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 Lou Dobbs, who is gearing up for midterm election night coverage, on the phone from his home in New Jersey.
Lou Dobbs, 69
Newsguy (host of “Lou Dobbs Tonight” at 7 p.m. on the Fox Business Network)
Describe your coffee routine. Where do you frequent, what do you like?
The routine is basically the same every morning. It just varies as to whether my wife fixes coffee or I fix coffee. I have a cup of half-and-half every morning. I like to ease into the day.
When you say half-and-half, that’s half caffeinated and half decaf?
That’s right. It’s half-and-half because I want to be conscious but I don’t want to get going too fast.
Make or buy?
We make it at home. We have a Keurig coffee maker. We throw the little cups in and off we go. Nothing could be simpler. We have a morning but it’s a limited ritual. We don’t want anything too complicated too early.
If you buy, where are you buying it?
When I’m on the road, I’ll pick up a cup of coffee wherever I can find it. After 30-some-odd years in the news business, I don’t care about the kind of coffee. My wife is a little different. She’s a little fancy.
What’s your order?
Just coffee. Regular coffee. My wife will have a double latte, super-duper cappuccino at Starbucks or wherever.
How do you take it?
With cream and Splenda.
Iced or hot?
Hot. Again my wife and I are incompatible. She likes iced coffee, at least in the summer.
Alone or with company?
My wife and I. We get along reasonably well that we can share a cup of coffee in the morning.
Where do you drink it? Seated or on the go?
Usually we bring our coffee into the den and sit and look out onto the farm and watch the wildlife and horses on the farm. It’s a pretty good way to begin a morning.
Any simultaneous noncaffeinated stimulation? (newspaper, radio, cigarettes, etc.)
We always have Fox News going on. I’m always reading various websites and communicating with at least one of my producers in the morning. By the second cup of coffee, I’m formulating some thoughts on my own.
How many more cups the rest of the day?
I’d say two or three cups.
What time will you drink your last cup?
I probably drink coffee right up until about an hour before the broadcast. I’m drinking regular coffee in the newsroom.
What’s your stance on decaf?
It’s terrific. I’m not one of these guys who has a stong feeling one way or another. My tastes in coffee are pretty elemental. I’m not a coffee snob in any way. Whatever works for people is great. I love starting the day with half-and-half. Somewhere along the past decade that became my routine. I haven’t shifted.
When and why did you start drinking coffee?
I guess it started early. In newsrooms, a cup of rancid, thick coffee sitting in a pot all day long. And it’s just a habit that I picked up. I wasn’t particularly a coffee drinker. I just became one because it was there. Now I can’t do without it. Nor would I want to.
Describe the most memorable cup of coffee you’ve ever had.
The most memorable cup I ever had is the first one each morning. That is the start of consciousness. I have to have it. It sets the stage for the day. And without it, it sets an entirely different tone for the day. I’m deeply grateful for that first cup.