Tea and mindfulness
By Isabelle Wilkinson
In a world where we are more and more connected to phones and screens, it is all too easy to feel less connected from ourselves. Meditation is a powerful way of bringing that awareness back to our day-to-day, but many of us can feel overwhelmed by the thought of carving out 20 minutes every morning and evening to sit down and practice.
What is mindfulness?
‘Focusing on small tasks and bringing your attention back to the sensory experiences around you is an easy, beneficial way to reset, focus and be present in our lives.’ - Ashley Hunt - Modern Meditation Teacher and Wellness Coach.
Being more mindful is a way to keep our thoughts firmly centred on the present, and to enjoy the little moments of each day that might otherwise pass us by. Any moment when we turn our full attention to what we are doing, we are cultivating ‘presence’ and mindfulness. Noticing the nuances of a situation; the ever-changing sights, sounds and smells, won’t demand valuable time from your daily schedule, but does change how we feel as we’re moving through it.
Tea and mindfulness
When done properly, brewing and drinking loose leaf tea is a time for thought and observance due to the natural time frame. Meditation and paying homage to the art of brewing is at the very core of tea’s long history and culture. Many meditation practitioners incorporate tea as a way to end their sessions. The process of watching a dry leaf unfurl, and slowly infuse its colour and flavour into the water lends itself to a moment of reflection and recognition.
Being present in your own tea routine
It begins with choosing your tea, whether a black tea to start the day, an oolong to reinvigorate you after lunch or a herbal tea to unwind before bed. Once you’ve chosen, carefully measure your tea out of the jar into your infuser. Be aware of what you are doing, listening to the sound that the kettle makes as the water starts to heat up, eventually bubbling as it comes to a rolling boil. As you pour the water over the leaves, notice the effect the water has - watch them dance around, slowly unfurling as they release their flavour - a process known in China as the agony of the leaves. Over the course of the infusion, observe how the leaves stain the water with wisps of colour. Once infused, remove the leaves and pour the infusion into your favourite mug, wrapping your hands around it to feel its warmth. Sip slowly, breath in the aroma and enjoy the full complexity of flavour as it hits your taste buds.
Our favourite teas for a mindful moment
Different Mindfulness coaches favour different teas as a roundup to their sessions, but here are some of our favourites:
When we first tried this tea, we couldn’t help but smile. Handmade in small batches on the tiny Amba estate, this Lemongrass is truly exceptional. Harvested early in the morning, the cut stalks brew a bright yellow cup that zings with a sweet, lemony freshness and lingers long after drinking.
These large, whole leaves infuse to produce a deliciously fresh, peppery cup with a cool, minty-finish. Naturally caffeine-free and well-known for aiding digestion, this is the perfect cup for after a meal.
Grown high in the Bai Yun or ‘White Cloud Mountains’, these dark, wiry leaves produce a bright, pale green liquor. Its clean, vegetal flavour and lingering almond sweetness make it a deliciously refreshing, everyday green tea.