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Food

Coffee: My Morning Meditation

Coffee: My Meditation

 

 

Mornings became the hardest part of my day. Opening my eyes to a half empty bed and the monotony of another quarantined day made me stay inside the covers a little longer every day. Sipping on burnt or watered-down coffee that I didn’t really want to taste but tell it: “please make me more awake” was also not the brightest start. It made my days start with bitterness. And bitter they remained.

 

And even though I knew I couldn’t change the current state of the world and, in one day, make the virus go away, I could at least change the way I chose to live it.

 

I started with coffee.

 

I bought a better hand grinder that let me control the coarseness of my beans and immediately tossed my old two-bladed grinder that crushed them irregularly. I also began buying coffee at my favorite local roaster rather than grabbing the first bag with a “cool” label at the grocery store. I experimented with the old, beaten down moka pot I had owned since my freshmen year in college and, even though I got significantly better results, I could still taste some bitterness. Figuring out how to get that perfect morning cup of coffee pushed me out of bed every day and keep trying.

 

The next thing I bought was a scale.

 

Now we were talking.

With only those two new elements, I learned how to make delicious coffee that resembled the taste of espresso— I fill half of bottom of my moka pot with boiling water, add the filter, pour 18 grams of fine grounds, screw it all together and place it on the stove over medium heat.

After a couple of weeks of tasting these delicious coffees, I realized that I wasn’t really craving that small dosage of really concentrated caffeine, but a big cup of coffee that I could sip on for hours without flinching.

 

When I discovered the pour over method, my new coffee obsession quickly became a sort of meditation I’ve been practicing every morning.

 

It begins with the faint sound of water slowly heating up in the kettle. It echoes in the silence of my empty apartment making me feel less lonely. The rumbling sound of my metal spoon scooping out the beans from the canister follows, I drop them slowly into the grinder and hear them land at the bottom like heavy raindrops on the top of my roof. I force myself to get my muscles moving and spin the grinder’s handle round and round hearing each bean break slowly and noisily like an old door squeaking every time it opens and closes. When the noise stops and I open the grinder, fresh bittersweet immediately hits my nose.

 

The scent, by the itself, makes me feel better.

 

I weight 27 grans of coffee before placing them into the pour over’s damp paper filter. I make sure the water’s temperature is between 200 and 210 degrees (depending on the type of roast I got), and start my favorite part. I pour water slowly in small circles— 40g. first, to let the coffee degas. I watch as the fine grounds separate and form bubbles that explode releasing floral scents. At exactly 45 seconds, I pour more water slowly, in controlled circles until the scale reaches 150g. I set the kettle down, close my eyes and listen to the water dripping— gradually becoming something else: something more meaningful. I open my eyes only to watch the timer reach 1:45 minutes. I add more water and repeat the process until I reach 250g. At 2:45, more water comes in until I get 350g.

After 3:30 minutes, my meditation is done as so is my coffee. And even though I haven’t even taken the first sip, I already feel better. Calmer. More alive and less alone. I savor that same cup of coffee for hours, hoping that its strong, yet floral taste could last all day.

 

RECIPE        

INGREDIENTS

  • 27 grams of fine grounded coffee (resembling the size of table salt)
  • 400 grams of water between 200° to 210°F[1]
  • Paper filter

 

INSTRUCTIONS

  • Fold paper filter and place on the pour over.
  • Pour warm water on the paper filter until it’s completely damp. Discard any water excess.
  • Add dry grounds and pat slightly to bring all grounds to the bottom.
  • Pour 40 grams of water and let coffee degas for 45 seconds.
  • 0:45 add water until scale reads 150g.
  • 1:45 pour 250g.
  • 2:45 pour 350g.
  • 3:30 remove pour over and enjoy.

[1] I like to use a warmer temperature when I brew light roast coffee and a slightly cooler temperatures for dark roasts to prevent the coffee from getting too bitter.

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