Food & dining

My Morning Cup

How does Brian Nelson take his coffee?

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 Brian Nelson, the regional vice president for Simon Malls, by e-mail.

Brian Nelson, 46

Hollis, N.H.

Simon Regional Vice President, New England

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


Two cups in the morning, at home, reading newspapers; one cup in the afternoon, on the go.

Make or buy?

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Make in the morning, buy in the afternoon.

If make, what coffee do you use and how do you make it?

Starbucks Sumatra. We grind it each morning so it’s fresh, and run it through our trusty Bunn coffeemaker.

If buy, where? What time? Do baristas know you?

Both Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts are great tenants of ours, so I have to spread the love. I’m generally ready for coffee around 2 p.m. I frequent a lot of Simon Malls so the baristas at South Shore Plaza, Northshore Mall, Solomon Pond Mall, Pheasant Lane Mall, and The Mall at Rockingham Park – all home to Starbucks – are getting familiar with me. I also love stopping into the Dunkin’ locations at the Burlington Mall, Square One Mall, and other properties.

What’s your order?

Grande latte at Starbucks, medium latte at Dunkin’ Donuts.

How do you take it?


One sugar.

Iced or hot?

Definitely hot. I believe cold coffee should always be warmed up.

Alone or with company?

I get up early, so most mornings alone. Afternoon lattes are on the go, so it depends.

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

Definitely seated in the mornings — I need it in order to “be on the go.” Afternoon lattes are generally enjoyed walking one of New England’s great Simon Malls, since I oversee 17 of them in my role and the holiday shopping season is, of course, especially busy.

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

I love the smell of newsprint, so morning coffee is always consumed with the print edition of The Boston Globe and Wall Street Journal.

How many more cups the rest of the day?



What time will you drink your last cup?

3 p.m., at the latest.

What’s your stance on decaf?

I don’t understand the allure of decaf.

When and why did you start drinking coffee?

I started drinking coffee in college because I was a sleep-deprived college student.

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

A boulangerie during my first trip to Paris. My wife and I had arrived late the night before and stopped in a place around the corner from our hotel early the next morning. We sat by the window with a cafe creme and croissants so fresh we had to let them cool. It was the best start to a great vacation.

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