Before the Bustle…

 “First coffee, then I do the things..”

One of my favorite things is to walk down city streets early in the morning. This is especially true when I travel because I like to see towns in the early morning light. The only other people you see are letting their dogs out with sleep still in their eyes, or the garbage men bustling about to beat the heat and traffic that will soon impede upon them. And runners. There are always runners.

Photo Jul 04, 2 19 03 AM
Enjoying a cup of coffee with the first sun among other early risers in Paris, France


I was recently in Adams Morgan during an early morning and I stopped into Tryst for my first coffee. Dogs were greeting each other on the patio. Many of the couches inside were already filled –people had laptops and were studying; one man had an ambitious pile of books and was keeping his coffee warm with a saucer on top. A few friends were already busily chatting by the window.

“I don’t drink coffee to wake up, I wake up to drink coffee”

I fall into the school of people who absolutely adore their coffee and when my head hits the pillow at night I look forward to enjoying a really good cup of coffee in the morning. Not to say I look forward to waking up! But if I have the time I love few things more than beating the day with a good cup of joe and catching up on the news before the rest of the world wakes up.

Photo Apr 09, 7 47 24 AM
Having Vigilante Coffee to myself before the crowds start pouring in..

I know there are others who adore the aroma of coffee like I do. When I first started drinking coffee I lived in a small space and I got a drip coffee maker from the thrift store with a timer on it. Nothing like setting the timer on it and waking up to the smell and sound of freshly percolating coffee on the table at the foot of my bed.

“Procaffeinate. n: /prəˈkafəˌnāt/  The tendency to not start anything until you’ve had a cup of coffee”

There may be an expectation that cafes open early because people need coffee in order to start their day. Several studies have recently explained that drinking coffee first thing in the morning is actually a poor decision due to caffeine’s interference with the body’s natural production of cortisol (read more about chronobiology and zeitgebers here and here – unless you believe ignorance is bliss, then just keep drinking your coffee and skip this paragraph!) but there are a variety of things that can bring people to coffee shops in the morning in addition to a caffeine fix.

What drives you to get out early? What makes you visit cafes before work in the morning?

Photo Jul 17, 8 23 27 AM
Bright sun at Swing’s Coffee with the Sunday paper

There are several cafes in the area listening to their early risers and they are opening earlier. Swing’s coffee in Alexandria has updated its hours and is now also open on Sundays – stopping in on a recent Sunday morning there was already a line at 8 am and the dog park across the street full of happy pups. Dog Tag Bakery in Georgetown also changed their hours to open an hour earlier, and once fall semester starts at Georgetown University they will also open on Mondays.

“I’m sorry for what I said before I had my coffee”

Are there any cafes you wish would open earlier to kick start your day? Are there other coffee shops in the area with new hours that we should highlight? Sound off below!

Stay Grounded,



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