Since my last post, my lifestyle has shifted pretty significantly. This post is the start of a shift towards other things like my struggle trying to live sustainably, the process of planning my upcoming wedding, and other lifestyle things that I am passionate about now that are very different from just a year ago. This blog won’t be seeing many more make up/skincare reviews, unless it’s really notable or I made it myself. For now, here’s a post on slowing down. Enjoy!
I’ve been drinking cold brew coffee for about two weeks.
Don’t get me wrong. I love cold brew coffee. There’s nothing like waking up in the morning and grabbing a cup of coffee straight out of the fridge without the efforts of making it. But here’s the thing: I’ve really, really missed making pour-overs.
Stay with me, faithful readers. I’m not about to turn all hipster snobby coffee person on you. Promise.
What I miss is not only the hot mug in my hands, the scent of brewing coffee, and the hum of gently simmering water (below boiling for coffee guys, below boiling). I realized in my two weeks of iced coffee madness that what I missed was the way that making a handcrafted cup of coffee forced me to slow down and relax at the beginning of my day.
I’ve always had trouble slowing down. From childhood I dashed forward relentlessly, read voraciously, talked at Gilmore Girl speeds, and never stopped to take prisoners. I have always taken the attitude that if I’m not doing something, reading something, learning something, entertaining myself with something… then I’m not being productive. That I’m wasting my time.
Making coffee had changed that, in a way I didn’t expect when I started to do it by hand, wanting to drink a better cup of coffee. Not being able to afford an electric bean grinder but wanting to achieve a better tasting cup of coffee, I finally caved in February and purchased a Hario Ceramic Coffee Mill (I love it, but this is not a post about coffee products… not really). It forced me to take 2 or 3 minutes every day to grind the 15 milligrams or so of beans I need daily to make my giant mug of coffee, while I get water from my kitchen’s hot water dispenser to the right temperature in my, yes, you guessed it, Hario Bouno Coffee Drip Kettle.
The process of dripping my own coffee in my Chemex coffee maker (as previously mentioned) takes about 10 minutes for me total, start to finish. Since I started pouring coffee this way last year, and especially since I obtained the new gear in February, this time has come to be a time of contemplation on what happened yesterday, and what I want to accomplish today. It’s been a time of reviewing my day, because I often fall asleep at the end of the day without really thinking about it. It’s been a time of looking forward to the future. During this time I’m free to watch the coffee slowly go drip drip drop drop, sometimes maddeningly slow for what I want, and I let my mind wander. And then, I am centered.
Some days this happens better than others. Some days I get tempted away by dishwashers that haven’t been unloaded yet or counters that need wiping down. But most days it helps me feel sure of where I’m going for the rest of the day and gears me up for my day. Between wedding planning, learning to be a better piano teacher, trying to live consciously and thoughtfully for others and for the environment (and failing 90% of the time), and learning to be a partner to my husband-to-be… this is time I needed. Time that I, weirdly, missed, when I had ready made coffee in my fridge.
And so, when I ran out of cold brew iced coffee yesterday, I breathed a sigh of relief.
Then, this morning, I made coffee. And contemplated.