Tea Minded is a tea blog featuring tasting notes and reviews, observations on tea culture, industry news and other tea-related fodder. At its core, Tea Minded is all about sharing in the tea culture and building a Community of tea enthusiasts from all walks of life.
We believe in:
~ Bringing people together with tea.
~ Simplicity in a world of more.
~ Tea as a way of life – and living this life “on purpose.”
We especially enjoy the rich history, rituals and traditions associated with tea…and how it slows us down and forces us to pay attention and be in the moment.
This essay below was written by Scott Anderson and originally appeared in Kinfolk Magazine. It provides a glimpse into our philosophy of “Tea as a Way of Life” here at TeaMinded. Thank you for joining us on this journey.
Loose Leaf Bookends
“There is more to life than increasing its speed” Ghandi
It started with a shared kettle of tea. We’ve now settled into a routine that my wife and I have come to refer to as our “daily bookends.” The key ingredients include carefully chosen loose leaf teas, combined with a deliberate attempt at doing very little. The premise is simple – each day begins and ends with a thoughtfully prepared, and slowly consumed, cup of tea. These ceremonial rituals symbolize our morning and evening bookends, serving as small windows of daily clarity and peacefulness.
As part of the ritual the tea is attentively prepared, and always a comfortable distance from the day’s pending (and preceding) obligations. Quite noticeably, the morning and evening bookends each bring distinctive nuances that are experienced and enjoyed in much different ways. The morning tea, and our ensuing conversation, is meant to invigorate and serve as an anchor to help secure our footing for what the day will soon reveal. We typically chose a ceremony grade matcha from a small — but growing — repertoire of teas from near and far. This mindful matcha ritual has been our “go-to” as of late, whisked by hand and enjoyed in porcelain tea bowls from Japan (the matcha accessories themselves become metaphors for armor shielding us from any trouble that may cross our path throughout the day ahead). We raise our bowls with a toast and take a few sips before settling into a review of our aspirations — remaining careful not to lose our connective-ness and taking in the peace and stillness of the morning. Streaks of sunlight materialize across the wooden table and the kids awake as we transition into the next choice, often a black tea or oolong. Oatmeal and fruit then join the equation along with the buzz of domestic mornings.
I chose to bypass the coffee machine, and instead make a variety of teas at the office throughout the day. However, these are consumed in a much different fashion. Each sip serves as a prelude to the evening bookend, which will be enjoyed in the absence of the wheels of commerce and the day’s churning deadlines and demands.
The evening tea is meant to be uncomplicated. Moroccan mint is a favorite, with the steeped tea leaves representing remnants of a day well spent. All else is left behind, and hand painted cast iron tea cups are our “grown-up” reward for the accomplishment of getting our three children (all under the age of 12) settled down and tucked in for the evening — no small feat in itself. The house settles, and a candle illuminates the same tabletop that hours ago served as the canvas for streaks of light from the awakening sun.
These morning and evening “loose leaf bookends” connect us to the here-and-now, to each other and to ourselves. They help bring a calmness and quietness to our otherwise noisy lives. They have become rituals for being present and more attentive. Best of all, they are a nourishing habit that can be savored twice a day.
~ Scott Anderson