Whenever I feel overwhelmed, one of the ways I like to decompress is with a cup of tea. The process of making tea settles my mind, brings me peace and gives me a moment to unwind. Every so often, I'll really go for it, bringing out some of my favorite vintage tea fixings. If a friend is coming by to join, I like to pick up cookies from one of my favorite local bakeries, Alon's. For this shoot, my friend and the photographer brought these cookies over. Black and white cookies remind me so much of my childhood, when I'd press my nose up to the glass of the Italian bakeries in my neighborhood. If you find yourself in Atlanta and head to Alon's, give their raspberry rugelach cookies a try. I could eat them by the dozen! This morning I'm sticking to a simple cup of tea with no cookies in sight, sigh. Editing these photos is making the lack of cookie situation a challenge!
A 2017 goal of mine is to focus on details and become more intentional. This takes form in a number of ways; in my work, in my personal life, in my everyday. As I was imagining how this goal would play out, coffee came to mind. It might have had something to do with the fact that I was drinking copious amounts of coffee at the time, but inspiration comes when it wants!
Funnily enough, I don't actually drink that much coffee.
Coffee isn't something I need to start my day or wake up in the morning, but I still thoroughly enjoy it.
When I thought about why I enjoy coffee, I realized it had less to do with simply drinking it and much more to do with the experience that goes along with it.
If I'm going to make myself a cup of coffee, I do it properly. I take my time with it. I make it just to my liking. I set my cup down on a big table with a book, my laptop and a journal. I immediately feel the impetus to be productive, to write, to get things done.
I work from home the majority of the time, so I find creating a ritual around coffee and work to be so beneficial.
As much as I love going out to coffee shops and ordering a decadent latte every now and again, it's becoming so rare for me to find a spot that affords me enough space to spread out all my things and feel truly productive.
No matter the time of day, coffee shops seem to be packed to the gills. Going to coffee shops to work [which I'll likely write about in a separate post] is more about being around people [again that whole working from home bit makes seeing people tricky sometimes!] and having a change of pace and location.
As much as I relish the feeling of being a part of a buzzing hive of independent workers, creating this ritual at home seems to reap my best productivity.
I'd had coffee and the process of it on my mind for some time, and it was so timely when my photographer friend [Jedd from Dark Stripe Media] asked if I'd work with him on a photo shoot all about coffee.
All these photos taken by him and styled by me, show coffee making in its most idealized state. Of course I'm not usually outside pouring coffee into my Chemex on a weathered wood table on the regular. [though I'd love to have that life!]
Shooting the everyday cup wasn't the point of this exercise. We wanted to capture the beauty of coffee, to romanticize it.
From the beans themselves, to the movements that go into creating that perfect cup, coffee making when further examined is far from pedestrian.
Jedd ran to a nearby bakery, Alon's, grabbed a few pastries and we added those to the vignette. A perfect cup of coffee is only as good as what it's served with.
He did a fantastic job showcasing the detail and intricacy of every component of the coffee making process.
Coffee beans, both whole and ground, have such a rich color and texture.
When I page through these photos, I first take note of all the textures and details; the sloshing of the coffee into the cup; the the crisp exterior of the pastries.
All at once, I'm experiencing the ritual of coffee; the smell of it, the taste, the feeling behind it.
It's incredible how taking something that may seem mundane and routine, and looking at it through a more romanticized lens can make me remember why I loved it in the first place.