My coffee ritual is not quite like the coffee ceremonies of Arab or Ethiopian cultures, but it is a ritual nonetheless.
Rituals add meaning and rhythm to life. Rituals comfort and remind. Rituals provide a sense of identity and community (except when I’m brewing a single cup for myself).
My current coffee “ceremony” involves the hand-blown glass Chemex brewing pot, a buono kettle, and the magic filters which know which particles and oils to hold back.
I’m a big fan of Intelligentsia’s training/instructional videos and standards. Here’s a great one for the Chemex.
While the water is coming to a boil, I grind the whole bean coffee in the ceramic hand mill. You’re going for a similar coarseness to a french press setting. I like mine a little more fine than that though. The precision on the mill is not what I would like it to be but again, there’s something about the manual process that improves the ritual. Of course, this is not realistic if you need to grind more than 40-60 grams of coffee.
The Intelligentsia standard for coffee/water ratio is 2.1-2.2g per fl. oz of water. Another common standard in the industry is 2 tbsp per 6 oz of water. I like to start with standards like these then adjust to one’s own taste/preferences.
Once the water boils, I measure out the right amount of water for the brewing and then use the rest to wet/rinse the filter and heat up the pot. I pour that water into my mug to preheat and then re-fill the buono kettle with the exact amount of water I want to brew with.
To brew a delicious clean cup of coffee I begin by wetting the ground coffee with just enough water for the grounds to “bloom.” You don’t want to see much/any dripping at this point. That will deflate (bubble out) in 30-45 sec and then I continue to pour slowly in a circular motion (avoiding the sides) until I’ve evenly extracted about 12 oz of liquid delight.
The whole ritual takes about 10 minutes and it imposes a certain amount of order in an otherwise typically chaotic day.
Here’s another good description of the Chemex brew method which you might find helpful if you have a Chemex and want to fine-tune your brewing.
Is coffee a part of your daily ritual?
What rituals have you found helpful in bringing personal order to chaos?