6 Ways to Bring Mindfulness to your Coffee Routine in 2017

6 Ways to Bring Mindfulness to your Coffee Routine in 2017

It’s that time of year again. You know, the time when everyone is making resolutions to do better, be better, and look better in the coming year. Increasing one’s mindfulness is growing in popularity as the go-to way to achieve these goals.

For those unfamiliar, mindfulness is a mental state sought or achieved by focusing one's awareness on the present moment, while calmly acknowledging and accepting one's feelings, thoughts, and bodily sensations. Living mindfully allows us to focus on the present moment which makes it easier to live deliberately.

The hard part comes in practicing mindfulness.

It’s hard to remember to focus on the present when we have deadlines, responsibilities, bills, and other stresses. However, the morning routine of making coffee provides an excellent trigger to remind you to recenter yourself. These six methods will not only bring you delicious coffee and pep up your morning but will also help ground you, allowing you live mindfully.

Before you begin brewing, we want to pair each brewing step with a moment of time for mindfulness. The moment is about bringing your mind to full presence, giving you time to consider your actions.

Mindfulness Tip:

Have Gratitude

(This step happens before you even begin brewing.)

If you choose to drink organic, farmer-friendly coffee then your beans have had a tremendous journey just to get into your hands. Typically, each bean is picked by a farmer from cooperatives around the globe. Coffee may be grown across Central and South America, Africa, Indonesia, and more - each imbuing a unique terroir to the beans. Once the whole coffee cherry is hand-picked by farmers, it is processed for sale which entails separating the coffee bean from the cherry, fermenting the raw beans, rinsing, and grading. Once batched together, the unroasted beans are shipped to facilities at their destinations for roasting. Consumers will purchase the whole or ground beans at this stage.

Being mindful of the many steps and long journey your coffee took to get to you and your kitchen helps to center yourself before preparing your brew.

1. Pour-over

pour over

Required materials:

  • Coffee grounds
  • Kettle
  • Pour-over funnel
  • Filter
  • Coffee mug
  • Spring water (optional)

The Method:

Making pour-over coffee requires some planning ahead of time to obtain a funnel like the one pictured, but these come in many different variations. Once you have set up of a funnel and filter, simply:

  1. Bring water to a near-boil in a kettle,
  2. Fill the filter with your desired volume of coffee grounds, and
  3. Begin to pour the water over the grounds.

Be sure to start with a small amount of water - enough to cover the beans - to allow the grounds to bloom. Once the first water drains, you can pour the rest in batches until you’re finished.

Mindfulness Tip:

Use your nose. Enjoy the sensations

The pour-over preparation is particularly intensive in the effort required compared to other Methods. As such it provides an especially good opportunity for mindfulness. Using care while ‘blooming’ the grounds and observing how the water slips into the grounds as they hydrate requires focus and presence. Be sure to take note of when you begin to smell the aroma of coffee and as you sip revel in the unique taste.

2. French Press

french press

Required materials:

  • Coffee grounds
  • French press
  • Spring water (optional)

The Method:

  1. Start by bringing your desired amount of water to a near boil.
  2. Measure out the grounds required, about two tablespoons for every 8 fl. oz. of water, and put it in the press.
  3. When the water reaches the correct temperature, pour enough to cover the grounds and let sit for 15 seconds to allow to bloom.
  4. Next, pour the remainder of the water in, and allow to steep for 4 minutes.
  5. When complete, press the filter down to strain out the grounds and you’re ready to serve!

Mindfulness Tip:

Appreciate your body's ability to move.

How many muscles do you use when pushing down on a french press? We estimate that over 30+ muscles are used just to complete this simple motion. (23 in the arm, 4 major ones in the shoulder, then secondary muscles in your back and legs for stability) Every motion you create is due to a symphony of muscles working together without you putting any thought into each individual action. This is your opportunity to put real thought into those actions.

Four minutes may not seem like a long time, but the four minutes of the time that you add the hot water and when you press is a great time for reflection. Relax for a second and take an inventory of your surroundings: what you can see, the sounds, and smells. What’s new? You can also use this time to take an emotional inventory. Think about how you’re feeling in this moment. Are you stressed, happy, excited? Are these emotions preventing you from enjoying the present?

3. Cold Brew

cold brew

Required materials:

  • Coffee grounds
  • Steeping vessel + filter/French press
  • Spring water (optional)

The Method:

Cold-brewing coffee has gained popularity in recent years with Starbucks and Dunkin Donuts each releasing small batches for sale daily in 2016, however, this method is still unknown many people.

  1. To begin, measure 4.5 tbsp of coffee grounds for every 8 fl oz. of water to be used.
  2. Combine the coffee with cold or room-temperature water in the steeping vessel (which may be any sealable container) or french press.
  3. Allow the mixture to steep in your fridge for 12-18 hours (overnight works great).
  4. When complete, strain the coffee grounds from the cold brew using cheese cloth, a fine filter, or the french press filter.
  5. The last step is to dilute the strong, concentrated brew to taste.

Some people simply add ice cubes to make iced coffee, others cut the concentrate with a 1:1 ratio of water and some prefer the strong deep taste of the concentrated cold brew.

Mindfulness Tip:

Prepare for the morning

Because the process of cold brewing requires prior planning, many people incorporate the setup into their evening routine and then complete the brew in the morning before work. This provides multiple opportunities to center yourself. You can use the process of preparing the cold brew as a trigger, or reminder, to prepare  yourself for the best morning ever.


These differing times will have you in different moods physiological states allowing you to experiment with yourself.

4. Teabag

Required materials:

  • Coffee grounds
  • Empty teabags
  • Coffee mug
  • Spring water (optional)

The Method:

  1. Simply take an empty tea bag and fill it with two tablespoons of coffee.
  2. Close the teabag and steep in near-boiling water for 4 minutes or for taste.
  3. Remove the teabag to end the steeping and enjoy!

Mindfulness Tip:

Feel the heat

Take your warm mug in your hands while you’re waiting for the tea bag to steep. Feel the warmth on your palms, watch the tendrils of coffee as the steep into the water from the bag and smell the aroma of the coffee as it strengthens. The sensory experience of this method of coffee is hard to beat. Once you’re grounded by the physical experience it’s easier to emotionally connect to the present.

5. Tasting

sarah

Required materials:

  • Fresh-brewed cup of coffee

The Method:

Any of the above!

Mindfulness Tips:

All of them!

Have Gratitude, Focus on the movement of your body, Prepare for the day, Feel the heat or cold (for cold brew)

When tasting your coffee, there are four things that you can look for to maximize your experience. First is to smell the aroma; concentrate on finding earthy, spicy, floral, or nutty notes. Next is to slurp your coffee from the edge of the mug. The first thing you’ll gather from this is the acidity or bitterness of the brew. Next, as the coffee settles on your palate, the deeper more nuanced flavors of the body will develop. Concentrate on which flavors appear on the tip and sides of your tongue. Lastly, take a moment to describe to yourself the flavors and experience that you’ve just completed. Unlock some of your creativity by comparing the flavors to different foods and smells!

6. Drink Javazen

javazen

Required materials:

  • Javazen Balance, Boost, Relax or Pumpkin Spice in loose grounds or Brew Bags
  • Spring water (optional)

The Method:

Any of the above!

Mindfulness Tip:

Javazen creates a coffee that gives you focused, mindful energy without the stress, jitters, and crash of traditional coffee.  This is done by simply combining healthy teas and powerful superfoods into organic coffee. Compounds found in the tea, like l-theanine, help to regulate the body’s response to caffeine giving an “extended release” boost. If you haven’t tried Javazen yet, head to TryJavazen.com giving away sample boxes of their three signature blends at TryJavazen.com!


Comment on this post (1 comment)

  • Elizabeth Resnick says...

    Love this! I have a morning gratitude practice and totally drink my coffee mindfully. French press is my preferred method. Javazen has taken it to a whole new level!

    January 18, 2017

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