Being Slow

Via on Jan 28, 2009

Moving at a different pace

(Horse, cart, people and goats in Kaolack, Senegal, by Mike Levin)

I woke up this morning ready for a cup of coffee. Last night, I watched a show about Ethiopia on the travel channel. It reminded me of the coffee I bought a few months ago from the local Ethiopian restaurant. The whole process of roasting your own coffee intrigued me. I tried it myself and loved it. It only takes about 10 or 15 minutes to put the green beans in a pot, open all the windows and shut off the smoke alarm, and roast them yourself. It would take me just as long to ride my bike to the coffee shop and buy some roasted coffee. But, how long has the coffee been sitting, roasted, leaking out all those wonderful flavors and aromas?

So, I’m roasting some happy, green, Ethiopian beans as I write this article. The beans are crackling. The wind is blowing through the house. I smell roasting coffee and it’s good. In a few minutes, I’ll scoop out a handful and grind them. Then, I’ll make some delicious coffee.

It occurs to me that there’s a difference between being slow and planning ahead. I’m grinning as I write this. The slow food movement promotes not only savoring every bite of your meal, but buying locally. The thing about roasting your own coffee is that it tastes best right after it’s roasted. So, you have to take your time. If you want a cup of fresh roasted coffee, it’s going to take a little while.

About Michael Levin

Michael loves sharing what he's learned about organic lifestyles like living off the grid and bicycle commuting. He calls it "lifestyle entrepreneurship". He's into organic gardening, mindful living, and realizes that we only have this life and each other. His favorite quote is "The master in the art of living makes little distinction between his work and his play, his labor and his leisure, his mind and his body, his information and his recreation, his love and his religion. He hardly knows which is which. He simply pursues his vision of excellence at whatever he does, leaving others to decide whether he is working or playing. To him he's always doing both." (James A. Michener)

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8 Responses to “Being Slow”

  1. Great to have you back, Michael! We missed you. I’ll post this to my FB.

  2. Ireland Erin says:

    Way~
    You write so beautifully, I can hear the beans being ground, feel the wind blowing through your home, smell the Ethiopian bean brewing and taste that truly satisfying and sinful first sip~! Slower is always sexier, even when it comes to java. Blessings and Beans! Erin

  3. sj* says:

    ahh the buna! have you ever been part of a traditional Ethiopian coffee ceremony? three cups is required. it is bad luck to have anything less.
    ;)

  4. Heather says:

    Mmmm…roasting coffee is one of my top three smells in the whole world (the others are tomato sauce and the ocean).

  5. Michael Levin Michael says:

    Took me just a second to find out that buna is coffee! http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/buna Yes, I first experienced it at our local Ethiopian restaurant, The Nile. I wrote about it here: http://www.elephantjournal.com/2008/08/roast-your-own-coffee/
    Have you any tips or suggestions? I got a sack of good coffee from a Moroccan restaurant in Sacramento with spices. I’d like to learn what spices are good to add to my Ethiopian coffee.

  6. All in all, I like her. Yes, I think she is dramatic at times, but it seems like everyday communication includes a little showmanship to convery your message. I’ll tell you, she seems to have a great style! I like her!

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  8. [...] a.m. Laze about in bed while Dev prepares us coffee. He’s brought along a single-origin Ethiopian that he roasted himself, and I like to watch from the tent as he weighs out the coffee, hand grinds [...]

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