Good morning

A Fresh Start

I am not particularly the easiest person to wake up in the morning. My daily schedule fluctuates and is about as predictable as a stray dog. Some nights I’m up till 3 or 4am with work, other nights I actually manage to drift off before midnight. The same thing always happens though and I end up begrudgingly forcing my eyes open one by one over the course of fifteen minutes or so every morning. The only times I have found myself on a comfortable, predictable day to day schedule is when backpacking or camping. The sun sets, you go to sleep. The sun rises, you get up, pack up, and move on down the trail.

Now that I have YoungDoo around, who is much better at pulling herself out of bed in the morning, my sleep coated senses are often greeted with a fresh cup of coffee and some variety of simple breakfast. A wonderful thing to wake to. There are also days where I manage to trick myself into waking without too much of a struggle and beat her to the punch by pulling out our coffee making supplies before she does and this is what I really love about having coffee at home, the process of brewing it, or to put the word of the moment into play, the ritual of a fresh brewed cup.

YoungDoo and I most often use a pour over/hand drip method and grind beans by hand before each brew. Tell me, is there any greater moment than cracking open a fresh coffee bean with a grinder and having that sweet aroma fill the room?  I think I prefer this method because it makes me feel connected and dedicated to the process and I really love that feeling. I can’t fathom how anyone can choke down those little pod coffees after experiencing the hypnotic ritual of making fresh coffee with the patience, grace, and methodology that the process calls forth. Oddly, whenever I see those little coffee pods for sale I fear that as a society we are quickly loosing our patience one double click at a time. A dreary prognosis but the realist in me cant help but wonder. “Loosing My Edge” by LCD Soundsystem just started playing in my mind.

Any skeptics of making a good cup of coffee in the morning should wake up and smell the… well. Consider it a little vacation in your day. Nothing else to worry about but the simple process, and let me tell you, you don’t really need a scale, or a fancy kettle, or a connoisseurs trained taste to enjoy the new old ritual of brewing a cup of coffee from scratch. There may be a lot of gadgets and techniques on the market but when you break the process down to its core you only honestly need  a simple, single cup brewer, a measuring cup full of water hot to the point just before boiling (preferably one with a nice smooth pouring spout), and a spirit willing to let yourself open up to the process. There are countless resources online for learning more if you do want to dig deeper into the process.

All that said, I can easily suggest you think about adding a simple pour over brewer to your Christmas list if you have ever even considered trying it for yourself. There are even little single cup versions that only cost somewhere around $5-10. Here are a few Amazon links; cheapest drip brew, a little nicer, a modest hand grinder, and maybe a few filters. I think the pour over method is the easiest way to discover the joy of feeling connected to the art of a good cup of coffee. Don’t let the hipster tainted stigmata of brewing coffee scare you off, it really can be lovely thing.

Or, of course, you could just as easily go the tea route. But we’ll save that for another day…

Now, about that photo I had posted this image up on Flickr a while back with the intention of making a desktop version one day and here we are, a bit less saturated than before, but here we are. The natural light through the window provided all the warmth and saturation here. It was a simple, beautiful morning and through a few quick photos I can look back and remember it just as fondly as the day it happened. Here’s to the calm ones.


  1. jklm - December 3, 2012 at 8:11 am

    Nice pic, nice text :)

  2. Jason - December 3, 2012 at 11:34 am

    Out of sheer convenience, I was a pod coffee drinker for several years. Over that time, I forgot what an amazing cup of coffee really could/should taste like. Earlier this year, I forced myself to ditch the Keurig and get back to the roots of making coffee via fresh ground and a French Press and I’m loving every single cup again. You called it with this line: “hypnotic ritual of making fresh coffee with the patience, grace, and methodology”. Great post.

  3. anotherkindofdrew - December 3, 2012 at 9:32 pm

    We kind of do it all here. We have a Keurig. I also treasure my hand grinder. We have a French press and we are pleased with our Cuisipro frother. To us coffee is a daily thing and each day is different. Sometimes we find ourselves fickle preferring a gourmet cup without fuss. Other days we are purists and like hearing the crackles of beans. Whatever the case, you are right. We appreciate being connected to the process; no matter how passive.

  4. brumal - December 5, 2012 at 3:20 am

    Definitely your best photo so far.

  5. Su - December 15, 2012 at 9:24 am

    brilliant capture!! i am so jealous of your 35mm 1.4L!! the quality of the blur is insane!! my niftyfifty tries :(

    oh, and happy holidays :)

  6. David - December 17, 2012 at 1:29 am

    Nice to see you using the Able man!! Rad shot! What coffee you getting over there? You should definitely check out Handsome Roaster.

  7. Deney - December 28, 2012 at 7:37 pm

    its hard to find a gooseneck kettle.. seems like theres only one brand available. The one you’re using.

  8. john - December 28, 2012 at 10:11 pm

    Deney, try a search for “pour over coffee kettle” or alternatively, “hand drip coffee kettles” while the Hario is the most common there are quite a few on the market, even handy powered ones that don’t need a stove.

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