Friday, March 18, 2016

Tea Timing for (Part) 2

In Tea Timing, I wrote about how taking a cup of tea in the shower prevents me from compulsively washing the cleanser off my face or the anti-dandruff shampoo from my hair (both of which should be left on for an extended period of time). But "tea timing" has benefits beyond the scope of the shower as I learned yesterday morning.

On this particular morning, I was running late because I had woken up late. I had woken up late because I had gone to bed late. And I had gone to bed late because I refuse to take on adult responsibilities and schedules. The point is, none of the above could be blamed on my beloved fiancĂ© but since he was coincidentally in my line (or great ball) of fire as we spoke on the phone, I was inclined to bitch and complain as if he were culpable of my predicament. However, since I was running late, balancing a hot cup of tea and attempting to sneak a cool 80mph on the highway,  I had no means of calling him back once I had accidentally hit the phone's "end" button. So, I drove... and sipped my tea. And as I did so, I noticed myself beginning to calm. And so, I thought, when a situation does not warrant an immediate response (i.e. your coworker being bitchy and passive aggressive via text) drinking a cup of tea before "engaging in battle" can save a lot of hurt, frustration and miscommunication in the long run as we take a minute to sit and sip this healing concoction.

Indeed, many teas (or tisanes) have calming properties. In fact, it was last year, as I read a comic book from the Batman series (I work with middle schoolers) that I learned Bruce Wayne took a cup of chamomile tea in the evening before bed. This (and the fact I was eyeing an prohibitively expensive bag of tea from Dean & Deluca) set my morning and nightly tea routine into motion. But there are other teas besides chamomile which can bring calming properties to what can otherwise be a hectic day. Herein, lay a few:

Lavender: Lavender may be the obvious choice for a calming tea if not for its sometimes awkward (read: bitter) taste. According to, "relaxation is a traditional use of lavender tea, primarily because of its aroma." If fact, the article cites a study which found that, "the scent of lavender may slow the nervous system activity, promoting relaxation." And so, because its aroma is calming but its taste (in my opinion) not too flavorful, it's nice to find it often "cut" with other ingredients in its commercial form. Teavana, for example, markets a Lavender Dreams White Tea which carries rose buds and sweet peach. Traditional Medicinals infuses their "Chamomile Tea with Lavender" and Yogi Tea mixes lavender with honey to make a sweet tea blend. Additionally, I remember reading in the book Spain that the beautiful actress Claudia Bassols often ordered a cup of coffee simply to feel the warmth envelope her hands (which made sense since she didn't look like she consumed anything and had money to waste on such endeavors). However, as I get older, I see this practice is not so flippant as I once thought. While I use water in place of coffee (for cost benefits), the act of holding a warm vessel can calm us down immensely. And if said vessel carries the aroma of lavender (tea), all the better.

To be continued...

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