The Coffee Ritual
What is your coffee ritual?
Do you start you day with a robust cafetiere, a carefully brewed stovetop or a meticulous Turkish coffee? Maybe you end it with a gentle, floral, measured chemex.
Coffee brewing has been a ritual, both formal and informal, for people around the world for centuries. It’s an important part of life in many cultures, communities and social circles. Whether it’s Italian’s sipping espresso at a coffee bar in Rome, the Ethiopian fireside brewing ceremony or the first cup of coffee of your working day, there is a ritual to coffee that makes drinking it all the more pleasurable and significant.
Last time, in my first anniversary post, I shared with you what friend of the column, Erin, wrote about what coffee means to her. She captured beautifully the ritualistic aspect of coffee, in beautiful words and poetic imagery. Read the full post here.
“Coffee carries me home…”
Erin’s words inspired me to look more into the ritual of coffee making, and how it impacts the quality of office coffee and the wellbeing of the people who drink it.
I’ve brewed coffee in offices, co-working spaces, at home, on roadsides, riversides, on beaches and at the top of mountains. Each time the location is different, but the love, devotion and mindfulness that goes into the brewing ritual is the same.
You can always taste it in the final brew, too.
As I wrote in a post last year – Why Better Office Coffee Is Good For Your Company Culture – the process of grinding the beans, extracting the coffee and savouring the first sweet sips can be extremely relaxing. In the office, it allows you to unplug for a few moments, focus on a single, simple task and practice mindfulness. Mindfulness has been proven to improve employee wellbeing, empathy and teamwork among staff which, as I wrote in a recent guest post for Honest Coffees, gives #betterofficecoffee a strong ROI!
“When something you do daily and habitually can be ritualistic and sacred, that’s when you feel like you’re really living in the now.”
5 Ways to Make Your Coffee Ritual More Mindful
Here are five ways that you can make more of a ritual of your daily coffee:
- Brew manual. As a purist, I still prefer the manual ways to brew coffee. I like to control every variable myself, and I think the final brew is often better. Brewing manually also makes coffee into more of a ritual.
- Don’t put your coffee to brew and then go onto something else. Watch the coffee as it marries with the water to create your final brew. Not only will you make sure that you brew for the correct amount of time, but it will help you immerse yourself, if only for a few short minutes in the day, in your coffee ritual.
- Grind coffee by hand (How? Find out here). The steady, monotonous movement calms the mind, gives off a calming aroma and builds forearm strength. It gives you an appreciation for the final brew when you’ve worked for it!
- When you pour in the milk, do it slowly, watching the white spiral dance in the clack abyss of the coffee. I have seen many short-lived works of art for in these few seconds…
For #betterofficecoffee, devote a few minutes each day to your coffee ritual. Consider each stage of the brewing process, and see where you can make it more mindful, slow and aware. This will improve the quality of your final brew, calm your mind and extend the benefits of your office coffee far beyond a morning caffeine hit…
I’d love to hear about your office coffee rituals. Leave a comment in the section below, get in touch by email or on Twitter. Not sure how to improve your brewing rituals? Here are some manual brewing techniques I shared on the column last year.
Thanks for reading, see you all next time.