Every morning in my house there is the usual amount of chaos one would expect when you have two children who need to get to school: last minute signatures and reminders…money for the fundraiser…a baby picture…two canned goods… an extra notebook. In addition to reminders from me to brush teeth, brush hair, and feed the cats, we must get out the door without killing each other or themselves (or me!).
Amidst our usual race to the finish there is an oasis of calm that I find every morning in the process of making my coffee. I love coffee though my espresso maker is not a fancy, name brand machine. I had been researching all the high-end machines and happened across the blog of a woman who cooks, I found her on Pinterest, and she recommended this machine. For the short amount of money it was, I figured I had very little to lose. (I wish I could find her again to thank her, she saved me a ton of money and my little machine is absolutely awesome for several reasons. Do read on…) I purchased it for less than $100 and while it works great, it is slow. So as we get ready every morning, with each of us crisscrossing the house at a clipped pace, I take time every morning to stand at the counter and craft my coffee, engaging all my senses.
The first thing I experience is the sound, as the steam builds there is a hissing noise that tends to drown out whatever background racket is happening. Next I inhale that rich coffee scent. I love that moment. As someone who loves coffee that first waft is so deeply satisfying. It is often then that I take a deep breath and feel my shoulders settle down, releasing any tension that the morning may have built. I wait until the coffee reaches the two on the carafe then I switch the machine to froth the milk. The milk begins to bubble but what is interesting is that it doesn’t always bubble the same way every morning. I am sure it has to do with the temperature of the milk, the way the nozzle is fitted and a host of other variables that make each cup something different and unique. As I hold the metal pitcher, I wait for the temperature to begin to build. When it is just about too hot to hold I know it is done. Waiting for the perfect temperature, I watch the bubbles of milk becoming smaller and smaller until it is a soft, white blanket of foam rising slowly to the top of the pitcher. I switch the machine back to finish off the carafe of coffee listening to the steaming engine that is responsible for creating an amazing elixir that helps to set the tone for my day.
I pour the coffee into my mug and then add a layer of steamed milk and then a hefty dollop of foam. Sometimes I add a flavor, sometimes sugar, mostly just coffee. The first sip rolls over my tongue, rich, smoky yet softened by the creamy milk. Ahhhh. Those eight or ten minutes of my morning slow everything down and remind me to be present, there is a gift in the simplest of things if we just stop to see it. And God is so very good, I mean, coffee, right?