The Advaita of Coffee




Coffee, when made with the appropriate tool, the mocha coffee pot, is the ultimate metaphor for life. Because, think about it. We take so many elements, the metal of the pot, the flame of fire, some exotic beans roasted somewhere in the world and water, the Earth’s most essential resource, and we pull them altogether to get something which was not there in the first place: coffee. Real coffee is not a drink which is there to serve a purpose. It doesn’t quench the thirst, like a fresh juice. It is not reinvigorating like aloe and it is not rich in vitamins. Some may say that coffee is superfluous. Yet, how much life lies behind a small cup of expresso! Just think at the water in the mocha pot. The water was running free in a river in the mountains, or it was pouring from a spring from the centre of the Earth. And then what happened? It was channeled in the most unnatural of places, a small chamber of iron. Worse of all, this iron chamber was put on top of water’s arch-enemy: fire. After just few minutes the pressure for the small amount of water becomes unbearable. It just can’t take it anymore! It has to escape from that prison! Upon exiting water does not know whether it will be able to retain its initial freshness, but it has no choice, it has to get out of there! And there is only way out, the way up! And then what happens? Fresh water percolates into coffee powder. Water is not simple water anymore. It has experienced too much of the world to keep its original name. Water is now gone to leave room for something new. The trip, though, is not yet finished. This way of experiencing, while enjoyable at first, is still too much pressure. The awareness of this newly-born-drink is not yet steady. It wants more space to fully complete its own development. When the pressure reaches its peak, the process terminates with the most beautiful of the screams: “I AM!”. This is what the mocha pot is telling us when the coffee is finally ready. That’s the scream which calls off all the pressure. The process is now complete. Additional pressure will only burn the coffee, ruining its taste. The coffee is now ready to reveal its fragrance to everybody around the pot, while it lays on top of the mocha pot regaining peace and acceptance. Now nothing is really a struggle. Mixing with sugar, with milk or staying by itself is not such a big deal anymore. The once-known-as water now knows that choices do not have to be taken so seriously and the struggle for freedom is no more. So now, when you are having your espresso, you know that you are not drinking just a random drink. You are drinking the whole life. By the way, my coffee is ready, anybody wants some?


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