October 19, 2015

Small Rituals


I used to really want to be a coffee drinker. I loved the entire idea of it. All of it. Except the flavor. Then one day I discovered Chai and I realized it was never about the coffee. It was about the ritual. Now, especially this time of year, there is hardly a day that passes that I don't enjoy a Chai and while I first learned to make it in the microwave, I quickly realized that I preferred doing it in a more mindful way.


At some point I realized that the entire process is a comforting ritual for me. First I choose my cup, a more difficult part of the process than it may sound, then I fill my cup with milk, pour it into my special pot that I only use for tea, add my tea bag that I keep in a vintage glass jar, steep my tea until it is just the right color and temperature and pour it into my cup, adding honey and a dash of cinnamon. Next I decide where I will drink it. Will it be on the porch? In the dining room in front of the fire? In my corner of the sectional while I read?


Sometimes it's hard to decide. Often I drink my tea in the morning, especially if my Sweet Man is home and we can snuggle under a quilt on the front porch together, he with his coffee, me with my tea. But often I wait because I enjoy having it to look forward to later in the day. Not that there is a rule that says I can only have one a day. It just seems to work out that way.


Upon reflection I realize that comfort, traditions and rituals are very important in my life. Maybe it stems from the haphazard and impermanent way in which I grew up. I know that in my adult life, these things give me great pleasure. Sometimes a cup of tea is just a cup of tea, but sometimes it's a little gift of comfort you give yourself in the middle of a regular day, a hug in a mug.

22 comments:

  1. I love all of your pretty cups. I am a coffee drinker. Usually only one cup in the morning to wake up to. But if I want to pamper myself or comfort myself, I head right to tea.

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  2. What kind of chai tea do you drink? Love love love the pot you use to make your tea.

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    1. Mary, I love Trader Joes Spiced Chai. It's mellow!

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  3. It's coffee for me and the ritual is my favorite part of the day. :)

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  4. you make the chai tea sound so good and how fun to make it a really special ritual

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  5. Hi Jen, you are so right...tea is a hug in a mug! I grew up on the East Coast of Canada where tea is a huge part of life, including socially. I remember tea always being served after lunch and supper when company came over...it was served with sweets. There is just something about tea that is comforting to me...especially this time of year when the weather gets cooler.
    I just love your mug collection, they are all so pretty! I would have a hard time deciding which mug too!
    Have a wonderful week!
    Kimberley

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  6. Tea time is a key part of my day too. Actually, it isn't always tea, sometimes its coffee, or a latte or hot chocolate. I just like a warm drink. I, too, enjoy each step to the process - from the pretty cup to the sprinkles on top. My daughter recently told me that sharing "drink time" with me is one of her favourite parts of the day too. That warmed me from the inside out quicker then any latte EVER had!

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  7. Hate Chai....to me, it's like drinking potpourri. Give me COFFEE! Yea! Love your collection of cups.

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  8. I prefer flavored coffee, but the ritual part is the same for me. Although I make my coffee in a Keurig, I find comfort in drinking something warm and comforting from my favorite mug while I enjoy the early morning quiet in front of the fireplace......before heading out to another day of chaos! Thanks for the post, Jen!

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  9. A hug in a mug...just love that. For me, the drink varies by the time of year...now that it's fall, it's a mug of hot spiced cider in the evening.

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  10. What a beautiful post on an everyday ritual! I'm a morning coffee drinker, but I do enjoy a cup of tea (Earl Grey or Jasmine) in the cold weather once in awhile...and I love iced tea on a hot summer day. I have a favorite coffee mug - a bright red Fiestaware one. Like you, I love my morning ritual. I grind my beans fresh every morning and boil water on the stove, then use a French Press. Perfection!

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  11. I have never been a coffee drinker (hate the taste even in ice cream) and your post made me realize what I am missing. But, Steve and I have other traditions.

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  12. I love the ritual of making drinks. I grew up loving the smell of coffee but loathing the taste. It wasn't until I hit 30 that I woke one day and fancied drinking one. Now I love all types of coffee, but I have to start the day with tea. Mostly breakfast tea, but I like green tea in the afternoon. I like Chai in the Autumn/winter months, but I have to say, that it's from a packet. It's the only one I like. I also have different cups for different drinks at different times of the day. My family think I'm mad, but it's really important to have the right drink in the right cup! I know you get that too! I do love a latte, and usually I love the ritual of making one just after I get back from the school run. It's the moment when I relax before the chores start! ha ha! xxx

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  13. I can see why choosing a mug is the hard part, I love every single one of them! I do drink coffee, but I LOVE chai and especially in the fall and winter. I have never made it with just milk, I always add milk to the tea after I brew it in water. I'll have to try your way.

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  14. It would be hard to choose with so many beautiful cups for your chai. I must give it a try as coffee is not my favorite drink and I generally prefer tea, but have never had chai. My ritual with tea is to always try to have some chocolate with it! :)

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  15. I am sitting here enjoying my afternoon cup of coffee and catching up on blogs. It is one of my favorite afternoon rituals. I love the looking forward to it nearly as much as the actual thing.

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  16. What a wonderful ritual you have there. I enjoy those times, too. I have my coffee ready to go-to pour through my Bunn first thing in the morning. While it is running through, I turn on Headline News and watch a segment of that while I await that first head clearing burst of aroma that wafts up out of my freshly poured cup of java! Oh! My! I walk to the tall kitchen window and look out at the bay to see what the morning looks like over the water...and my day moves on from there.

    I love the way you spell out a story, Jen. It just oozes with home and sweetness to me. xo Diana

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  17. I became a morning coffee person by accident…but I love my tea in the afternoons--and I agree. The ritual is so special. I adore your collection of mugs (makes me want to get mine out of the cabinet and onto the counter!) Question: what brand of chai teabags do you prefer?

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    1. I have only ever bought trader Joe's Chai! It's not super spicy. I really like a mellow cuppa! When I go to Starbucks I have them use two pumps instead of three when they make my tall chai so it will be more mellow.

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  18. My morning ritual is coffee in a special mug. In the afternoon, I prefer tea. I agree with you about the ritual. I always boil the water in a tea kettle, it just doesn't taste the same when it's heated in the microwave. I enjoy a bit of sugar and cream in black tea. Simple, ordinary pleasures.

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  19. I have always loved coffee but my tummy does not. I love chai but never knew the right way to make it. I am going to be on the lookout for a special pot as the ritual is so important to me too. Does it matter what type of milk you use? Lovely post as alwaays, Jen!

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  20. I always loved the taste and the smell of coffee but its always the tea that I am interested in. It's a ritual for me to have couple of small cups of tea in the morning while my mind mulls over how I did yesterday and what can I do to make my day better.

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