Tea ceremony

Some years ago, I went for a cup of tea in east London. The street was shabby but the shop was beautiful: minimal, airy, a dark stone floor and wooden shelves. Out the back, they served tea Chinese-style. A ceramic teapot and mug that fit together perfectly on a small tray. Everything felt considered: the quietness of the shop, the spoon to stir the tea. I sat, in a form of ceremony, preparing and then drinking my tea. In China, one name for a tea ceremony is ‘gong fu cha’, which translates as ‘right effort put into tea’. The tea should taste delicious and be satisfying for the soul. That’s how it was for me, that day. What a beautiful way to slow down, focus and create ceremony around an everyday event.