Charles Dickens once said, “If you could give me a cup of tea to clear my muddle of a head, I should better understand your affairs”. Wise words from a tea lover, indeed. Tea improves your mood and enhances creativity, the sublime effect created by a combination of elements associated with the tea experience, including aspects of tea preparation, an indulgence in the taste and aroma during consumption and simply acting as a refreshing break from other activities. Tea is known to bring peace and relaxation to one’s mind, thus helping achieve the elusive ‘zen’. The many wonderful proprieties and peculiarities of tea can lead you to experience the zen you are looking for and sip in a whole new tea affair.
A complete tea experience comes with several nuts and bolts that must all come together to create a synthesis as heady as a luxuriant blend. To deepen your understanding of tea, we would like to introduce you to 7 different ways of enhancing your everyday tea experience:
1. Nothing else matters – When you drink your daily cup of tea, focus only on the tea and forget the constant worries, meetings, projects, and deadlines to be met. Push daily life to the back of your mind, to be retrieved once the session is done. The state of mind when you pause and transcend beyond trivialities and annoyances, away from the everyday mundanity and hustle, is the true way to enjoy tea.
2. A tranquil and elegant space – A clutter-free, pleasant and elegant drinking space fosters positive sentiments, heightening the pleasure of drinking tea. Go for a tastefully decorated room to liven up an empty space, creating a solemn and respectful atmosphere for tea preparation and drinking. Light incense sticks or a candle, it’s all up to you to decorate your personal tea space.
3. Appreciating tea – Experiencing tea is not just about drinking but rather about carefully tasting it. Examine and judge your tea’s flavor, color, aroma and texture. Allow the tea to unfold it’s inner workings and dormant flavors to you. When you are clear about the ‘Way of tea’, you will be able to judge tea quality and value.
4. The art of teaware – Tea masters and scholars have on several occasions emphasised, and we concur, that refined and exquisite teaware enhances the enjoyment of drinking tea. Whether you love your traditional tea bowl or your stylish glass teapot, proper and elegant teaware can make a significant difference in your overall tea experience.
5. Intimate understanding – Tea drinking is an accurate representation of the oneness of man, nature and spirit. Get intimate with your tea, connect with it and dive into the process mindfully. You can thus hone your skill, understand the natural forces behind the process and increase your appreciation for tea to the molecular level.
6. In-sync with nature – Nature is integral to the enjoyment of tea. The placement of stones, an arrangement of potted plants and use of natural materials such as a wooden table, bamboo stools, earthenware – all add to accentuating your tea experience as a creation of nature.
7. Good company – Like wine, tea takes you on its own, unique journey. Drinking tea in the company of advanced tea drinkers who appreciate the aesthetics of tea, have a keen understanding of the finer things in life and value tea, can lead to an enriching tea experience and enhance the beauty of the whole exercise.
Enrich your everyday tea drinking experience with these simple ways and watch your tea take on new flavors, forms, colors and meanings.