Food & dining

My Morning Cup

Boston College professor John Gallaugher

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 John Gallaugher by e-mail.

John Gallaugher, 48


Boston College, associate professor of information systems at the Carroll School of Management

Describe your coffee routine. Where do you frequent, what do you like?


For me, the coffee choice is Starbucks. They host our students during our TechTrek program in Seattle and we have an alum on their payments and loyalty team. I’m prone to nerdily point this out to area Baristas when paying by app (a BC alum helps make this product awesome). We also have a Starbucks around the corner from where I live in Newton. I wasn’t a daily coffee drinker before I headed to “the mother ship,” but that first visit roughly coincided with the birth of our second child. We’ve now got three kids, so I’m now up to a monster mug to start my day, religiously consumed. I’ve heard that some people have a gene where coffee makes them happy. I’ve not been tested by 23andMe, but I’m certain I have this genetic disposition. Positivity and optimism, direct from the bean.

Make or buy?

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Make, usually.

What coffee do you use and how do you make it?

Starbucks Cafe Verona in a Cuisinart Grind and Brew.

When we head to Seattle the “first Starbucks” in Pike Place sells a special “Pike Place Special Reserve” that you can only buy on-site (this is different from the Pike Place Roast you can get in all Starbucks. I always pick up a pound or two of “Special Reserve” when I’m in the Emerald City.

When it’s less than 60 degrees out it’s hot coffee: Big mug (usually one featuring the ‘original Starbucks’ at Pikes Place Market in Seattle, also a travel trophy), two sugars, cream (not half and half), and (very important) a single scoop of powdered Ghirardelli chocolate.


When it’s above 60 I’ll make a big pot and ice it.

I’m a runner (albeit a very slow one). Coffee always after the run, never before.

Iced or hot?

Below 60 out? Hot.

Above 60 out? Iced — I’ll make a big pot and put it in the freezer so it’s ready every morning.

Pro tip: Grind and brew makes great coffee, but it’s very loud. I keep Starbucks Via’s on hand when I get up early and don’t want to wake up the family. I’m really surprised at how good an instant cup the Via makes.

Alone or with company?


My 5-year-old daughter loves assembling “Papa’s Coffee” (putting in the sugar, chocolate, and cream, then stirring), and has been doing this for a couple of years. Her messes have gotten progressively smaller.

Where do you drink it? Seated or on the go?

Almost always standing in the kitchen. Usually kids are at the table, my wife with me in the kitchen as we collude and compare notes while hustling the troops out for their day.

Any simultaneous non-caffeinated stimulation? (newspaper, radio, cigarettes, etc.)

We keep a Macbook Air in the kitchen. If there’s a time lull, it’s a good time for quick e-mail and tweeting.

How many more cups the rest of the day?

Usually one monster morning cup is enough of a jump start. In early Fall I teach a double load (four sections a day, three days a week). On those days I usually need another big coffee to keep me high-octane for our students. BC’s on-campus coffee is pretty good.

What time will you drink your last cup?

On days I need refuel, usually 1 p.m.

What’s your stance on decaf?

Sacrilege. Well, maybe as a baking ingredient if making something the kids will try, but that’s it.

Describe the most memorable cup of coffee you’ve ever had.

I worked in Moscow, very close to Dzerzhinsky Square (KGB headquarters at the time) the last year there was a Soviet Union. Turkish Coffee, sludgy and sweet, served at the cafe down the street where I’d sit shoulder-to-shoulder with uniformed KGB officers. “Cuppa Joe Stalin,” I suppose.

We also have a “cupping ceremony” style french press pouring when visiting the Starbucks “the mother ship” with our MBAs. I suspect the staff meetings at Starbucks are quite engaging.

The top shelf of my office is lined with Starbucks mugs from foreign cities I’ve visited with students. Asian cities dominate the collection: Beijing, Tokyo, Taipei, Hong Kong. We now take students to Accra, Ghana, but no Starbucks there yet, so the trophy collection awaits expansion.

Gallaugher’s mug collection.
John Gallaugher
Gallaugher’s mug collection.

To submit your own My Morning Cup entry, e-mail Matt Viser at