We recently bought one of those fancy pants Bean To Cup coffee machines. It’s a lovely thing, it makes crazy coffee shop noises and challenges us to get creative with our frothing. Each member of the household is now convinced that they are the master barista and no one else makes a flat white with quite the same skill.
We’ve experimented with beans, trying to settle on the one bean to rule them all. During those first weeks there was a great deal of coffee consumption but gradually the novely wore off and I’m happy to say that as coffee drinking returned to normal levels, so did my heartbeat and sleeping patterns.
But here’s the thing.
For that first of the morning cup, I can’t quite cope with all that noise and steam. As the sun begins to climb in the sky my mind is just not up to the pursuit of perfect creme and the sheer machinery of the thing. I like to start my day gently.
So, ignoring the gleaming beast in the corner of the kitchen, I reach for the stove top kettle, boil water and procede to brew my morning coffee in a Chemex. I gently fold the filter paper, running my finger along the edge, creasing it carefully. I open the tin of ground coffee and slowly scoop measured spoonfuls into the paper cone.
And then I slowly pour the just off the boil water. In a gentle circular motion. I watch the coffee grounds swell and rise. I wait for that first pour to drip through and then top up the water level steadily. Always watching, not wanting to add to much water. Making sure I get it just so.
I tie on the wooden collar and enjoy the smell of the coffee as soft plumes of steam wind upwards.
And then I pour into a favourite cup and take my first sip. The long, clean thirst quenching taste of it. Such a different sort of coffee. Not unlike a French Press but clearer and cleaner tasting. I wouldn’t swap this morning ritual for any fancy pants machine. The coffee is good, really good, but the ritual is the thing. It grounds and soothes me, clears my head for the day to come.