From Bean to Brew: A Journey of Mindfulness and Discovery in the World of Coffee

Fun Fact: Did you know that about 2,000 hours of labor goes into producing a single cup of coffee?


On a recent trip to Costa Rica, my husband and I had the pleasure of touring a coffee plantation! For as many cups of coffee I had consumed in my life up until a few weeks ago, I had never seen an IRL living coffee berry or plant. We visited an entire farm and working facility and it was beyond eye opening. 


All the way back in February of 2020, we had actually toured one of our favorite coffee roasters in Kansas City. 


Here’s another fun fact: the lighter the coffee, the more caffeine….. I KNOW! Blonde roasts tend to have more fun with more caffeine - that’s not opinion, that’s fact. 


If you haven’t read my blog from a few years ago, F*ck Kale, Drink Coffee, you should definitely brush up on your coffee capabilities… however here’s a quick summary:


It talks about the ritualistic love many have for their morning brew and how it kickstarts the day. But, it doesn't shy away from the flip side, highlighting conversations with friends who've quit coffee due to its not-so-great effects like anxiety and insomnia. The conversation shifts to Dr. William Li's positive spin on coffee, emphasizing studies on how it can fend off heart disease and cancer, thanks to polyphenols. It suggests rethinking our coffee habit, advocating for moderation and mindfulness, and even ties in a quirky tip on kale consumption. Essentially, it's all about finding a happy, healthy balance with our beloved cup of joe.


Let’s step up our coffee game a little further, but without consuming more! 


First - coffee for some (depending on caffeine) can genuinely make us feel happier. In a study published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology found that even just the smell of coffee can reduce stress related to sleep deprivation. But it's more than the aroma; the caffeine in coffee acts as a mild stimulant to the central nervous system, enhancing mood, attentiveness, and cognitive function. By blocking the neurotransmitter adenosine, caffeine increases the levels of other neurotransmitters like dopamine and norepinephrine, leading to improved mood and brain function.


Don’t forget I mentioned NOT consuming more than needed. You may or may not already know for yourself, the over indulgence of caffeine can move from mood booster to anxiety booster, especially if you are prone to already increased anxiety or have an anxiety disorder 🙋


Lastly, once again when not overindulging, research has shown that caffeine can improve various aspects of brain function, including memory, mood, energy levels, reaction times, and especially if your coffee in the morning makes you feel happy - you are probably more likely to have all of these other things come along for the ride. 


Also all of that stuff is all great and all, and science is cool….but one of the biggest things I witnessed while at the plantation and in Costa Rica was the culture behind the coffee…It was all about presence, mindfulness, and community. Also, no decaf.


The coffee wasn’t about waking up or getting sh*t done, it was about enjoying the moment, spending time with friends and family, and mostly I had so much gratitude for the family that showed us around and for the lunch they cooked for us. We saw all the inner workings and the equipment. We watched the labor that it took to help dry the beans out in the sun for days and days. 


But, what I felt was so much more. It reminded me that to harness the true effects of the coffee, it all comes back to yoga, mindfulness, and presence. 


If you want to practice with your cup of joe, focus on all of your senses while you drink your coffee. Notice the the liquid pour into the cup, the temperature of the cup, notice the smell of the aroma, the taste of each sip, and take a moment to listen to all the sounds around you continuing on while you enjoy your cup!  


So, wrapping up this java journey, from Costa Rica to my own little cup o’ bean juice, it’s clear that coffee is more than just a caffeine fix…it’s a connection through mindfulness and a touch of daily joy. Need help with meditation - start with your cup of coffee and the sensations around it. Let those little ground up beans remind you of their journey from 2,000 hours of labor to aromatic greatness and gratitude. 


Cheers to that my friends, may your next cup be a reminder to stay courageous, capable, and strong….and to be a little more mindful in the small moments that can seriously impact your day. 


PS - The Friday Blog will be on Spring Break next week, we hope you have a great week ahead.



Buy the YESyoga  GO YES YOURSELF Coffee Mug here.

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