Silly as this subject may seem, a good cup of coffee, can keep an editor focused, motivated, and creative in late night sessions. When you are getting tired in a late night edit session, the best thing to do is work out. Do some isometrics or go out side for 5 minutes per hour and do pushups and jumping jacks. But if you’re like me, you might be a little more on the lazy side once the sun goes down. So I rely on the stimulant that has been proven in battle (and on truck routes) for the ages: a good ol’ cup o’ joe. Of course, don’t forget to lay off the sugary foods or you will be crashing hard by the time you load your next tape to digitize.
A great cup of coffee is way more effective at keeping the editor happy than a crappy cup of coffee. So here’s my recipe for a great cup of coffee:
1) Make really fresh coffee!! I mean, fresh, so that when you pour it into the cup, it has only been brewed less than 2 minutes.
2) Superheat your mug prior to pouring the coffee. This is best done by having the cup sit with boiling water in it during the time the coffee is brewing. The cup has to be super hot so that the coffee will stay hot and fresh longer, making it take longer to drink. This also has the effect of spreading out the caffeine intake over a longer period of time … which has the effect of a gradual boost in alertness and an equally gradual coming down period hours later. Plus, the pure delight of a piping cup of great coffee lasts longer and makes you a happier editor.
3) Don’t put too much crap in your coffee. Only use milk or half and half. No artificial creamers. Coffee has an amazing property of the flavor being changed by chemical reaction upon contact with the milk molecules. In other words, a cup of coffee with a mere teaspoon of cream tastes 100 percent different than black coffee. Too much dairy will counter act the caffeine effectiveness. Also, make sure the milk/cream is pre-heated before putting it into the fresh coffee. How do you preheat it? Be your normal resourceful editor self.
4) Never use those plug-in coffee warmers that you set your mug on like a coaster. Those things continue to keep the coffee artificially warm which is tantamount to leaving it cooking at the coffee maker. After 5 minutes of heating cooked coffee, it turns disgusting.
And that’s it. Sometimes the small things are just as important as the cut. Because let’s face it, what kind of creativity can you bring to a project when it’s late at night and you are feeling like a zombie?