To begin to incorporate a tea break into everyday life, it has to begin to be something you do for you alone. It needs to be simple and it needs to include something you consider beautiful.

Summer might not seem like the ideal time to get started with this daily ritual, but time often allows for it. After all, rumor has it that Asian countries drink hot beverages in the heat because it helps them cool down (the sweat factor and all). Maybe a cup of tea on the porch in the morning sun gazing on the blooming flowers will be all you need to feel ready for another day. Start by choosing a good time of day for a cup of tea. Is it at the beginning, end, or middle of your day? Personally, brewing a pot of tea is the first thing I do every morning.

Now, of course my goal is to convert you to loose-leaf tea over grocery store tea bags, as many of my long-time readers know. Tea Brewing is an art and a science you can read all about here. But first you need to choose a beautiful vessel for your beverage. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, it is time to stop grabbing your favorite dollar-store thick-lipped mug.

Do you own a beautiful drinking vessel? My current favorite is a Laura Ashley teacup and saucer I picked up for only $10 on my travels last month. It’s not bone china, but it can go in the dishwasher which fits my current lifestyle. But the lip is thin, the saucer included and I love the combo of stripes and flowers (And I can’t find a picture anywhere~arg!).

I find that many women my age (upper 30s–ehem) are just beginning to appreciate the hand-me-downs/wedding presents of grandparents, parents, aunts, etc. in fine tableware. Is it possible you have a grandmother’s tea set in storage? GO FIND IT! If you own a teacup you find pretty, use it. If not, you now have a find for the flea market or a reason to poke through an antique store. Or consider purchasing one here, at Sweet Neccesi-teas, a “sweet” on-line shop.

To begin the daily ritual of afternoon (or morning) tea, I suggest you start with beauty. Find your teacup of choice and a spot of dappled shade in a comfortable chair where you can stare on some verdure. Take deep cleansing breaths and feel the stress wash away.

Update: I just found a mother of five (!) boys who stops for afternoon tea everyday. If Amy can do it and finds it refreshing…what does that say about the power of a daily cup of tea!