My husband is in charge of washing any dishes that don’t go in the dishwasher, so when I’m ready to make my morning coffee, first I must gather the clean parts of the coffee maker from the dish drainer on the right-hand side of the sink. If there are a lot of clean items, I put them away before I go any further.
The coffee maker sits on a clever tray with little wheels underneath and I slide it forward—out from under the cabinet.
I start by putting the filter basket inside its outer shell, making sure to swing its handle to the back, away from the opening where the grounds pour in. Once I put on the lid, I pull out the middle portion of the coffee machine, nestle the whole apparatus into place, and close it again with a click. Then it's time to assemble the grinder. I slide its screen under the spout, pull up the top lid of the coffee maker, and work the unit firmly into its spot.
The container of coffee beans is kept right next to the coffee maker, tucked to the back of the counter. I set it on the stove, remove the clear top lid, pull up the handle of the inner vacuum lid, and pull it out with a “schwhoop!” My favorite coffee scoop (and some lesser coffee scoops) are on a lazy susan nearby in a Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy themed mug made for me by the mother of my high school boyfriend. I measure out four scoops of beans and drop them into the grinder, then “schwhoop” the vacuum lid back into place, fold down its handle, put the clear lid back, and restore the canister to its usual spot.
I put the grinder lid on and then grab the glass carafe. If I’m lucky, the Brita container in the refrigerator is relatively full. If not, I grab it by its front handle and set it in the sink. The last time I had a new kitchen faucet installed I learned that our kitchen pipes are smaller than they should be. So, it takes a while to fill the Brita’s upper chamber and I have to pay attention to make sure it doesn’t overflow.
Either way, I fill the carafe to the four-cup line with filtered water and pour it into the top right side of the coffee maker. Once I click the lid closed and push the machine back under the cabinet, I press the “1-4 cups” button followed by the start button. The grinder loudly kicks in and continues for what seems to be far longer than necessary to grind four scoops of beans, and then it brews the two cups of coffee I will drink that morning.
I’ve been collecting coffee mugs for years. I keep my favorites at the front of the shelf where I can reach them and I occasionally rearrange the cupboard to make sure I’m not leaving any of them out of circulation for too long. I choose each day’s mug according to my mood, fill it with freshly brewed coffee, and carry it up to my desk (or to my favorite chair on days when I’m not working), usually with a small plate with toast or a breakfast pastry balanced on top.
This happens every single day (unless I happen to go out to breakfast) and the whole process only takes about five minutes, despite the many steps. It’s my morning meditation and the source of my energy for the day to follow.
What’s your favorite morning ritual?