Schools don’t have baristas.

I made this abundantly clear in Don’t Sniff the Glue, A Teacher’s Misadventures in Education Reform. Since the writing of that book, we got things like Postmates, Uber Eats, and other companies that’ll specifically bring you coffee.

They probably won’t come to your door, though. Can you see the Uber Eats guy roaming through your building, trying to find you before you fade into a coffeeless puddle? That’s a recipe for a lockdown, not a latte.

But, all is not lost. Take the power of coffee into your own hands. Just because you’re teaching all day doesn’t mean you can’t have a great cup of Joe in the middle of the morning like every other worker in America.

In this “Be Your Own Barista” series, I will be posting some of my personal favorite coffee drinks.

You don’t want to be the teacher hiding the last K-cup under a stack of papers labeled “Professional Development” or “Evaluation Data” because they’re the last places anyone would think to look.  You also don’t want to race for the pot on your hall only to find some dumb colleague left ten drips of burned coffee after you cleaned up the whole area and got it set up first thing.

You need to be your own barista.

The recipes in this series will work in various pots you may have on hand, but they will also work if you’ll invest in selfishness–buy a quality thermos that you keep on your desk.  This Yeti model is a half-gallon jug. It should do the trick. It’ll stay hotter than a ghost chili pepper all day. If you haven’t worked your way up to that much caffeine or you have a good class this year, they have smaller thermoses. You can even get two and have a mocha in the morning and a Café Americano in the PM.   This 20-ounce Stanley thermos is affordable enough for you to buy three. That’s sixty ounces of coffee. It’s rated for 40 hours of ice coffee love and over 9 hours of really hot. They’ve got a half-gallon model, too, and even a flask for the times “just coffee” won’t be enough.

With the Yeti or Stanley, you’ll be sacrificing froth and a barista-milk heart, but you’ll rest well in the knowledge your coffee is safe from predators. There will be a hot cup for you–not just a lukewarm one–all to yourself the moment some kid threatens to lose his lunch on your new shoe.

Here are some snooty coffee beverages that’ll get you away from that five-hour old Mr. Coffee and liven up your day. (I’ll be adding to this over time).

Barista Menu

French Press Coffee or Tea

Arguably the easiest of the snooty coffees, the French Press says “all mine” and gives an experience of being at your favorite coffee house.

Japanese style pour over coffee

This is for the advanced. If you’re a coffee snob or have a full hour lunch, this is for you. Otherwise, you’ll have to wait till the weekend.

Vietnamese coffee

This is a strong, sweet coffee with cinnamon blast. Technically, it’s in the pour over family. But, I’ve got a “close enough” short cut for you.