For most of us, the day starts with a cup of coffee (or tea) – often as part of a frantic dash to get everything sorted before running out the door. So, what if it wasn’t part of the chaos but instead a key moment in your morning to improve your wellbeing, focus your thoughts, and relieve stress. If you are one of millions of people who needs coffee to start the day, wouldn’t it make sense to use this key part of your morning routine to practice coffee meditation?
What is Coffee Meditation
Meditation is the practice of taking time to focus on the present moment, concentrating on the interactions between the brain, mind, body, and behavior.
Practicing mindfulness and meditation can positively impact both our physical and mental health. Coffee meditation is simply the act of combining your morning coffee with meditation. By doing so, you can improve your mental well-being without adding the extra pressure of another item on your “to do” list.
As someone who worked in hospitality, my cup of coffee was often the only time I had to myself to try and relax. I started using coffee meditation before work and between lunch and dinner services to help lower my stress levels and organize my thoughts before another frantic service. It’s easy to add into your routine by following these steps:
Step-by-step Guide to Coffee Meditation
You can start to meditate as soon as you start making your coffee.
If you use a manual grinder this is particularly easy: Focus on the slow turning of the handle, the gentle grinding noises, and the feel of the handle in your hand. Taking these few moments of focus can help quiet the frantic early morning thoughts.
I make coffee with a French press which gives me 4 minutes to focus on my breathing and the aroma of brewing coffee before I start drinking. But no matter how you brew your morning cup of joe, you can start your coffee meditation once you have it in hand.
1. Focus on your Breathing:
Sit with a straight-back, eyes closed, and coffee cup held in both hands. Focus on your breathing, slowly in through the nose and out through the mouth.
2. Acknowledge the Sensations:
Feel the warmth of the coffee through the cup and how it feels on your palms. Identify the aromas coming from your coffee – it doesn’t matter about getting them “right”, just focus on what the smell reminds you of.
3. Savor the Flavors:
As you take your first sip, think about how the cup feels on your lips. How does the coffee interact with your teeth and then the rest of your mouth? Again, think about the flavors you recognize from the coffee, it doesn’t matter what they are, just focus on what it tastes like to you.
4. Be Mindful of your Reactions:
After swallowing the coffee, pay attention the changes in your body. Are you salivating? Can you feel the warmth of the coffee travelling down to your stomach? Has the cup left a light, burnt feeling on your lips?
In between sips, focus on your breathing. Slow it down with big, slow breaths in and out. Think about the coffee aroma filling your nose with each breath. Feel the warmth of the cup in your hands and consider how it makes you feel.
6. Focus Whilst you Drink:
Repeat the process with each sip, shifting focus to the feel of the coffee as you drink and back to your breathing in between sips. Don’t let your mind wander and other thoughts to arise, you want to focus on the present moment.
7. Acknowledge the Clarity:
As you finish your coffee, feel how much more relaxed your mind and body are, how much more focused your thoughts are. Feel how you are prepared to take on the challenges you will face throughout the day.
8. Return Breathing to Normal:
Slowly return your breathing to normal. As you end your coffee meditation, wiggle your toes and stretch your back. Be thankful to yourself for taking the time to focus on you, and to enjoy the relaxation and calm that you have achieved.
Mindfulness doesn’t need to be complex; you don’t need to do anything special.
Following these simple steps for coffee meditation can improve your mental and physical well-being during part of your existing routine. For me, taking 10 minutes to myself each day has made a huge difference to my mental health and to my performance at work. So, what are you waiting for?