Pouring coffee is the perfect mindfulness tool

To pour coffee well requires concentration and awareness, the perfect mindfulness test.

Get the right beans. Beans that have been roasted in the past week are best, and they can retain their freshness for about a month. Always buy beans as beans, and grind right before the pour. Hand grinders work well as they don’t take too long, and they don’t damage or burn the beans (if you have a lot of beans to get through, mechanical grinders work well).

It starts with boiling the water. Getting just enough water in the kettle is a challenge in and of itself, if you’re judging by weight that is. Not too much, not too little.

Then, the pour. The two main stages of the pour demand concentration, the first part especially. You have to be very mindful of the amount of water in the kettle, and the angle at which you are holding the kettle. This is where gravity comes into play.

If you use a technique of shifting your centre of gravity, rather than tilting your hand, it becomes much easier to get the right amount of water out. For pour over coffee, this is usually the hardest part, as you only need a very thin stream of boiling hot water.

This is still difficult though, and takes a lot of practice. If you rush this part, the coffee can become very thin, which is why proper technique, and the proper mindset, is paramount.

Then, the main pour begins. At this stage, it is easy to get ahead of yourself and want to pour too quickly. This part is very fun. The bubbling of the beans feels and looks great. Again, however, going to fast will result in a bad pour, so you need to be mindful, making sure to give it the right amount. Not too fast, not too slow.

Once you have the desired volume, you’re done. Now to appreciate the moment, and appreciate the cup. Mindfulness coffee. Enjoy.

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MOUNTAINS OF WISDOM

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Tim Bunting Kiwi Yamabushi

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