FINDING CALM IN COFFEE
Beyond the inherent caffeine boost from a cup of coffee, the daily ritual of grinding beans, blooming grounds, and taking time to brew can bring some serious mindfulness to your day.
Brewing can help foster a moment of connection with ourselves. Think of it as coffee-centric self-care.
Some coffee people have said (admitted?) that they like to grind their beans in a mortar and pestle. That’s dedication, for sure, but it’s also super grounding (pun intended). The rhythmic nature of rotating your wrist and applying just the right amount of pressure to crack the beans. The aroma pours up and into your face with each turn of the hand. You’re literally getting in touch with those beans. And so begins your mindful coffee-making moment of calm.
Slide those grounds into your French press. Bring the fresh water to a boil. Try listening for the moment it comes to the boil rather than watching while you wait. The frequency changes, and as you listen, you add another sense to the experience. Thirty seconds after you take your water off the heat, pour enough hot water over your grounds to just cover them. Watch the bubbles as they come up and then recede. Those bubbles are the coffee releasing C02 (cool chemistry!). In some ways the pattern of the bubbles rising through the grounds can seem like a flower blossoming, which might be why this process is called blooming—that sense of opening and unfolding (cue e.e. cummings poem).
Now the steep. You’ve bloomed your grounds. You’ve thought to yourself “how pretty that is, how amazing that smells!” Pour in more hot water, give the carafe a slow pump down with the plunger and bring it back up. Watch as the grounds and water swirl, the grounds slowly cascading down as the oils and flavors extract and settle on the bottom of the pot. Close your eyes. Breathe in. Think about how those aromas you're sensing will translate into taste.
Make the plunge. Push down slowly, perhaps even see how slowly and mindfully you can press. Then pour your reward into your absolute favorite mug. Consider the cup. Consider how it will feel once you take your first sip. Consider your day and feel that moment of calm.