Two things I can’t imagine my life without are coffee and dogs. My own pups, Rudi and Hollie, are both rescues, and thanks to them, I’ve become pretty accustomed to waking up without an alarm* by 6 or 7 most mornings.
*Unless you count a cold, wet nose as an alarm. Or the thumping of a tail against my nightstand. Or the feeling of four eyes staring intensely at my sleeping face. Because in that case, I have a couple of VERY EFFECTIVE alarm clocks.
Most days begin with me letting them out to go potty, feeding them, giving them a few snuggles, and then hitting “start” on my coffeemaker (although CRUX sent me this swanky new 10-cup thermal coffeemaker to review, and it allows me to program it with a start time, so some days, I plan ahead and wake up to coffee already made and it is amazing — highly recommend this course of action). If I have a bit of free time, I like to go back outside, coffee in hand and dogs by my side, and greet the day.
A couple of months ago, I was contacted by Grounds & Hounds, which is a gourmet coffee company with 20 percent of proceeds going towards dog charities started by Jordan Karcher, who was inspired to find a way to combine his love of dogs and coffee when he adopted his Dalmatian, Molly. They offered to send me a couple of bags of grounds to review, and I think we all know there as not a chance in the world of me turning them down.
First things first — this is good, good coffee, which is probably the most important thing to know when it comes to a coffee review, right? However, I’m the first to admit that I’m a complete sucker for marketing, so I would’ve been excited to try it even if it weren’t so tasty because of the cute names for the different blends, like Sunny Spot, Alpha, Paper and Slippers, Morning Walk, and Sit & Stay. But it’s not just the labels I’m into, I swear. I also really like the variety of tasting notes in each blend. Alpha, a dark roast with notes of cocoa, vanilla and nutmeg, is a favorite in our house, but we’ve also thoroughly enjoyed the Morning Walk and Single Origin Mexican Chiapas, which, like several other offerings from the company, is 100 percent Fair Trade Organic Certified.
I can’t combine everything I love — I mean, I’ve tried running while eating tacos and it just didn’t go very well — so I find it way beyond cool that I get to enjoy delicious coffee that helps support animal rescue.
What’s your morning ritual look like? Got a special pup in your life? —Kristen