I like to spend the first part of my day doing something for myself…doing what I love. That could be a walk on the beach, a swim in the pool, a meditation…or making coffee!
“Don’t you hate having to spend 10-15 minutes making your coffee of a morning?” – a question quite a few people have asked me.
Making coffee of a morning, for me, is almost like going for a walk on the beach. It’s not the “get home” part I’m looking forward to, it’s the walk on the beach, soaking in the fresh air, wading my feet through the water…for me it’s probably one of the best parts of my day. It’s more than just drinking the coffee, it’s the whole process. If it took me 20 minutes it wouldn’t bother me, it would just mean the pleasurable experience would last only longer.
For those who love to cook, it’s like making your own cake, bread or whatever it is you’re cooking. We can all go out and buy it, but more often than not, we choose to make our own creations because it’s what we enjoy doing. So why not start my day out with the first thing being “what I enjoy doing” (beats checking emails!).
I often use a manual grinder and manual coffee/espresso machine and sometimes people say “don’t you find that annoying doing that every morning – why not just wait until you get to the cafe?”.
It’s a good point, and if I’m just after a caffeine hit or “wake me up”…yeah…it makes perfect sense. But sometimes I want my walk on the beach. If I’ve been a good boy and not hit the town the night before, I’m up early and have some time to spend for myself of the morning rather than getting straight into work.
So the process…making coffee…why do I love it?
If I’m using my manual grinder it takes a good 50 or more turns to get the amount of coffee to fill up the cup of manual espresso/coffee machine – the process generally takes about 3 minutes or so – doesn’t sound long but standing there turning your hand around for 3 minutes seems longer than you think – and it generally annoys anyone in the room with the noise your making as well – but for me, it’s an enjoyable process. As I’m grinding my coffee, that freshly ground coffee smell seeps out of the grinder, same sort of smell you get when working into a PROPER cafe grinding freshly roasted coffee beans…aaahhhh…bliss! I love the smell of freshly ground coffee and when you’re grinding it yourself, it smells even better. You feel the beans crush and grind through the process as well so you really feel like your creating something and not just buying something of the shelf or from the other side of a counter.
Once the coffee is ground/grinded (if I’m using my manual espresso maker) I boil the kettle once to pour hot water over the holster/cup to make sure it’s warm before putting the coffee in (having the cup warm is an important step to producing a good shot of coffee), I then put the coffee in, tamper it, and then boil the kettle again to re-heat the water before I pour it in to the machine.
(By the way, this process would be different for many people depending on what machine you’re using, the machine I generally use is the ROK espresso maker.)
Once boiled I pour the water into the espresso maker and with 2 manual presses and I have myself a nice espresso shot with a crema (providing the grind is right, you pre-heat the cup and the water isn’t too cool).
Now I love my Cappucino’s, so it doesn’t end there! I then heat my milk up (sometimes boil – but also microwave) and put it into a plunger style milk foamer. I move the plunger up and down which puts air through the milk and makes it thick and creamy (better than those electric beater type foamers you see in stores)…then, once it’s thick and creamy enough, I pour that in to a cup with the espresso shot and there it is! My favourite coffee for the day – my own!
This whole process takes about 5-7 minutes and people wonder why I don’t find a quicker way or just wait until I get to the cafe I’m heading to of a morning (because I’m always going to a cafe first thing in the morning).
The thing is, it’s not not just coffee I’m wanting to get out of all of this, I love the whole process. From the moment I open the bag of coffee beans and having a light fresh coffee smell drift out, to the moment when I grind the beans and smell gets even stronger, to the final processes of pressing the coffee and foaming the milk where it’s all about watching things take form…it’s all an experience. Obviously this would bore a lot of people who aren’t so fanatical about their coffee 🙂 But for me it’s a real hobby and I see the art in making a good coffee and what a Baristas job entails, it’s not just pressing a button on a coffee machine and shoving some milk under a steamer – it’s an art and it can be done in many different ways.
Spend the first part of your day doing what you love…not what others want you to do!