While there are no easy answers when it comes to the current public health crisis, at ArtfulTea we find ourselves relying on our supportive communities, soothing rituals, and - of course - good tea. Tea may not be able to solve the big problems facing us today, but it can help with the little ones by providing a moment of peace, relaxation, and mindfulness - a little oasis of calm amidst the storm of the current moment. Here’s why we’re turning to tea to help us weather these troubling times:
1. Tea is Great for Soothing Body & Mind
Loose leaf tea is full of healthful, soothing properties that help to calm your nerves and relax your tense muscles. Teas made from the camellia sinensis plant (including black tea, green tea, white tea, oolong tea, purple tea, pu-erh tea, and matcha) all contain l-theanine, a unique compound that induces a state of calm and relaxation. When paired with the caffeine already present in tea, l-theanine is also said to contribute to a sense of clarity and focus.
Many tea blends also contain other beneficial herbs and flowers that can help to reduce stress and anxiety. Ingredients like mint, chamomile, lavender, and rose petals are all known for their soothing, stress-relieving properties, while spices like ginger and turmeric have been shown to soothe muscle tension and reduce inflammation.
2. The Ritual of Preparing Tea
In addition to the many medicinal benefits of tea, we’re firm believers in the psychological benefits of brewing up something warm and comforting during challenging times. From heating the water to measuring your tea leaves to timing your steep, the process of making tea allows your to narrow your focus to a soothing and familiar process.
Many different countries and cultures around the world have specific rituals and ceremonies tied to the process of preparing tea, from Chinese gongfu cha to the Japanese matcha tea ceremony, traditional British afternoon tea to South African rooibos. Whether you’re interested in learning more about traditional tea ceremonies, or have your own personal tea routine, the soothing rituals surrounding tea can provide an oasis of calm in an otherwise chaotic world.
3. Practicing Mindfulness with Tea
Tea can also be a great way to practice mindfulness and deepen your awareness of your senses and surroundings. Especially during stressful times, being mindful of a cup of tea can help to ground the body and focus the mind. Here at ArtfulTea we drink many cups of tea a day, and don’t always pay attention to each one. But when we’re tasting new teas, teaching tea classes, or just taking the time to really savor a good cup of tea, we find that paying close attention to our tea is always a rewarding experience.
Next time you prepare a cup of tea, try taking a moment to really pay attention. What color is the brewed tea - copper, gold, emerald green? What are the aromas - earthy, buttery, grassy? If you take a small sip of tea, what notes and flavor profiles do you taste - stone fruit, honey, malt, spice? What is the finish like - clean, crisp, mellow? Practicing mindfulness with a cup of tea can help you to slow things down and find a small reprieve from worries and distractions.
4. Practicing Self-Care with Tea
During tough times, tea can be a simple, healthful luxury. At only a few cents a cup, tea is an affordable way to treat yourself, and can be a great way to practice self-care and nurture both body and mind. Here are some of our favorite ways to enjoy tea:
Make a tea latte by adding hot, frothed milk to your tea.
Indulge in an afternoon tea party complete with finger sandwiches, pastries, and a pot of your favorite tea.
Make a tea cocktail or mocktail to unwind with at the end of the day.
Take an afternoon off to curl up with a cup of tea and a good book.
Here at ArtfulTea we’re sending our best wishes for the health and safety of our customers and friends. We’re so grateful for your support!