Pandemic Coffee

By Sasha Som


Littorary - Coffee Geometry - Devin Avery

In mid-March, the pandemic removed the few certainties my family took for granted: going to school, working, or grocery shopping. My husband, my children, and I used to be able to do all these things without fear. For me, the pandemic has brought a sense of powerlessness that was and continues to be unrelenting and, at times, crushing.

I needed some meaningless predictability. So, I guess, I am thankful that my morning life has remained consistent. I wake up with my children, may or may not remember to get them dressed, make them a gourmet breakfast of cereal with milk, and then I make my coffee. The coffee part is my ritual. It’s personal and deliberate. It’s this small part of my day that has taken on importance because coffee is normal. So it makes things seem normal – even for just a little bit.

Before I take the first sip of something I carefully craft, I allow nothing else to happen. “Mommy, can you…” Nope. “Mama, I want…” No. “Mom…” Yeah, no. It might seem harsh, but in a house like mine, I own no personal space. Brewing something as delightful as coffee helps me create some. It’s a mental one and it’s sacred.

I use the same mug every day. I fill it up a third of the way (not precisely, of course) with my choice of dairy-free milk. I heat up the milk for 45 seconds (that’s always precise). I fill my hemp filter with some pre-ground (because it’s more convenient, so don’t judge me) coffee. And hopefully, the kettle is coming to a boil. I then allow my coffee to bloom for 5 minutes.

Actually, nobody has time for that. I pour the boiling water in and hope for the best.

When the coffee is dangerously close to spilling over the brim I stop pouring, because duh. I then put a scant amount of local, raw, wildflower honey to benefit my allergies (or so I’ve been told) on a spoon and get an obscene amount of pleasure from stirring it in. I take my first few sips. Burn my tongue. Ecstasy. And I inevitably forget where I put my coffee, search for it all day, and finally finish it when it’s cold.

That’s my ritual. Rituals can be comforting. To some extent I am a true believer that if ritual involves caffeine, it’s almost like staying in bed for a few minutes longer.

Early in the pandemic, when kids stayed home from school and workplaces shut down, numerous articles came out to stress the importance of rituals and routines. They remove elements of uncertainty and help ease stress. However, even before the pandemic, medical professionals and academics published studies on the benefits of having rituals and routines in the home. I’m not doing any of these studies justice and there is quite a bit more nuance than I could represent here, but it comes down to predictability and some semblance of control. That’s been important to me.

Maybe you have a personal ritual that’s important to you. If you don’t have one already, I suggest starting with coffee. Or tea. I won’t judge.

We here at Littorary are all too aware of how important rituals can be, especially right now. With individual well-being and our collective future in mind, we have employed our mechanical engineering and product design expertise into developing a product that highlights the taste of your favorite beverage while committing to sustainability.

Littorary aims to honor your morning experiences and ask that you remember to honor yourself, wherever you are, and whatever you’re doing.

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