Coffee, Routine, and Gratitude

Ah, coffee. To many, it’s the fuel that gets us started in the morning. To others, it’s a dreamy idea of meeting up with a friend or two, in a cozy corner and comfy chairs, listening to the whir of beans being ground, milk being steamed and watching designs being creatively dropped atop a steaming cup of fragrant caffeine.

And I’m not sure it’s limited to only those worlds. Sometimes it’s a habit, sometimes it’s a hand warmer, sometimes it’s just a way to be social. On any given day, any one of these reasons could be THE reason you hold that cup in your hand, and that’s just fine.

Most mornings, I roll out of bed, get dressed and start the morning routine of making coffee. I’m one of those folks that buys whole bean, grinds it fresh, and uses the pour over method to brew. It’s a fair number of steps, but there is something about that step by step process that is calming, that allows my senses to take in the sound, the smell, the ritual in the quiet morning hours.

The smell of coffee as I open the bag. The sound of the beans tumbling out of the bag, into the small metal grinder, clicking against the sides as they fall into place. The turn of the handle and sound of beans shifting. All details worth noting.

This could be worship. Not to coffee, no, not at all! But in the stillness of morning, in the routine of process, gratitude pours out. Thanks for senses to take in the sight, smell, taste of creation. Thanks for quiet to breathe deep, consider my place, and what I’ve been given. In the hours to come, there will be stress, unanswered questions, fatigue, and more, but in this moment, there is calm, there is peace, there is gratitude.

Our Father, who is in heaven, holy, hallowed, blessed be Your name… in all these things, in all the details of life, You are present. You are near. For this I give You thanks and praise.

Morning Coffee

Almost every morning, I make myself a cup of coffee. A mug, really. With a daughter who was a maestro for a local coffee shop, I learned some things about really tasting different types of coffee, and have put into practice, different methods for enjoying it fully.

I buy whole bean coffee, and while I am not a snob about using pre-ground coffee, there is a definite difference in the flavor that makes it into the cup (or mug).

My morning coffee goes like this:

I select the mug I will use. This is an important step! I have a few favorites, so I have some options. 

I get the white ceramic pour over coffee funnel that my other daughter got me for Christmas a few years ago, a coffee filter, and the coffee beans. The coffee beans are stored in the buffet, and each time I open the door where they are kept, the best scent greets my nose. 

I place the filter into the funnel, and with a gentle clink, I place the funnel on top of my coffee mug. I pour some coffee beans into my small manual grinder, listening to the plinking of roasted goodness, hitting the sides and nestling into place. 

I pour filtered water into my electric kettle, and push down the lever to begin the heating process. As the light on the kettle glows, I get to work grinding the beans. 

The grinder is a small metal cylinder, with ceramic burrs, that fits on top of another metal cylinder which captures the aromatic grounds as the handle on top is turned. It is a process that I have been following for some time now, but it is routine, and familiar. 

As the water begins to stir in the kettle, I continue to grind the beans until they gather at the imaginary mark on the small clear window of the bottom cylinder. I pour them into the waiting filter, and the water boils.

I pour a bit of water over the grounds, the steam carrying the aroma upward. As the water sinks in, I watch some flavorful flecks cling to the sides of the filter, and others move toward the bottom, taking the shape of the funnel. 

I continue to pour water, watching it soak through the grounds, making its way into my mug. I add some agave and half and half when the level is right, and stir to combine. 

I take my mug over to the kitchen table, which has been my work space for the last few months, to begin my day.

This is my morning coffee.