Tea ceremonies have been performed for centuries in cultures all around the world. They are quiet celebrations rooted in mindfulness, respect, and living in the moment—and they can take as little as 10 minutes.
How can you get started with your own ritual?
I always recommend using loose-leaf tea for rituals, as it is usually fresher and more aromatic than bagged tea. Traditional Japanese tea ceremonies used matcha green tea, but you can use your favorite type of brew or experiment with new varieties.
The entire course of a tea ritual—from preparation to clean up—should be done in a mindful way. Forget about "a watched pot never boils" and give yourself completely to the entire process of making and drinking your tea. I suggest you watch the pot until the water begins to bubble or complete a seated meditation while it's warming. Anything that keeps you present.
To get started, add about one cup of boiled water to one heaping tablespoon of tea. Notice the aroma of the steam rising up and how it makes you feel. Steep the leaves for about one minute. Drink your tea with mindfulness and savor each minute. If tension or anxiety arises, let it wash away with a sip of tea and some nice deep breaths.
Celebrate this moment you took for yourself; appreciate this opportunity to step away from your busy day to slow down and recharge. Having a tea ritual at home is a wonderful way to take a pause, be present, reduce stress, and enjoy all the health benefits of drinking tea. Here are some of my favorite teas to mindfully enjoy.
Here are a few teas to try first.
Chai spices include warming and aromatic herbs like ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, clove, and anise. Along with improving digestion, chai tea boosts the immune system, enhances circulation, and fights inflammation. Black tea is high in antioxidants and promotes mental clarity. In Chinese Medicine, chai spices warm the kidney yang—the root of our vital energy
This fruity, slightly sour plant has been used for centuries as a heart tonic. Hawthorn can boost the circulatory system, improve heart function, and lower high cholesterol and blood pressure. This heart-centric herb also calms anxiety and soothes jittery nerves.
3. Holy Basil/Tulsi
Holy basil is one of the most sacred herbs of India and is regularly used for common ailments in Ayurvedic medicine. This adaptogenic herb encourages physical and mental well-being, helps the mind and body cope with disease, and offers significant protection against stress.
4. Jasmine Green Tea
The intoxicating, floral scent of jasmine flowers has a relaxing effect on the body and calms down the autonomic nervous system. While jasmine embodies grounding and euphoric qualities, green tea promotes alertness and mental awareness. Its high antioxidant content protects the body from environmental toxins and free radicals and supports cardiovascular health.
5. Lemon Balm
Touted as an herb for longevity, lemon balm promotes good health by easing anxiety and lifting the mood. Lemon balm encourages restful sleep, eases appetite, calms a nervous stomach, and balances blood sugar levels. Excellent for brain health, the herb can also improve alertness.
Best known as a fertility herb, motherwort is often used to support women's emotional and physical well-being. Used to treat anxiety and stress, motherwort is said to spread joy and calm throughout the body and is a cardiovascular and nervous system tonic. (Note: This herb should not be used during pregnancy.)
Sipping on rose petal tea opens the heart and promotes a sense of liberation, peace, and beauty. In Chinese Medicine, rose is used to release constraint and promote the free flow of energy (Qi) in the body. Rose has antidepressant and anti-inflammatory properties and is used as a nervous system tonic. High in vitamin C and antioxidants, rose tea repairs cellular damage and protects the body from serious illnesses.