Morning Rituals: Coffee Edition
I think in another life, I'd own a coffee shop. In the background, jazzy hip-hop would play amid the sounds of beans grinding, kettles whistling, measuring spoons tapping out fresh ground coffee, the clinking of coffee ups on saucers, and almond milk being whipped into a delicious foam.
It would be full of light and love, green plants, natural fabrics, and dogs. There would be heckin' doggos everywhere. Outside, chickens would scratch and cluck.
Wait. This is real life. I am describing my literal house.
And my morning coffee routine - it's quite the transformative experience. If you follow me on Instagram, you'll see my frothy concoctions uploaded regularly to my Stories.
I'm going to take you through it from start to finish!
Upon waking, I make my bed. Always. No coffee until the bed is made. We come downstairs (we, meaning my dogs), and I let them out to go potty. I ask Alexa to "Play Jazz Vibes on Spotify" and I put the kettle on. I'm using a pour-over kettle for this method of brewing. I love this one from Barista Warrior.
It's important to note that during this entire coffee making process, no one is talking.
No talky until first sippy.
So the kettle is on: I do my morning things. Open the blinds and curtains, put away any dishes or empty the dishwasher, check on the plants (water if necessary) and then I make my morning ACV drink (that's another post for another day).
If the water hasn't come to a boil yet, I'll start pre-planning my day in MyFitnessPal.
Once the water is close, it's time to measure out the beans (using a digital scale) and pop them into the grinder.
I get fresh coffee beans delivered every two weeks from Trade Coffee Co. They match you with your perfect coffee, and it's roasted to order and shipped within 24 hours. Talk about the freshest of the fresh. You won't be able to drink crappy k-cups or store-bought bags of coffee after you've experience fresh coffee from Trade. I've discovered some of my favorite roastaries, like Irving Farm and Verve.
I also discovered I like more of a medium bodied roast, as compared to the light roasts that I thought I liked. Every order you're getting something different from Trade, and every time I get a new order, it's a little bit like Christmas!
You do have the option of buying ground coffee beans from Trade, but that just means that you're missing a piece of the freshness. Ideally, you want to get whole beans, and grind them every morning before brewing. So I use this bad boy from Cuisinart. A burr grinder, as opposed to a regular grinder, provides the most uniform grind for optimal flavor. I grind my beans on the medium-course setting for the type of coffee I make.
Speaking of fresh beans, you'll want to store your beans in a dark place to keep them as fresh as possible. I found this great coffee bean canister from Java Shield that helps keep them their freshest with a CO2 filter (beans are gassy!). It even comes with a little dial calendar so that you can set the date - this way you know how old the beans are inside of it!
Once the beans are ground, I'll pull out my Chemex and rinse a filter. Rinsing the filters removes any papery taste or residue that may seep into the coffee upon brewing. I have an 8-Cup Chemex; they come in smaller and larger sizes. I found this was the best size for me, but will make enough for up to 4 people.
The first pour into a Chemex is very small, and only involves a little bit of water to "wet the beans." This allows them to bloom. Blooming is a technical term that coffee-geeks may be familiar with. After about 30-60 seconds of blooming - the actual brewing process begins.
I slowly pour water over the beans in a circular motion, a little at a time. Pouring and waiting. Pouring and waiting. This process is almost cathartic. It is one of those rare moments in my day when I am most present: smelling the freshly ground coffee, listening to the gentle dripping, pouring the hot water, being a part of the brewing process.
Once the water is all poured out, and the brewing is complete, I'll pour a small cup and drink it black. The Chemex makes just an incredibly cup of coffee with zero acidity, it's unlike any coffee you've ever had. Drinking it black is very easy and so delicious. So I just sip and savor for a few minutes. Get to know the beans, so to speak.
Then I make a fancy cup of coffee.
I like to add flavored collagen because it makes coffee taste like a mocha. I add about a tbsp of dairy-free creamer and blend with a small hand whisk. (The trick to mixing powders into coffee? Mix the powder with a little creamer or coffee first. Once it's all blended and is a thick liquid, then pour in the rest of your coffee! No clumps.
If you know me, you know I love my frothed milk! I have tried a ton of different milks: almond milk, coconut milk (the worst), and I always come back to Creamy Almond Cashew milk. It makes a nice froth thats slightly bubbly and airy. I use a Gourmia milk frother. My model is a little older, the newer one looks even fancier!
At this point, my coffee brewing process is complete, and it's time for me to sit down and enjoy it!
Making a cup of coffee used to simply mean popping a k-cup into the Keurig and waiting 10 seconds, before sitting down at my desk and getting right to work.
Since moving to the Chemex, and developing a love of the brewing process, I find my mornings are slower - in a very good way. The first part of my day I have completely to myself - and it's deliberate. As a small business owner and entrepreneur that works what feels like 900 hours a week, learning to carve out time for myself is hard, but ultimately, has lead to better work productivity and so much more happiness.
They weren't kidding when they said, "To an old man a cup of coffee is like the door post of an old house - it strengthens and sustains him."
I'd love to hear about your morning rituals and routines. Drop them in the comments!