The Act of Making a Cup of Tea as Self-Care
According to legend, Chinese emperor and renowned herbalist, Shen Nung, was sitting beneath Camiella sinensis tree when the leaves floated into the water his servant was boiling in 2737 BC. Shen Nung drank the infused water and thus tea was born.
There is no drink so steeped (see what I did there) in mystery, ritual, and history as tea. Sure, there’s plenty to be said on the subject of coffee ( we’ll save that for another day) but there is no such thing as High Coffee or Coffee Sandwiches. Indeed, tea is a hot commodity (I’ll stop with the puns now...maybe).
As an avid consumer of the roasted, acidic, delightful little coffee bean, I never thought I would find myself singing the praises of tea. Yet, here I am. An anxious ball of energy seeking solace in a cup of tree leaves soaked in water.
With so many varieties and ways to dress it, there is a tea for everyone. And I think it prudent for you to find yours. A cup of tea can be a instrument of self-care. Couldn’t we all use a few more moments peace?
Indeed, tea has become part of my wellness journey. I could tout it’s many proven health benefits (hello, antioxidants!) but I’ll spare you. Today, let’s just focus on the therapeutic ritual of choosing, preparing, and drinking your cup of tea. Once you’ve found a tea you enjoy, I promise this ritual will bring you a sense of calm so desperately needed in our chaotic world.
If you would like to indulge in this holy, ancient brew...well, you’re going to need a cup. Why not make it a fabulous one?
Me, I like a cheeky mug*. Perhaps you’re more of a dainty tea cup* kind of girl (or guy, that’s cool, too). Choose a sacred vessel. One you reserve for the most primitive of rituals. I suppose you could use an ordinary coffee cup but honestly, where’s the joy in that? And tea should be an act of pure, unrelenting joy.
Tea can be a very snobby sort of thing but that doesn't mean it has to be. If the idea of walking into your local Teavana and standing at the counter while an eager sales associates wafts tea fumes in your directions gives you the heebee jeebees, have no fear. Any old bag on a string from your local grocery store will do, I promise.
Each type of tea has a temperature at which it is most ideally brewed. Read the directions on your tea to find the ideal brewing situation. But maybe you don’t have a thermometer at home. That’s totally ok. Generally, hot will do. Let’s not get fussy about it. This is supposed to be relaxing, ya hear?
So, you’ve picked your cup, your tea, and got yourself some water Perhaps you’ve procured some accouterments. Like raw honey and sliced lemon. That was easy, no? Let’s begin.
Step 1: Fill a stove top vessel with water. Maybe tap. Maybe filtered. Whatever makes your skirt fly up.
Step 2: Bring said water to a gentle boil. Take a moment while you wait to breathe deeply. Help is on the way. Maybe you’ll check the temperature, maybe not
Step 3: Place your tea bag or loose leaf infuser* into your favorite mug.
Step 4: Pour the hot water into the mug.
Step 5: Steep.
Step 6: Add lemon, honey, or milk, if you’d like.
Step 7: Allow to cool.
Step 8: Take a seat in a cozy place, relax, and enjoy. Concentrate on the sensation of warmth, the aroma of serenity, and feeling of peace. Sip slowly and with intention until gone.
Step 9: Take that sense of peace with you as you move to conquer the rest of your day.
Do you drink tea? What’s your favorite kind? Tell me all about it in the comments below!
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