LaShanda Lewis knows tea.
Raised by a passionate, tea-drinking, Jamaican family who always seemed to know exactly which tea to prescribe for heart healing and physical ailments, LaShanda’s wisdom around blends translates to a simple mindset: wellness should be complicated and tea is no different.
The word “ritual,” which often gets a bad rap, is all about a repetitive or celebrated moment.
In terms of tea, the mere act of selecting, steeping, and enjoying a cup can shift from the quick function of beverage making to purposefully taking time to pause from the day, and all the stress that comes from life, and reclaim your focus.
LaShanda suggests trying these three steps the next time you brew.
#1 - Before the steep, tap into your senses
Choose a blend and take a moment to enjoy the beauty of what the tea looks like, and how it smells.
#2 - While the leaves release their flavor, take advantage of the 3-5 minutes of steep time to reflect
Instead of scrolling through your text messages, create a mental gratitude list. Between each thought, take a deep breath. For example, “I have a job,” inhale/exhale. “I have people who love me,” inhale/exhale.
#3 - Indulge in a mini-aromatherapy sesh
Breathe in the tea’s aroma and close your eyes. See how many elements of the blend you can identify.
Teas have valuable oils in them, so when you inhale, the scent molecules travel from your olfactory nerves to the brain, impacting the emotional center of the brain, the amygdala.
Creating your own personal tea service does not have to be complicated. Similar to grounding exercises, the power of pairing tea with a cozy spot or a view of nature is sometimes enough to reset your day and bring you back to a place of peace.
About LaShanda Lewis:
LaShanda Lewis is the co-owner of The Irie Cup, a tea oasis for premium loose-leaf teas with a Caribbean flair.
With a focus on high-quality, responsibly sourced teas, LaShanda and her husband Joe have carved out a beautiful space that’s rooted in strong cultural ties to their family’s Jamaican roots.
The Irie Cup frequently pops up at farmer’s markets and even the Chicago Botanic Gardens to gather with tea enthusiasts known lovingly as “ The Irie Tribe.”