Pro tip: Virtually any time of day is the right time to indulge in your tea of choice. Sometimes it happens at multiple times of the day, depending on the desired vibe. If you haven’t yet explored the world of tea or you’re looking to approach tea drinking with more intention, creating a tea-time practice is simpler than you might think.
“The number one thing that is helpful for reducing stress and reaping benefits from tea is establishing a ritual,” says Steve Schwartz, master tea blender as well as CEO and founder of the LA-based artisanal tea company Art of Tea. “There’s going to be an emotional response whenever you are doing a ritual or a daily routine, and preparing and drinking tea is no different. Allowing yourself this moment of self-nurture will have a meaningful impact that will reduce anxiety and stress; it’s a mindful act of engagement that has a lasting effect.”
Schwartz says he became interested in the healing aspects of Ayurvedic medicine after his mother passed away from cancer, and is on a mission to share the benefits of drinking tea with the world. “My goal with Art of Tea has always been to demystify the experience because of the depth of what the category has to offer. I aspire for everyone to find a path to a tea ritual and experience that works for them—whether that’s with a single-origin tea, a tisane blend enjoyed at night, a matcha latte for a caffeine boost, or classic iced tea.”
The key to creating a successful tea-drinking experience is bringing a sense of intentionality to the practice. Schwartz shares, “Whenever I brew tea, [I’m] mindful about each step in the process to recenter my energy, but my favorite daily ritual is at night. Every evening, my family and I gather to wind down the day with an analog approach to preparing tea. We bring the water to temperature with a kettle on the stove, spoon the leaves into a clear glass teapot and then pour a cup for each member of the family. It’s a celebration of the day that we share together.”
Schwartz’s Tips For Creating A Tea-Time Ritual:
Make (Tea) Time
Allow yourself permission to take time out to create a sense of space and routine. It is a simple practice, yet it can be challenging to find the time and place to create a tea ritual.
Keep It Simple
You don’t need a lot of tools, and it’s something you can enjoy anywhere, even your corner garage office. All you need is a teapot that is easy to clean, freshly drawn water and a trusted source for tea. Involving loved ones elevates the experience as well; the act of preparing or pouring tea for someone else is really powerful.
Try Different Teas
Much of the tea experience is to find the cup of tea that’s right for you. You may worry about getting it right, whether it’s your first or 100th time. It’s a journey and a process that unfolds and improves with each steeping.
Cool It With Cold Brews
I preheat the leaves with a slap of hot water for about 20 seconds to help wake them up, then fill the rest of my iced tea pitcher with cold water and let it rest overnight. I am good to go with cold brew tea all day.
Be fully aware of the sensational process that unfolds in having a delicious cup of high-quality tea. Breathe in the aromatics of the leaves, draw in the visual of the leaves unfurling in your teapot, hear the sound of the tea pouring into your cup. Cool and slowly sip. If you have only experienced supermarket tea or “tea dust” that is packaged in typical paper tea bags, then you will be pleasantly surprised by how different the experience will be when you seek out a thoughtfully sourced, fresh product. The effect of a high-quality tea or tea blend is powerful, timeless and gratifying.