, so I avail myself of that in the afternoon for a pick-me-up. Learned all about the world of coffee when I worked the barista, but now we use Sumatran beans roasted and bagged by a local organization that provides opportunities for brain injured folks.

  8. I’m also a French press fan. And it has to be half & half. Not non-dairy creamer or milk or low-fat half & half — full fat half & half! And lots of it!

    And happily, Robin Antalek has agreed to guest-blog for us in 2010.

  9. Oh, Alicia, I love half-and-half too! Here I have to use “single cream” which is the closest thing, but way thicker. I can only assume those around me are scandalized. I’ve never seen a British person use anything but skim or semi-skimmed milk in their coffee *shudder*

    Kristina–It’s all the imaginative play, I think. My kids want me to make up stories all day long. By the end of the day I want someone to tell *me* a story! (Hello, TV!)

    Drip and French Press seem to be going neck-and-neck, with Alistair’s lone vote for fancy machine lagging in the distance.

    PS Alistair–Nope, no “American stores.” Usually US products just infiltrate the British stores bit by bit, but really expensively.

  10. As a non-coffee drinker this is al totally Greek to me. However between the coffee and chocolates consumed around here, I’d expect the caffeine intake to make you all night owls! πŸ˜‰

  11. Mid-morning people, unite! At last, a kindred spirit. (Actually, I’m more of an “early afternoon person,” but still…

    Love the blog!

  12. Freshly ground 8 O’Clock Hazelnut in a drip coffeemaker with an insulated carafe. I can’t think straight until I’ve finished my first cup. I guess drip is weak, but for me that’s a good thing.

  13. And another for drip!

    Jen–I tried to email you to say “thanks” for the 2010 Deb Challenge at your website, but my email bounced. So I’ll say it here–thanks!

    (At my college cafe they made really sad mochas by adding a packet of swiss miss powder to a cup of drip coffee.)

  14. I have never liked coffee, and I’m not that fond of it now, but I have one cup every morning. My husband has the best digestion of anyone I know, and mine has always been dicey. He swears it’s coffee, so last March I started drinking my one cup and my digestion is greatly improved, so I guess maybe there’s something in it! I doctor it up with organic fair trade hot chocolate mix though. At first, I drank it tepid as fast as I could over the sink. Now it’s sort of starting to taste okay.

    He makes French Roast in a French press and it’s strong enough to defend itself. Think used motor oil.

  15. It’s complicated machine for me. Where I work they were far-sighted enough to install a machine that makes pretty decent coffee from beans to cup at the press of a button. So I just drink coffee at work and stick to tea at home πŸ™‚

    As for maintenance (and it requires plenty) somebody else takes care of that!

    If I am desperate for coffee at home, I use those one-shot filter thingies. If you don’t put too much water through them you can make a half-decent cup of coffee with very little work.

  16. Joelle–Does cream and sugar negate the digestive assistance? Because I think the usual path for learning the taste of coffee is to use so much cream and sugar that it tastes like coffee ice cream πŸ˜‰

    Ah–another one for the fancy machine, this one with mysterious office elves to keep it running. That *does* sound appealing!

  17. I used to be a total night person. If I don’t have to get up for the day job I prefer to be up until midnight, but can no longer pull the all nighters.

    And shockingly- I don’t drink any coffee. Never developed a taste for it. Let’s hear it for really good tea!

  18. I’m a grinder then a drip person – we like to do all the different flavor coffees that are available these days. I probably don’t make it as strong as my hubby would like – but he gets the strong stuff at work.

    I hear ya about hitting 40 and losing energy! My energy loss is definitely in the morning though. I seem to hit my second wind about 10pm, but when morning roles around – ugh!

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