The beauty of the slow brew…


I will never forget the way our house used to smell each morning after I brewed a pot of coffee. It wasn’t just any old brand of coffee, either. This was coffee made of rich Ethiopian beans that we would get through a company supporting fair trade and small business opportunities in developing countries. And, as an extra bonus, five dollars of every bag bought went to help fund our pending adoption.

B never really enjoyed coffee until I got him hooked on it –  mainly because of the smell, I think. I was always a bit envious that he didn’t seem to need the coffee to function that day.  He just wanted some because of the experience of drinking its rich goodness. He’d drink some coffee when I’d make it, but not be reliant on it for morning survival. On the weekends, he’d even put some in a mug in the fridge, to cool and drink later in the day. I had built a habit of loading the coffee grounds into the pot the night before, using the fun timer function, so the smell would wake us the next morning with new vigor for the day ahead.

Now it’s all fast brew and K-cups around here, because I’m the only one drinking it. I don’t have much time in the morning, so much like many other facets of my life, it’s often all about function and productivity around here. I want my coffee with my morning quiet time first thing in the morning, and I don’t really want to take the time afterward to clean out the coffee pot. Furthermore, I guess I would feel wasteful if I threw any brewed coffee away.  So for now anyway, K-cups will have to remain.

But K-cups are seriously so very boring. As much as I love my Keurig’s functionality, I’m really not a big fan of it deep down. My coffee isn’t as fresh and there is no real aroma that permeates the room.   There’s nothing really all that great that brews into my mug, showing me that the fastest way isn’t necessarily the best way to brew coffee.  And it’s certainly not the most fragrant.

In the same way, a life thrown together, busily moving to and fro, isn’t always the most beautiful either. Some would stress that productivity is more important than beauty. That the completion of the “to do list” each day is what matters. Quantity over quality. But I would disagree. Because I’ve experienced the sweet smelling aroma of days that are fully lived – senses open and alert to the beauty around me. Fully alive to the smells and sounds and sights of creation that draw me closer to my beautiful Creator.  And other days, more often than I’d like to admit, I’ve taken the fast road and focused only on function and checklists. The difference is quite noticeable.

In this fast moving culture we live in, it’s easy to get caught up in the rat race and constantly live in the mindset of pursuing the fastest way to accomplish things. But is the quickest way really the best way? And does it truly bring us joy?

Maybe a lot of the joy we say we’re missing in our lives can simply be found by just slowing down a little. By breathing. By taking in all that’s around us and letting it slowly brew in our hearts and minds – this slow savoring  of thoughts, prayers, and ultimately – of beauty.

So today, I choose the slower, more savory way to live. I choose to slow down and see what’s around me. I choose to take the longer road when I can, instead of rushing through  the fastest route.   I choose to soak up this one life, and this one day, well. And hey, maybe I’ll even choose to get the coffee pot back out soon just so I can soak up that rich smell again.

Or maybe… just maybe… I’ll even challenge myself to learn to use a French press.  After all, I’ve heard that it’s even slower but more exquisite?  🙂

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