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Slowing down, Volume 1: Morning Coffee

I’ve been a coffee drinker from my late teens to 7AM this morning. I used to drink pots and pots of coffee in a work day, but in recent years I have whittled that down to one cup, maybe two, a day.

Even though I’ve cut back, I enjoy this ritual immensely. It’s a little bit of carved out time to ease into my day that is purely intentional. It also is something that improves my daily trajectory right from the start, allowing me to form my schedule or to simply reflect on goals set far down the road.

About a year and a half ago I started looking at ways to slow down the process of making my morning cup of joe. After a little trial an error I think I’ve got it on lock down.

The old way:

For years, I used to scoop beans into a electric burr grinder, grind said beans, scoop grounds into a coffee maker, pour water in, hit “start”, drink.

Total time (max): 5 - 7 minutes give or take.

The new way:

These days I’ve slowed down making coffee by ditching the electric grinder for a hand grinder, pouring the water and the grounds into a Bialetti three cup (basically a shot) Moka Pot and putting the pot on the stove, before sitting back to wait for that warm deliciousness.

Total Time: between 10 and 15 minutes.

The slow improvement:

Obviously the biggest time gain in this new process is in the grinding of the coffee beans. Hand grinding is slow and methodical. Even if you crank on the grinder as fast as you can, you’ll never achieve the efficiency of an electric grinder that can crank through 10 times the amount in a fraction of the time. What you do gain however is just that: time. Hand grinders also give you superior control over the size of the grind - allowing you to make it more course or fine - so that you can tweak to taste.

The Mokapot (an oldschool Italian coffee maker) adds additional boil time to the mix, but it also adds a far superior tasting cup of coffee (very rich, very strong, almost espresso-like).

In the end, I went from a process that I could sleepwalk through to one more tactile, that required actual thought and attention. Without a doubt I am better for it. My day gets started before my coffee, not after. Sure it takes twice the time, but I come away from my morning cup happier and more satisfied. It’s helped me bring my A-game earlier to my work and my play.

This is certainly not a process for everyone (I’m the only coffee drinker in my house). But it is definitely a slow down that improved my life more the efficiency that came before it.

My gear (if you're interested):

Bialetti Moka Express 3 Cup Espresso Makerhttps://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0000AN3QI/

Manual Coffee Grinder with Ceramic Burr by Cozyna - https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00U7WRUNQ/

Why am I writing this series?