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My Coffee Habit

Coffee and I have had an up and down relationship. I love the taste of coffee. I’ve used caffeine as a way to stay away through long shifts, studying and just simply as a crutch over the last decade. For a long time, it was my way of coping for other terrible behaviors like missing out on sleep. Today, my coffee has changed. It is no longer a reliance on caffeine but rather meditative. The act of making coffee can be meditative if you want it to be.

I’ve run the gamut of ways to brew my coffee including French press, standard coffee pot and espresso machine. The end result is often fairly similar, but you aren’t really involved aside from adding the grounds, water and pressing a button.

On a recent trip to Toronto to visit friends, I visited an amazing little café in the Distillery District called Balzac’s. They have a number of locations in Ontario. I really enjoyed the experience. I’ve always loved coffee shops. One of my favorite parts of visiting Paris.


But I digress… On to my coffee habit

They had a pour over coffee maker from Chemex. It’s a beautiful glass coffee maker that reminds me of a decanter. It intrigued me. I did some research on the coffee making process with a Chemex later in the day.

For anyone looking for a quick cup of coffee without any hassle, this isn’t for you. I have extra time in the morning because I work from home. I also like that it forces you to slow down and appreciate the process. It gives you another level of appreciation of the cup of coffee too. It takes about 10 minutes to make the coffee. I usually listen to a podcast while I do it. It really helps to slow things down and put me in the right frame of mind for the day. Much like a meditation practice.

What you need:

  • Chemex coffee maker – I have the 8-cup one
  • Coffee filter – I’m using the Chemex paper filters, but I want to switch to a Coffee Sock for environmental reasons
  • Coffee beans
  • Coffee grinder
  • Kitchen scale
  • Kettle – The purists suggest one with temperature settings because coffee should be brewed at specific temperatures. I have a Breville with the temperature settings, so I heat the water to 195 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Optional – Tea pot – this helps me to control the pour over the grounds.
  • Coffee mug
  • Time


  • Heat the water to your desired temperature. I use at least 700g of water which makes two big cups of coffee.
  • Measure your coffee beans and grind to a coarse ground. I use about 30g of coffee.
  • If you’re using paper filters, then fold and place the filter in the neck of the Chemex.
  • Pour some water over the filter. This will help eliminate the taste of the paper from getting into your coffee.
  • Empty the water.
  • Add your grounds to the filter.
  • Here is where I pour the water into the teapot.
  • With the Chemex on the kitchen scale, add 100g of water, pouring slowly and moving in concentric circles over the center of the grinds. Be careful not to pour directly onto the paper to avoid getting any remnants of the taste in your coffee.
  • Set a timer for 90 seconds and wait for your coffee to bloom. More on blooming:
  • Pour the remaining 600g steadily over the grounds starting in circles and then pouring directly over the center.
  • Let the water go through the grounds. You should end up with a perfect funnel of grounds when all the water has gone through.
  • Grab your favorite mug and enjoy your coffee.

Like I said, this process usually takes me about 10 minutes. I have a podcast going and then I can sit down at my kitchen table to do some writing. My coffee routine slows everything down and relieves a lot of stress about what I might need to accomplish. It helps me to appreciate the process and my cup of coffee. Oh, and if your coffee gets cold and you’re using the Chemex, then you can heat it back up on the stove. Just be sure to follow the instructions!

Coffee may not be your thing. In my case, coffee brewing is a reminder to appreciate the little things that seem routine and mundane. Slow down and smell the coffee.

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