I’m not going to teach you how to make a unicorn out of steamed milk. I can barely pronounce “affogato” and I’ve never been a barista. Baristo? I haven’t mastered extraction and I couldn’t point to a portafilter if my life depended on it.
But I drink a lot of coffee and it improves my day. And I’d venture to guess that I can help anyone (yes, even you Mr. Chemex, Mrs. French Press and Señor Red Eye) brew the best damn cup of coffee they’ve ever had.
Don’t believe it? Try me.
Here's How to Make the World's Best Cup of Coffee
Coffee is the product of a long journey. The beans were likely gathered from far away, cured, roasted, packaged and shipped to your local supermarket, then dubbed some random new name. It’s only fitting that personal coffee prep involves a symbolic journey of sorts as your prepare some at home.
Dreaming of coffee
Without being overly romantic, I seriously encourage you to focus a second on coffee before you go to sleep. Not in a junkie sort of way - though many of us are super addicted to caffeine whether we admit it or not - but in a hey, I get to start off my day tomorrow with something awesome sort-of-way.
Take it from someone who is anything but a morning person. If you mediate on something positive to start the coming day, you’re one step ahead of the game. And if you are privileged enough to start your day with something you enjoy, you’re better off than most the world.
Stop and smell the ros…beans. Smell the coffee beans.
For real. Smell is said to be one of the strongest senses. So connect the brain with ideas of productivity, increased energy, focus and other strong traits that signify the beginning of your day. Take a couple whiffs and then take some more.
Deep breathing does wonders for the body and mind. Why not deep breathe hints of mocha and dark cherry?
Start the grind
Have frustrations? Me too. Nearly every day. Paint those mental images, traffic jams, deadlines, bills, and so on onto the poor, little coffee beans and grind the heck outta them. Say goodbye to clutter and the white noise of yesterday. Toss it into the metaphoric blades ’til it crumbles.
When you see each bean (aka challenge, frustration, hiccup) in its rawest form, you’ll see that beyond its bulky foundation, it’s nothing more than powder that you’ve built into something bigger.
Heat things up
The magic doesn’t happen until the water’s boiling. Okay, okay, cold brew is a wonderful thing. But if you make me go that route, I’ll have to explain the art of patience, which is really hard to do in a short, abstract blog post.
When you heat things up, think about the areas of your life where you need to crank it a notch. Where can you dig in? Where can you try a little harder? Where are you on autopilot? If you light a little fire under your butt in those areas, chances are you’ll see some more magic happen.
Let it brew
Progress takes persistence. As that dark nectar of the gods makes its final pass, think about everything ignored and forgotten that brought it thus far. Think about the seasons of rain and harsh, beating sun. Think about all the dirt on its shoulders. How each bean shook off the dust that once held it down. How it had to fight to survive. And then, how when the time was right and the stage was set, how the stupid little beans made the most beautiful drink in the world.
We are those stupid little beans! And someday, somewhere soon all of our brewing will pay off. We’ll add a little hop to someone’s day. We’ll give energy to someone in need. We’ll inspire something bigger.
Savor each sip
Take a minute to soak it all in. There, isn’t that nice? If that’s not the best damn cup of coffee you’ve ever had, I don’t know what is. And you can make it every single day. Or twice a day. I won’t judge.
DISCLAIMER: It doesn't have to be coffee. Take something routine that's become a part of your life and try to visualize more meaning. It's easy to blaze through a day without living intentionally.
If you love coffee and are a fan of hiking, keep an ear for more of these that I put on when the weather cools off. Anyone is welcome to attend!
And if you liked this post, I highly recommend checking out the following article on Semi-Rad.com. Second only to coffee, Brendan’s one of my main influences when it comes to writing and The Coffee Drinker’s Guide to Being Present is super on point.
Here’s a teaser: