In a hectic world with ever-growing demands on our energy, it's important to carve out time and space to decompress. Whether it's an afternoon each weekend or ten minutes each day dedicated to the simple art of enjoying some peace and quiet, a tea nook is a perfect place to cultivate a sense of calm.
WHAT IS A TEA NOOK?
Depending on the sort of home you live in, a tea nook can be a literal nook—perhaps a bay window or a space where the architecture offers a natural place to curl up with a cup of tea. Or, it can simply be a comfortable chair in the corner of a bedroom, a quiet writing desk underneath a window for natural light, a cozy spot on a sofa by the fireplace for warmth, or any serene place where you can return time and again to repeat the ritual of enjoying your favorite blend.
Whatever setup you choose, a tea nook can benefit from a few creature comforts: a soft blanket, a good book, calming music, a meditation app, or a favorite pair of socks or slippers, especially in the winter. The most important component of a great tea nook is that it's a restorative place you've claimed as your own to unwind and relax whenever you prefer.
THE ART OF THE TEA RITUAL
Tea rituals have been around for centuries, dating back beyond England's famed afternoon traditions to 13th century Japan, when samurai would gather over cups of tea, which eventually became the central focus of ritualized tea ceremonies across the country and around the world. These time-honored tea ceremonies now celebrate everything from the changing of the seasons to the humble act of opening a new package of tea.
Today, wherever you may be, your own tea ritual can be as simple as starting the morning with a strong and energizing black tea, winding down in the evening with a calming herbal tisane, or taking a midday break with the blend of your choice to feel uplifted without the jolt of an afternoon coffee. The important part is the comfort we find in the rhythm of a ritual: how we look forward to it as it approaches, and how it restores us for whatever comes afterward.
HOW TO BEGIN
If you're new to the world of tea, consider beginning with an assortment to familiarize you with black, green, white, and herbal tea blends and give you a sense of which flavor profiles you most enjoy. If you're already a tea enthusiast, then you might return to your favorite blend time after time like an old friend, or you may retreat to your tea nook to try new blends and enjoy each discovery as it unfolds.
To lend a sense of occasion to your daily, weekly, or however-frequent tea ritual, consider investing in quality teaware that pleases the eye and stands the test of time. Choose beautiful objects that are pleasing to you, and let them heighten your enjoyment of the moment, like a ceramic mug or porcelain teacup that feels good in your hands, a special sugar and creamer set, or even tea trays and trivets for a truly proper setup.