Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Coffee Talk

Or as Linda Richmond would say "coffee tawk" (Mike Myers made this character famous on SNL)....but seriously I wanted to wax philosophic about that rich and delicious cup of heaven that so many of us can't live without and has become part of a daily ritual for a lot of us.

Over the holidays I was staying with family and friends quite a bit and I noticed that they all have their own individual coffee making ritual every morning, and to me, this is even more interesting than the equipment they use. It's really not about the brewing method as much as the way everyone would drink and enjoy their freshly brewed cups.

There are many, many ways to brew coffee from the electric drip, to the pour over, french press, espresso machines, stove-top espresso pots.....I could go on and on. The purists grind their beans fresh each morning- and being in this group myself, I find that it makes a huge difference in taste and freshness and the aroma that fills your kitchen is intoxicating. There are several types of grinders too: burr and blade being the most popular methods. Ah, but what follows beyond the brewing process is what caught my attention.

I love how my Dad relishes his morning cup- he uses a burr grinder, an electric drip machine and uses filtered water. He even drinks just decaf now (doctor's orders) but the best part is how he enjoys it- pouring it into a stainless thermos, sitting down with his favorite mug and the New York Times- happily reading and savoring his brew leisurely- it's his daily meditation time. It's like he's one with the coffee.

A good friend of mine, a creative director, a world traveler and all about great design, begins her morning with a fresh cup brewed in a cute little electric drip machine. She pours it into a handmade beautiful coffee mug, with a teeny pitcher of milk set out and a vintage silver teaspoon to stir in the raw sugar. She sips at her kitchen counter window overlooking the courtyard at her loft and checks through her morning emails on her Blackberry.

My sister and her husband have a rare thing going with their morning coffee ritual-they make it a time to share breakfast with their teenage son before he goes off to school and they take off for work each day. And they take turns making the coffee-it's a precise measure of regular and decaf (their absolute favorite is Gimme Coffee) that goes into their grinder, and it's brewed in an electric drip machine. They share this time over breakfast and my sis says it's her favorite time of day not to mention the coffee is amazing.

Which brings me to my own ritual- I'm a French Press girl- I put my Staub kettle on to boil, grind my beans, pour the water over the grinds in the press and wait just enough time to be sure that the water has extracted just the right amount of flavor-I do this every day even before I take the dogs out for their morning walk! They just hang out and sleep until I finish my first cup. How lucky am I?

So to me it's really not just the coffee that we crave each morning, but it's the way we all enjoy it. That is what I am talkin' about!

What's your ritual? Love to hear it.


  1. Joanne, having Sicilian blood in my veins, I do savor my morning brew! Reading about your Dad's ritual, I immediately picture my Dad doing exactly the same every morning, completely blissful! It's been ingrained in me! Having traveled to Sicily, I can safely say, do not get in the way of a Sicilian trying to get their espresso on! That's a whole other ball game!

  2. It's like the one treat we can rely on daily for all of us! Thanks for sharing!

  3. You know I was just talking about this yesterday. Home here in CO it is the grinding of the beans in my espresso maker - and I have to sniff (not snort, despite what my friends say) the beans before they go in. That smell...makes mornings amazing. In Italy, where I like to spend a few months a year, it's all about the Moka pot espresso. Again, nose in the grounds first thing, the routine of adding the water and satisfying "chunk" of connecting the pot and hand frothing the milk on the stove - usually with some cardamom to flavor the milk.

    Beloved French press is for those special 'gourmet' coffees that may cross my path.

    Nice post - thanks!

  4. Thanks Valerie- I do love the Moka pot- I have a couple of them that I use from time to time....Love your description of smelling the beans! I do the same thing!

  5. you on Nytimes :-)


  6. love the coffee article.

    also, check out the comments below the NYTimes article in which you were featured. tons of ideas and suggestions.

    best of luck!!!

    --french press boy

  7. I grind the beans the night before by hand in my 100 year old grinder. I fill the electric drip machine I've had since college. I'd prefer my grandma's glass percolator, but it's still packed and in storage.
    In the morning I flip the switch, nurse my baby while it brews. When she's done she sits in her chair by my chair. I pour my coffee, adding sugar and milk, and snuggle into my wingback chair to sip my coffee while I have my devotional and prayer time.
    That's my ritual!

  8. Kimberly- what a wonderful morning ritual! thanks for sharing!

  9. George and Eric- yes the NYT article was amazing- still getting comments too and lots of great ideas! I am so grateful to Jay for writing about me and my dilemma!

  10. One of the hardest things for me is traveling fo my job - it means I not only miss my boys, but my very enjoyable morning ritual - which includes Silk Soy Milk Creamer and Agave too!

  11. Love this post! At Global Peace Factory (a coffee shop in Frisco, TX) we see these routines all the time. Everyone has their own special order, time of day they come in, and what they do once they get their coffee. Amazing how much coffee become a part of our lives!