The Power of Rituals – part 1: Coffee

10 Jan 2018

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Holding the piping hot mug of coffee in his gloved hands, Greg is instantly warmed. He watches the steam rising from the cup and is reminded of the beauty of this moment. Away from the regular distractions of home, he is surrounded by a cathedral of trees.

Looking through the layered branches towards the light blue sky, this simple habit of resting and savoring a cup of coffee brings both peace and a sense of rootedness to his mind and body.

Some may think that having coffee while camping is an unnecessary luxury. At Radar, all of us (yes, all of us) disagree! Why? We’re so glad you asked.

There is an almost ceremonial quality in the preparation, and eventual consumption of the magic bean. It requires a few things that carry a strong connection to the creative process:

1. Just like the creative process, the best coffee prep requires acuity and an eye to detail.

Whether it’s a chemex, french press, pour-over, or espresso machine, the preparation of coffee requries an eye to detail. While camping, you might be suprised how good a cup you can brew with a french press or an old-world Italian-style stovetop over a fire.

2. Coffee fuels ideas, because it helps to animate and awaken our minds.

Coffee helps stimulates new connections as it helps our brains awaken. Additionally, the pause that we take to rest and think (often done over coffee!) allows us to gather our thoughts and organize our vision. In fact, in Italy, the coffee break is referred to as la pausa. It is meant to be a ritual of togetherness and pause. This is why it is very difficult to find take-away/to-go coffees in most of Southern Europe.

3. Coffee draws people together.

There are few daily rituals more common place than a morning cup of coffee. Across the globe, people are rising and preparing their morning joe according to their personal preferences.

In Naples, Italy, you’ll find it as espresso mixed with sugar. In Turkey, it’s thick and strong. In Portugal, it’s a bica at breaktime, or a meia de leite (half of milk) cup in the afternoon. Each cup emerges slightly different; beans harvested in Vietnam, Brazil, Indonesia, Ethiopia (our favorite) and Guatemala are transported to new locations, and are then roasted and packaged with care and delivered to a store for purchase.

While sipping his warm beverage in the middle of a forested grove of trees, Greg is reminded of the importance of ritual, and the beauty of of habits harnessed through the creative process.

This post is the tenth of a multi-part blog series, “The Camping Creative,” tying together the tent-pegs of camping and creativity. Read the first post here.