Thursday, November 10, 2016

Coffee, movement, and change

Have you ever seen a traditional Ethiopian Coffee ceremony?  Last week during our evening church meeting we watched a video that included the wife of one of the local pastors performing the ceremony for the visiting Americans.  It was pretty cool.  Here are two videos from YouTube that show what's involved:

What the second video doesn't show (the first one does briefly) is that once the beans are roasted they are put into a kind of mortar and pestle and smashed to bits until they're finely ground.

Beautiful stuff, no?  These women are stacking their life with movement while making coffee.  Just the fact that they're in this lovely squat the whole time they are doing this routine is amazing to me.  And I bet it's a pretty fabulous tasting cup of coffee too.

Finding out about this came at the right time. My copy of Movement Matters by Katy Bowman came in the mail last week while I was on vacation so I've been eager to start in on it. I've been playing catch up, however, so the book has stood untouched so far, but this morning I thought I'd just open up to a random page and see what I'd find.  And I found this:

"You not only need to move more often than you do right now; you also need to move more of you more often than you do right now."-Katy Bowman

Nothing earth shattering but actually quite profound.  We've outsourced almost all of our movement potential in making a cup of coffee, for instance, so that all we're really moving is one hand to scoop the pre-ground coffee into the pot and one finger to push the button.  Sure that gives us more time to get to the gym for our 30-minute workout. But what if, instead, we took more time to savor the process (and enjoy the unbelievably wonderful aroma) of making a rich cup of coffee the old fashioned way?  And what if we added to that one change many similar changes throughout our day so that we're moving more in general? (ie, making whipped cream by hand like I did last week - here's the link)

So back to coffee, I'll concur that I don't have the set-up necessary to make coffee quite like the folks in Ethiopia do, but I have taken steps to "automate" this process less.  And, I think I'll start making my coffee on the floor. :)

1.  A hand grinder.  I don't always do this but when I do, I love it and the coffee really does taste better when it's ground right before you drink it.  I set my kettle to boil the water and grind the beans while the water is heating.

2.  An Aeorpress coffee maker. This is a fun little individual coffee maker that really makes a nice cup of coffee or espresso.  Easy too. And the travel bag is a nice bonus - I bring this along whenever I travel.


3.  Individual drip cone.  When I'm at home, this is the one I default to, just because I still get lazy and this is the easiest one to clean afterward! :)  That may change, though.

If, per chance, one of you happens to be in Ethiopia in the near future, feel free to bring me one of those fabulous coffee pots and bean crushing thingies, please!

Anyway, my post today is just to start the process of thinking about everything the Movement Matters book will challenge me on.  I tweeted after I listened to Katy and Dani's podcast about it (click here to listen) that you need to get ready to have your mind blown.  What I'm discovering from just glancing at the book is that the thoughts/ideas/challenges presented in these essays are mind-blowing but not really hard things.  It's mostly, from what I can tell anyway, just a huge mindset shift that will take work and boldness.

I'm ready.  Are you?

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