A cup (or honestly, often two) of coffee is an essential step in my morning routine—and I know I’m not the only one. But that doesn’t mean coffee always gets to be its own step: For many of us, our coffee brews while we get ready for the day, then we take our first sips at our desks or during a commute.
It’s a habit that means we’re not always as intentional with our coffee as we could be, and that’s something Vietnamese-American coffee entrepreneur and roaster Sahra Nguyen (of Nguyen Coffee Supply) strove to change in her routine, especially this year.
“I remember when I was growing up, my parents would make coffee with their coffee maker, and I remember for them making coffee was kind of in between all their other morning tasks,” she tells me. “It wasn’t its own moment.”
“I found myself kind of treating my coffee moments in the same way, where I’d kind of prep it and then walk away and do my hair and makeup, get dressed, and come back to it,” Nguyen explains. “Now, I’m very intentional about not doing that. I think with quarantine and work-from-home life, I really developed a self-care ritual around coffee.”
The rule that helps bring more intention to her morning routine.
In addition to actually standing in place and brewing the coffee all at once, as opposed to between other actions, Nguyen has moved her coffee routine to the end of her morning—that way nothing can disturb it. While the impulse to kick off the morning with a cozy cup of coffee is one I often succumb to, her method makes sense: It means she really has time to “hang out” with her coffee, as she says.
“I’ve become so intentional about it, I won’t start making my coffee until I am fully dressed, my makeup is done, my hair is done,” she told me, “because once I’m done with my coffee, then I wanna go into my coffee moment.”
The other thing? A simple (and super actionable) rule she’s set for herself: “I won’t go to my desk right away.”
Instead, “I try to have my first sip anywhere besides my desk,” she shares, “just to have that moment before I dive into my emails and work.” That could mean a stool in her kitchen, or on the couch, or even out on the deck—really creating a moment to sit, sip, and breathe before the day begins.
How this simple shift can make a big difference
It may seem like an insignificant change, to just have that first sip or two away from your workspace, but in a world where many people are working from home—which means fewer boundaries between home and work—the behavioral boundaries we set are all the more important.
Making your coffee (or tea) a part of your morning—separate from the rest of the routine—enables it to be a time for you. Even if it’s not something you do every day, you may be surprised by how much changing up your first sip location can help boost your mood for the day.