The *ACTUAL* Best Part of Waking Up

“Morning without you coffee is a dwindled dawn.”

– Emily Dickinson*

You’ve heard the old saying about death and taxes; well, I think it’s time that we update it. After all, every day of your life starts in the same exact way: waking up. I believe that just that simple, automated act – and the subsequent hour – determines the type of day you’ll have. We’ve all had those mornings where the gap between our mental state and the challenges and opportunities of the day seems just about insurmountable; where the only thing we would like to do is lay in bed and ignore the world for just a little bit longer.

Luckily, nature has provided us with a tool to bridge that gap.

Coffee has long been an integral part of the working person’s routine. In fact, about 83% of adults in America drink the liquid lifesaver. But what if we’ve been approaching coffee all wrong? What if it could be less of a necessity or obligation, and instead, be more of an intentional experience that shapes your day into one of mindfulness and vitality?

In a culture that is caught in the nexus between constant rushing and waiting, patience is a virtue that has fallen by the wayside. In many different facets of life, we’re willing to sacrifice better results for more immediate ones. Don’t believe me? Next time you’re driving to work, count the number of McDonald’s you pass – and pay attention to the static parade of cars lined up to get their “just OK” coffee.

Great days don’t start out with constantly glancing at the clock on your dashboard, while waiting to get mediocre coffee that you’ll scarf down at record speeds; they start out with mindfulness and appreciation. This is why I love the french press, and the hours that follow my morning cup.

Although it’s one of the least time-consuming ways to make coffee (just four short minutes after bringing the water to a near-boil and adding it to the grounds), the basic act of preparing a cup of coffee with a french press will prime you for the day ahead. Each morning, I can feel the weight of the previous night’s sleep melt off of my mind as I carefully pour the hot water and breathe in the rich aromas that gently rise from trails of steam. With all of the mass-produced coffee that we consume throughout the year, it can be easy to forget how satisfying and enriching a perfect-tasting cup can be. I’d be hard pressed (sorry) to think of a few things I enjoy more than a thoughtfully made cup of coffee.

Thoreau had Walden Pond, Kerouac had Big Sur,

and I have my french press.

So much of our day is decided by the schedules of others. We crave control; we desire contemplation and mental preparation. Since I began using a french press to kick off my mornings, I’ve experienced an undeniable shift in my perception throughout the day. It’s the time away from all of the rushing and the have-to-dos that recharges us and gives us the mental clarity to dominate the days, weeks, or even months ahead. Thoreau had Walden Pond, Kerouac had Big Sur, and I have my french press.

If you’d like to bring more satisfaction and mindfulness into your life, then there’s a simple way to get started: begin your mornings with a french press. With all of the compromises that you have to make throughout the day, coffee shouldn’t be one of them.

Disclaimer: No Folgers was consumed in the making of this blog post.

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