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Tea and Time Out

Posted on 12/01/2023

What makes tea such a uniquely effective respite in a hectic day? The simple act of preparing tea creates an oasis in an increasingly busy and noisy world. The comforting routine of each step in preparing a cup of tea contributes to slowing down, however briefly, so you can take time to appreciate the moment. Taking in the details of well-loved utensils as well as attentiveness to their care during and after using them can help keep you grounded in the present.

During the week, mornings tend to feel rushed for those headed out to work or school. A tea routine may consist of heating up the kettle as you prepare for the day, then quickly steeping your tea and filling a travel mug before you head out the door. A weekend morning might allow for a more lingering routine, where you can sit in stillness and savor each sip. Later, you may take time to prepare another cuppa for an afternoon lift. This might be a quick pause in your day or, if time allows, a lingering afternoon tea with friends. By the time you reach the evening, you may need to catch a second wind and look for another boost of caffeine. Or, you may be winding down, at this time, and prefer a cup to sooth and relax.

Each of these moments, short or long, add up to time spent in the rejuvenating practice of taking time for yourself with a cup of tea. The number of steps involved and accessories used may vary but the vital common ingredient is taking time and shifting your focus. 

There are many ways to take a break, and even get a caffeine jolt, but what makes tea so special? In addition to a lengthy list of ways that tea is generally a powerful contributor to a healthy lifestyle, L-theanine, a unique amino acid found in tea, has properties that have been found to promote relaxation and stress relief. L-theanine has also been shown to increase focus and attention. It was the practical discovery of these particular properties by Buddhist monks over 800 years ago that led to the increasing popularity of tea in the first place and its incorporation into a wide variety of ceremonies and rituals throughout the centuries.

Whether you are sipping from your favorite mug, whisking Matcha in an ornate bowl, or pouring from your beloved teapot when hosting favored guests, tea is a pause that is adaptable to whatever the day brings. We could all use more of that in our lives these days.

Until next time, keep sipping!

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