The Ritual of Morning Coffee Keeps Us Grounded

Red Eye

By: Emily Jukich

It is, inarguably, the first thing I think of when I open my eyes in the morning. I kick off the tangled bundle of sheets wrapped around my feet and I sweep my feet across the floor to the kitchen. Before I’ve even gone to the bathroom, I make sure I have my coffee brewing. It is my habit, a brief set of steps to get my gears moving as I’m still stumbling around with sleep in my eyes.

We all have our habits, our rituals, our methods of grappling with the admittedly mundane tasks to ready us to enter our civilized society for the day. There’s the ritual of grooming and primping in front of the mirror, some of us spending longer than others. The ritual of dressing; some of us choose our outfits the night before, others prefer to make the choice the morning of for how they will present themselves for the day to the outside world. The ritual of morning coffee is an undoubtedly influential, yet drastically different in form, for so many coffee lovers.

There’s safety in ritual, an expectation for the perfect outcome performed by muscle memory. Rituals provide a stable balance, gripping on to a sense of control in an otherwise world running out of control. It is the pressing routine and need for order which makes the ritual of morning coffee so important.

It is certainly felt in the walls of a coffee shop. We feel people’s needs and expectations on a first-hand basis which makes the importance of the ritual even more necessary to understand. If you’re a regular at your favorite coffee shop, you know the expectations I’m talking about. You expect that familiar taste, that consistent deliverable brew which sets the mood for the rest of your day. It’s detectable almost immediately if something is off. A break in the routine. Like a scratch in the surface of the pristine brand-new day. Coffee is an influential beginning and a comforting accessory for those who navigate the ins and outs of every day life with a cup in their hand.

Whether you’re first cup comes from your home coffee maker, or you meet up with friends at your independent local shop, the ritual grants the same result. A cup of coffee. Warmth, comfort, and familiarity.

There is nostalgia in the smell; like a flagon of memories stored in this little bean. For me, the smell of coffee reminds me of my grandma. My first sip of coffee came from her. I was 10 so I found it disgusting. Naturally, I grew to love both the taste and the culture surrounding it. Still, I think my favorites cups are the ones I drink with her. Sitting at her table sipping and sharing moments of our days since we’d seen each other last. Coffee pauses the conversation in slowly dispersed breaks, to lengthen our time spent. It’s a social facilitator, and an irreplaceable part of my life.

The ritual becomes as important as the beverage itself. It satisfies a primal need within ourselves to be grounded in the normal. Routines keep us on schedule, moving in the right direction, keep us accountable, keep us productive and ensure stability for a day which may bring more “life” than we expect. It’s something we can count on to fulfill our expectations no matter what the day throws at us. Rituals of any kind keep us grounded and dare I say, sane.

What is your morning coffee ritual? What makes yours unique? Let us know on Facebook or Twitter!

My Morning Coffee Ritual:

  1. Check that my machine has water enough for the cup (I have a Nespresso machine at home, don’t judge me: I like the frothiness it produces. Other times I use my regular coffee brewer)
  2. Pick out my mug. For some reason, it matters to me what I’m going to be drinking out of for this cup and I have a ton of mugs to choose from.
  3. Add my creamer to the bottom of the cup first (while it’s brewing it self-stirs)
  4. Check to see the cats have food and water while I’m waiting for the cup to finish pouring.
  5. I like to sit and relax while I’m having my cup, sometimes I read. Other times I just sip and enjoy the morning as I’m trying to perk up.
  6. The first cup is normally enough for me to begin my chores for the day. And after I feel I’ve been productive enough, I reward myself with one more.