4 months ago

Delight 16: Coffee

I feel like that title is either going either attract those who are coffee aficionados or be completely ignored if you aren’t a coffee drinker. The truth is I think I’d like to be an aficionado but I’m not. I’m not quite like my Dad who has never had a bad cup of coffee in his life, but certainly not to the extent that many are. If my grandfather were alive today and was told that people buy bottled water when tap water is almost free and people spend over $5 for coffee that you can make for pennies in your home, he would be in shock. And while on the one hand that is somewhat absurd, most of us can appreciate that coffee, like wine and beer and other beverages are now things created and nurtured by artisans. So many of us take great pleasure in experiencing these drinks in a much more intense and intentional way.

Still, for me I’ve never been one to have a strong preference over any particular brand of coffee. My palette is really only able to distinguish strong and weak. Once in a while I’ll have a cup that I really like but am not able to articulate why. And yet, I admire those who have that interest and skill. I just find it fascinating anytime someone has that deep of a passion for anything that specific. I had a colleague who was really into craft beers. I’m not a beer drinker but enjoyed going to various pubs and brewers and learning about what goes into making beer. The pleasure they take in discovering new and interesting brews is delightful. My definition of delight is rooted in being specific.

Coffee began to take on a new role in my life during the pandemic. Being at home everyday I embraced certain rituals. My morning coffee was one. I was happy with my Keurig and would try different pods. My daughter had a French press and one day after having coffee at her house I decided it was time to up my game. I wanted to be more like those aficionados even though I knew I’d never be quite as obsessed but I did like the control and extra effort folks put into their coffee. I quite enjoyed the way many chimed in with their thoughts on this twitter thread.

I started this delight project prior to March 2020 and what’s been surprising is how much delight I find in routine. My life was not routine at all. I travelled over 150 days a year and I was keenly aware of the delights I was able to experience because of that lifestyle but being home every day has revealed new delights. I wake up in the morning excited to start my coffee routine. I don’t know if it’s subconsciously a way to add some excitement to what might otherwise be a pretty routine existence or if indeed I’m getting better at noticing delights. I don’t know if I’ll ever reach the stage of talking about water temperature, bean density or the various nuances of immersion but maybe. Either way, the French Press is working out nicely even if I take a little cream in it which I think drives the true aficionados nuts.