Slow living, whilst embracing a simpler approach, shouldn’t mean denying ourselves that which brings us joy. For me, slowing down is about allowing myself time to make my experiences more meaningful. To choose more consciously, and to appreciate the beauty and benefit of something, with respect for people and the planet along the way.
Probably my favourite way to incorporate a little slowness into my everyday is through the process of preparing tea. Looking for less impactful ways to consume tea, I moved to teabags free from bleach & plastic (Clipper is a good place to start) and for a while now I’ve been in the habit of enjoying loose leaf. Not only does it eliminate the need for unnecessary plastic, but it can also be purchased in bulk to further minimise waste and, ultimately, you’re more aware of what you’re consuming.
My personal go-to teas are earl grey first thing (I don’t consume dairy so I don’t take milk but my preference is to have it black) and then usually a light green throughout the day. What I particularly love about loose leaf tea is how it naturally encourages you to take your time and focus purely on the simple task in hand.
There’s something of a ritual about the process of measuring out what you need for your cup or pot, pouring the water over and not straying too far whilst it brews to just the right amount. It’s a full sensory experience: the aroma; feeling the warmth of the tea through the ceramic of the cup in my hands; sipping and savouring the tea, all of which allows me to connect to the present moment and experience what I have made, mindfully.
If you are looking to minimise your waste at work as well as at home, it’s easier to make the switch than you might think once you are in the habit as there are lots of tea strainer options on the market intended for single-cup use rather than a pot. I personally find it a real pleasure to use natural or tactile materials in the process. This bamboo tea strainer and organic tea are from the lovely Parigotte, a beautiful company selling responsibly sourced and packaged loose leaf tea.
I hope this inspires you to invite a little slowness into your everyday.
Recommended listening: If you’re looking for audio inspiration to accompany your time with your tea, I highly recommend the dreamy Opium Tea by Nick Cave & the Bad Seeds