PACEspectives: Coffee and the Workplace
This month we examine the phenomenon of caffeine in the workplace, and ask members of the Pace Community to describe their daily coffee rituals.
Coffee makes the world go round—and arguably, many a department at Pace. The coffee plant, which was first rumored to be discovered around 850 AD by an Ethiopian goat herder named Kaldi, has since become an indispendible commodity. Nowadays, as a worldwide phenomenon, over 2.25 billion cups are consumed each and every day.
To learn more about the coffee habits and rituals of the Pace Community—and to see where your routine lands on the spectrum of caffeine fiends, we asked some Pace faculty and staff members how they approach and manage their daily caffeine intake:
Assistant Professor, Computer Science
Seidenberg School of CSIS
"You'll sleep when you're dead..." is what my grandfather often told me when I was tired as a kid. Like many things he said to me, I took this to heart. I am a PhD student, professor, software engineer, and have a personal life (which includes a boyfriend, my awesome cat Molly, and my amazing dog Rondo.) If you look up the definition of burning the candle at both ends, you'll see my selfie next to it. My caffeine routine usually starts with my morning commute. I have a medium coffee or flat white and breakfast sandwich. I usually have a coffee or a Red Bull after lunch, and another cup or two later in the evening when it is time to study. It is very clear my life revolves around caffeine and I am just fine with that, because it is a means to an end.
Enrollment and Retention Coordinator
College of Health Profession
My daily coffee routine is slightly odd, but I’ve grown to enjoy it. I “meal-prep” my coffee, if you will. I use my French press each night to prepare a batch, and then I use a Stanley thermos to keep it piping hot until the next morning. It’s a grab-and-go morning routine that saves me precious seconds. Some people scoff at the way I subject myself to coffee that was prepared 12+ hours previously, but my standards aren’t very high. I didn’t start drinking coffee until I worked at Starbucks a few years ago. I’m still making my way through the mountains of free beans I received while working there. It gets the job done. I almost don’t want to know how sub-par my coffee tastes because I don’t want to get roped into any expensive spending habits. If I’m awake, I’m doing fine.
Graphic Designer/Communications Coordinator
Dyson College of Arts and Sciences
I never considered myself a coffee person because I always associated it with the negative effects many coffee drinkers complain about. I only started drinking it over the past couple of years after the World Health Organization removed coffee from it’s possible carcinogen list, and more information on the potential health benefits came to light. As with many things, I believe reaping the health benefits of coffee depends on moderation and self-control. I’ve come to love my morning cup, but to keep my health and financial state in order, I live by three cardinal rules when it comes to coffee: don’t buy it if you can make it yourself, don’t load it up with sugar (including creamer), and don’t drink it after 10:00 a.m. Of course, I still occasionally indulge in a bit of International Delight, but I normally just use some raw Stevia as sweetener. Overall, I’ve found that sticking to these simple guidelines prevents the negative effects most people associate with coffee, and hopefully it boosts the potential benefits.
I try not to spend money on coffee, given that the average cup of coffee in New York City is $37. However, I find it extremely difficult not to indulge for both personal and practical reasons. On a personal level, coffee is undeniably delicious, and can make one appear a lot more intelligent than they actually are. Unsure of how to respond to a pressing query? Simply take a sip of coffee—while internally praying for the answer, others in the conference room will assume you are deep in thought, pondering a pearl of wisdom yet to be heard by the likes of humanity. On a practical level, I've found caffeine essential for maintaining a reasonable standard of productivity and alertness. In the workplace, making use of Keurig-style coffee machines is a great solution, given that they undoubtedly provide the most "bang for your buck." While this coffee may not be approved by your artisanal friend who wears hats indoors, it does the job, just enough to hold you over until the next one. :)
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