Favourite rituals. My day seems to float along on favourite rituals. It wasn’t always this way. I spent so much of my life lurching from one deadline or crisis to another that I now find great solace in the space to enjoy ritual.
Today’s picture highlights several favourite things. First, the coffee contraption.
The Presso Coffee Maker is a British design and ours is now about 10-12 years old. I bought it one year as a birthday present …ahem…for the husband…as we both love coffee and had become frustrated with the long list of dead coffee makers that we were responsible for polluting the Earth with over the years. I was looking for something that would a) make great coffee, b) last a long time and c) return gracefully to the Earth when we were finished with it. It is made from Airline Grade aluminium and is mostly recyclable. It is also still possible to get all the separate components that make up the coffee maker from the company. It makes GREAT coffee but there is a little learning curve that goes with it. I have tweaked how I make it so many times over the years but now have a method that I am happy with every day. Having said it makes great coffee the downside of that is how much it spoils us for drinking coffee “out” anywhere. Coffee not made with this machine rarely comes up to the mark!
The little blue and white checked mug is a firm favourite for coffee. Not too big. Studio pottery bought in the 1990s somewhere in Ealing. I fell for the blue and white pattern instantly and bought several pieces.
Just to the right of the photo is a small, French Duralux glass in the ubiquitous Picardie pattern. Beloved of French cafes and schools for their durable nature, I will probably write of them again another day.
Let’s talk coffee. During the lockdown ( sounds like…”I remember during the War…”) we bought a big bag of coffee beans- Lavazza, red label, and started grinding our own every day. Not only is this much more cost effective but it really makes a difference to how the coffee tastes. There are times when I agonize about how far the coffee has travelled around the world to be in my kitchen and all the other associated issues that any world commodity brings with it for those of us lucky enough to live in the West, but coffee is a most delightful drug. Everything about it, for those who indulge, is so sensuous. Sometimes I call Rod into the kitchen when I am about to cut open a new bag just so we can both inhale deeply as fresh coffee bean smell is released. The colour of the shiny, dark brown beans as they pour into the grinder, the noise it makes as it is reduced to the size needed for how I am making it that day, carefully scooping the ground coffee into the machine hopper, the smell as the steam rises as the arms of the machine are slowly, slowly, pressed down, the first taste on the tongue………..ahhhh…….I just love it. The shot that the machine produces is probably technically a double espresso size. It can be drunk neat, as is. It can be topped up with water and milk added as a longer “normal” coffee (eat your heart out Nescafe!). A shot can be poured over a scoop of vanilla ice cream in a small coffee cup and is rated by some as the BEST dessert ever.
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