We are avid tea drinkers, as we only drink coffee in a moderate way these days, tea has become our daily drink that fuels us and fills us up on minerals. We also love the ritual around making tea and drinking it.
Importance of Drinking Tea
For thousands of years, people have benefited from the energy and healing qualities of tea. Black tea which is the most popular one worldwide has many health and well-being benefits, while you can give yourself an extra health boost by switching to green tea or other herbal teas. Some benefits of a regular drinking of tea is because of its high anti-oxidant content that gives your immune system a boost, it gives you a focus and energy boost but is less stimulating for you than coffee.
Drinking tea regularly, especially consumption of green tea, may help manage conditions such as high cholesterol and high blood pressure and also promotes healthy bacteria in the gut. We also feel green tea is a great mood booster!
What is a Tea Ritual?
A tea ritual is an intentional, ritualized & ceremonial way of preparing and drinking tea & herbs. A tea ritual, in fact, is very common and traditional practice in countries like China, Korea and Japan. The tea ritual starts with the herbs and ends with the tastebuds and is a slow process of brewing and drinking it, in some cultures it is close to a dance as the movements are very specific.
Why Tea Rituals
Most human beings need more time for selfcare to rejuvenate. Making time for a tea ritual helps you to set your level of awareness and shift your consciousness during the day. That period of time only belongs to you. You may do this once or several times across the day (for example, in the morning when you wake up, tea breaks at work or before picking up the kids, in the evenings after coming home from work, etc.) The time spent in the tea ritual is more than just pouring and drinking a drink. You can use this time to pace down your life, pull off your plug for a bit and prioritise yourself, create memories and meaning for better appreciation. You could use a special cup or tea ware for this special tea ritual. Or you could use this time as a family time, sit down together with everyone and catch up on things over tea- a family time that is so hard to find in today’s fast paced world. A tea ritual can help you unwind.
How to Make the Best Tea
There are many ways to brew tea and none of them are necessarily wrong. But there is a better brewing method that will give you a more flavourful cup over others. To make the best quality tea, fill your kettle with fresh water. Water that has been previously boiled loses oxygen and can weaken the flavour of your tea. Heat the water to the proper temperature. Warm the teapot and/or your mug with the hot water. Pour some of the freshly heated water into your teapot or mug and swish it around, then dump it out. Add your tea. Pour again new warm water and brew the tea. Let your tea infuse for three to five minutes depending on your desired strength. When your tea is steeped, remove the infuser or strain your tea to remove the tea leaves.
Here are a few steps to make tea drinking into a daily ritual that does more for the spirit as well as the body.
1. Take time
The most important component of a tea ritual is taking time out of the day to prepare, sit, and sip. Choose a moment for a daily tea ritual—even if it means scheduling it on your calendar. First and foremost, it is in this way that the tea was meant to be consumed. Taking time to honor the many hands that produced the tea ignites a feeling of gratitude. Tea also awakens your senses, and invites you to be more present.
2. A healing botanical.
A tea ritual is soothing and restorative for the mind and, when the ingredients are selected carefully, it can also be healthful for the body. Pair your tea selection with what’s most needed that day. Fighting a cold? Consider “ginger, astragalus, and liver herbs (since liver is connected to immune system) like burdock and milk thistle. For relaxation, choose “ chamomile, tulsi or lavender” For focus, select from “rosemary, gotu kola, skull cap, and matcha.”
3. Beautiful tools
In traditional Japanese tea ceremonies, the tools used for preparing the tea are as important as the tea itself. For the simple modern version we suggest thinking if you have these four things:
- A tea canister, for storing loose tea leaves to keep them fresh.
- A wooden/bamboo tea scoop. It might be tempting to use a table spoon, but having a designated tool for scooping loose-leaf tea is a small detail that heightens an everyday ritual.
- A glass teapot. We love seeing the tea brew and colors spread in the water. And also know when the tea is ready by looking at the color.
- Small glass cups or ceramics. The handmade element and earthen feel of ceramic ware adds to the experience of tea brewing and consumption.