My Morning Cup features the coffee rituals that most of us have. People from all walks of life — from US senators to ballplayers, subway drivers to college professors — have submitted entries that will run each day.
Here, we reached Jeff Miller, Dunkin’ Donuts executive chef and vice president of culinary innovation, by email.
Describe your coffee routine. Where do you frequent, what do you like?
I’m sure this sounds like a company line, but I start every day brewing our Dunkin’ Donuts packaged Dark Roast. Many times I’ll stop at our stores to check out how the latest product is doing. Additionally, we’ll do market tours and competitive shops to see what independent companies are doing.
Make or buy?
We review a lot of other green coffee samples from different origins, and our green coffee manager will send me home with selections from all over the world. I had a great one from Kenya the other day!
If make, what coffee do you use and how do you make it?
I’m spoiled — at the office we have top-end equipment, so after using a standard home brewer for my first cup in the car, I tend to drink Dark Roast at the office — unless someone in the kitchen has roasted up something new, or picked up something from the marketplace.
If buy, where? What time? Do baristas know you?
Work keeps me busy, so I generally make my first cup at home and then head into the office. There is a Dunkin’ on Washington St. in my town that I hit up some mornings and on the weekends. When I do get out I like to try a variety of new origins and blends from different specialty shops. I was just in Vietnam for a meeting and had the chance to try a bunch of local places, which was fun.
What’s your order?
I’m a hardcore coffee drinker — black with sugar! For espresso based beverages I lean towards cappuccinos — unsweetened, unless there is a cool new flavor to try.
How do you take it?
Iced or hot?
I like iced in the afternoon — more of an on-the-go thirst quencher and energy boost.
Alone or with company?
One of the favorite parts of my weekend is coffee with my wife in the morning (usually on our three-seasons porch, weather permitting!).
Where do you drink it? Seated or on the go?
Both — on the go in the morning, at my desk, and at meetings.
Any simultaneous non-caffeinated stimulation?
Mostly radio in the car — I like getting the top line news if I can on the way to work. The other cups compete for my attention with my workday!
How many more cups the rest of the day?
Usually three cups per day is what I enjoy.
What time will you drink your last cup?
It depends — a standard coffee day that last cup is done by 11. A long day that needs a reward or treat or pick-me-up will have me with that afternoon cup around 3 p.m.
What’s your stance on decaf?
Coffee is a ritual — if decaf allows people to start their day off with a great tasting product that gets them in the right mood and mindset — I’m all for it.
When and why did you start drinking coffee?
I started my freshman year in Culinary School. Classes started at 7 a.m., and well — I was at college! So I started by mixing coffee half and half with hot chocolate, and then evolved quickly to black coffee with sugar.
Describe the most memorable cup of coffee you’ve ever had.
Two thoughts here:
1. After going away to college and starting to drink coffee, I came home and had coffee with my parents only to find out that I took my coffee the same way my dad does.
2. I was fortunate enough to visit farms in Colombia last year. We had the opportunity to have coffee on the porch of the farm manager and listen to a few stories while overlooking the fields. That was pretty memorable.To submit your own My Morning Cup entry, e-mail Matt Viser at firstname.lastname@example.org