November 08, 2016

Photo: Getty Images

 

Where you get or how you make your morning cup of coffee says a lot about you. Whether you brew a pot at home, buy it from a cafe on the way to work, or settle for a cup at your office, java lovers can all agree that not all coffee is created equal. Finding a good caffeine fix in the AM--one that requires the lowest possible amount of energy (and money) to source--is the key to having a happy, productive day at work.

As much as I’d love to stroll into Starbucks every morning and order my drink of choice (in a swanky green cup, of course), I do not have the funds or the extra time in the morning to sustain such a habit. At the same time, when I start my morning with a sub-par cup of joe, I am setting myself up for a hearty dose of disappointment and general sadness throughout the day. I am far from a high-browed coffee connoisseur, but I do know the difference between an aromatic, flavorful cup of coffee and a burnt vat of gritty, dirty tar. If your office coffee resembles more of the latter than the former, it might be worth your while to explore some of these alternative options.

 

Trader Joe's Pour Over Brazil Coffee Brewer in the Bag

Even if the idea of watching one of your colleagues brew their own personal bag o’ java at their desk isn't exactly what you want to witness first thing in the morning, try to get past the off-putting and mildly annoying nature of this mental image and embrace it as your future. Sure, doing this might, at first, make you feel like the coworker that brews kombucha on the side and keeps succulents and unidentifiable air plants at their desk, but you'll get over it as soon as you experience the sensation of swallowing your first mouthful of coffee, in the office, without gagging a little. Even though the people around you may be slightly alarmed observing you pour hot water into a bag of coffee grounds from the convenience of your rolling chair, it’s in the name of avoiding contact with your dreaded office coffee pot, so it is all with good reason. You shouldn’t feel ashamed or embarrassed because you are able to make rich, filtered coffee that doesn’t require fancy equipment or techniques. Own your debatably janky coffee-in-a-bag desk situation!

 

French Press Coffee

Simply owning a French press is thought by many to be undeniably pretentious... and owning one specifically to keep at your desk, well, don't be shocked if you are treated as "that guy." But the investment could pay off. So long as you are on top of cleaning it regularly and buying semi-decent coffee, the French press is an easy way to quickly make a really tasty cup of coffee at the office without bending over backwards to do so.

 

Cold Brew Concentrate

Whether you’d rather buy a bottle at the store or make your own at home, cold brew coffee is a tasty, low-acid, reliable means to get your caffeine in the morning. Depending on how much water you add, it’s easy to customize the strength of the flavor. Co-workers will be equally jealous of and astonished by your increased productivity and energy after a cup or two.

 

Brew a Pot the Night Before

If you are the person that cannot function before their first cup of coffee, then asking you to brew your coffee in the morning might be asking a lot. If this is the case, go ahead and brew it the night before. Let it come to room temperature and then keep it in the refrigerator. I know, I know. I’m sure there are baristas and sophisticated coffee drinkers reading this and spitting out their $6 latte, but that’s okay. You do you. But trust me, the next morning, all you have to do is toss a couple ice cubes in and you’ve got yourself a homemade iced coffee that’s just as good as the one you’d buy. Customize as you please with cream and sugar, and you're on your way, off to another great day at the office.

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