My Morning Routine: Ian Bone, Hucks coffee shop manager

“My dream morning? Laid-back… making brunch plans with Alice, drinking a single origin Ethiopian, brewed on Chemex and drunk from a flask somewhere outdoors”. We talk mornings and coffee with Ian Bone, the manager of Hucks coffee shop in Walthamstow…

Ian Bone, 26, lives in Walthamstow with his girlfriend Alice. He is the manager of Hucks coffee shop in east London’s Walthamstow, and a barista.

What time are you up in the morning?

And what time have you usually gone to bed?
I aim for 10.30pm.

What’s the minimum amount of sleep you need each night?
No complaints if I can get six. I enjoy sleep, but I find being awake more fulfilling.

What wakes you up in the morning?
The alarm on my phone, or the cockerel a few gardens over.

How do you feel?
Always groggy, but never apathetic. I’m usually looking forward to the day ahead.

Would you describe yourself as a ‘morning person’?
Haha, no not really. However positive my frame of mind, I’m not one to jump straight out of bed. And I appreciate having the first hour of my day completely to myself. It helps me focus, I think.

What do you first do upon waking?
Go back to sleep. I’m a ‘snooze button’ guy and can rarely get up on the first alarm.

Do you incorporate exercise into your morning routine?
Sadly not, besides a few good stretches. I don’t think I could get up early enough. Or, go to bed early enough…

Tea, coffee, juice, other…?
Always coffee. Either something black, or with oat milk. But preferably after I eat.

Do you eat breakfast, and if yes – what do you eat?
Granola with yoghurt, almost religiously. Occasionally a piece of fruit as well.

How long do you spend getting ready (showering, clothes, hair etc)?
Really not long at all. Five-10 minutes in the bathroom, clothes already picked out, hair tied back.

How do you choose what to wear each day?
I’m quite predictable. Almost always a band t-shirt, Farah jeans and Red Wing boots. Working in coffee, provided my shirt isn’t white it’s all good. I seem to keep buying white band tees, though..

When doing mornings at Hucks, what time do you arrive?
Usually around 6.25am, this is enough time to warm up the espresso machine, dial in the coffee and set up the shop for our 7am open.

How do you get to work?
It’s a short walk down the road. So knowing a lot of our customer’s commutes – I’m thankful for it every day.

Talk us through an average morning at the coffee shop?
Getting into the shop is where I wake up – I switch everything on and it’s like I’m one of those things. From 7am, our first customers are mostly public sector workers; teachers, nurses, doctors. Then there are the before-work cyclists/runners, the commuters and the school-run parents, then the post-school-drop-off parents, the freelancers and workers from home.

Relying on these trends helps to predict peaks and troughs, and how to utilise our time to keep things running smoothly. It’s important to know who usually comes in when! And the mornings are enjoyable. They can be fast-paced with a hundred great conversations. Quick snippets and updates from people’s lives – many of whom we’ve come to know very well. It’s also incredibly educational.

You’re a coffee connoisseur… how long have you been working with coffee and what lead you down this path?
Haha, I don’t know about a connoisseur… maybe more of a geek. I’ve been working with coffee for about six years and truthfully in the beginning it was a part-time job with a really great little independent whilst I was at university. But I quickly became immersed in the culture and really interested in the science and art involved.

I have a degree in design and it does get put to use, but it’s surprising how much working in speciality coffee satisfies a creative appetite. More and more people understand the coffee industry now – what defines the good from the bad and how it can be so beneficial to people’s lives, socially and psychologically. I like to think I play a small part in that.

What do your weekend mornings look like?
Quite often exactly the same as a weekday morning, but just an hour or two later! We’re open seven days a week and honestly, I love the weekend vibe at Hucks. If I’m not working, then I’ll make coffee at home (usually a V60) for Alice and I and I’ll put on some music, as I’m generally awake first. Weekend mornings at home are peaceful.

If you could design your dream morning, what would it be/include?
A laid-back morning making brunch plans with Alice, drinking a single origin Ethiopian, brewed on Chemex and drunk from a flask somewhere outdoors. Sun shining, any season. But Johnny Cash put it more simply: “This morning, with her, having coffee”. My dream morning would be spent contemplating the potential of the day ahead.

Any other thoughts on mornings/your morning routine?
It defines my day, for sure. But I keep my routine relatively loose and try not to plan too much out because if it doesn’t go my way, I’ll get irritable. So instead I just enjoy it, remind myself that every day is a school day and that when it’s over, hopefully I’ll know more than I did yesterday.

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