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Pillow Talk with…Al Liu

al liu.jpgWhat do you do when you’re not sleeping, i.e., what’s your day job?

I’m the Vice President of Coffee at Colectivo Coffee Roasters.

How many of hours of sleep do you typically get?

7 on weekdays, 8 on weekends.

What is your normal sleeping position?

On my side, in a half-fetal position.

What’s on your nightstand?

Back issues of National Geographic, Afar (a new adventure travel magazine), and Edible Milwaukee. There’s also an electronic noisemaker with different sounds to help me get to sleep, though I never need to use it. 

What is the one thing you have to do or have before you can go to sleep?

I usually surf on my iPhone before I go to sleep, though I know it’s not a good idea to have it next to my bed.

Do you sleep with a pet?


What do you love about your bedroom?

It’s located in the corner of my condo building so there are windows on two sides.

What do you do if you can’t sleep?

july 23 avoid caffeine in afternoonsI almost always am out within a minute or two after closing my eyes, but if I’m jet lagged, I’ll take an over-the-counter sleeping pill or just lie in bed and try to will myself to sleep.

Do you read in bed? What’s the last book you read?

Yes. The last book I read was “When I Was Puerto Rican: A Memoir,” which I found on a bench at the San Diego airport.

Do you remember your dreams?

Often and in great detail, but sometimes for only a few seconds after I wake up. I used to think that my dreams were prophetic because I regularly would get déjà vu and started thinking that I had dreamt those exact same scenarios. That doesn’t happen much anymore.


Editor’s Note: With Al’s affinity to coffee, we were curious if he was addicted to caffeine, and whether it affected his sleep schedule. As delicious as Colectivo coffee is, he apparently has his caffeine intake under control:

cup of coffeeI actually am not addicted to caffeine, and often don’t drink more than a cup of coffee (or any!) on the weekends. On workdays, I definitely partake, both for the enjoyment as well as the work aspect (I’m the buyer so I often need to taste production samples), and I usually cut myself off by the mid-afternoon. But I’ve always been able to restrict my coffee consumption to the specialty grade and avoid commercial-grade coffee, especially when traveling and there aren’t specialty options. I just manage to go without altogether!

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