Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Java Jive

This morning, as I do every morning, the first thing I do is put the kettle on. Only this morning the kettle was our shiny new electric kettle. As I was admiring it's sleek look and efficiency, I was considering this new addition to a long standing ritual.

The ritual of the morning coffee. Ah coffee, I love you so. My deep abiding love for coffee is about more than a caffeine buzz; it's about the ritual, the aroma, the details of making a good cup and finally wrapping your hands around a warm mug of goodness.

It all starts with the beans...and a really good roasting.
I'll admit I'm a bit of a coffee snob, but not in an obnoxious look down on others for their coffee choices kind of way. Rather, I am particular for myself. I rarely buy a fancy espresso drink - because 1. I can make my own coffee my own way at home for a lot less money and 2. I don't often trust others to make my coffee just the way I like.

When I was 16 I got my first Cafe job. I learned to make espresso on a beautiful old Italian copper machine. I was trained by the owners of the cafe who had lived in Italy and learned the ART of coffee. They were passionate about the quality of their coffee, about 'pulling' the perfect shot, creating the exactly right density of foam from steamed milk, and presenting it beautifully. So began my long career as a 'Coffee Jerk'. Oh I know, you are supposed to call them 'Baristas' now, whatevs. I have worked in many a coffee house, as a shot puller and as manager, and whenever I was on shift, the coffee had better be just right.

Now at home, it needs to be just right as well. We of course have our favorite beans on hand, the kettle has been turned on and whilst it works itself into a boil - it is time for the beans to be freshly ground - somewhere between medium and fine, just the right amount for the pot. The grounds are placed into an insulated metal "French Press", after the boil the water sits for a few so that it is not scalding, pour the water over the grounds and fill the press, this sits for one minute, then a stir to the water/grounds and the lid placed gently atop, now steep 3 minutes and push down the plunger, wait a moment for the silt to settle and pour yourself a cuppa Jo.

Precise I know, but I love this ritual.
Especially this morning as the rain-snow was falling down and I was so groggy-grumpy that I didn't think I was going to make it. As the grinder whined and the aroma of coffee wafted through the kitchen, I told myself to hang on, I think it's going to be ok.

Perhaps many of you are tea drinkers instead of coffee lovers, and tea has it's own beautiful rituals. how about you, do you have any rituals that you perform every day?

P.S. Thank you to The Engineer for suggesting this post.


brenda_hibbs said...

Mmmmm... I can just smell it now... Unfortunately, since marrying Multifarious Jim my coffee life has not been ideal. Somehow, now matter how I protest, he insists on brings home such flavors as "Christmas Carol" and "Apple Pie" from Grocery Outlet. Yes, you read that right... the canned food store. Sigh. AND my favorite coffee shop closed (Red Horse in Corvallis - they roasted their own beans to perfection). I'm on the hunt, tho, and know I will soon find a replacement for R.H. I'm looking forward to the celebration when I find it!

greenrabbitdesigns said...

Tea drinker here!
I love the smell of coffee, actually I really love the smell of coffee! I love coffee cake and coffee sweets but I cannot drink the stuff, no matter which way it is made!! I find I'm really annoyed with myself for that!
Vivienne x

Nana Go-Go said...

Aren't those kettles great?Mine's is almost identical - I love it that you don't even have to lift the lid yourself, pressing the little button flips it open!I'm a 'Tea Jenny' (colloquialism for someone who drinks oceans of tea)until 11.00am then I have a lovely cup of coffee with a digestive biscuit.....staid and boring, moi??

Flaming Nora said...

No I don't really have any morning rituals. I mean I can't function with out my cup of tea, and I'm very fussy about how I make it, but its not really a ritual. I think I need to go away and think about this. I need to have a morning ritual. I realise this now. how have I functioned for so long with out one? May be I need to buy a new (old) tea pot and have a special china tea cup rather than a chipped mug and a tea bag. Humm food for thought indeedie!

june at noon said...

I'm neither a coffee nor a tea drinker in any regular sense of the terms, but I do love the smell of fresh coffee, and I definitely drank more of it when I was a barista in college. (I also got very snobby about how drinks ought to be made and can't stand when someone messes up my order if I get coffee now!) :)

vintage grey said...

I love coffee, and I actually invested in a Chemex, which I absolutely love. I will never be able to go back to a coffee machine again! :) Your kettle looks great and I am admiring your grinder! xo Heather

Josie-Mary said...

I'm a tea girl but reading your post made me want a coffee!! It has to be Yorkshire tea in a special mug, brewed for about 4-5 mins.... while I give Ted the cat his tablet!... then enjoyed hot! :)

Ann said...

I'm with Greenrabbit above - love everythinbg coffee except the drink! Hate it! I'm a tea person - just normal tea.... but it has to be loose not bags and it has to be Fairtrade for me to enjoy it. Its the first thing I have every morning and its a calamity if I run out!

kissinia said...

Oh, I am indeed a fan of coffee. Only coffee beans. pity, though it is not easy to purchase nice coffee in Dublin. So, my ritual begins with a hunt. I must find it first :) Nice post. Thanks! [[ kissinia ]]

Sherri B. said...

I love coffee too...that sounds so simple..it is not. I'm with you about the ritual, only now it has to be a pre-programmed drip as the alarm goes off a 3:45 am. I am always in a good mood in the morning because of 'coffee', plain and simple, it makes me happy! xo

Lindsay Jewell said...

We just got that same electric kettle for Christmas, and I'm surprised at how much I love it.