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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.