The First Step

I woke up at 4am, and couldn’t decide whether or not to go back to sleep. It’s amazing how many tiny choices we make in a day, with each one altering the next.

I began thinking of my French Press and how I haven’t used it very much. It was one of those things Barb ‘had to have’, but I couldn’t get satisfied with the taste of the coffee. I have read articles from coffee experts, and the instructions that came with the press, but this early in the morning, I wanted some simple steps. Google led me to an article by the easy to follow woman behind Gimme Some Oven.

Her way of making it just made sense to me, so I hopped outta bed at 5:00 am, and strolled quietly into the kitchen with instructions in hand, ready to try again. There are several steps involved in making a French Press, but anything that’s worthwhile has steps.

First I had to see how much water the press would hold. It held 4 cups, so I poured the water into the gooseneck kettle and sat it on the stove to bring it to a boil. Then waited. After it begins to boil, the water needs to rest for a minute, so I took it off the burner to rest.

I opened the timer on my phone and set it for 4 minutes, and poured the freshly ground beans into the French Press, just going through the steps. The hot water was poured just over the bed of grinds, about 2 inches, and stirred with a wooden chopstick to wet every grind, and the timer began.

My favorite part is watching it bloom. Putting my face over the press, I inhaled the magical aroma. If it’s really good coffee it should bloom, or foam up. The more it foams, the better quality. After one minute had passed, the rest of the water was poured in and the lid was put into place. The screen rested on top of the water with the plunger standing up.

I watched the countdown of time ticking by with the numbers illuminated blue in color. It was interesting when the timer got down to the last 30 seconds, the numbers turned red.

The one thing that bothered me about using the French press in the past was the feel of the pressing. I know how it’s supposed to feel when you press the plunger down with the palm of your hand. It should have some resistance, and not be effortless. This time it had plenty of resistance, so in the past I hadn’t poured enough in.

Le Creuset Café Stoneware French Press

Lessons learned:

  1. Don’t go back to sleep. The day is waiting for us to step into it.
  2. Keep using what we have and get it right.
  3. Follow some instruction. If the first ones aren’t to our liking, find better instructions.
  4. There’s a waiting period after every step.
  5. Let the water get boiling hot, but don’t let it spew. Anything that gets that hot needs a minute to rest.
  6. Watch the time, and be attentive to the red zone.
  7. Pause and enjoy the bloom. Breathe it in.
  8. When we begin to press through and there’s resistance, it’s normal. Nothing worthwhile should feel like an easy plunge, just continue to gently press.

Was getting up early, and trying once again to make a French Press worth it? You better believe it! That was excellent coffee. Keep trying and be willing to go through some steps to get to where you really want to be.

It all begins with the first step.

17 thoughts on “The First Step

  1. On your recommendation, I got several books by Melody Beattie from the library. Starting with a “self-help” book is my usual first step on any of the roads to a better me that I consider taking. Also webinars of which I have also seen a few this year.

    As usual, again, my schedule for actually doing anything with what I get from any of these resources has moved and continues to move to the right. However, as a result of finding myself somewhere I never expected to be, at least I am more enthused about going further and beating myself up less for delaying.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I see Melody’s books as gentle self help. A lot of people can show you the path, but her words actually light the path. You will find the time to read and do. Take notice of a space opening up in your day, even if it’s just 5 minutes. A little bit goes a long way. Thank you for stopping by and sharing!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. It seems that you woke up thinking about coffee and after some deliberation, made the decision to continue your quest for the best cup ever. So do you think it was better than the Chemex you’ve written about in the past? I’m curious if you’ll stick with the French press or alternate between methods each morning? Great post describing not only the process, but the actual enjoyment of your coffee as well!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I wish that were the case Des. I woke up thinking through all kinds of things, but then chose to revert my attention to coffee, and continuing the quest toward the best cup ever!

      It is not better than Chemex. The French Press gives off a bitter taste, whereas the Chemex being an open vessel pour over, has a more full bodied taste. I tried it again this morning, but the jury is still out! It is a fabulous alternative method because coffee is meant to be savored.

      As always Des, thank you for sharing your thoughts and embrace the day!

      Liked by 1 person

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