Friday, March 11, 2016

The Ritual Is More Important Than The Result…

There is more to coffee than caffeine. More to coffee than hot. More to coffee than Brownian Motion*. Coffee is more about creation than consumption. Most mornings I have just about enough time to pop a coffee pod into the Keurig and press BREW, this is not creation. This is consumption. This is the understanding that I need caffeine NOW and there is nothing for it, no time to savor the creation. However once in a while, there comes a day where creation is king. Weekends were made for Coffee. (This is not coffee, but Coffee, the idea, the dream, the Coffee.) The ritual creation of something so pleasurable that the act of creation is more important than the end result.

Sunday mornings, when there isn’t some kind of tournament we need to be leaving for at some ungodly hour, is usually that day. On those mornings the Keurig doesn’t even get glanced at. I go straight for the top cabinet in the corner, pull out my Bodum Chambord French Press, and put on the electric kettle. Since I have a family, and that family does not like waking quite as early as I do, I can’t grind the beans right before the brew but use beans I have ground previously. The kettle begins to boil, and I put the grounds into the press. Then oh so slowly, I add just enough of the water for the bloom. Oh, the aroma. A quick stir and in goes the rest of the water. Now the steep. This step is like waiting for the perfect pour of Guinness. (Though I usually have a Bass Ale while waiting for the Guinness) This is the longest 4 minutes ever. Then slowly, so slowly, the plunger goes down and you pour. I know there are many many different ways now to make coffee. Many new and more hip ways and the french press is so old school but in this age, one of technology over everything, sometimes what you need is a little old fashioned ritual. I know I do.

These rituals make the end result so much better. I could brew a cup, or a pot in the Keurig, or pull out the 5 cup drip coffee maker and let it do all the work, but that wouldn’t have the same effect on me. Making the Coffee (again, not coffee, but Coffee), the experience of it, is what I am after. I know this probably sounds crazy to you. I mean, it’s hot water filtered through beans, not some kind of out-of-body experience. Though, if you feel this way you probably drink tea. (just kidding, There are as many rituals about proper tea brewing as there are for coffee, probably more.) The point being, it could be anything you ritualize that gives you that same warm and fuzzy feeling, the comfort, the experience. When it is coffee though, at the end of it all you have a wonderful hot tasty beverage.

Take some time this weekend and discover the ritual in making an excellent cup of coffee or tea for that matter. It will taste so much better than your regular cup o joe. And not because the method is better, but because the experience is better.

Spend a little time, slow down just for a bit. Experience a little slice of life. Like Ferris Bueller said, “Life moves pretty fast, if you don’t stop and look around once in a while; you could miss it.”

Don’t miss any more of your life than you really need to.

* Brownian Motion as described by Douglas Adams -

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