Are you a tea lover? I can't start the day without my cup of tea, it's followed with a coffee but for me it's always tea first, Earl Gray. I then have copious amounts of herbal teas through out the day. Given this tea obsession I have been reading up on whether the act of having a cup of tea really does make a difference to your state of mind like I think it does. What do you think?
I'm not going to go into the supposed health/medicinal benefits of tea, which I do believe there are many, but it's more about the ritual of brewing, serving and drinking tea. Tea was being offered as an emotional comforter long before any research was done on it.
"Tea is the second most widely consumed beverage in the world, after water. It's the only beverage commonly served hot or iced, anytime, anywhere, for any occasion" (so says the Tea Association of the USA Inc but I'm inclined to think it's true not just because the tea association says so!).
When we think about tea we usually associate it with soothing and relaxing and also for the first one in the morning alertness too! When a friend is sad or feeling down we genuinely offer a cup of tea to comfort them don't we?
To quote A.A Milne
It's my belief that the act of having a cup of tea really does soothe and relax as to why I have have curated so many gift boxes around tea!. Tea + Kindness, Tea + Sleep, Book & Tea Lover, Love for You, Love for You Big Time Pamper Pack ......you see what I mean!
We were on a warning alert for Cyclone Debbie this week and drinking tea really did help calm the nerves. It was quite scary waiting for something awful to happen, we were fortunate enough to be spared from the worst of it but my heart goes out to those who had to live through it and have had awful damage done to their homes and property.
The ritual of making tea, by it's nature, slows us down. You have to wait for the water to boil, you have to wait while the tea steeps, you have to wait while it cools a bit, you can only drink hot drinks slowly. You have to walk slowly when you carry it. While our lives these days are so busy rushing, making tea is a short moment of time in the day to be slow and interestingly it never seems to be a frustrating slowness, at least in my experience. The act of making a tea creates space in our day.
In many countries around the world the "tea ceremony" forms part of the culture. I liked this article which describes the tea culture from 15 different countries.
Having a favourite pot, cup or as popular these days a Tea Flask (yep, you can buy our beautiful glass ones individually) also helps ritualise the experience. The vessel that you use if it's the same one all the time can become a trigger for a state of relaxation and comfort.
Even the act of making "iced tea" still creates time to pause. My current favourite Iced Tea recipe is here.
From now on I'm going to try to make sure I practice "mindfulness" while I'm making a cup of tea and savour the time it takes, to step off the busy wheel even for just a few moments a day. How about you?
Does the act of making tea calm you? Are you a tea lover? What's your favourite type of tea?