The Ritual

With no alarm set, the stillness of the afternoon air wakes me. Bleary-eyed, attempts to move my upper body fail me. Shifting around with what feels like dead weight pressing down, I recall every last ounce of will, this time my brain cooperating with the rest of my body. Removing the many layers of winter blankets shielding the warmness in, I make my way to the bedroom window and pull back the thick light blocking curtains. Blinding, white-hot, the afternoon sun obliterates my retinas.

Dragging my mass of dead weight to the kitchen, after a short journey, I arrive at the destination. My right hand stretches out and grasps the Bonavita, the other instinctively reaches the tap and proceeds with filling it right to the line marked “max.” Satisfaction won’t be achieved until that LED reads “210f.” Making my way to the pantry, the door creaks open and darkness engulfs the surrounding space. Visual contact is made with a clear glass jar containing minuscule brown things randomly piled upon one another. The innards of my mouth start to moisten. The salivation and anticipation commence.

Round and polished steel, resting next to the Breville and towering over it, by the handle it’s transported over to the CJ-4000. It’s paramount that the next few steps are followed in precise order: power, placement of object, tare, and finally pouring those brown oddly shaped things into a steel receptacle. Perfection and a swelling sense of joy come over me when that LED reads 25g.

I can almost smell it. Popping off the cylindrical top of the Breville, one by one, tiny brown things descend into the dark depths. Replacing the top, an uproarious ruckus drowns the confines of the kitchen as it’s powered on. Frantic, unnatural and mechanical crunching stings my ears as tiny brown things are pulverized by razor sharp teeth. Reaching deep into my right pocket, a large thin aluminium slab contacts my palm. Lifting it from my pocket, it’s switched on and I open that familiar app to distract me from the resonating racket. Before accomplishing anything meaningful, it’s over. Pulling out the transparent plastic basket reveals a light brown powder. The odour envelops the room. Far reaches of my palate tingle. This is ambrosia.

Preparations for the final stage are well underway. A glass decanter is moved onto the CJ-4000. Grasping the triangular shaped Able cone stainless steel filter, it’s seated into the top portion of the decanter. Scalding H20 from the Bonavita splashes down and into the cone, swirling about and finally dripping further down into the lower chamber, heating the glass walls. Pouring the brown powder substance into the cone, H2O collides, inaugurating and lightly wetting the surface until blooming is inimitable. Leisurely dampening the grounds with 210 degree water, my vision is locked on that LED until it reads 400g.

The wait is the worst part. The aroma reaches every nook, every gap of my third floor apartment. Peering into the decanter I can see every excruciantly dawdling brown drip. Making its way from the upper chamber and into the lower recesses, the murky brown fluid rises steadily as the last vestiges evacuate from the upper chamber. 30 seconds remain.

In the cupboard above the apparatus lays a glass cup barely larger than a shot glass. Facing top down, the bottom reads “Made in France.” I collect the cup and a decanter roughly one quarter the size of the other with a tightly fitted lid. On the counter, the large decanter’s lower chamber is brimming with brown fluid. Pitching the large decanter slightly, the brown fluid embarks on a short but pleasant field trip to the small decanter. With the large decanter being completely drained, I cautiously squeeze the lid into place as it produces a satisfying pop, signifying a proper seal.

With decanter and cup in hand, I make my way to my home office, setting everything down onto two distinctive hand-made leather coasters. Unlocking my Macintosh with an overly complex password, I make headway with the usual routine: refreshing all Safari tabs, checking email, and lastly messages in iMessage, Slack, and Twitter. It’s waiting for me. Steam manages to squeeze its way past the rubber seal of the decanter lid, rising up into the atmosphere. Saliva coats the walls of my mouth, yet I wait. Optimal temperature must be reached before contact can be made with tastebuds. Approximately 5 minutes passes after checking the usual, typically catching up on my Twitter stream to see what I missed during all hours of the night.

A moment of unbridled passion and explosive pleasure awaits. Reaching for the decanter and tilting it approximately 20 degrees, I pour ambrosia into a heated glass cup, stopping half way. Gripping the cup firmly and lifting it up to my mouth, the edge gently makes contact with my lower lip. Slowly tilting the cup letting only a small amount into my mouth, I breath deeply, eyelids closed as I consume the first sip. Savouring every moment and letting that delectable beverage rest for a moment on my palate, I attempt to decipher each unique flavour. Sometimes it’s notes of stone fruit and black currant, other times it’s of strawberry and milk chocolate. Every single moment is different. Every moment engrained into my palate and memory, leaving an everlasting effect. Gazing out the window just overlooking the top of my Macintosh, I ruminate on the day and what it will bring. Now I’m ready to begin.