The art of coffee

Today’s daily prompt asks what things I still prefer to be handmade.

Coffee has to be handmade. I know that may be a strange way of thinking about it but when Nespresso machines and their clones are everywhere, the cafetière, or French press, is still the only way to go.

I even saw a fully automated espresso machine recently. You could program it to your favourite drink, and then just press a button. It ground the coffee, loaded it into the correct place and then forced the steam through it. It even frothed the milk if you required it and poured that on top of the freshly made coffee. It tasted really good. And, yet.

The true coffee ceremony for me starts with grinding the coffee. Kept in the freezer if not totally fresh, I grind just the right amount. I’ll confess I do have a machine for this. Hand grinding coffee is a lengthy process, like several minutes per cup. (For at least this stage life is too short!). I then measured coffee carefully into the my cafetière. I just love the smell even at this stage.

The water is then freshly drawn, and boiled. Critically I always leave it for a minute or so to allow it to cool. There is something bitter in ground coffee that only dissolves above ninety centigrade apparently. Then into the cafetière. This is my favourite bit, smelling the freshly made coffee in the cafetière before I put the lid on it. An instant hit of caffeine, straight from the nose to the brain.

Smiling now, I gently fit the plunger to the top and wait, deferring the full gratification just a little longer. After a few minutes the coffee will be sufficiently dissolved to be able to press the plunger to the bottom. My coffee is ready!  The culmination of a several minute long ceremony and total bliss.

In short, hand making the coffee is a ceremony, and one that is totally lost if you just press a button. Coffee is then simply a commodity, rather than a precious delight.



20 thoughts on “The art of coffee

  1. Really interesting post. I enjoyed reading it as I sit here with my coffee. Right now I am feeling a little jealous for not having the ceremony, and like a loser for pushing the button 🙂


    • Hi Marie, thank you for the comment. I am, I admit a coffee obsessive. I also have the time to be. With four boys, and home schooling too, if you get time to drink coffee at all that’s surely a success.


  2. My son-in-law has a coffee roaster. He orders green coffee beans, roasts them himself, and then follows pretty much the same procedure as you. I’ve never tasted better coffee!


  3. Oh man. This sounds like it smells fantastic! I’m about 8 hours into a 16 hour workday and I could use a strong hit right about now…and in about 3 hours…and about 3 hours after that.

    Alas, only microwaved coffee and pretzel rods are in my future. God help me. Thank God for WordPress, Google, Wikipedia, and Reddit.


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  5. Loved your post. Not able to drink coffee for a while, so I’ll just reread this post when I get the coffee urge for now! What do you think of cold brew/press method? My son thinks it makes a smoother cup.


    • Thank you. I am pleased you liked the post, and I had not heard of the cold brew method. I’ve looked it up though! It sounds really interesting. I am going to have to give it a try.
      Do you have any cold-brewing tips you cold share?


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