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 Chad Scott in Las Vegas by phone.
Chad Scott, 37
Visiting assistant professor at University of Nevada at Las Vegas
Describe your coffee routine. Where do you frequent, what do you like?
First thing I do in the morning is get up and grind some coffee beans. We’ve got the whole setup. I grind the beans right before with a burr coffee grinder. I use a drip coffee maker called a Technivorm. We used to do pourovers but with the busy schedule my wife and I have, pourovers just didn’t fit into our time frame. So we had to go to drip.
We have one or two cups together before I head out. If I have more time I’ll usually stop by Sunrise Coffee, a local coffee shop here, and get cappuccino from my favorite barista here. After work, on my way home, I’ll stop and get another cappuccino. I feel like I’m walking into Cheers. “Hey, Chad, hey, Chad. Cappuccino?” “Yep.”
In general, do you make or buy?
For the most part all of the coffee I drink I brew it at home. All of my cappuccinos, since I don’t have an espresso machine, I do it at Sunrise.
When you’re making coffee, what are you using?
Mostly what I drink is the local coffee roaster, Mothership, because I like to support local businesses. They have a blend called the Star Destroyer. I love that name. But my favorite coffee is the Stumptown Hair Bender blend. We also treat ourselves to Blue Bottle, Madcap, or Heart.
What time are you buying? And do the baristas know you?
Usually it’s mid to late morning. I would classify that about 10 o’clock. It depends on which day. The baristas know me, for sure. My favorite barista there at sunrise is named Becky. She makes a great cappuccino.
What’s your order?
Cappuccino. Always. Once I walked in and a newer barista, I didn’t even know him that well. He said, “Cappuccino?” I said, “Yep.”
How do you take it?
For regular coffee, most coffees I do a little bit of half and half and a packet of Splenda. Unless I’m drinking the Hair Bender from Stumptown. It’s great the way it is. I drink it black.
With cappuccinos, what I like to do is, I’ll take a packet of raw sugar and lightly sprinkle it over the top. That way, every time I take a sip I get a couple grains of sugar. I really like that. And the sugar doesn’t dissolve. If you stir it up it dissolves. But if you don’t, it stays in raw form. That’s exactly how I said it in the entry form: a cappuccino-flavored potato chip lightly dusted with raw sugar. They kept it that way on the bag, I think, except they didn’t say “raw sugar” because they weren’t using raw sugar.
Iced or hot?
Always hot. Every once in a while I’ll get an iced coffee but not very often. I will say this. The coffee I love that’s cold is Cuvee Coffee. It’s a creation of Logan Allender. He created something called Black and Blue that’s so fascinating. He has a background both in brewing beer and also roasting coffee. So he decided to do something that combines the two. He does cold brew coffee in the same way you do beer. They put it in kegs and it’s filled with nitrogen. It’s become extremely popular.
Alone or with company?
Both. I love coffee and conversation. But we’re so on the go, doing research or meeting with students. A lot of time it’s grabbing it to go. I drink a lot of coffee with my wife though.
Any simultaneous noncaffeinated stimulation?
I’ll usually have a small glass of water when I’m drinking my cappuccino. San Pellegrino, or iced water. Usually I’m either answering e-mails or some sort of work. Rarely do I just sit down and drink a cup of coffee.
How many more cups the rest of the day?
It varies. but about two cups and a cappuccino a day. Usually I don’t drink more than four cups a day. I wouldn’t say it’s my threshold but its rare that I go over that. If I do, there’s a deadline.
What time will you drink your last cup?
It varies. sometimes I get a craving late at night and have to make a quick cup. And that could be right before bed. Probably not too much after 6. On occasion, though.
What’s your stance on decaf?
What is decaf? What does that mean?
When and why did you start drinking coffee?
I can’t really remember a time when I didn’t. My parents always drank coffee, so it’s always been around. But when I really started was in graduate school. I really drank a lot when I was working on my master’s. I wouldn’t say on a daily basis but every other day I was at a coffee shop doing work. And I began to appreciate the flavor. My entry point into that was Starbucks. For a lot of people in specialty coffee, Starbucks was the entry for that. I remember going and liking the coffee shop scene. That’s when I started discovering more of the specialty coffee roasters. I guess it’s been a long journey into the love of coffee.”
Describe the most memorable cup of coffee you’ve ever had.
Oh my goodness. There’s so many. I love it when someone surprises me. When I go in and a new barista is there and they make a killer cappuccino. It’s like, ‘What? Who are you?”
There have been two times I’ve been completely blown away. There’s a place called Dall Street Espresso. It’s in Dallas, Texas, on Davis Street. They roast their own beans and they have this really awesome coffee shop. I remember going in there and I’d already had my cappuccino kick. But there was a barista in there that made me one and just blew my mind. It was probably the best I’ve ever had.
The second one is, I remember going to Blue Bottle, the original location kind of in an alleyway in San Francisco. The cappuccino I got there, as soon as I saw the barista pour it, I thought this is going to be amazing. I put my little bit of raw sugar on top and, sure enough, it was absolutely fantastic. Those two times were some of my more memorable ones.
To submit your own My Morning Cup entry, e-mail Matt Viser at email@example.com.