It is important to start with something slightly sweet. Awaken the tongue, the palette to the day. Get it going, just a bit, before the bitterness. The bitterness is important but should not be the only thing to start or finish the day.
Begin to heat the water. Water for coffee must be 207 degrees. This is a must. If it is anything less than that the water cannot unlock all of the chemistry and flavor of the coffee. The time it takes to heat that water is exactly the time you need to consider the situation, your situation.
Grinding the coffee should happen in parallel with heating the coffee. It is required to mix the sounds of a grinder and of heating water. Your sonic senses need to participate in the creation. The mechanical, maniacal grinder racing against the anticipation of liquid life creates the necessary urgency to release the day. That is, an entire war of ideas within a single grind. There will be nothing left to do, to accomplish after this cup, in the normal sense of “taking on the day.”
Cups and filters and other vessels collect mold, dust, grime, disgust, contempt and otherwise undrinkable muck in storage, even after only a few minutes. Once the water is above 207 degrees use it to wash over all the equipment. Do this with care. The gunk clings to surfaces and must be caressed off and away so as not to notice its being evicted. Pristine Nordic Conditions is the goal. a perfect icicle burning from the inside, that is the state of your cup if you do this part as God intended.
Assumed here is some basic notion that you are familiar with the courting routine — of piling your grounds, finely ground, in a cone filter and apparatus suitable for raining hot water over them. Yes, a pour over funnel. It doesn’t matter what it is made of, who made it, how much it cost. The only aspect of the apparatus that matters is shape and purity of the surface. A cone with a hole. a filter. a pile of fresh ground coffee. a mind ready for execution.
The first drizzle of hot water, it must still be 207 degrees, should be no more than enough to create a gassy slurry of the grounds. Coffee must awaken to you, slowly. It releases gases once hot water contacts it. You want these gases to fly from the grounds and into the ether. You may want some of them to enter your nostrils to shake loose your bad, looping ideas. The first drizzle should leave a muddy residue of coffee mush, no longer matter, but an idea.
By now you should be 5 minutes or more into a process.
Not yet having had the coffee.
If you take less than this your body and your soul are out of alignment and will not be properly able to conceive.
You may now begin a more direct pouring of hot water. Bring the kettle or other container you used for the heating of h2o around in a spiral. You should not splash, play, make a drawing or do anything other than systemically, rhythmically wash the coffee slurry with fresh hot water. Your body will notice the sound of life, the drip of God turning water and process into slightly bitter, slightly aromatic bliss. The chorale effort now should take you two or three minutes.
Everything you’re are doing is about drawing the maximum transformation of yourself and the apparatus and the coffee bean-to ground-to slurry-to filtered fluid into a singular moment.
Some point, usually at seventy-five percent of a cup, no matter the size of the cup, the coffee slush filled funnel will slow and almost stop. Do not be alarmed. Do not rush. The stoppage is mostly you. Your internal clock is confused now. Having taken “so long” to get to “such a simple thing” is causing time to go in many directions. Time is further distorted by your own desire. Your desire has a nexus in grabbing that cup of coffee and going going going. The coffee itself knows this. It is aware that your haywire will quickly snuff out the existence of the coffee. Right at 75% brewed the coffee has its maximum leverage in the universe.
One must finish what one starts.
Finish the watering. Not with a flourish, don’t be showy. Just finish it like you’ve done this a million times. The coffee is offering itself to you in this final effort. It is preparing itself to become one with you. Give the coffee space.
Remove the funnel and discard the soiled filter. Take heed. Everything in its place. Honor the grounds, honor the funnel. Put the hot kettle out of reach. Let the cup of coffee, now full, now exuberant, now offering itself to you, have a moment. The temperature of the coffee will come down by radiating into the space around it.
The coffee walks down the aisle towards you, each row of onlookers left warmed in her wake. She leaves a bit of her old self with each as she moves towards you. The coffee and you move together. Your hand reaches out. She is trembling. Or is it you?
You may now kiss the bride.
If you have been too hasty you will be burned, obviously so. A searing pain will condense all you are likely damaging your ability to enjoy life fully for some time to come.
If you have waited, procrastinated, been distracted, wobbled you will feel nothing. Dead lips, dead eyes. Worse, your warmth will seep and then rupture into a vessel incapable of ever loving you. Recovery is highly unlikely. Love is time intensive, time sensitive. Love is a particular moment cindered by competing attention.
But if you have listened and observed and practiced and embraced all the above properly the flesh will become one. Your lips, one human, one ceramic, will become one mold, one perfect riverbed love between a coffee tree and bipedal primate. The liquid love will flow from one to the other. The sum will become greater than the parts. The heated parts radiate into a singular solar infinite moment.
If you quiet the beating of your heart you will hear the bells, the murmurs of existence, and the seedlings whispering 5000 feet above sea level, new lovers being born.
Do not think ahead to all the future days, the future coffees, the future lovers. Today is everyday, the only day. This coffee and This You, Your Forever is right now.
Do not rush this moment and do not try to over extend it. A cup of coffee has a life span. It will age and every age something new will and uniquely lovable will emerge. A coffee well cared for will grow more complex as it ages. As it transfers its heat energy to you and its environment it will reveal more of its history, its early life, its trauma, its highs, its lows. It will become fully embodied. You must not wait too long to hear her stories, though. You must listen to each one exactly as it is told and all the way.
As the cup is nearly empty, the waning moments of life, you and her will pause. You will tear up slightly but so as not to alarm the other. It is critical to not give into this feeling. You must urge the final story. She wants to tell you it all. Nudge her one last time. One last breath, her last drop. Listen, taste, feel it. Everything she is will be contained in a final concentrated droplette. The whole.
Finally. The graceful exit. Prepare yourself a small glass of carbonated water. Do not overthink it. Give your tongue a cool shower. The bubbles will not let the memories linger. The carbonation will not let the fragments of coffee turn bitter on your budded tongue. As you swizzle the water around your mouth rinse the urn of your former lover. She is now within you forever. Release the vessel.
7:46 am. the day is born. the day is won. they day is love. there is nothing left to do but there is everything to be. Bear witness for now.
Until tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow.