Reviving the coffee Zen? - Page 2

Coffee preparation techniques besides espresso like pourover.
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#11: Post by LBIespresso »

I just listened to this episode ( ... y3bulniAZ/)

The part about cake mix reminded me of this thread. Have a listen.
LMWDP #580

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#12: Post by JB90068 »

another_jim wrote:For me, this presupposes a kind of smooth flow where the variables are more like musical variations -- "ah, we're going to play it this way today!" than a lot of calculations and head scratching. I dislike it when coffee becomes a lab or programming task. So my ideal for Zen coffee is sprezzatura, an old Italian word meaning doing things so skillfully they appear effortless. That's my Zen.
How eloquent!

Despite having all the high end espresso and pour over equipment a person could want, hundreds of dollars worth of single origin and multi blend vacuumed sealed beans in the freezer, a notebook of grind settings for each grinder / roast, most of the time, I keep coming back to a blend that is roasted just a few miles from our home. The workflow is a dance that I do multiple times each day and could probably now do it with my eyes closed. For years, every morning I'll make a cappuccino for both my wife and I. I serve it to her in her favorite Fornasetti cup, in bed, because she likes to start her day reading the news there on her iPhone. Yesterday afternoon she called out and asked me to make her a "coffee". She is particularly fond of cardamon in her cappuccino as the day wanes. I pulled a single dose of our favorite local roast from the mini freezer below the coffee bar, did my well practiced dance and handed my wife her "coffee". After the first sip she looked at me, smiled and blissfully exclaimed "Oh, that's soooo good!". My wife loves the coffee I make for her now more than ever. Each time she smiles and tells me how good it is, it makes the dance even more worthwhile and I fall in love with her just a little bit more...

As she and I grow old together, this is a part of our lives where the process never does.
Old baristas never die. They just become over extracted.

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#13: Post by PIXIllate »

another_jim wrote:So my ideal for Zen coffee is sprezzatura, an old Italian word meaning doing things so skillfully they appear effortless. That's my Zen.

Yesterday I had a friend over to taste test my two Kafatek grinders. We spent a few minutes casually talking about the gear and then i started pulling shots while we talked about other things. I have a very involved prep routine but it's so second nature to me that I can grind, RDT, WDT, tamp, flush and flow profile all while talking to someone. The shots all came out within . 2g and 1 second of each other and the flow of the conversation was never broken.

Practice until it becomes boring and then add another variable. Repeat until its all muscle memory and flow. That feels pretty zen to me.


#14: Post by ljsrolovic »

I started out exactly the same as the OP: using a cheap JavaPresse hand grinder & Melitta cone, and literally drinking the water that I used to rinse my filter papers out of the cup I would be brewing into, because I kept all my coffee stuff on an Ikea cart in my bedroom (I shared an apartment with 3 other people and did not trust them to respect my coffee equipment :lol: ) I remember that it was a huge splurge for me to get a bag of Onyx Coffee Lab Eclipse from a local boutique coffee shop--and I wasn't "wowed" by it. I equally enjoyed the locally-roasted coffees I could buy from the grocery store, and those were half the price.

Ever since then, when I've been pulled in by the song of feeling like I "need" fancier gear, a better technique, etc, I always find that the novelty wears off and I eventually feel let down, as well as angry that I let myself become convinced that buying something solves any problems. I go back to what I most enjoy: taking the moment for myself to enjoy a thoughtfully-crafted cup of coffee that I measured, ground, and brewed myself. As soon as I start putting myself wholly into that space of mindfulness again--smelling the freshly ground beans, watching the brew bubble up during a bloom, and admiring the coffee in my mug before that first sip--it brings me right back to why I first got excited about coffee, and why I still love it and pursue it.

Is my pour over technique by any means enviable or "correct"? No. Am I still grinding on a Cuisinart conical burr grinder that I got as a gift? Yes.

Does it make a damn fine cup of coffee that makes me feel a little more prepared to face the day? You bet. And that's a beautiful thing.

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#15: Post by Kaffee Bitte »

I wake up every morning (or afternoon on occasion) much like a zombie and somehow get my gear moving. Often it's more like autopilot while making the first cup. There is a great deal to be said for having muscle memory from your consistent routine. I would say about half of the real wowers I have had were made during this brain fog let your muscles do the thinking stage of the morning. The kind of shots I remember still from fifteen years ago sort.

Maybe you can recapture your coffee zen by letting your muscles do the thinking. If you have been at it even a year you should have developed enough to let your brain wander while you work. My nerdy old brain can sure overthink things, it's killed my love of other hobbies a time or two.

What has kept me from going quite so deep into the science side of coffee is probably that it's also how I make a living and often in a work environment it feels more like an art than science. So I tried to hold to that at home too. Probably having gone the lever route has also kept that feeling too. It's a very full sensory experience pulling a shot.
Lynn G.
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