Minimalism: Drinking Coffee

Photo by Robin Sharma / Unsplash

Coffee is a luxury. At Eataly, the Italians introduced me to the philosophy of coffee. It's not just a drink; it's an experience. One morning I added sugar to my Lavazza coffee, and my Italian counterpart asked me why I was ruining it. I brushed him off but took a taste of his coffee and was sold. The robust flavor and aroma left my tastebuds excited. Minimalism is drinking coffee without add-ons but also infrequently.

There's nothing wrong with optimizing your coffee experience. On its own, coffee is great for energy, mental health, and heart health. But if you're adding sugar or milk to your coffee, find healthier solutions to boost it, like ghee butter or coconut oil; both are rich oils that offer a natural sweetness. I drink coffee for the flavor; adding sugar just means I'm tasting sweetness. I can taste sweetness anytime. But with coffee, I want the natural flavors of drinking a pre-grounded Cafe Touba vs. the fresh sensation of grinding Monteloro Coffee beans. My palate is refine.

Natural Flavors: Not Added, Just Is

I eat fruit for its natural sweet, bitter, tangy, and sour flavors. An organic red grape tastes different than a regular red grape, which tastes different than an organic green or black grape. An organic granny smith apple tastes like no other apple. Eating it is a unique process where you bite into, feel the drops of natural juice hit the back of your teeth, tongue, and palate, and slightly squint your eyes, depending on the sourness. A rose by any other name and stuff like that. I want that.

I don't need to taste sugar anymore. I've tasted it all of my life. I need a dose of nature's intoxication, so I can say "wow" when the dark rich liquid first hits my taste buds and splashes onto the roof of my mouth. I want to smell it.

I enjoy coffee about three days a month. I boil water in a kettle, transfer it to my 2-cup Bialetti Moka Expresso maker, choose between my culturally diverse coffee selection, and grind the beans till they're fine. I use a Japanese tea cup to set my limit.

One cup for the day, and the Bialetti goes in the fridge. Tomorrow I enjoy the remaining coffee, and then I repour boiled water and run through the grounds again. Sometimes I even go for thirds, and on those days, I add a splash of almond milk and a dab of cane sugar since the flavor has mostly gone. Then I use the grinds for my coffee face/body scrub. Minimalism is longevity.

My mother taught me how to make work stretch. She's lived in Europe and experienced refined culture. She taught me how to be a gentleman, but sometimes she gets too comfortable in her Americanness, and I have to reintroduce culture back to her.

Having conversations with Mama.

Minimialsm Isn't Addiction

I don't need coffee every day. I don't want it every day. Coffee consumerism, the daily consumption of the same plant, is toxic to the farmer, the industry, and agriculture. Overconsumption is toxic to culture.

The people who NEED coffee to function represent another form of addiction that's cheap and socially acceptable. The natural should be an addiction, and water is as natural as it gets, but we're running out of that too. The same boost coffee offers I can get from my 2-ingredient water detox. Plus, no jitters, crashers, or mental plateaus. Boosted water keeps me mellow, and I use daily walks for a mental boost.

I'm looking for experiences, and drinking coffee daily becomes another low-value codependent action. "I can't think without my morning coffee." It's another cog-in-the-wheel action. They don't hear me tho.

Clifford Genece

Clifford Genece