Keeping coffee in mind

caffeine magazine australia mindful coffee

Mindful coffee is a concept that brings together two life-enhancing things to improve your state of mind and your enjoyment of every cup. Erin O’Connor enlightens us about how it works


Coffee is typically consumed while you’re doing something else: going to work, in a café catching up with friends, as an aid to a long study or working session. It’s frequently a pleasant, comforting component of everyday life – but all too often your mind is elsewhere when you consume it.

Most of us will have to admit that when we multitask, at least one of the tasks in hand inevitably fails to be fulfilled to its greatest potential. In fact, most people find you get more done – and more fulfilment from your day – if you focus on tasks individually rather than trying to cram them all in at once. With that said, the next time you make or buy a coffee, think about consuming it mindfully.

Mindfulness simply means focusing on the present moment – paying attention to what is happening in your mind, body and immediate environment. It is designed to help you cope with stress, lack of sleep, low self-esteem, anxiety and a plethora of other problems people face every day. And a very simple way to bring mindfulness into your routine is through a cup of coffee.

Sound strange? Well, you don’t have to be meditating or practising yoga to be conscious of what you’re doing and feeling at a given moment. So the next time you’re making coffee, don’t rush through it with a view to getting the caffeine into your system as fast as possible. Instead, focus your attention on the details. Think about the origin of the beans you are using. Be aware of the sounds your home brewing method makes. Notice the warmth of the coffee in your cup. Above all, be conscious of the aroma and the flavours that the coffee brings to your tastebuds, which will immediately enhance your drinking experience.

Drinking your coffee mindfully requires you to focus all your attention on the act of drinking and tasting. It’s possible that your mind may wander to other things as you drink; if so, simply acknowledge the presence of these thoughts and then bring your attention back to your cup, your coffee and your present experience.


Gloria Chadwick, author of Zen Coffee: A Guide to Mindful Meditation, says; “It would seem that meditating by coffee is an oxymoron… But by focusing on your coffee – making it a special time to meditate – it can actually make you calm and relaxed.”

The movement towards mindful coffee drinking encourages people to source, brew and consume coffee in a more mindful way, while also minimising environmental waste and supporting coffee farming communities. Sustainability and ethical consumerism are other watchwords. 

Mindfulness is a tool that can enhance not only the important aspects of your life but also the small and everyday things – drinking coffee being a perfect example. By focusing on every element involved in preparing your brew, from the grinding of the beans down to the pouring of the water, you can heighten your awareness and even unlock more of the flavour. Mindful tasting is about more than centring your thoughts and focusing on the moment – it also significantly enhances your taste experience.

This feature appears in issue 05 of Caffeine magazine Australia

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