The Tea Ritual

Inspire your afternoon and refresh your senses by creating sacred space for a personal tea ceremony.

From the fragrant aromas to the delicate flavours to the simple comfort of a warm cup, tea is a meditation for the senses. It also creates space to unwind and reconnect.

Preparing it is a process, one that forces you to slow down and relax. "Tea is a gift from the earth,"says Diana Rosen, author of Meditations With Tea, "and enjoying it is a gift to yourself."

By creating your own daily tea ritual in the afternoon when the day tends to drag, you can refresh your senses, refocus your thoughts, enjoy some peace, and importantly- introduce a sacred moment into your day.

Prepare for Tea

In one traditional Japanese tea ceremony, guests are met at the gate by their host and led silently through a garden to the tea room, signifying a departure from the everyday world and an entrance into a spiritual realm.

You probably don't have a dedicated tea room, but you too can create a space in your afternoon for disconnecting from the day's stresses, whether you're at the office or at home. Here's our simple step-by-step approach to creating your own personal tea ceremony.

Dedicate a tea space. This can mean moving to another room, a favorite chair, or just to the other side of your desk- or simply clearing a space for tea on your table or work space. You might consider using a place mat or a tray to visually set your tea space apart from everything else.

Set the stage. A tea ceremony is about atmosphere. Light a candle or play music to set the mood. If you're in a busy office, just close your eyes and listen to your breath for a few minutes to switch gears and set the tone.

As Confucius said, "Let your palate be your guide."

Use your favourite accoutrements. The personal objects you use for tea making will help make this practice your own. Whether it’s a pretty mug, a beautiful teapot or a favourite infuser, using something special for your tea ritual inspires a ceremonial feel.

Enjoy the Process

Tea appreciation does not require special expertise. Tea can seem intimidating, but it really doesn't have to be. You just put your teaspoonful of loose tea in a pot and add hot water. That's it. Watch its magic infuse and then enjoy the experience and benifits the tea will impart.

There are, however, a few good guidelines we suggest to ensure an enjoyable process and a great cup of tea.

Brew properly. Start with good quality water- tap is fine, but we suggests spring water as opposed to distilled water, which lacks the minerals that can bring out the full flavour.

Brewing times vary depending on the tea and your preference of taste. When in doubt, under brew. Green teas only need to left to infuse anywhere from 30 to 45 seconds; for a sweeter infusion, brew for up to three minutes.

Engage your senses. Tea is a sensual pleasure, with its aroma, warmth, flavour, and visual splendor. Watch the tea slowly infuse its colour into the water. Feel the steam rise. Focus on the complexities of flavour: Is it mildly sweet, or vegetal? Fruity or spicy? Breathe and absorb each delicious moment.

Keep it fresh and interesting. Rituals are about being engaged in the process. And unlike routines, they are not static but can change as you do. Allow your tea ritual to fluctuate with your moods and evolving tastes.