Growing up in Manchester in the 1960s / 70s, tea was the beverage of choice to help greet a new day as well as to pause the afternoon’s activity. It was elevated to special status for afternoon tea (when cakes and perhaps the best china came out too) and was a first line comforter in times of shock or upset. An all-round panacea.
Fast-forward several years, and tea was just a part of my life, but nothing special. It was simply drunk whilst doing something else. Maybe it was my northern commonsense blood, but I used to think that tea ceremonies were a lot of faff over something as ordinary as a cuppa!!
Later, during my quest for health, I abandoned my then umpteen daily cuppas for plain old water plus the odd herbal tea. Ordinary brews thus became a thing of the past.
Tea drinking, however, has now come back into my life.
I’m not talking builder’s brew. Far from it. This can be hugely dehydrating, and if laced with sugar and/or dairy, it’s a long way from healthy. My tipple is green tea or herbal concoctions.
There is something quite special about hitting the pause button on what I’m doing, wrapping my hands around my cup and sipping my tea slowly. There’s a simplicity but almost sacredness attached to this small act. It helps to ground me and bring me back to “now”.
Thích Nhất Hạnh sums it up beautifully
“Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves – slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future.”
Sarah Ban Breathnach says in “Simple Abundance”
“Learn to savour small, authentic moments that bring us contentment … Sip a cup of tea on the front stoop in the sunshine …… Experience the sacred in the ordinary”
Using a dedicated teacup and teapot helps to make it into a daily ritual which can make something ordinary seem like a treat each day. Like a meal that has been lovingly prepared and presented, my daily cuppa is infused with far more than just a few tea leaves. It contains lots of love and good intentions.
Confucius states that tea means harmony, calm, etiquette and optimism. I can almost taste a Jasmine green tea just by reading that.
And as for C. S. Lewis, I couldn’t agree more when he says
“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”
There is always a tinge of disappointment when I drain my cup and have to resume my work once more!
Before the age of cheap teabags and instant cuppas, there was something far more special about our tea drinking. Mindfulness, it seems, came in a cup of tea long before mindfulness became a buzz word!!
Enjoy your cuppa 🙂 🙂