Life in the Forest // Pot-Brewed Coffee

Good Morning

Good morning! I know it’s a bit early, but out here you just wake up when the sun does. There are no blinds on the windows in our summer cottage, so when it gets too bright, it’s pointless to resist. Not that you even want to; you’re probably well rested, having slept better than ever in your life. Far away from everything, in the most complete silence. So when the clock strikes six, you’re wide awake, feeling frisky and ready to go.

And where are we going again? Well, I like to start my mornings with some yoga and a short walk before breakfast, just to wake my appetite as well. But now that we’re here in the forest, by the lake filled with water so pure you could drink it, there’s no way we’re passing up the opportunity to take a refreshing morning swim!

Morning Swim

Yes, I know it’s a bit chilly, but there’s nothing that’ll make your whole body wake up as efficiently as a dip in a freshwater lake first thing in the morning. It’s so invigorating, you’ll feel how your blood circulation instantly improves. I always wash my face with cold water after waking up – otherwise I’ll stay asleep for the rest of the day – so if you dare to dive a bit, those remnants of sleep will be gone, guaranteed. It also helps with puffiness, and if you tend to get bags under your eyes like I do, it’s a must.

And man, does it make you hungry for breakfast! Next step is to prepare a pot of coffee the old-fashioned way – by steeping. And for some extra morning exercise, we’ll be grinding the beans with a manual coffee grinder. The grounds need to be a bit coarser compared to filter coffee grounds – but if you usually make your coffee in a French press (another steeping method) you know that already.

Pot of Coffee

Then you just need a pot, a kettle, a small saucepan – anything where you can boil a few cups of water will do. First we’ll bring the water to a boil. Then, after removing it from the heat, add the coffee and shake the pot a bit to mix it all in, and bring it back to the boil. When it starts bubbling again, take it off the stove, and stir. The way my mom taught me to do this is to pour some of the coffee into a cup and back into the pot, and repeat once more. Finally, all there’s left to do is wait! It’ll take an excruciating five minutes before you can pour the black gold into your cup, but it’s worth the wait. It would be worth a five-hour wait. Together with a serving of overnight oats, it’s like in the finest coffee shop – but so much better, seeing that you’re there in the middle of the most beautiful nature.

Life in the Forest

There’s always stuff to do around the cottage, but let’s skip the chores for now and take a walk around the area. Quite literally everything is in bloom at the moment, including all the delicious forest fruits – but we’d be walking around all day if I tried to show you everything at once, so let’s leave that for another day. Instead, if we walk a couple of kilometers on these desolate forest roads,  we’ll arrive to the spot where my father’s side of the family had a huge estate once. As unbelievable as it sounds, there used to be a small community out here in the middle of nowhere – a manor with ten crofts and a lot of forest – but all that’s now left is this small shed. Everything else burned down before my father was born. Now the forest is split between the descendants of the family, and our summer cottage is hidden away in those woods.

Back in Time

Now it’s time to return to the cottage; got some chores to do, remember? Also, it’s starting to get a bit cloudy, and I don’t have my raingear on. It’ll be much nicer to stay indoors when the rain comes in, re-reading old Donald Duck pocket books, listening to the muffled sound of raindrops beating against the felt roof.

But we can take the bridge route back to get a better view of the lake. The scent of the marsh Labrador tea is amazing at this time of the year, when they’re all in full bloom. They are slightly poisonous, but can be used for flavoring various things, such as beer.  Plus their strong smell is a powerful moth repellent, so if you’re storing loads of clothes in your attic, bring in a few sprigs of marsh Labrador tea to keep the moths away!

Where the Wild Rosemary Grows


Here we are! The tiny cottage in the midst of the birch trees over there is the old family cottage – our own is a few dozen yards away from it, nearly invisible for the few passers-by on their boats. So you see, it’s quite peaceful out here, almost surreal. If you take the canoe out to the lake at nighttime, you’ll hear cuckoos sing, and might just see a flock of ravens fly over. It’ll be so silent you’ll hear their wings beat. Later in the summer, the water will be so warm that you can spend the day swimming, not forgetting the occasional coffee break, though.

And talking about coffee, here’s the detailed recipe with instructions on how to bring that summer cottage feeling with you anywhere!

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Pot-Brewed Coffee
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
5 mins
Total Time
10 mins

That coffee shop taste can be achieved with the simplest of methods - the way it's been done for centuries. This pot-brew method can be used anywhere, be it a hiking trip or a tiny apartment kitchen with no counter space for a separate coffee maker.

  • 2 cups water
  • 5 tbsp coffee beans, coarsely ground
  1. Pour the water into a coffee pot, kettle, or a small saucepan, and bring to a boil.

  2. Remove from heat, add the coffee grounds, and shake a little to immerse all of the coffee in the water.

  3. Transfer back onto high heat, and wait until the coffee starts to foam. The bubbles will first bring the grounds to the surface and then submerge them - this will only take a couple of seconds, so when you see all of the coffee submerged, take the pot off the heat!

  4. Let sit for 5 minutes and pour into cups or a separate serving pot.

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