About a year ago, I decided that I no longer needed my autodrip coffeemaker. Now, to put this decision into perspective, I had previously made a large pot of coffee at least once a day. Very often, I’d put on two or more pots a day, and my roommate and I would fill our coffee mugs to the brim with flavored creamer and coffee and fuel up.
After one of my many moves, I decided it was no longer a necessity. I had both a french press and a pourover, so I still had ways to get my coffee fix. I cleaned it up, and sent it off to Goodwill, with a few pangs of anxiety (or caffeine withdrawal?)
It was one of the best choices I have ever made.
Not only can you brew a mighty fine (and strong) cup of joe with a french press, but it reconnects you to the process of making something for yourself. I find that as I boil the water on the stove, grind the beans, and time out the brewing just right, I slow things down and making coffee becomes a purposeful task.
Instead of pawning my work off on a handy machine, I now have more invested in the brew. There’s a margin of error with french press coffee, but you’re sure proud when you get it just right. (Bonus points if you roast your own beans–it’s not terribly difficult to roast decent coffee in a popcorn popper, although it does require a certain degree of patience and research.)
What in the world does this mean to me?
Sorry if I gushed just a little bit too much about coffee. But, there’s a valuable lesson here that I’ve begun applying to other areas of my life. Slow down, and quit taking the path of least resistance.
Our modern lives make it easy to remove ourselves from small daily processes that make us feel capable and productive. Heavy reliance on pre-made meals fall in that category–if we can’t make our own food, what can we do for ourselves? Buying cleaning products when plain baking soda and vinegar will do the trick most of the time. Driving our car instead of biking short distances.
Take some time and consider what you can start doing manually in your life. Don’t become a slave to convenience.