You’ve probably heard about some health benefits of drinking tea. From magazine articles to news segments, tea is often celebrated as a healthy alternative to soda or other sugary beverages. The one benefit that’s rarely discussed isn’t related to health, though. It’s the benefit to your mental well-being. To reap the full benefits of tea, you’ll need to look beyond just consuming the warm liquid in your cup. You’ll need to consume a tea drinking experience.
The practice of steeping and drinking tea can almost be spiritual. Historically, tea is often tied to ceremonies and tradition. Silver Needle is said to have been picked by virgins and served to emperors. Matcha was once enjoyed by the wealthy in ceremonial settings. These ceremonies might seem archaic or stuffy now, but the principle can be applied to modern tea drinking.
Enhance Your Tea Drinking Experience
To bring the serenity of the tea drinking ceremony into your life, think about how you usually digest food and drink. Do you eat quickly while you scroll through your Newsfeed? Do you slurp down your tea while you shoot out an email? Is consumption a sped-up, out-of-focus action that accompanies the hustle and bustle of your life? Or is it a sacred time for you?
Making time to drink tea is easy. First, put more intention into your tea brewing process. If you usually start multitasking while your tea steeps, stop. Instead, carefully select your tea, pour in water that’s the appropriate temperature and steep for the right amount of time. Take this moment for yourself. You can even make a point of using this time as a detox from screens and technology.
You’ll also want to make sure you have the right environment to drink tea. Whether that means cozying up on your favorite chair or making your office workspace more hospitable, you want to make your experience as pleasant and relaxing as possible. Set yourself up to fully experience your tea from the first sip until the last sip.
As you start to drink your tea, try to focus on what you’re sensing. 80% of what you’re experiencing when you drink tea is through your sense of smell. When you remove your tea leaves from your cup or teapot, smell them and try to figure out what the tea reminds you of. As you actually sip the tea, let it pass over each part of your tongue so you can taste each flavor note. Different sections of the tongue sense different tastes, so it’s important that you expose as much area of the tongue to the tea as you can.
By creating a moment for yourself every time you drink tea, you’ll increase your own mindfulness and you’ll find that your tea drinking can provide an experience that goes beyond taste and smell.