Last week I mentioned the need to spend more time drinking coffee outside the home, experiencing more of the cafe atmosphere. This has been on my mind a lot lately, as I attempt to figure out what I’m doing here, what I’m trying to accomplish with this hobby and this passion for specialty coffee.
I’ve written several times about paring down my coffee gear, trying to be more focused and disciplined, but outside of packing up a few rarely-used brewing devices and selling my big espresso machine, I haven’t made real change in the way I approach coffee at home.
As a result, I’ve set aside coffee time and again, taking long breaks from blogging. Every time I pick it back up, I struggle to nail down a clear goal. Soon life takes over again, coffee becomes a chore, and I put my passion on the back burner.
Recently I’ve been reading Marie Kondo’s inspirational book, The Life-Changing Magic of Tidying Up. Her approach to clutter is focused more on what items you want to fill your space, rather than looking only for stuff you can remove. It’s all about finding joy and surrounding yourself with the things that add to your overall happiness.
So far I haven’t been able to practice her method in its entirety; it’s best suited for individuals, not easy to tackle on the family level. But as I ponder the principles behind the KonMari method I realize why I can’t get past this internal struggle over coffee as a hobby.
I have always approached my coffee gear with the goal of identifying things I don’t need. I never started by figuring out what aspect of coffee brings me joy.
A Change in Perspective
By looking for what sparks joy in my daily coffee, I am changing the way I view this hobby and exploring what it means to say that specialty coffee is my passion. Too often I brew a mediocre cup with no love of the process, so am I really adding joy to life?
This is my big challenge with a home coffee bar, and it begs the question why I have a home coffee bar in the first place. Half of the largest room in our house is devoted to coffee, and we spend time in the “coffee room” every day, yet I don’t feel joy when I look around.
So I’m going to apply the KonMari method to our coffee room, retrieving from storage items I previously “decluttered” and putting everything out where I can see it. Everything will be in play, from the smallest Aeropress accessories to the EK43 currently dominating the space. I will explore each item individually and fill our coffee bar only with the tools that spark joy.
This is just step one.
The other half of this transformation is spending more time exploring the specialty coffee scene and looking for joy outside the home. I’m not ready to give up on coffee yet, but it’s time to find the exact role it will play in my life.