Ritual, Tea (+ A Giveaway with Kaufmann Mercantile)

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Like most rituals, the act of having tea has a longstanding history. From religious ceremonies in Easter Asia to American revolutionaries tossing it in to Boston Harbor, tea is more than beverage; it has become a small event. An act of intent. A sacred ritual. While coffee has been our beverage of choice for the last few decades, tea is having a moment here in the US, and I hope it is here to stay.

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I first experienced the deep-rooted ritual of tea while living in England the summer of 2005. Working as an intern at a large branding agency in Notting Hill, I was surrounded by ambitious New Blood winners and overworked art directors. I spent most of the summer guessing what I was to be designing and working on, but one thing was clear: it was my job to offer and fetch tea for my superiors (ie: everyone in the building). Tea was part of their creative process; a pause in the day occurring every 2 hours that went all but unnoticed by everyone but me. Tea was just part of their song and dance. It was a ritual placed on auto pilot. No matter how hard-pressed the deadline, there was always time for tea with milk and a little sugar and it was never to be consumed on the go, or in a paper cup. We had our tea in the kitchen, kicked around conversation and then drifted back to work.

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Since returning from England, I’ve learned to establish respect for little rituals. Take the breakfast ritual, for example. For the past eight years, I’ve made myself eggs every morning. Scrambled. Over-easy. On toast. In toast. Eggs are part of my process, ingrained in my daily habits. I stand quietly while frying a few pieces of leftover pancetta and I wait for the kettle to boil. I pick up my favorite mug. I examine it’s weight in my hand, the little imperfect ridges along the lip of the glass. I lean my hip on the counter, lift open the lid of my tea tin and take a deep whiff. My heart rate slows. These moments are mine, and I choose to let time slip by.

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Those simple moments are not frivolity if they bring you peace and fulfillment. Sometimes we need to be reminded of that. And sometimes, it is only habit and ritual that keep us in touch with the present moment.

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Today, Kaufmann Mercantile is hosting a little giveaway inspired by the ritual of tea. Among their assortment of carefully selected, long-lasting, and well-designed goods, is a section dedicated to celebrating this ritual. If you’re a tea or coffee enthusiast, I encourage you to check it out. To enter our $150 gift card giveaway, visit Kaufmann Mercantile. Details: The giveaway amount will be a $150 gift card to our store for one winner to choose their favorite KM goods. We will choose a winner at random (random.org) the day after the giveaway has ended. These entrants are based off of who has signed up through the provided link. This giveaway will close October 1st at 9am.

BY Kate - September 25, 2014

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23 Comments  +

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  1. Allison

    September 25th, 2014 at 9:48 am

    Awesome! I absolutely love Kaufmann Mercantile and with a half-Aussie husband I’m finding myself drinking tea more and more often 🙂

  2. Robin

    September 25th, 2014 at 10:13 am

    Lovely post. I live in London and noticed the same thing in my first full-time job here. Whenever you were making tea for your co-workers, was it kind of expected that you would remember everyone’s orders, as they would remember yours? I felt like I was the only one that struggled with that when I first got here 🙂

  3. Michael R. Kaufman

    September 25th, 2014 at 10:21 am

    Great products

  4. Mara

    September 25th, 2014 at 10:28 am

    Love that copper tea pot.

  5. Leanne

    September 25th, 2014 at 10:38 am

    the simple moments are what carry day. lovely post.

  6. Megan @ hint of vanilla

    September 25th, 2014 at 11:25 am

    I just bought a beautiful wooden cake stand from Kaufmann Mercantile a few weeks ago and I am in love with it! I’ve seen so many things on their website that I want – plates, mugs, backpacks, blankets, jars, everything!

    Tea is also part of my morning ritual. It only takes me fifteen minutes to get out of bed and out the door, but I always give myself half an hour to make my tea and just sit and enjoy it. Not rushing around, absent mindedly sipping my tea or putting it into a to-go mug. I sit down with no distractions and just sip my tea and think about my day. Every single morning, even back when I was in high school!

  7. complete cleanse Review

    September 25th, 2014 at 12:29 pm

    An intriguing discussion is definitely worth comment. I do think that you need
    to publish more about this subject matter, it might not be a taboo matter but typically people don’t discuss such topics.
    To the next! Many thanks!!

  8. Katy

    September 25th, 2014 at 12:49 pm

    I think so many of your photos resonate because they beautifully capture the important small moments. When I look at pictures of breakfast I see my long breakfasts with my dearest friend. Thanks so much for alwyas sharing so openly. I’m reading this between doctor appointments before which I had been telling myself I would get to enjoy a tea after.

  9. steph

    September 25th, 2014 at 3:43 pm

    I’m already on their list and, when I try to enter, it says I’ve “already signed up.” Hope I can still be entered to win…

  10. emily

    September 25th, 2014 at 5:15 pm

    that teapot is stunning! i just found this shop earlier this week and looked through all their beautiful goods…so lovely

  11. Maddie

    September 25th, 2014 at 5:32 pm

    Kaufmann Mercantile has the coolest stuff, even their tea tins are amazing! Love love love.

  12. Megan

    September 25th, 2014 at 6:54 pm

    Pretty sweet! Always loved Kaufmann Mercantile’s aesthetic, design and breath of products!

  13. sydney85

    September 25th, 2014 at 8:10 pm

    I am a big tea drinker and still enjoy having afternoon tea with friends. The Kaufmann Mercantile products are fabulous.

  14. Alicia

    September 25th, 2014 at 10:45 pm

    I’ve always been a tea drinker until a year ago. I now need a cup of coffee every morning and drink tea in the afternoon.

  15. Meredith

    September 26th, 2014 at 8:03 am

    So interesting to read about the ritual of drinking tea at your London workplace – I particularly love the fact that tea was never consumed “on the go” either. On a slightly different, almost sillier scale, after returning home from a trip to Nevis (an island in the British West Indies) where tea was served every afternoon at our inn, we managed to keep up the ritual for awhile upon our return. It was such a nice way for us to break up the day and have a chat with each other (we both work from home), while reminding us of our amazing getaway. The ritual eventually slipped away from us, but now I’m inspired to bring it back – thank you!!

  16. | Get Inspired – Tea Time/Hora do Chá| | portas basculantes

    September 26th, 2014 at 10:55 am

    […] >> Créditos | Imagens | Wit & Delight […]

  17. Libby

    September 26th, 2014 at 6:15 pm

    Lovely post tying tea with ritual. I fell in love with tea in Kenya over many overly sugary cups of chai with locals, and lots of morning walks through tea fields. It’s been a daily practice ever since.

  18. Heather R

    September 26th, 2014 at 9:42 pm

    Such beautifully stocked goods! I can’t decide between the ceramics or the glass teapot.

  19. Amanda

    September 27th, 2014 at 1:32 pm

    I am in lust with that copper kettle.

  20. Jessica

    September 27th, 2014 at 9:19 pm

    Such lovely things!!!!

  21. Kristyn @ Laite Jewelry

    September 29th, 2014 at 10:00 pm

    I love Kaufmann’s!!! What a great little giveaway. The ritual of tea is so important to my mornings, love all of your picks 🙂

  22. Piia

    September 30th, 2014 at 3:14 am

    Fab! I’m definitely a tea enthusiast! Thanks for the chance!

  23. aluna designs

    November 11th, 2014 at 11:06 am

    […] love reading about rituals (especially if involves […]

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Ritual, Tea (+ A Giveaway with Kaufmann Mercantile)