The Creative Process is like a Cup of Coffee: Dump or Scoop?


We have a coffeemaker and brew a pot of coffee almost every day of work.  There isn’t one person who has the assignment of making the coffee.  It could be the first person who arrives one day.  The next day it could be the last person.  That means strength varies, and it means having a cup of coffee at our office is an adventure.   

Why does it vary?  Some people here who make the coffee measure every scoop they use. They count the number, carefully following the cofeemaker’s suggestion.  Other people simply dump coffee in until the screen basket looks about right.

Is one method better than the other…. dump or scoop?  

It’s a good guess that coffee made using measured scoops is predictable and can be counted on being close to the same day after day. Coffee made via the dump method – every so often – creates a pot of coffee that everyone agrees is perfect.

So… Get locked in to the same thing every day, or hope for that once in a lifetime, never to be repeated taste? Create standards or explore the unknown? Save time or have repeatable results?  

We talked about it. We agreed that we could make a rule precisely describing how much coffee to use and regiment the process. We also agreed that adding rules would take something away. In the end, we decided that whoever makes the coffee can do whatever they want.  We also agreed that we can freely critique the end result.

And that’s our creative process.  Feel free to stop in for a cup of coffee.