My morning coffee ritual

February 02, 2019

My morning coffee ritual

Having a coffee in the morning has been a part of my morning ritual for a long time now. Making fresh coffee every morning and taking the time to enjoy it is my favourite way to start the day. Some people have yoga, or going for a walk, or checking their phone to see what's happened overnight, and I love doing all of these from time to time too. However, my one constant remains. Every day, I have that cup of black coffee to kick start my day.
I'm not here to talk about whether having a cup of coffee in the morning is good for you or not. We all know that coffee contains caffeine and there's a long-standing debate in the health community about whether coffee is good for you or not. It's a reality that, for some, caffeine just isn't a good idea, day or night. For me, it's more about listening to my body and I know that my morning coffee ritual is one that I like to stick to no matter what. No matter what is going on with my kids, with my husband, with the house or with work. No matter what time I wake up or how I'm feeling. Having that cup of coffee in the morning is essentially my special time, because it's the way I choose to start my day and I stick to it. So after one or two big glasses of water upon rising, it's coffee time!
 
This ritual is so important to me that my kids and husband, maybe even our dog, instinctively know that this time is mine. The words have never been spoken, but I think they get that it's what I need to do for myself every day. 
 
So why write about my morning coffee? Two reasons. Firstly, I think it's important for all of us to honour our morning rituals. By these, I mean the sequences of events that get us going and give us joy in the morning so we have energy - mentally, emotionally and spiritually - to move through the day as we want to. I don't know what will work for you. I just know that I've discovered what works for me over the years. I have gone through periods of not drinking coffee, often for years at a time, and one day I came to the realisation that it was good for me to accept coffee into my life. It's something I absolutely enjoy. I love black coffee. Just black coffee - no sugar, no sweetener and no milk. The smell of it, the taste of it and the ritual of making it. I love them all and that's alright.  Part of coming to this realisation was accepting that I don't need others to tell me what's right for me, and there are definitely lots of opinions about coffee drinking. I need to listen to my wisdom and not be afraid to accept what I discover. It is only coffee after all, but it was so much more than that for me. 
 
Secondly, I think how you make your coffee is important too. As a past-owner of a coffee shop, I know how much people love their coffee and they love the convenience of buying a barista coffee made quick to order. Since I closed our cafe seven months ago, I haven't had many coffees out at cafes. I do prefer to make them at home now and take the time to make my coffee just the way I like it. I also do what I can to be sustainable at home, which includes buying food with as little packaging as possible, composting, recycling, buying food in bulk, and using reusable wrapping items and reusable kitchenware for food eaten outside the home. So when it comes to my morning coffee, it's important for me to be sustainable here too. 
 
So here are my top tips for enjoying a sustainable fresh coffee:
  • Enjoy freshly roasted coffee, either as whole beans or ground coffee, from your local roaster. Buying coffee this way from your local roaster is great on so many levels. Firstly, you're supporting a local business and they need all the support they can get! Secondly, most coffee roasters will be able to put your beans into a refillable container that you can keep taking back and refiling every time you need more beans. By doing this you'll reduce the amount of packaging you're using - say 'yay' for the environment - and you're also doing your local coffee roaster a favour by reducing their packaging requirements and costs, so win-win. 
  • Use your coffee making appliance or gadget of choice to make fresh coffee at home. Some examples include a coffee percolator, espresso machine, a stovetop Bialetti or a plunger. I don't have an espresso machine at home. I actually prefer to use my coffee peculator and my French-press plunger. They produce different products. If I want that beautiful crema on top, then I definitely go for my plunger and if I want a smoother and more convenient coffee I use my Breville coffee percolator. I like these methods because there is zero waste. At the end of the coffee making process, I compost the leftover coffee grounds. So again, making coffee this way is great for the environment.
  • Compost your leftover coffee grounds! Your garden will love you for this and you'll be keeping waste out of landfill. You can put all that goodness back into the ground.
If you are having coffee out at a cafe and taking it away then I really do encourage you to bring your own mug or reusable coffee cup. These days, most cafes are very gracious about allowing you to do this and if they haven't considered a BYO cup program before then you can certainly let them know about it. There's a great movement called Responsible Cafes that encourages cafes to either ditch their takeaway cups completely or instigate a BYO cup program with a discount, providing customers with a monetary incentive to say no to disposable cups. The website has a list of responsible cafes on it so you can see who is part of the program. Check it out here.
 
On that note, I'm sending this post off into the world to encourage you all to find that special morning ritual that works for you. I've enjoyed the last of my morning coffee now and I'm ready to kick off the day taking care of the family. I would love to know if you decide to make your own fresh coffee at home and please feel free to share what morning rituals you love that help you get centred for your day. We can all inspire each other to find the rhythms of life that bring us more joy.
Photos by Matthew Henry from Burst



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