Sharing a cup of tea is one of, if not the, most shared and longstanding way of communal drinking across the world. You can find tea as ceremony across continents, countries, and cultures. Traditional tea rituals centered around special occasions, like the traditional Chinese Gongfu ceremonies that include Oolong tea, to the formal Japanese tradition of welcoming special guests with sencha or matcha. And I’m sure we’ve heard of having afternoon tea, as it is known across Great Britain and the United Kingdom, which started off as just a snack before dinner.
While tea is largely attributed to Asian and European traditions, it holds a longstanding and revered practice across the African continent. There are specific Green tea + mint brews found in Senegal and Saharan Africa; Chai teas made with black tea and milk are popular in Eastern Africa. Equally popular across the African continent are herbal teas (or tisanes), such as Hibiscus teas, known as sarkade, bissap, or sobolo in West Africa, or Rooibos, which is widely brewed across South Africa. These traditions have traversed the Atlantic to include pulling herbs to brew daily such as Cerasee, Ginger, or a Leaf of Life in the Caribbean and even setting herbs out in a mason jar full of water for a beautiful slow-steeped Sun tea, across the America’s Deep South.
With traditional rituals, like those used across Africa and Asia, tea is not only healing, but a way to connect, commune, and converse.
In today’s society, with its uber fast pace, it may be difficult to create regular rituals with others. The best way is always to start with oneself, and let that energy spread to all whom we encounter. Making a tea ritual as part of your daily practice can be a conduit to communing with yourself, creating and setting intentions, reaching new levels of mindfulness, and discovering your true wealth.
Now how do you do it? You know I got you!
How To Create A Tea Ritual:
- Select a kettle or loose leaf tea maker. I know, we have all boiled that water in random pot on the stove, and yes it works, but we are creating a ritual here! Take some time and select a beautiful tea kettle, or loose leaf tea press. Maybe its new and one that speaks to you, or maybe its an heirloom passed down that has cultural significance.
- Select a cup. Choose your favorite mug or china set that sets the tone for your ritual. It may be the same one used each day, you may assign different mugs to different days, or you may just choose one based on your mood for the day, it is completely up to you.
- Select your tea. Make sure its accessible, so not all the way stashed in the back of the cabinet where you have to work to get to it…please, please. Place it in a special container or location, one helps you treat your tea ritual as a sacred time and can serve as a reminder of the time and intention you put into this ritual whenever you look at it.
- Select your space. Make sure the space for this ritual stays clean and clear of clutter. Organization and cleanliness is imperative for mindfulness whether or not its part of a tea ritual.
- Select the time. This can include time of day as well as amount of time you want to dedicate to your tea ritual.
When Is the Right Time to Have a Tea Ritual?
Choose a time of day that will allow you to best connect with yourself and your environment and be present in the moment.
Early Tea Ritual:
An a.m. tea ritual is amazing to set the tone and intention for the day. In addition, caffeine-rich or energizing teas are a healthy and flavorful replacement for coffee with many promoting circulation and and focus required for any prosperous day.
Midday Tea Ritual:
Taking the time to settle and for mindfulness in the middle of the day may be exactly what you need to encourage productivity and give you the boost you need to get through the remainder of the day.
Evening Tea Ritual:
Sleepytime teas were made for the evening tea ritual. Evening tea rituals are perfect for relaxation and helping you de-stress from the days' activities, mind, body and soul.
SIIKA suggestions: Clarity, herbal teas (especially those with lavender or chamomile)
How to Stay Present During A Tea Ritual?
If you’re anything like me, then it may be easy for your mind to start wandering while you’re sitting, with no distraction, enjoying your tea. Yet, like any SIIKA blend, the best way to stay present and enjoy your tea ritual is to by engaging all of your senses.
Engaging Sight in your Tea Ritual
Notice how the tea and herbs change from had to soft as they steep. Does the water change from clear to tinted slowly and gradually, or is it a quick process? How does it change when you put your sweetener or cream in it? Which way is more visually appealing to you?
Engaging Sound as part of your Tea Ritual
The tv and your notifications are off right? Ok, just checking. Is it quiet where you are, and if it is what sounds do you hear? The air conditioner or heater humming? The kids moving around?
Extras: Do you have music on? Maybe you created a Ritual playlist, which is amazing, too. How does the music make you feel?
Engaging Smell as part of your Tea Ritual
Take note of how the tea and herbs smell when you open the container. How do they smell when you bring the cup up to your lips? What does it remind you of?
Extras: Did you light a candle or incense? How does that smell?
Engaging Touch as part of your Tea Ritual
How does it feel when the tea hits your tongue, the roof of your mouth? Are you serving yourself hot or iced tea, today? Did it cool too much, not enough, or just enough? Extras: Hopefully your ritual space makes you feel comfortable and relaxed. How about the clothes you have on? How do they feel on your skin?
Engaging Taste as part of your Tea Ritual
Ooo, the good part. Can you taste the herbs? Is it ginger, cinnamon, nutmeg, or something lighter like mint, maybe lavender? I hope you’re savoring them! Maybe you try out different sweeteners. How does it taste with your favorite honey vs sugar? Are you eating with it? If so, how does the taste of the food compare or compliment the tea?
Also, be gentle with yourself! If you set time for a nighttime ritual but you woke up feeling like you need it then, take the time to do so! Your taste is changing or you’re in the mood for another tea? Do that too. If your mind is wandering, what is it trying to tell you? If you determine it’s not just idle thoughts, be gentle enough with yourself to receive the message. Whatever you need at the moment, give it to your ritual.
Tea rituals have been used for generations as not only a way to heal our bodies, but to heal our communities and a way to celebrate connection to the Earth – our Self – and each other. While we may not practice them as much as a part of communal rituals, we can certainly practice tea-rituals as part of our own self-care ritual. The most difficult part of creating a tea ritual is slowing down, setting, and acting upon the intention to do so. Once you do so, you’ll notice how amazing and simple rituals can be, and how they add value to your life. I hope you take some time, daily, every other day, weekly... regularly! To pour into yourself and see how sweet healing, and rituals, can be.
Extra: (As you can probably tell, I love extras I might even love being extra but that's another story for another time.)
Have your tea ritual as part of your daily practice? Are you ready to share it? Have your significant other join you. Call up the friend or family member who has their own tea ritual or mindfulness practice and fellowship with them. This could be apart of your own tea ritual, or a supplement to. Your choice. While it always starts with us, people need people and sharing in rituals is an amazing way to connect and reconnect.
As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.