All around the world, people use their tea rituals as a chance to unwind after (or during) a hectic day. Many of tea’s ingredients, such as antioxidants and polyphenols, have calming properties. A hot and aromatic cup of tea is a harmonious addition to your quiet moments of mindfulness.
Enhancing your tea break is a great opportunity for self care. In this way, you can reap the many relaxing benefits from your beverage and effectively destress. While tea is lovely in almost any circumstance and form, there are some ways you can add a touch of luxury to your tea ritual to make it just that little bit more soothing and special.
Elevate with gorgeous teaware
All you really need to make tea is a cup, a kettle, water and tea leaves. However, investing in beautiful and functional equipment is a sure way to enhance the tea experience.
The material and shape of your mug or cup is made from impacts how you experience your tea, and how it tastes. Some people like ceramic, some are partial to glass, others prefer clay. Even the types of glaze or clay used can make a difference to the flavour. Identify what you like in a mug – tall, short and wide, thin lipped? Find one that suits your preferences.
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You may consider buying a complete tea set. This way, you can have a pretty tray with your teapot, cups, and other pieces all ready for use. You could choose to go for an Asian style tea set, or a simple gaiwan – a Chinese lidded bowl invented in the Ming dynasty. A gaiwan is small, has a fitted lid, no handle, and is perfect for infusing and drinking tea.
The cosmetic and emotional significance of your teaware can also make a big difference to how you enjoy your tea. You could seek out some beautiful artistic pieces made by a local artist. Or, maybe you would prefer to use a mug that was a gift from a loved one and makes you smile every time you use it.
Focus on flavour
A simple cup of hot water plus a tea bag will do the job in a pinch, but to make your tea break more luxurious, consider indulging in quality ingredients. Many people swear by loose leaf tea, which is simple to prepare with an infuser or strainer. Create a blend of your favourite loose leaf teas and store it in an airtight and light proof box.
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If you’re a tea drinker who enjoys lemon, ginger, or other additions, take the time to acquire these from high quality sources. Every cup of tea will feel a little more special and meaningful if you’ve added local and organic honey, or mint from your own windowsill planter.
Add a snack to your tea break
Morning and afternoon tea rituals exist across the globe. In Indian culture, sweet masala tea is often served with snacks such as pakoras and samosas. In Japan, afternoon tea is likely to include small and ornately detailed cakes and other sweets. In British culture, afternoon tea typically involves the likes of cucumber sandwiches and dainty biscuits.
To get the most enjoyment out of your tea, enjoy your afternoon pick-me-up with your favourite rejuvenating snack. Perhaps it’s a handmade macaron from your local French bakery or simply a handful of roasted nuts. Select a tea that complements your snack or vice versa, and enjoy treating yourself!
Bring the ambience
If you’re at work, avoid taking your tea break at your desk. This time is an opportunity to get away from your workspace, which is an important part to recharging. Stepping back will offer you the opportunity find a fresh perspective and a chance to rest your mind. This has the benefit of fuelling both productivity and creativity.
As you steep and drink your tea, you could add to the tea drinking experience with some relaxing music. Alternatively, you might enjoy listening to a calming or meditative podcast.
Consider drinking your tea outside, perhaps in a park when the weather permits. If you can, enjoy your tea while surrounded with nature, such as trees and birdsong. If this isn’t practical, try to enjoy your tea by a window, to soak up some natural light.
Embrace luxury and calm
For a truly peaceful and luxurious cup of tea, use your tea ritual as a time to practice gratitude and mindfulness. As you prepare the tea in your favourite cup and with high quality ingredients, focus on the present moment.
Once your tea is ready, find a quiet place to sit, hopefully with a pleasant outlook. Put on some relaxing music, or simply enjoy the silence. Consider your breathing. Focus on the moment, and feel gratitude for the day. Inhale the aromatic steam from your tea, and savour each sip.
You may want to sit for a moment, and take some time for self-reflection. With carefully considered preparation, ingredients, and mindfulness, your luxurious tea experience can be a heavenly moment for self care and relaxation.