Finding a new morning routine

It’s been a week since I shared my need for routine. As I watch the sunrise while writing this, on the last day before Daylight Savings Time hits and we lose an hour, the importance of routine could not be more obvious. Throughout the week we’ve struggled with a teething infant and short blocks of sleep disrupted by cries of misery loud enough to wake the dead (ok, maybe that’s a bit dramatic…), yet I’ve continued to get up at the same time every morning and work through a routine that builds positive energy.

After several days of putting these steps into place, I think I’ve found my groove, but time will tell and adjustments may be necessary. It’s all about focus and repetition: the same alarm clock, the same journal, the same time at the coffee bar brewing in the same device. Any changes will be gradual, but this is where I’m starting:

• Get up and drink water
• Sip glass of Elixir while writing morning journal
• Brew coffee for my dad to take to work
• Get cleaned up and dressed
• Put on music and brew coffee for my wife and myself
• Write daily coffee journal
• Make breakfast, eat, get ready for work

Weekends are similar, but with a more relaxed schedule after that initial morning journal, and I opt for a quick espresso while writing for this blog. The most important part of the routine is waking up at the same time everyday and following those first few steps regardless of how I feel.

Some changes from my old morning routine:

I no longer brew a pot of coffee at home. In fact, I took the Bonavita to work to use when we have a meeting, and instead I brew a single V60 for each of the hot coffee drinkers in the house. (My mom only drinks iced coffee, so it’s all cold brew for her.) I enjoy focusing on just the one brew method, and the V60 was my first love, so using it a few times every day brings joy.

All coffee is ground with the Handground coffee grinder, which adds another element of focus and dedication to manual coffee brewing. I only use the EK when grinding coffee to take to work, and sometimes grinding by hand can be difficult with especially hard beans, but it’s become part of my morning and gives me a sense of accomplishment.

To set the mood, I selected music to accompany my morning coffee ritual: In Rainbows by Radiohead. I usually start at track 4 or 5, skipping the more active opening songs, and it brings back early coffee memories. When my wife and I spent our vacation in Seattle in 2010, we discovered Espresso Vivace and started visiting every evening. This album was always playing in those late evening hours, so hearing it always takes me back to that time and place.

I also strive to record my coffee journal almost every day, at least the one cup I brew for myself. I need to take more time and practice writing slower, as my handwriting is nearly illegible, but I’m building the habit and getting close to finishing my third Moleskine journal. Hopefully soon I will have some better journal entries to share.

It will take months of practice to get where I want with morning coffee, and I’m only a week in, but I believe this is taking me in the right direction. Focus, dedication, mindful routine… this is part of my own sense of minimalism, and it makes home coffee brewing more purposeful every day.

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