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.