Category: Fantastic Food
For some, green tea is just a light drink to sip before bed or a hip tea that they tried once, because apparently, everyone was talking about it. But for many, drinking green tea is a ritual--a passage to spiritual harmony.
Green tea is synonymous with miracle drink in the healthsphere. Lifestyle and health websites swear by its multitude of positive effects on our health and well-being. Polyphenols, which are abundant in green teas, make use of their antioxidant properties to provide you with health benefits such as weight loss, acne treatment, lower cholesterol, healthy heart and even cancer prevention.
But there is more to the magnificence of green tea than the health benefits it bestows upon us. Everything about this wholesome beverage, from the brewing techniques to the traditional pots used to make the tea, appeals to our ruminative natures. It is not just about drinking the tea, it's about the esthetic involved in the process of brewing and serving the tea.
Taking the time out of a hectic day to sip a cup of green tea will delight both your mind and body. Green tea uplifts the tired spirit, brings mind and body into harmony and, at the same time, the polyphenols in the tea takes care of your health by fighting free radicals in your body.
How the Japanese Do It
A traditional Japanese tea ceremony is nothing short of a meditative art form. The rituals performed in ceremonies vary throughout the year according to time and season. As Anna Willmann from the Department of Asian Art at the Metropolitan Museum of Art wrote, “the entire ceremony is a choreographed art requiring many years of study to master”.
The water used in tea preparation symbolizes yin and the fire symbolizes the yang. Matcha green tea is kept in a chaire, a small ceramic container, covered with a silk pouch. The host of the ceremony makes the preparation of the materials required such as the tea bowl called a chawan, a silk cloth, a bamboo whisk and scoop. The silk cloth is thought to represent the host's spirit and used to purify the matcha container. The process of handling this piece of article symbolizes the host's careful meditation. The matcha is scooped into the guest's chawan and hot water is poured to make a thin paste. More water is added and the paste is whisked to get a frothy, consistent tea.
Green Tea for Relaxation
It is believed that, many centuries ago, Zen Buddhist monks drank green tea to concentrate better and achieve mindfulness during meditation. This is not hard to believe, as the affair of drinking green tea is in essence a kind of meditation. The entire process of preparing and drinking green tea can be relaxing and rejuvenating if you allow yourself to enjoy it in peace.
Brewing a perfect cup of green tea requires patience and meditation. The water should be boiled to a certain temperature and after you put the tealeaves into the water, you watch the leaves unfurl gently and wait in serenity as they impart their flavor to the hot water. Between each satisfying sip of green tea, practice mindfulness and become aware of your breathing.
After you finish your cup of green tea, you will not only feel relaxed but spiritually rejuvenated by the abundant antioxidants found in the tea.
So, when you grab your next cup of green tea, make sure that you don't drink it just for the sake of health. Enjoy it all the way!
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