Ahhhh…The Japanese Tea Ceremony or the “Way of Tea”, is a kind of spiritual experience. Its simplicity is quite elegant and the ritual itself involves much preparation.
I have now started my own morning ritual… It’s called the “Way of Coffee” or in more rudimentary terms, “Phillip’s Coffee Ceremony”. (I thought of using addiction in the title, but I have not admitted this yet) It starts with opening the coffee container…Stop and take a big whiff of the grounds! Yes, fresh grounds. Mmmmm…this gets you ready for the taste explosion by using all of your senses.
Next, you clean the pot. This step is very important…as you wash the pot, close your eyes and envision a slow motion pour coming out of a sparkling clean container. NICE!!! Dry the container thoroughly and after you have it shining like one of Jacob’s diamond necklaces designed for rap artist Jay-Z, then you fill it up with fresh, clean, filtered and COLD water. Wipe the bottom of the pot as you turn it two times. (Don’t ask me why, it is just a part of my ritual…seriously turn it to the right two times as you wipe the bottom.) Set the pot down gently…do not put it on the burner yet! Set it to the right of your machine.
Now it’s time to prepare your machine for brewing. Place a clean cloth or towel in front of the coffee maker. Then get a “coffee blessed” spoon and place it on the clean towel, top of spoon side down. (It has to be a spoon that has been blessed by a BREW MASTER or certified coffee specialist…if not, the coffee may “spoil on stir”) Before you open the top of your coffee maker to prepare for the scoop and filter, make sure you tap the top of the machine 4 times as this will wake the brew spirits.
It’s time to scoop. Now slowly open the top of your coffee maker. Grab your coffee scoop and very gently…slowly dig through the grounds. Make sure that you level the top of the scoop and shake the excess grounds off of the bottom of the scoop as not to waste one grain. (Spilling is what is called a “Coffee Foul”…do not waste or you will anger the machine!) Pour the coffee grounds into the filter slowly. Repeat this step twice if you are new to the “Way of Coffee”. Repeat this step three times if you are a “Coffee Expert”.
We are almost through the ceremony. The next step is to grab a second clean cloth and fold it into a nice 5 inch by 5 inch fold. Take the cloth in your left hand, then grab the coffee pot filled with your fresh water. As you lift the pot, place the cloth in your left hand under the pour spot. This will keep the water from colluding with the coffee grounds. Slowly pour the water in the pot…this should take you exactly 20 seconds. Any shorter or longer means you have not executed the proper “measure to pour ratio”. (You must start over from step one if you fail the timed pour section of the ceremony.) After you are done…say “Thank You” to the coffee grounds and slowly shut the lid to your coffee maker. Take the cloth still in your left hand and wipe the pour spot, then wipe the bottom of the pot as you turn it to the left two times. Place the empty coffee pot on the burner. Turn the coffee maker on and brew.
Now, It’s time to get your coffee cup ready. This should be done as the coffee is brewing. Use HOT water to thoroughly clean your mug. After you are done washing, grab the same cloth that you used to wipe the coffee pot to wipe down the entire mug or cup. Start from the inside and work your way to the rim…spin the cup two times to the right as you wipe around the edge of the rim. Then spin the cup two times to the left as you wipe the body of the cup. Afterwards, place the cloth on the counter and place the mug on top of the cloth to get any excess liquid off of the bottom of the cup. Lift the cup up and set it down on the cloth a total of two times. On the third time, place the mug on the cloth that is in front of the coffee maker approximately two inches away from the spoon. STOP AND ENJOY THE BREWING PROCESS. Smell that! Ahhhhhhh
Now it’s time to pour the coffee in your mug. Grab the mug with your left hand…grab the full pot with your right hand, lift your elbow up to a 90 degree angle and slowly pour the coffee into your mug. Do not spill or you will anger the coffee spirits. After you have filled your 3/4 of the cup…stop, then place the pot back onto the burner. Now set your coffee cup back on the cloth approximately two inches away from the spoon. Add your choice of creamer and sugar. (This should be messy! Shake the sugar as you open it to make sure that you spill some all over the place. Then spill some of the powdered or liquid creamer all over the counter. This is important. Do not clean this up…you are now doing what’s called “dancing with the coffee spirits”.) After you have added the right amount of sugar and creamer…grab the spoon and slowly start to stir. 25 rotations. ONLY. No more, no less. Place the spoon back on the cloth, face down so that the coffee will not coagulate on the spoon.
Pick up the cup and enjoy. Close your eyes on the first sip and loudly moan…MMMMMMMMMmmmmmmmm. Make sure that everyone around you hears it.