I’ve been phasing out coffee. Not out entirely, because that would be grim, but I’m reducing my dependence down to weekends and sleepy emergencies; my anxiety just can’t take it any more. Plus, since quitting changing my job, those 6am starts have slipped back just a little, so my old justification is gone. I’m supposed to be slowing down, after all – why do I need so much rocket fuel?

Weirdly, I’ve found I missed the ritual of it, though – the grinding and smelling and brewing and pouring, sensory and soothing and full of simple joy. Somehow hot water over a tea bag can’t quite compare.

& so, I’ve started a small, slow ritual for my morning tea. I got a tiny glass teapot and sand timer from JING, along with a couple of their loose-leaf morning teas. I wasn’t very hopeful – anything that takes longer than is absolutely necessary is inevitably short lived in my life – but it turns out that brewing your tea properly really does make it taste a lot better than letting it steep forgotten for 20 minutes. Surprise! Who would ever have guessed?!

jing slow living tea ritual

So for three minutes each morning I sit and watch the sand trickle down, and breathe. I don’t tidy or check my emails while I wait, because it’s silent and I’ll invariably miss the finishing point. I just sit, and take three quiet minutes, then I pour my tea and sip. Ok, sometimes I pour it then run to stop Orla painting the bathroom in suncream, but those three minutes are always mine, and they help clear my mind for the day ahead. That’s sort of the antithesis to my early morning coffee jolt, now I think about it, and it feels like a very good thing.

Do you have a morning ritual that helps keep you going? Are you team-coffee or team-tea?

ps – I received my tea kit as a gift from JING, but this post is all me!

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  • Lindsay Eryn

  • May 14, 2016

I love this idea! I liked hot tea before I liked coffee, but I’ve always been drawn to coffee for the ritual, the care, the pausing of everything else, and the smell. If I ever have a coffee making tool in my home, it will probably be of the pour over variety, because I want it to be something that TAKES time, something worth taking time and worth enjoying.

Thankfully, tea has a little of that for me, at least sometimes. I’m the only one at home that drinks tea, so it’s something that’s mine and it’s something my husband can prepare for me to cheer me up, which is nice. I really like how you’ve used an hourglass and made those three minutes sacred! These rituals are so life giving, even though they seem so small.

  • Jenni

  • October 04, 2015

Definitely team coffee! I love the ritual of it, but I don’t love the headache that comes if I don’t have it…I’m learning to drink tea more, so perhaps there will come a day when it will be tea in the mornings for me too 🙂

  • Alexis Allan

  • October 01, 2015

I’m a loose leaf tea ponse. We have a house blend of assam and lapsang – I just love tea from a pot; teabags just don’t do it for me in the same way.

  • Alessia Gandolfo

  • September 29, 2015

I’m definitely on team-tea since I don’t like coffee ( quite weird for an italian) and I love the idea of taking a few minutes in the morning to stop and breathe without worrying about filling your time with more stuff to do, because let’s face it , most of the things we would do in that 3 minutes, can wait 3 minutes to be done 😉 xx

  • Sara Tasker

  • September 27, 2015

Hurray! I used to be the same, until someone pointed out that they drink tons of tea in India where it’s always hot – and eat a lot of hot spicy food too. Now I kind of love a hot cup of tea on a sunny day, though admittedly a sunny day in Yorkshire is never quite as hot as India.. 😉 xx

  • Sara Tasker

  • September 27, 2015

I’ve never tried the PSL phenomenon – not a milk fan, or a pumpkin fan, or a sweet coffee fan, so… Glad to have you on the team, anyway! 😀 x

  • Sara Tasker

  • September 27, 2015

if you don’t need to, definitely don’t – in fact, drink more, and have one for me! Stupid caffeine induced anxiety spoiling my fun! x

  • Sara Tasker

  • September 27, 2015

Yes, the shakes! I had a coffee this morning and one leg began to do Riverdance. I swear, this never used to happen!
But you’re right, the variety of tea makes it much more fun! Especially now I have props 😀 x

  • Sara Tasker

  • September 27, 2015

Like normal tea except not bitter and not too weak! But they do all kinds of other teas too!
Um, I think you probably are forcing yourself to have it, knowing you… 😉 xx

  • Sara Tasker

  • September 27, 2015

Oh thank you! Yes, I’ve spotted your lovely email, just a bit snowed under in my inbox – so sorry! I’ll get a response to you tomorrow, I promise. x

  • Sara Tasker

  • September 27, 2015

I can understand the ginger tea drinking! The first indication that I was pregnant with Orla was that I went weeks without drinking either tea or coffee… totally unheard of! My morning tea is caffeine-heavy too, but I’m assuming less so than coffee, as it doesn’t give me the same jitters and shakes. I think they started after pregnancy for me, come to think of it – isn’t it strange how it changes your body?! xx

  • Sara Tasker

  • September 27, 2015

Hah! I relate to this so much. Tonight I asked Rory if it was bad parenting to just put Orla in tomorrows outfit for bed, instead of pyjamas – she fights changing her clothes so much lately, and it makes me dread getting her up.
My biggest issue with those wholesome morning routines is that I cannot think of anything more nourishing for my body and soul than more sleep – i need sleep more than I need yoga or breakfast tofu or a five mile run, for sure. I can just about spare the three minutes to brew my tea, mainly because it takes that long for my brain to fire up, but the thought of getting up hours early to do extra curricular exercise is entirely baffling to me! x

  • Nicole

  • September 27, 2015

That sounds do-able.

I hate reading about bloggers who do yoga or have a morning walk before breakfast and then have a slow cooked breakfast and blah, blah (insert other probably fictional to-make-the-rest-of-us-feel-bad rituals here…).

My mornings generally consist of

– get woken up by a small person moaning that they didn’t want Dada to go to work

– spend the next ten minutes crisis managing absence of other half of parenting team and trying to convince the child involved I can manage to get them breakfast and out the door suitably

– asking for children to get dressed for school

– telling children to get dressed for school

– resorting to some form of bribery or threat about confiscated stuffed animals or other such prized possessions

– huffing downstairs on my own to make breakfast having failed miserably at the bribery

– shouting up three flights of stairs for children to come to breakfast

– explaining to children that given the fact they’ve wasted forty minutes on a two minute task they now have approximately 30 seconds to eat breakfast before they should be doing their teeth

– cajoling the hurrying up of eating breakfast

– sitting with my head in my hands wondering why I didn’t just stay in bed for the forty minutes they wasted anyway

– marshalling children from kitchen to bathroom as they can’t manage to take two flights of stairs without the apocalypse somehow having hit

– cleaning toothpaste off children that decided to have a sword fight with a loaded toothbrush whilst I made the mistake of turning my back for 15 seconds

– escorting them to the front door to then realise that a cardigan is missing / a spelling book is forgotten / a bedroom light was left on / some other disaster has befallen

– making the smallest take her shoes off to put them on the right feet to then turn around and see that she has in fact put them back on exactly the same feet, and also got her cardigan on inside out.

On the upside we can now do what used to be a 15 minute journey in approximately 8 but I’m not kidding you, this is how it goes. So when I read of long stretched out and blissful morning routines I want to take that person and shake them upside down over the edge of a cliff for ten minutes so they can see the sort of stress levels that creep in to my morning routine.

You have given me hope, three minutes, in or before all of that, I think I can manage, what a brilliant idea.

  • Sarah Rooftops

  • September 27, 2015

Tea! I’ve never liked coffee. Though it’s all caffeinated tea now – I’ve gone right off the herbal stuff since giving birth (I more or less survived on ginger tea for nine months!); plus, I need the boost…

  • myzerospace

  • September 27, 2015

Hi Sara, I love your blog. I have sent you an email couple of days ago. It is about an interview with Openhouse magazine. I was wondering if you have received it. Hope to hear from you soon! x

  • Xandra ★

  • September 27, 2015

team tea! except it’s pumpkin spice latte season, and i do indulge in the occasional afternoon flat white X

  • Matea

  • September 27, 2015

I’m a total tea person and I love starting my mornings with it because it relaxes me in a way coffee never did 🙂 And now that it’s finally colder outside I can finally get beack to my morning routine because during summer days I pretty much never drink it – those days are for extra cold water only 🙂

  • megan

  • September 27, 2015

I mostly drink tea, but here lately I have found myself drinking coffee for the extra jolt of energy. I really wish I had more time in the mornings to enjoy the little rituals of waking up, but my mornings are pretty rushed. I was just recently given my late grandmothers tea kettle that she used to make us hot tea when we were little, so even though coffee is currently my go to, tea will most likely become a constant once I get the hang of preparing it before I begin to rush around.

  • Sheona

  • September 27, 2015

What does it taste like? Just like normal tea?

I have coffee most mornings but sometimes I feel like I’m forcing myself to have it!

  • Sophie

  • September 27, 2015

I have been doing a very similar thing; I still drink one cup of coffee in the morning but that’s it, I then switch to tea. All kinds of tea too, it’s much more pleasing to drink and I don’t get the shakes!

  • that's food darling

  • September 27, 2015

I really like a good cup of tea, but I really love my really good cup of morning coffee. Simply can’t quit it. And I don’t want to – tee-hee.

  • Paula Tasker

  • September 27, 2015

The thought of a coffee free get up terrifies but also intrigues me. I’ve been trying, and failing spectacularly, to do yoga in the morning….perhaps an adoption of your tea brewing ritual would open a little yoga window in my morning routine!

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