Tea 4 Two!

February 28, 2012

I find as my schedule becomes more fabulously crammed (there are some amazing things going on at Jing Ai that have been keeping me hopping lately), I need to keep reminding myself of my New Year’s promise to slow down and smell the roses. One way I do that is to take a few minutes for a calming cup of tea each day.She taught me the difference between having a cup of tea and experiencing a cup of tea. Now, I find the process of choosing which tea to drink, boiling the water, and pouring the cup as rewarding as drinking the tea itself. I’ve learned to love the experience of being mindful when I make my tea.
I used to make hot tea by throwing a tea bag in a mug, adding water, heating it in the microwave, and carrying my mug around with me from room to room as I checked off items on my to-do list. One day, my English friend caught me doing this, laughed hysterically at me, and said, “You’re kidding me, right?”

My friend taught me that the beautiful copper colored teakettle I have on my stove has a purpose besides just being decorative. It makes tea! I know that sounds like a “no duh” statement, but my teakettle had been incredibly neglected. Not any more.

First, I select the tea I want to drink. I think about what I need. Do I need a little caffeine pick me up or the calmness of an herbal tea? What scent is going to give me a little inspiration at the moment? Which teacup (notice I didn’t say big ‘ol coffee mug) is calling to me to be used? This all takes less than a minute, but it’s part of the experience and helps me to focus on the experience.

Once I’ve made my choices, I pour just enough water in the kettle for the amount of tea I’m going to make. Once the water has boiled, I put one tea bag per serving directly in the kettle and allow it to steep for three to five minutes. When the tea is the strength I like it, I pour it into a pretty teacup.

There is something very relaxing about this process. After the tea is made, I take a few quite minutes to sip it, either by myself or with a friend. I stay away from phones, computers, and anything with a screen and just stop and smell the roses (or the lemon tea) for a bit.

If there is one thing I’m learning, busy is never going to go away. You have to make sure you take a few minutes daily for experiences like a simple cup of tea. So give yourself permission to take 5 or 10 minutes out of your day, boil yourself some amazing tea, pour it in a beautiful teacup, and sit in your favorite chair and sip it.  The experience is divine.

Pure Love Grows X0X0X0

Image: Jeremy Keith