Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Ceremony of Coffee and Tea

I am on a quest to simplify life and slow down the pace of things with the goal of requiring less and appreciating more. Because I usually drink coffee, it takes only a couple of minutes in the morning to put coffee in the automatic coffee maker and rush around doing other things while it brews. This is not my preference, but is often what happens. It tastes fine, but I can't help but think now that something is missing.

Mainly, I am missing from the process. 

When I am in less of a hurry and in a state of mind to remember, I brew the coffee on the wood stove in a percolating coffeepot. There is more to this - the water level, the stove temperature, the sounds of the water heating up until the first sign of coffee appearing in the glass top and then the most important part - move to a lower temp side of the stove and brew for 7-10 mins depending on how strong you like your coffee. The coffee smells delicious, and I drink it black because the flavor is so amazing when it is brewed this way. This is a process that includes me. I need to pay attention, watch, hear, smell, taste and I interact with the coffee. It raises the experience to a level that connects to something inside of me. It slows me down and keeps me involved.

On days like today, when the stove is cool and I heat water up for a cup of tea, there is a different type of ceremony. Looking at each part of the process, the temperature of the water (just to boiling) the 3-4 mins you brew the tea leaves, the milk & sugar, or local raspberry honey (yum!) and the pouring, stirring, sipping, etc. This process also includes me and raises the experience to something other than just consuming.

So as I am writing this, I am listening to classical music, sipping tea and being a little reflective. It is always in the back of my mind to observe the things I do in life and see how I am rushing. The challenge is to take a step back and evaluate even the smallest things, like a cup of tea and if there is a slower and more involved experience I could be having. 

Or, in some cases, if the experience is an experience I want to have at all.


  1. For me, this post really defines simple living. Taking time and slowing down to not only be involved in the process but to also enjoy the outcome is important to savouring life.. I love tea and everything involved in making it. A good cup of Earl Grey tea on a cold afternoon...ahhh!

    Thanks for sharing and have a great week.
    tea and simplicity

    1. Sandra, I totally agree. Even in the busiest days it's worth finding time to sit down and appreciate the work that you have done :)

  2. I also live the same way as told in this blog post. I look at the process of making the coffee as a ceremony. It gives me a feeling that I'm decorating something and preparing myself for an event. Really. Drinking coffee at my room while listening to a slow rock song gives me immense pleasure.

    Thanks for sharing.
    Finn Felton
    Kopi Luwak

  3. I agree, Michele. I make sure to take some time in the day (maybe twice if allowed) and sit with a hot cup of tea and enjoy the moment. I always use a favorite cup or beautiful china to enhance it. Nice post. Deb

    1. Thank you, Deb. I have a favorite crystal mug that I use for tea already in a teabag and I use the Fiestaware for loose tealeaves. It definitely adds to the enjoyment!