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 most days.
Here, we reached Bret Baier, chief political anchor at Fox News and anchor of Special Report, by phone. Baier is moderating the first Republican primary presidential debate, sponsored by Fox News and airing Thursday at 9 p.m.
Bret Baier, 45
Fox News, chief political anchor
Originally from Atlanta, now lives in Washington
Describe your coffee routine. Where do you frequent, what do you like?
So I’m a Starbucks guy. But I kind of just like the plain. I don’t go for the fancy coffee. I’m more of a drip guy — usually get a Venti in the morning and put a little cinnamon in there. I’m a big fan of the Truvia instead of the Splenda. But it’s not the whole double squirt three shot, whatever the thing is. I’m just plain and boring.
Make or buy?
I often buy it at Starbucks. We have one of those Krups things. We buy those little cups that you put in and you make it. If I’m at home early in the morning I’ll do that. But my assistant usually gets me a cup on the way in to work.
How many cups do you have through the day?
In really intense times I could drink five or six cups of coffee a day. I have tried to cut back just a tad. But we have debate prep going on. I’m at least three or four.
So are those three or four Venti cups? Those are like 20 ounces each.
Three or four grande cups probably. I’m pretty jacked up by that time.
So you’re preparing to moderate the debate now. What’s your strategy. Will you get jacked up on coffee beforehand? Or do you want to go into it not being too jittery.
It’s funny. Coffee doesn’t affect me tremendously anymore like it used to. I’ll have coffee through the day that day. Probably right before the debate I’ll stop drinking — about six or so. I’d say three or four is my usual consumption.
Do baristas know you?
I go to a Starbucks near my house. Some of the guys know me. I go in there probably two times a week. The other times someone gets it for me. I go by the rule, “I buy you fly.” Somebody goes and gets it and I put it on the Starbucks card.
So you’re having plain coffee, with what in it?
Truvia. My wife got me on this thing. And a little cinnamon.
Where did the cinnamon come in?
My mom used to put cinnamon in the actual coffee grinds. I remember as a kid, thinking it might taste good.
When did you start drinking coffee?
I started drinking coffee early. Partly because my parents would have a cup of coffee and read the paper. I always thought it was the adult thing to do to have a cup of coffee and read the paper.
So were you a kid? Or high school? When did you start?
I’d say high school, sophomore year in high school. It wasn’t a crazy amount. Then in college I definitely did
Iced or hot?
Hot. Even if it’s super hot out I have hot coffee. I’m not a big iced coffee fan. I don’t know why. Usually there’s cream or milk or something. If it’s really hot I’ll have a green tea, iced tea.
Alone or with company?
Usually with company. With my wife. So we go for a walk every Sunday. We have two kids. We have someone come and watch the kids and we go for a long walk and end up at a Starbucks. That’s our ritual.
Where do you drink it? Seated or on the go?
I’m usually sitting down someplace. When we’re on the go for election coverage in these different states, it’s a normal practice to get in the car to go to the next shoot. There’s a coffee waiting for me. I think I’ve trained my assistant pretty well.
Any simultaneous noncaffeinated stimulation? Newspaper, email, anything like that?
Definitely newspaper. I get three papers at home: Wall Street Journal, New York Times, and Washington Post. We get the New York Post and Washington Times at work. Then I’ve got an iPad. Fox sends me a write-up of all the big stories overnight. I drink the coffee, go through the paper, and the brain room output, which is a compilations of all the big stories. That’s the ritual.
What time will you drink your last cup?
Probably like 4 o’clock.
What’s your stance on decaf?
It’s the same stance I have on nonalcoholic beer. Why bother?
Describe the most memorable cup of coffee you’ve ever had.
That’s a great question. The most memorable was a Cuban coffee in Havana overlooking the Malecón, when I covered the Southeast and Central America. It was just a great cup of coffee, looking over the water staying at the Havana Hotel. I just remember that. They take their coffee very seriously down there. There’s something about Cuban coffee that’s pretty amazing.
To submit your own My Morning Cup entry, e-mail Matt Viser at firstname.lastname@example.org.