Pouring water in black teapot
Wellness | | C. Yu

How to Practice Meditation with Tea

Tea has traditionally played a pivotal role in the monastic life of Japan for centuries. This practice blends the art of tea preparation with meditation, allowing practictioners to cultivate mindfulness by fully engaging with  the quality of the tea leaves, utensils, and surrounding space.

By thoughtfully involving the five senses – smell, taste, color, sound, and temperature – mindful tea brewing creates a profound connection between the mind and body. In the "Tea Meditation" session, the time for brewing tea and drinking is devoted to being present.

“There is something in the nature of tea that leads us into a world of quiet contemplation of life.” ― Lin Yutang, The Importance of Living


Brewed tea in a glass with teapot

Be Present and Mindful When Brewing Tea

Bring your attention to the kyusu teapot, the teapot that will be used to brew the tea. Notice the shape, color, and craftsmanship that went into the art that is in your hand. 


pouring water in teapot

Boil Water and Listen

Settle into your space and listen to the water boil. As you do, take the time to focus on your breathing, observing each inhale and exhale. Feel the steam as it fills the air. With every breath, imagine cleansing both your lungs and mind, washing away any distractions. Invite a moment of serenity with this moment, and transform the simple act of tea brewing into an intentional practice of meditation.

Pouring water in teapot

Steep Your Tea Leaves with Attention

Gently pour your tea leaves of choice into the kyusu teapot. As you do, pause to notice the aroma of the leaves. Remember to be mindful of your breathing during this step of the tea brewing process. Once the temperature of the water is right, carefully pour it over the tea leaves. Watch attentitively as the tea leaves begin to unfurl. 


Pouring tea in a cup from teapot

Drink And Savor Your Tea 

Brew the tea to your desired length and carefully pour the tea into your cup, or yunomi. Listen to the sound as you pour the last drop of the tea. Hold the cup in your hand. How does it feel? What do you smell? What color is your tea? Take a sip. How does it taste?


brewed tea in glasses and teapot

Give Thanks To All

After you've taken the time to savor your cup of tea, pause for a moment to express your appreciation for this simple pleasure. During this, acknowledge how each step, from the cultivation of the leaves to the art of brewing, has led to the present. If you notice your mind beginning to wander, gently redirect your focus by thinking of the three things you are currently grateful for.

Indeed, tea is often celebrated as one of the most accessible forms of meditation practice within Zen traditions. The appreciation of tea utensils, the inhalation of the tea leaves' aroma, the mindful act of brewing, and the deliberate tasting of the tea — each step is performed with a deep sense of presence and mindfulness. As a result, mindful tea brewing serves as an effective practice of meditation, guiding you towards a more focused and serene state of mind.

The key to this practice lies in opening yourself to the experience of being fully present, making a conscious effort to return to your senses whenever lost in thought. As you do, a unique connection is fostered between you and the tea – a special encounter of peace and happiness.



🍵 Drinking our tea? Take a picture and tag us on Instagram at @senbirdtea or #senbirdtea. We’d love to see your moment with tea!

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