The Ritual of Tea (and a giveaway)

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Tea is a treasured respite from the bustle of my day. Drinking it, of course, but especially the ritual of tea. It is a meditation of sorts, opening bottles to inhale earthy and floral scents while deciding which tea suits my mood. Then choosing a cup and watching theย leaves’ tannins seep like ink into the hot water.

I find the spot in the room with the prettiest light and gather my fountain pen and journal, grateful for this quiet time to capture thoughts. Steam rises like a translucent flame above the rim and I sit still, waiting patiently to take a sip.

Part of my tea love affair is because of the sense of place it brings:

  • Discovering loose tea on my first trip to Paris, where I selected a fruity black tea with blue cornflowers at a local farmers’ market. Drinking it reminds me of France.
  • Delighting in the anticipation of high tea at the Savoy Hotel when I lived in London, and savoring tea and conversation on my cozy blue sofa with dear friends.
  • Tasting sweet mint tea in Marrakesh, offered to me in an antique shop with secret passages.
  • Learning how to ceremoniously “pedal” jasmine tea in San Francisco’s Chinatown.
  • Sampling the distinct vanilla taste of Rooibos tea in an art gallery in Swaziland.
  • Hunting for tea shops in far away corners of new cities

And, sometimes, asking for “just one more cup of tea” is the perfect excuse for lingering a bit longer…


This post is part of the “kick off” for the Grace Notes blog hop, the new blog companion to Stampington & Company’s Bella Grace Magazine that celebrates everyday pleasures through inspirational photography and heartfelt stories.

In honor of this blog hop, I’m hosting a giveaway for a complimentary copy of Bella Grace Magazine Issue 7.ย Bella Grace Issue 7 Cover

For a chance to win, simply leave a comment on this post and share what you do to slow down and savor the moment. I will randomly select a winner and post an update on March 31st.

***Update: Congratulations to Rachel Gordon, who won the Bella Grace Magazine Issue 7 Giveaway! Yay! ***

Abundant joy,

Tracy

34 thoughts on “The Ritual of Tea (and a giveaway)

  1. Ahh tea and journaling, is there anything more soothing? That’s definitely one of my favorite ways to slow down as well. My absolute favorite though has to be grabbing my camera and my children and going on a slow walk looking for beauty and magic around us.

    • Hi, Agnes, thank you for sharing your thoughts! Walking outdoors with our little fella is one of my favorite things to do, too. We find sticks that become swords, and seed pods that are magic beans, and there are pirates and creatures and abundant imagination to be explored. Much abundance to you! Tracy

  2. Thank you for this sweet blog. I also have enjoyed drinking tea for many years. When I was younger, my mom would make tea and allow my friends and I to dress up and have an impromptu tea party. It was always so fun.
    I also enjoy horseback riding immensely. The calm swaying on the back of such a beautiful animal always makes all of my worries melt away. Riding outside in the spring is my favorite, when the birds and sunshine are out and gentle breezes float by. I would have to say that’s my favorite way to slow down and savor the moment.
    -Rachel

    • Hello, Rachel, what a lovely childhood memory. I used to dress up, too, and having tea made me feel like a princess. What a wonderful way to slow down, connected to nature in such a special way. Good to “meet” you and thank you for sharing these delightful thoughts! Much abundance to you.

  3. What a lovely read, and the photos are delightful! I am just beginning my tea journey, and I’ve enjoyed tea and all its goodies in a great little shop in Berlin, MD. Thank you for a bit of Sunday morning magic!

    • Hi, Paula! Thank you for your thoughtful comments. Nice to meet a fellow journaling spirit and lover of photography. (love the current photo and poem on your blog). I’m in Arlington, VA currently before our move to Cairo- if you’d ever like to meet in MD at that charming-sounding tea shop, let me know! Happy teaching and creating, Tracy

  4. Hey Tracy, Love the images and post on tea. You are an amazing photographer and writer. I am so excited for you and this new publishing adventure. My thoughts on what I like to do to relax.

    While the thoughts of tea and sharing it with friends lingers in my mind, it is a delightful way to relax and reconnect. However, as springtime is arriving, I find my self moving away from the warm comforts of tea on a cold winters afternoon and springing outside to find my rest and restoration. In my back yard I have a worn out lounge chair. This time of year it may have dust, dirt or pollen. I quickly brush it off and plunge myself on it. As I sit in my shorts and t-shirt, I lay quietly. I hear the many different lovely sounds of bird chirping and squawking sound of new hawks that had a nest in our backyard. I stare up at the sky and watch the clouds go by and the blue sky up above. I admire the new buds on the trees and how the blades of grass seem to becoming a deep green. I breath, close my eyes and just lay quietly and listen. What peace it brings to enjoy the beginnings of Spring.

    • Hey, Emmie! Thank you so much for your thoughts! I love your account of soaking up Spring. We are almost there in DC… and I’m really looking forward to feeling sun on my face and sitting outdoors on the grass and photographing the symphony of colors. Sounds like you have a wonderful, meditative way to seek beauty around you and slow down. Thank you for sharing this lovely vision!

  5. I am so proud of you! You and your article are both so lovely and insightful! I feel so happy to have shared some of the world’s tea times with you–and can’t wait
    For Cairo!! Love ,Mamakmm

  6. Tea IS how I slow down and savor…it is just so nourishing to all the senses…listening for the the kettle as it brings the water to a boil, smelling the loose tea as I put it into my pot, watching the tea and water mix, touching the warm tea cup as I bring it to my lips, and at last savoring the taste!

    • Hi, Kimberly! I love the feel and look of your lovely blog! (and I collect sea glass, too) ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank you for sharing thoughts on slowing down. It’s always good to connect with a fellow tea aficionado. Much abundance to you.

  7. I sip tea too! My favorite is orange spice or jasmine. I also keep a Project Life scrapbook that reminds me of little memories. So many sweet things happen over the course of a year that I would forget without that little scrapbook.

    • Hi, Teresa! I have to write everything down, or those little moments fleetingly disappear, especially the sweet, funny things our almost 4 year old says. I want to always remember. ๐Ÿ™‚ I am inspired that you are getting your masters and balancing being a Mama- congratulations! (seriously)- I have so many personal projects and am lacking the self-discipline. Your journal drawings are beautiful, by the way. Much Abundance!

  8. Hi Tracy, what a thoughtful post… I love the thought of trying different teas all over the world! Recently I enjoyed High Tea at the Banff Springs Hotel in Alberta, Canada. I went by myself since I was accompanying hubby on a business trip and he was in a meeting. I decided I was worth it and it was an experience I’ll never forget! PS I’m in the blog hop as well.

    Barb

    • Hi, Barb! Your post on ageing and the freedom to speak your mind and let go is inspirational. (Love the flower images, too)! I find sometimes that tea alone is the BEST kind, where I can truly be still and enjoy reflecting on being grateful for the little things. So glad you had the opportunity to do that in Alberta. Sometimes,in a new city, having tea can be like sitting with a friend. Thank you for sharing, and nice to “meet” you on the blog hop.

  9. Hi Tracy,
    I’m part of the BG Blog Hop,
    too (April 22) and was also
    published in the same BG
    issue as you were : ) I wanted
    to “hop” by to say hello. I
    also love anything tea — the
    cups, the tea, the ritual, the
    savoring…..As a matter of
    fact, I went to high tea with
    a friend and her little daughter
    today to celebrate the little
    one’s 8th birthday. It was
    such a joy to see her delight
    in all of the details!

    xo Suzanne

    • Hi, Suzanne! How much fun to watch children and the magic of a special tea. So glad you are in the blog hop, too! Look forward to reading your article. This is such a fun way to connect with other kindred spirits.

  10. Tea has been such an important part of the connections in my life. As much as I love a good cup of coffee, shared tea is all about friendships and comfort.
    I love that you mentioned your fountain pen to journal with – another love of mine. See? Even DISCUSSION of tea brings connections!

    • Hi, Elizabeth! So happy to meet you, and know there are others out there who don’t mind ink on their fingers. ๐Ÿ™‚ I used to get a lot of interesting looks at work when I would change out an ink cartridge during a meeting… totally worth it to me! Happy tea drinking, and thanks for “stopping by.”
      PS- lovely photos on your blog, and it mentions on your About page that you are a crafter- sorry we don’t live closer to have “art picnics.” I love collage and crafting, and drinking tea while doing all of that!

    • Thanks, Tina! Nice to meet you through the blog hop. Glad you are enjoying tea. It has become such a comfort for me. Just left a comment on your blog. Such lovely writing! I applaud your courage and strength on your personal journey. Abundant blessings to you and your family.

  11. Hello! My name is Tracie too and I’m nearly lost in the thought of you drinking tea in such amazing places around the world. So great to read what you have to share today. I’m part of Grace Notes blog hop and wanted to visit everyone who is a part of this. Happy to meet you today.

    • Nice to meet you, too, Tracie! Just visited your inspirational blog- loved your article for the blog hop. Glad you “got your groove back!” ๐Ÿ˜‰ It takes effort to live mindfully and not on autopilot when the everyday tasks consume most of the waking hours. Thanks for the great reminder to notice life. I really do strive to do that, instead of hitting the pillow at night wondering how the day got away from me so quickly… one step at a time, right? Much abundance to you

    • Thank you, Sharon. We will have to look for a tea and coffee shop in Cairo to add a new place to the list! Blogging has been such a fun way to combine photos and writing about things I’m passionate about. Thanks for taking time to read my blog! Love you oxox

  12. Tracy,

    What a beautiful post. I adore tea time as well. There’s something to be said about the calm it brings to everyday life. I’m here from the blog hop, so no need to enter me in the give away.

    Blessings and grace

    Adwoa.

  13. Dear Tracy, thank you for sharing the beautiful words about your tea ritual. Love it! For me these days, I grab my binoculars and love-worn “Birds of East Africa” and head out to the lake. Nothing centers and slows me more. With love, Cortney

    • Hey, Cort! Going outdoors is so healing and gets the creative juices flowing for me, too. Wish I could be birding with you! Thanks for sharing what slows you down. I can’t find enough of those activities these days! lots and lots of tea, right? ๐Ÿ˜‰ Miss you. Love, T

  14. I’m a huge fan of tea as well, especially blending my own. Anything with rose petals in it is lovely. And jasmine! Tea is bliss. ๐Ÿ™‚ (I’m from the blog hop, so no need to enter me into the giveaway.)

    • Hey, Cassandra! So fun to connect with kindred spirits on this blog hop. Our family just moved home from Swaziland (between Mozambique and S. Africa), and we are headed to Cairo in October with my husband’s work, so transitions are a constant (irony) in our lives. I feel much more like an expat in the US right now than we did overseas- probably sounds strange, but we miss so much about the rustic-ness and slower pace and are having reverse culture shock. Look forward to reading your article next week. Soak up some warm sun for us over there. Looks heavenly. Thanks for stopping by the blog. Much abundance, Tracy

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