A Cup Of Instant Coffee

Cafenista - The Coffee Fairy

Cafenista - The Coffee Fairy

Ahh, that heavenly delectable aroma of freshly brewed coffee. Whether it’s prepared in secret in the workplace by the ever vigilant Cafenista – the Coffee Fairy, or with one of those delightful French press devices in your own home, the smell of that fabulous soul lifting liquid is absolutely intoxicating.

And to hold that warm cup or mug cradled snug in your hand while your palm warms slowly with the heat from the cup, knowing that in just a few moments after you are done savoring the aroma of that fresh earthy brew, you are going to be able to taste the first drops of an invigorating cuppa joe. Then gain the strength to open your eyes and enjoy those first few rays of sunshine.

Or if you’re at work and participating in the ritual of coffee preparation in the break room, where everyone can enjoy a few more precious moments of time before they head off to their desks or their cubicles or work stations to start their day’s activities.

Coffee, the wonderful life-bestowing liquid gold - Ambrosia in a cup, and cool device for an analogy.


lots of coffee

Coffee - The Nectar Of The Gods

Are there other ways to begin your day that count as rituals, for sure there are, but none lend themselves quite so well as coffee for this analogy.

How Do We Get Our Coffee?

A simple question with a multitude of answers. Many of which are delightful and some of which are not so much.

Let’s take a look at the delightful scale and see where these various methods of coffee obtaining fall.


coffee scale

More Delightful Is Better


Over on the right hand side of the delightful scale is the French press at 10, where you carefully grind an exact number of beans you have stored in an airtight container in your freezer and then place them into your coffeepot along with the correct amount of hot but not boiling water. After waiting a few minutes you press the plunger and trap the ground coffee beans at the bottom of the pot and pour out a fabulously delicious cup of fresh coffee.

Descending a step down on the coffee scale is the drip pot; its score is 8. The common kind of coffee maker which is known colloquially as Mr. Coffee after a famous brand of coffeemaker. This allows the water to drip through the ground coffee and create a fine and tasty brew in the pot below. The filters trap some of the more exotic flavors of the coffee and they don’t pass down to the pot itself, but it’s still pretty good coffee.


Perk, Perk Percolator

Next down the scale comes the percolator at 6, which heats the water and sends it up a metal tube to drip down through a basket full of ground coffee. Not bad coffee, but it is easy to make the coffee too bitter by boiling the coffee too long.

big coffee

Please Enjoy Responsibly

Next down a bit lower on the scale is coffee shop coffee. places like: Starbuck’s, Coffee Bean and Seattle’s Best, which rate about a 5.

Kind of fresh, but only if you get there when the brewmonster machines have just woken up from their long night’s nap.

Next stop, convenience store coffee with a score of 3. Stale, usually kind of burned tasting, served in semi clean pots each brewing along with their brethren waiting to be gobbled up and slurped down, after being infused with tiny packets of a vaguely creamlike powder that almost dissolves.

Oh Dear

Oh Dear

And last on the list, coming in with a score of 1: instant coffee. Boiled water and instant coffee. It is such a pale imitation of what a real coffee drinking experience could be. It lacks in taste, flavor, aroma and fun; but its easy to make and fast. Heat the water, dump some instant coffee into it and you have something to drink.



Here is why we are talking about coffee on A Life Of Light.

We talk a lot about authentic experience here at ALOL, and use a lot of examples of everyday objects and situations to make those ideas real. So here’s how it is with coffee. We put together a story describing the experience of enjoying a delicious cup of wonderful coffee made with a french press. And then placed other ways of making coffee on the scale so it would be extra clear how icky instant coffee can be.

And it’s kind of the same way with learning; especially when you are learning ideas and skills that are life changing in a way that affects your soul.

There are many, many wonderful teachers who pretty much teach the same thing as all the others.

  • Be kind to yourself and others
  • Be aware that your thoughts are creating your life
  • Simplicity is essential
  • And lots of other ideas


And each of these teachers teaches those things with their own style and their own examples and their unique blend of their life experience.

And the very best of these teach in a way that tells you to follow their example, and once you have mastered how to do what they are teaching, then you take that knowledge to create your own perfect understanding of the world as it has changed for you. Basically, they tell you, that coffee is wonderful and to start with they show you how to make a cup of their own special brand of instant coffee.

Then when you have learned how to do that, you go out to buy some gourmet beans from the local coffee vendor. Then go get yourself a French press machine, and practice a few times with your coffee grinder, beans and coffee maker to make the perfect cup of coffee that is brewed especially for you. Perfect for your taste, to the strength that you desire, warmed to be the temperature that suits you the best.

coffee cup

The Perfect Cup of Coffee

And when you have made that perfect cup of coffee for yourself, and you've changed your life to be exactly how you want it to be, spend some of the moments from your day enjoying your masterpiece. Once you’ve done that a few times, once you’ve invested yourself into the creation of something that is going to be a part of your life, you will be eternally gratefu that you learned how to make instant coffee to start with, but you will want to drink your own special brew because that is what suits you the best.

And your life will be ever so much better for it.



45 Comments on “A Cup Of Instant Coffee”

  1. Steve Borgman

    The question becomes: How do I find my own authentic recipe without feeling that I have to copy everyone else’s? Finding my own voice, in the midst of my own struggles and imperfections, then honing it into ‘the perfect blend’ over a series of mistakes and failures, seems to be the key ingredient to a superior brand.
    Steve Borgman recently posted..How To Decrease Social Awkwardness In One EveningMy Profile

    1. Michael

      Yes,for sure. The creation of our own individual brand, our recipe without making it exactly like someone else’s life. In one of my many different “incarnations” in this life, I taught art in high school in a place where the students had never created any art whatsoever. At first they wanted to copy the examples exactly, and that is not such a bad thing to do. But with a bit of confidence and willingness to explore to try things out without fear of being penalized for not getting the “right” answer, many of their creations were astounding in their beauty and in their expressiveness of their lives. It was a humbling and awesome experience for me.

      1. Steve Borgman

        Michael, that’s a great example. We have to start somewhere, and with a great teacher we can emulate his or her teaching. However, over time, our teacher will encourage us to step out and create our own blend. This comes with consistent practice and measured risks.

        1. Michael

          You are so right, Steve, a great teacher helps the student learn what they need to create their own meaning in their own life. It is a wonderful lineage kind of system, and for sure, I have learned a lot of wonderful things form some great teachers. Great ideas they shared with me and I used to create my own life with.

  2. Robin

    Love the smell of fresh brewed coffee, but don’t drink it … prefer tea. Really enjoyed the analogy … THANKS!

    1. Michael

      That is how I remember coffee from my childhood; the wonderful aroma that did not seem to match up with the actual taste. Tea is a fabulous experience in its own right. Thank you for the anniversary wishes today. It is very exciting.

  3. marquita herald

    Ah yes, I LOVE my coffee in the morning! Enjoyed your article and analogy -just for the heck of it let me share that there actually is a gourmet instant coffee out there that ranks high and that’s from Starbucks. I spent many years as a road warrior traveling around the world and you haven’t tasted really bad coffe until you have to resort to some of that stuff in the hotel rooms. A few years ago Starbucks came out with their instant coffee in individual packets and I started carrying that with me – what a lifesaver!
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    1. Michael

      A simple joy in the morning for me as well. A wonderful aroma and a fabulous part of life. I have heard of that instant coffee, but I have never tried it. You are right, that hotel coffee, premeasured in those little filter packs; definitely rank down there with the instant. Ooof. I am hoping that you get to stay home more and enjoy much better coffee.

  4. Patricia Gozlan

    I just looove coffee! As you might have noticed I’m Italian , was born in Paris and raised in Greece.
    £ different countirs where coffee is a tradition, in Paris it’s about connecting with people in a caffe or bistrot, in the midst of the aromas of the city enjoying the business of the crowd, in Italy it’s a way to say hi and sip a coffee on foot in 2 seconds an excuse to enjoy a sper quick break and in Greece it’s a way to stop time.
    A coffee prepared in the morning can last 5 hours sipping the oriental aroma for hours- a way to be with time and with people…

    Thanks for this inspirational blog, I agree it takes just a cup of coffee to enjoy life!
    Patricia Gozlan recently posted..What Failure Can Teach You About Success!My Profile

    1. Michael

      Hello Patricia,

      I had seen you were from Italy, I was particularly struck by all the languages you speak. And the experience of the cultures in so many parts of the world. The smell of the coffee I thik is what particularly I was thinking about when I wrote this. I think that aroma is a big part of what is missing from instant coffee. There might be an instant coffee that smells great somewhere, but I have never gotten to smell.

      I love the idea of stopping for coffee in the afternoon, really stopping, and crating a unique experience with friends as a wonderful part of the day. Thank you for your kind words today. 🙂

  5. Lynn Brown

    This is an amazing analogy Michael! I love my coffee and you brought back memories of my parents with their percolator coffee pot. I always thought it smelled like the coffee had burned, but they loved it!

    A wonderful insight on how we learn and grow. Building from our inner self and realizing how we can affect our lives and the people around us. So bravo Michael for a wonderful story with a meaningful message.
    Lynn Brown recently posted..Online Business Success Are You Just LuckyMy Profile

    1. Michael

      Thank you for your very kind words, Lynn. My mom had a percolator too, and I remember that burned smell very, very well. Blecch. 🙁 It is true that as we grow, we create our own meaning and our own lives and that the very best teachers show us the example and then help us to make our own sense of it.

  6. Dr. Erica Goodstone


    For your information, I use a French Press at home. I grind the organic coffee beans at Fresh Market or Whole Foods and only use them for the week that they are fresh, replenishing my supply every week. I drink my coffee in my favorite mug, at the moment I use my ezinearticles.com mug which I received for writing 100 articles in 100 day. Instant coffee and coffee served in a styrofoam cup does not do it for me. It might provide the stimulation after a long drive or not enough sleep, but it certainly does not provide the pleasurable sensation of real brewed coffee.

    I do have my own unique brand of teaching about Healing Through Love, combining my experiences with the body (teaching health and physical education for 25 years, including stress management, yoga, meditation, holistic health, sex education and lots of different physical activities; studying and practicing a variety of body therapy and body psychotherapy and energy healing methods), the mind (law of attraction, brain science – how the brain works, body chemistry and the brain), sex therapy, marriage counseling, life coaching, healing, spirituality, and more. My task now seems to be to create a variety of products and services at various price ranges and to provide online and in-person events and sessions. My work is certainly cut out for me.


    Dr. Erica

    1. Michael

      Dr. Erica, wow it does sound like you have your work cut out for you. I know there are lots of people who are in real need of learning how they can heal and with what you have planned, it sounds like you are going to be able to reach out to many of them. I hope you get a chance to relax a bit today and re-energize for all the things you are going to be doing. 🙂

  7. Donna Merrill

    Hey Michael, While I’m reading this I am sitting with a cup of coffee in my hand. The beans are organic, it is a french roast ground by my own to perfection. Then carefully watched over my glass percolator, which has a glass stem. Once the water boils, I quickly put it on simmer for 7 minutes and voila..my perfect cup of coffee brewed in glass. I love it! Never use instant coffee, don’t like to have it out because the trick is the water too. The quality of beans is important but I use reverse osmosis water too.
    As you can see, it is one of my favorite rituals.

    But so is my business. I won’t use an automated comment or automated post because that is like instant coffee. Worthless! I don’t go out and buy information for my business, it is all organic thoughts from my heart and shared knowledge in my own words. This is why I don’t like my coffee out because they usually don’t use organic free trade beans and it is a nasty energy.

    So the analogy here is awesome my friend. You have successfully brought to our attention a household ingredient coffee and made us think about how we enjoy it. So how do we enjoy our business? Is it instant? No there is no get rich quick routine. Or is it carefully done with passion?

    I enjoyed searching my mind with this analogy.
    Donna Merrill recently posted..Love And The EntrepreneurMy Profile

    1. Michael

      ZOMG, Donna, reading your description of your coffee ritual is making me start to long for a cup right this very minute. You are so right, instant anything is a recipe for something that just doesn’t quite measure up to the real thing. If it’s your business, online or offline, there are some things you can do to make your life a bit easier, using the right tools or working with the right people, but auto content or auto promoting, those don’t work well at all.

      And actually, like many things that are sold as instant, may even hurt your business.

      If it’s coaching or teaching or something else along those lines, instant does you no favors either. And may even slow down the progress in your own growth that you are looking for.

      Thank you for your kind words, you are an eloquent writer, and I really appreciate the time you take to create a wonderful comment on this article. 🙂

  8. Nathalie Villeneuve

    Hello Michael, Loved your blog post! I am new here and I thought you brought a freshness to my day! Great analogy… I think that we are all so unique in the way we approach people and feel about what each and every one of us can bring into other people’s life. The key for individuals desiring to reach out and connect with more people to inspire, help or simple connect is to understand ourselves and our purpose first. When we are well intended, our flavor and overall actions become authentic and sought upon…Just like the best cup of coffee 😉 Great share! ~ Nathalie
    Nathalie Villeneuve recently posted..Man Was Created For Healthy LivingMy Profile

    1. Michael

      Hello Nathalie,

      Thank you for your kind words. I think you are right, we are all unique and when we honor that uniqueness it makes our lives fabulous and fun to live. I also believe that authenticity is one of the great keys to a wonderful life. Thank you again for coming by to read and comment. 🙂

  9. Pearly

    Hey Michael,

    What an interesting article to read and it makes my imagination keeps flowing as I read your post. I love the opening part of your post because it captured my immediate attention and wanting to read on and on. Just can’t wait to read every new lines ! :-)) Well done ! You have just made me have a cup of coffee on my desk.

    I haven’t used any kind of machine at home. All I have is just 3 in 1 coffee which is a packet form. Every time when I need a cup of coffee, it is a must to have boiling water otherwise there will be no aroma. Not just hot water but boiling water. This is effective for packet instant coffee.

    Michael, thanks for giving me the omphhhhh to start the blog comment…I love it ! :-))

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    1. Michael

      Hi Pearly,

      Thank you for your kind words about this post. I hope that the coffee you made today brightens up your entire day. I don’ think I have ever had 3 in 1 coffee, but for sure, I agree it must be boiling water to make the coffee the best it can be. Have a wonderful day today. 🙂

  10. David Merrill

    The question, Michael, is this: do we drink coffee to live… or live to drink coffee.

    I guess I’m in the latter group, along with many of my friends out here.

    Seems like coffee is particularly important to internet marketers… must be part of the late nights that so many of us are prone to.

    Not sure if “instant” is the way to go, though. I think a lot of us are convinced that if it comes too easy, it’s probably not worth having.
    David Merrill recently posted..Drive Traffic With Viral VideosMy Profile

    1. Michael

      That’s a good question, David. 🙂 I guess I am old school enough to like coffee more than the energy drinks. Those kind of make my teeth grind. 🙂 Instant coffee, like many things that are instant in life, often wind up being imitations of the real thing, kind of the real experience but without the thought that went into creating the authentic version in the first place.

      I do think that life is intended to be easy, not a struggle and for me making a great cup of coffee is an easy thing, french press and all 🙂

  11. Julieanne van Zyl

    Hi Michael, I’m another person who doesn’t like coffee, I remember trying some iced coffee once, as a child, that my Mum and Dad always drank on hot days. And, I couldn’t stand it! I don’t even like the smell of coffee:-(

    Anyway, I feel the same way about tea bags as you do about “instant coffee”, I have a teapot that I brew my “green tea” leaves in, and love to have a cup when it’s cool or cold.

    Have a good day! Julieanne
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    1. Michael

      When I was little I loved the aroma of the coffee that my Mom made, but I did not like the taste one little bit. I could not understand why anyone would drink something that tasted so bad. 🙂 I don’t drink much tea, although sometimes I will go through a few days of wanting a couple cups of green tea everyday, especially when the temps go down.

  12. Nile

    I am not a big coffee drinker, but I have always loved the smell. I once read a book in college called Glass, Paper, Beans and it went through the story of the author sitting down drinking coffee and all of a sudden pondering where the items on her table came from: the coffee, the coffee mug, and the paper for the napkin. We never think about where these things come from, and how it got to us.

    As for your article, brewing the perfect cup of coffee for me involves putting in some chocolate at the end…lol. It took a long time to find out what I liked other than sugar and cream. Much of my life can be said to be that way…and I am sure for others. You try so many ways to get it right.
    Nile recently posted..Stop Over-Optimizing SEO on Your Blog!My Profile

    1. Michael

      That sounds like an interesting book to read. I have to admit I have wondered about things like too. Where all the things come from in our lives that we see on a daily basis. I think its pretty amazing that all these things wind up in our lives with as much ease as they do. 🙂

      I am not much of a sweet coffee drinker. Just my personal preference, but every once in a while, a fine tasty latte with chocolate just hits the spot. Maybe even like right this minute. 🙂

  13. Steve Vernon

    What a wonderfully creative analogy, Michael. I love your writing style! On the subject of coffee, itself, I’ve never been one of those who has to have my cup of Joe first thing in the morning. My “morning coffee” is my orange juice, and my goal in life has been to find that perfect glass of the sweet tangy stuff! But like the French press, there’s NOTHING that compares to fresh squeezed juice from citrus right off your tree in the back yard. Living in Florida, I’ve had the incredible opportunity to do just that. Then down the scale are the “fresh squeezed not-from-concentrate” juices (the best being Indian River and Simply Orange), then down to the bottom rung of the ladder – juice from concentrate! UGH! That, to me, compares to instant coffee!

    Now . . . to the whole point of your creative article, the question becomes do we live a bland, instant coffee/juice from concentrate life because it’s cheap and easy, or do we go out, get the finest beans or pick the freshest fruit from the tree of life and live it to the fullest? A little more work, but SO well worth it!
    Steve Vernon recently posted..Ants and UsMy Profile

    1. Michael

      Thank you Steve, for your kind words. I ma not usually a juice drinker, because I am not so keen on sweet beverages. But truthfully, after reading your description of obtaining the perfect glass of juice, I find my moth watering and ready to move to Florida to get a fresh glass of orangey goodness.

      I grew up leading an instant kind of life, then my palate developed and I can tell your for sure, I am not going back. 🙂 Living a fresh squeezed life sounds pretty good to me.

    1. Michael

      Thank you Stevie. I just got done having a midday cup as well. Thank you for your kind words. 🙂

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  15. Jessica van Zyl

    That is a great analogy,

    I absolutely love coffee but nobody can make u a cuppa like you can for yourself. If you go to the length’s you want to make that perfect cup and to enjoy it immensely then why not do that in life, make your life the way you want it to be and with the right ingredients and time and patients you’ll have a life you will immensely enjoy.

    Really enjoyed reading this, thank you =)

    Regards, Jessica.
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    1. Michael

      Why not indeed, Jessica?

      Make your “coffee” exactly the way you want, it is a great way to learn how to get almost anything in your life. And interestingly enough, many of the things we desire in our lives are almost as simple to get. Once we learn, or relearn, that wanting things is life is OK. And getting them, even better.

      Thank you for your kind words, Jessica. 🙂

  16. Jenni from PNG TV

    I spend a lot of time online looking for great websites to connect with. I know your site is not exactly in the same area as ours, but you have so much good things here that you have written about. I like your approach on the topic of personal development and being positive. I strive for that in my own life too. thank you for posting this.

    1. Michael

      Hey Jenni,

      Its OK if our sites are not in the same area, that is what makes the world such an interesting place. I ma glad you found us and maybe sometime I would be able to come to PNG to the coffee festival, that sounds like a great trip.

      Thank you for your very kind words. 🙂

  17. Desi

    You ought to be a part of a contest for one of the finest websites on the web. I would vote for you. 🙂

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