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A silent mouth is melodious.
- Irish proverb
COMFORTING CEYLON BREAK AT WORK
Coffee break: That pause every few hours during a conventional workday is a perk for many but is too often ignored because of the demands on your time and attention.
As delicious as good coffee is, a well-made cup hardly finds its way into most mugs in today's convenience-oriented culture. Coffee carafes are kept too long on the burner or allowed to go cold. And coffee's caffeine is overestimating, leading to a let down in energy just when you need the boost the most.
While coffee bars generally offer better tasting coffee, the three- to five-dollar price is considerably more than the most expensive cup of the rarest tea found anywhere in the world, and hardly as exquisite as, say, a Dragonwell, a Makaibari Darjeeling, or a rich Keemun (Qiman).
Tea, ah, tea is what a break from the world should be all about. Tea is both energizing and calming to drink. It has considerably less caffeine than coffee per cup, and the type of caffeine is actually assimilated into the body more slowly, more healthfully. Best of all, you can easily make one cup at a time without sacrificing taste.
Wherever you work, or whatever the schedule is, take at least one break each day. You'll perform better, you'll feel better, and you might even influence die-hard coffee drinkers to take a well-deserved, real break...with tea.
Create an Atmosphere
At the office, tea drinking can be as simple or as elaborate as space allows. Not every shop, office, and work site has kitchen facilities, but you can still enjoy your tea wherever you are. Yes, even at your desk or counter. If you work outdoors, take advantage of a tree's shade or a sunny spot to sit in. The important thing is to find a corner of quiet, beauty, and calm, where you can sip your tea in peace.
Choose the Tea and Accompaniments
Sri Lanka (formerly Ceylon) has an incredible array of fine teas. Because Ceylons are crisp, clean, and brisk-tasting, they're ideal for a tea break at work. You'll find Ceylon greens, many of them organic, as well as refreshing blacks from crushed leaves and the finest golden-tipped full-leaf styles that are as beautiful to see as they are delicious to drink.
Fill a thermos with hot water, take along some tea bags or a tin of loose-leaf tea, a filter, and a teacup, and you're ready to make tea. What to do with the infused leaves or spent bag? Put them in a plastic bag or wrap in paper and discard, or scatter leaves and leftover liquor on plants at work, inside or out.
Along with your tea, try pick-me-up foods that will give you energy:
* Plain yogurt with fresh fruit you mix in yourself
* A handful of raw cashews mixed with raisins
* A cold, crisp apple
* Rice cakes with peanut butter
Direct you mind inward, and you'll find
A thousand regions of your mind
Yet undiscovered. Travel them...
A Meditation for the Work Day
Get up and walk outside if you're indoors all day; if you're outdoors all day, step inside for a while. Roll your shoulders, stretch your body as much as possible. Close your eyes. Think of all that you have to be grateful for in your work; remember all your past accomplishments. Think of those you love. Sip your hot, refreshing Ceylon tea. Let its warmth comfort you. Be still.
Open your eyes. You'll discover you can continue your day alert and ready to tackle anything because you've enjoyed 10 minutes of respite, with the blessings of a cup of tea.
Excerpted from TAKING TIME FOR TEA. Copyright (C) 2000 by Diana Rosen. Reprinted with permission by Storey Communications. All rights reserved.