I start with 800g of water and heat it to exactly 200F.  I course grind 54g of the beans right before use.  I gently pour the hot water over the grinds in a French press to get them to open up, letting it sit for 30s before pouring the rest of the water.  It sits for 4 minutes before I gently press out the grinds and pour the coffee into my insulated cup.

There are easier ways to make coffee. 

I used to use a Keurig machine as an easy way to make coffee, but when my Keurig machine broke, I decided to upgrade my coffee making (and reduce my plastic usage) and go with the French press.  Besides, when I used the Keurig, I was never satisfied with my coffee, but now, it’s everything I need. As some would say, “It gives me life.”

And even the process gives me life. While it takes extra time every morning and even requires me to wake up a little earlier, I’ve come to value this ritual.  The rich coffee is a reward, and I’ve come to appreciate the value of doing something really well first thing in the morning.

Since this transition, I’ve made two major observations that I think apply to ourselves and the workforce:

  1. There are always ways to cut corners, but there is often pleasure derived by doing things really well.  Deming called this a “pride of workmanship” and it is something we are all hardwired to experience.  If you want to find more enjoyment in your job, do it better.
  2. When I did cut corners on the coffee, I started blaming the coffee instead of blaming myself for how I chose to make the coffee. 

When things aren’t going well, it is easy to blame things that are outside of our control.  We might even be right (there really could be more decaf options for Keurig machines), but that doesn’t matter.  When I focused on what I could control, I found a way to make it better and find more enjoyment in the process.

Just a few things to think about over your next cup of coffee.