Sunday, January 07, 2007

Things I've Learned...

I'm planning a new feature, but considering that it's been 10 months since I wrote any sort of real entry, who knows when and if I'll actually do it. Writing more entries is one of those new years resolutions I said I wasn't going to make, but I'm pretending like I'm going to write more anyway. Looking at my free time over the next few months I have to say, "Not a chance!" but you never know...

Anyway, my new project for this blog, should I ever get around to it, is to take what I learned from the 100 Cups of Coffee project and apply it life as a whole.

I started 100 Cups of Coffee as a way of coming to terms with my coffee addiction. I'm still an addict, but I feel like I have it under control. I'm sure there are lots of people addicted to other substances who feel the same way. Maybe I'm in denial as much as they are! I'll tell you the difference and let you decide. Before I started the project, coffee was just maintenance. It's what I needed to keep myself going, and I'd drink it from the time I woke up to the time I went to sleep. If I enjoyed it, that was just a incidental. But photographing it and writing about it led me to a deeper appreciation of coffee as a wonderful, magical thing unto itself. It became a pursuit for the best cup of coffee I could find, and the best cup I could make. This led me to learn about brewing methods, what makes for the best coffee beans, and much more. Learning what constitutes the best cup of coffee is like pulling on what you think is a single thread and discovering it's connected to everything else in the world.

On a typical day, I have just one cup of coffee, made with pure water, organic, shade grown Deans Beans, in a Planetary Designs French press, with a splash of organic half & half. I sip and savor it. I wake up an hour earlier than I'd need to if I just poured my coffee into a to go cup and ran out the door, just so I can have time to ease into the day with a cup of great coffee. If I need a little something to keep me going, I'll make myself an espresso, which has more flavor but less caffeine than coffee. If I'm really overworked, I'll make a cup or two in the afternoon in an Aeropress (an entry unto itself on another day).

The important thing here is that by focusing on quality and trying to have the best, most pleasurable experience possible, I consume less and enjoy more what I'm doing. In this case, it's drinking coffee. I think this applies to a whole lot more than coffee, though. So, in future entries I'll be going beyond coffee and looking at the best things in life, which aren't always free but aren't necessarily the most expensive either.

I've got a whole lot to write about! Check back later to find out if I actually do anything with this!