New Year’s is just a few days away. Have you decided what you’re going to commit to doing yet to make yourself better, faster, stronger, more compassionate, and generally a better human being than you were before? Joking aside, I do actually very much enjoy this holiday. It’s a moment for reflection, for introspection, and for very critically looking at ourselves, deciding what we want to improve, and improving it. It’s a holiday which I have a great deal of respect for. If you’re a little lost as to where to start, here are a few common ones which, of course, all have something to do with tea.
Mindfulness is about being present and in the moment. It’s a commitment to being present, regardless of what you’re doing, rather than worrying about the things you have to get done later tonight, or fretting over some small mistake you just made. It means enjoying a view rather than taking a picture of it to show to your friends later, and generally appreciating things as they happen.
Mindfulness is a big part of tea culture. Matcha in particular has a history which is tied up with meditation, as does green tea. Monks used both as a means of staying awake, and keeping focused while they meditated. The tea was able to help in each of these respects due to its caffeine and L-Theanine, the later of which is an amino acid which can improve focus.
Beyond the health properties of tea, the simple act of brewing and drinking a quality tea is very much about appreciating a moment as it happens. Unlike coffee, tea forces you to wait for a few minutes before it can be consumed. Rather than having a pot on all day, to pour a little from and then return to wherever it was you were lurking before, tea forces you to leave behind whatever you were doing for a moment, warm up some water, and wait for it to steep. Drinking a quality tea is all about appreciating the more subtle aspects of its flavor, and the quiet details of the moment which you’re in.
Does Starbucks drain your wallet? Of course it does. You go in. You aren’t really sure what you want, but you go to Starbucks every day around this time, and so you’r e here. You’re in line, and suddenly someone is asking you to answer questions, and so you want one of whatever that thing in the picture there is. Yes, you would like it grande. Cut Starbucks out of your life, and save yourself a little money, with one of our to-go tea tumblers. Rather than buying a $5 drink every morning, brew one of our loose-leaf teas in this tumbler, and then throw out the leaves, rather than the whole cup. Because most of our teas cost $3.50 per ounce, and one ounce of tea should fill up this tumbler 5 times, you should only be spending about $0.70 per day, which is absolutely cheaper than buying yourself a cup of coffee wherever you’re buying it from.
You like to treat yourself on occasion. Of course you do. You deserve it. However, if you’re treating yourself by buying new clothes, getting your nails or hair done, or with the aforementioned Starbucks habit, it starts to add up rather quickly. One of the things which I appreciate most about tea is that it is a humble luxury. People who care deeply about wine know that particularly nice wine can wipe out your next rent payment. The same goes for designer clothes, nice cars, and even video games. Tea is a more humble luxury. Even Silver Needles, a hand-picked white tea, which only comes from the first harvest of the season, when the leaves are still new, and have a bit of white down to them, or Gyokuro, which is grown in the shade, thus causing the plants to grow more slowly, but to develop dark, richly green leaves, are $10.50 and $8 per ounce, respectively. Save yourself a bit of money by investing in humbler luxuries this year.
There are a multitude of reasons why loose-leaf tea is better for the environment than whatever else you may be doing. It’s better than bagged tea for a variety of reasons which we explain in this post, but most of which relate back to the fact that bagged tea comes in a bag, which frequently isn’t biodegradable. Unlike bagged teas, you can empty your loose tea leaves directly into your compost. If you don’t compost, you can empty the leaves straight into your flower boxes and garden. Because they’re already shredded, and now wet, they break down relatively quickly, with very little fuss.
Loose leaf tea is significantly better for the environment than your Starbucks habit may be. If you’re buying a new cup of coffee, in one of those paper cups, or worse yet, one of the plastic ones, every day, over and over again, those cups start to add up. How many coffee cups do you think that you throw out every year? Don’t think about that one too much. Just use one of our tumblers. Or, use one of our infusers, and steep tea in your own tumbler. Or steep in it a pot, and then pour it into a tumbler. Just please don’t use a new plastic cup every day.
Invite them over for tea. Its simple and casual. Tea invites sharing, and creates community. Make a pot of it, invite someone over whom you simply never have an excuse to talk to, and share some tea with them. Tell them about this great blog you read.
We’ve already written a post about this here, but tea is insanely healthy. Its full of antioxidants. It has no calories. It has a little caffeine, but not too much. Its getting you to drink water. The only way in which tea could be healthier would be if it could yell at you at the gym.
We’re curious about your new year’s resolutions. What are you doing? Have you been inspired by something on our list? Does it have something to do with tea? Tell us all about it in the comments below!