Coffee Making After Brain Injury

Published Categorised as Personal

When visiting my Aunt, she served me the kind of coffee one craves when reading a Brunetti novel. Yet hers was simple to make…aside from grinding the beans.

She boiled the water in a pot on the stove. She filled a little metal thing that looked like a filter from an espresso pot with freshly ground coffee. Then she poured the water over the coffee into a china cup.

Up until then, I’d tried to make coffee within my brain injury-limited energy, coffee I liked. Organic instant was my go-to for years after one of my English Aunts showed me the proper measurements and made it palatable, rather than my usual desperate attempt to wake myself up (before I discovered brain biofeedback).The

As energy returned, I tried French Press. But cleaning out the pot became too much work for me. (Brain injury really does make normal chores undoable.)

On an impulse, I bought a one-cup Keurig on sale. I tried not to think about the plastic waste and switched to compostable coffee pods the moment I spotted them. Still, I dreamt of that ultimate coffee experience at home.

In 2015, my Aunt Addi showed me through modelling. Modelling is learning through simply watching what another does and picking it up subconsciously or consciously.

At the same time, I discovered pour over coffee at a Toronto café. Hey, that’s what Addi does, I thought. I can do that!

Ramryge angels at Gloucester Cathedral, England

Brain injury grief is

extraordinary grief

research proves

needs healing.

I use an old plastic one-cup filter holder that sits on a cup. How I acquired it is lost to the dissipating mists of memory. I use ground coffee I store in an old coffee can on my counter — next to the stove (bad me). And I boil water with an electric kettle, which convenience I bought after seeing how all my English relatives had them, how they made boiling water so much simpler and quicker.

Then last week, I stumbled on James Hoffmann, YouTube coffee guru, and am experimenting with his improved V60 pour over method. It’s the same amount of work because I’m using the same filter holder, kettle, and coffee (not up to grinding…yet!), it’s just the method of pouring I’ve changed up. This method is easier in a way with its 10-second rest periods. I only weighed once to get a sense of how much coffee and water to use. Weighing every time: too much work! And, you, know, the coffee does have a richer flavour with more layers of notes. It makes mornings with brain injury life a little more tolerable.

My Duck logo walking on my books in pink and blue shading.



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