Don’t Shrink Yourself

I awoke by what sounded like a blender.

Then that familiar scent entered my room.

My WordPress friend, Still a Dreamer, gets this moment. She refers to it as the Nectar of the Gods. Yes my darling, I woke up to the smell of a freshly brewed Chemex! Life doesn’t get any better!

chemex

My daughter is a master of the Chemex.

She taught me how to make one, but mine are never as good as hers. She has it down to a science. She has class this morning, but took time to make one knowing it would be a beautiful way to begin this day. I was giddy holding this cup of magical brew.

Yes lovely, happiness is really that simple.

As my daughter was getting ready for class, she couldn’t decide what shoes to wear. She wanted to wear her new boots, but I could sense reluctance, so I questioned her quandary. Her response wasn’t what I thought it would be. It wasn’t so much about the boots, but how tall they made her look.

She is giving a presentation in front of her class. She is 5′ 8″ tall, just a little shorter than me. As she slid on her Converse sneakers I gave her a word of advice. You see, I felt the same way at her age.

I was taller than all the boys in school and wearing heels makes me look even taller. She doesn’t want to bring attention to herself, but today I know this…

shrink

Boots on my darling. Don’t shrink yourself.

The Magic Pot

My daughter returned home from England with new ideas. One was, she asked me to buy instant coffee. I guess they drink instant coffee in England?

Our coffee paraphernalia had outgrown the intimate kitchen, so I began setting up a coffee bar in the breezeway. We needed an electric kettle.

Here enters the magic pot.

magicpot

Isn’t it pretty? It’s rather magical as well.

♥ ♥ ♥

This morning I walked by and flipped the switch of the magic pot for the water to begin heating. After drinking one cup of instant, I wasn’t satisfied.

It also left a foul taste in my mouth.

I went in search of the Chemex.

There is nothing quick about making a Chemex. The pour over kettle heats slowly. You place a Chemex filter in and splash it with warm water, then grind the beans and pour them in. Making a Chemex takes about 15 minutes and patience.

After it’s all prepped you get to watch it make the coffee. Yes lovely. You get to stand back and watch.  

That is how life is.

dontworry

Really good things don’t happen instantly. Give it time. One example is, my Virtual Assistant job.

The man I work for surprises me with bonuses. It’s not that I did a spectacular job for him one particular week. No love, it’s that I try and do my very best every week. The time and effort add up.

Out of nowhere he sends bonus money.

I never know when he will do this, but it happens a couple of times a year. It’s not something I depend on by no means. It’s his way of saying ‘thank you’ for spending quality time on his business.

♥ ♥ ♥

Another example is our writing.

Just like the Chemex, we tend to our Blog and consistently click ‘publish’. We pour everything into to it and it takes time, but at some point, we get to stand back and watch it bless other people’s lives.

Like my bonus, we don’t know when that magic will occur, but everything worthwhile takes time. 

I wish for you a Chemex life over the magic pot.

 

 

To Be Inspired

To get in the habit of writing again. Taking time off becomes easier, and soon, you find yourself not writing. In speaking with a friend this morning she said, “Write about coffee!”

My daughter returned from Boston with a brown bag of goodness. Out of all the things she could have brought, she knows my heart. It was a bag of Blue Bottle coffee beans.

The way I view coffee has evolved over time. What used to be my morning ‘wake me up’, is now a magical moment.

chemex
The coffee bloom and a Chemex.

My relationship with coffee became quite serious this year.

Visit local coffee houses, (not franchises), or the coffee booth at a Farmers Market, and ask questions like…

Where do your beans come from? When were they roasted?

When you purchase whole bean, check the bottom of the bag. It should have a roasted date stamped on it. Beans stay fresh for two weeks before they start losing their freshness. Only grind the amount you are going to use.

I used to made my coffee at night, and set the machine to brew automatically for the next morning. Stumbling out of bed, after the beep was the start of my day. I didn’t realize what the machine was doing for me is actually a magical moment. Moments aren’t timed or automatic.

Moments are deliberately made in the present moment.

I placed the coffee maker on a shelf to give away, and pulled out a french press. That is how I made my coffee each morning, but eventually I knew there was more to learn. My daughter taught me the magic of a pour over. It took time to get it just right, but what a challenge to learn!

When my daughter brought home Blue Bottle, I graduated to the Chemex. This has been the most challenging, yet rewarding of all! I don’t have it mastered, but I keep trying.

chemex-at-home
The Chemex.

My daughter has the Chemex down to a science, and an amazing cup of coffee is a science. A Burr type grinder crushes each bean, instead of emulsifying them with a blade, so they are uniform. You can weigh the grinds, (my daughter would), but I don’t go that far. Even after using a French Press, Blue Bottle taught me how to improve. To time the steep for 4 minutes, and no more. Then press the brew, and how much resistance the press should have.

In the heat of the summer, cold brew is refreshing in the afternoon, so today I ordered a bottle to make it myself.

coldbrew
Hario Cold Brew Bottle by Blue Bottle.

There is always something to improve upon. I went from having ‘just coffee’, to altering my morning routine for this moment. Now when I awake, I drink a bottle of water to give my body time to wake up. The Chemex is complex, and it’s early, so I wait for my daughter to appear. She makes a Chemex, but if she’s not here, I do a pour over, or French Press, and practice with the Chemex after I’m fully awake.

My friend asked me this morning, “What inspires you?” Well my friend, you do, along with a really good cup of coffee.

 

Listening for quiet

Making a coffee pour over has a calming effect over me.

Once I go through all the steps of setting it up, I’m forced to slow down, and enjoy the process. Watching as the boiling hot water, slowly escapes from the spout of the pour over kettle. It hits the coarse grounds, and they begin to bloom. (My fave) Today, I poured the water very slowly, in attempt to keep the bloom alive for as long as possible.

bloom1
That magnificent bloom.

I listened intently during the process. When the water first hit the grounds, and the liquid drained into the empty cup, it was noisy. I could hear it trickling. As the cup filled with the hot liquid, the trickling became quieter, and quieter.

pourover

I knew the cup was full when it was completely quiet.