In a world that often moves at breakneck speed, finding moments of tranquility and mindfulness can feel like a rare luxury. These little lux moments don’t have to be extravagant, take a lot of time and money, or even require you to leave your own house. The opportunity to mindfully rest and realign with intention lies in the simple act of making and enjoying a hot drink. Whether it's a steaming cup of herbal tea, a rich and aromatic coffee, or a velvety hot chocolate, the art of ritualizing this daily habit can transform it into a deeply satisfying and rejuvenating experience. before I share with you my cacao ritual, first, lets explore the significance of rituals in the context of hot drinks and how beneficial it is to savor every sip.
The Power of Ritual
Rituals hold a special place in human culture. They provide structure, meaning, and a sense of continuity in our lives (this is why we always share a special brew at our mini retreats). When it comes to enjoying a hot drink, rituals can elevate the experience from a mere beverage to a mindful practice. Here's why the art of ritual matters:
1. Mindfulness: Rituals encourage us to be present in the moment. Preparing and enjoying a hot drink becomes an opportunity to disconnect from distractions and immerse ourselves in the sensory pleasures of the process.
2. Relaxation: Rituals can be calming and soothing. The repetitive, predictable nature of a ritual can induce a sense of relaxation and reduce stress.
3. Connection: Sharing a hot drink ritual with friends or family fosters a sense of connection and community. It's a way to bond and strengthen relationships.
Creating Your Hot Drink Ritual
1. Selecting the Perfect Beverage: Start by choosing a hot drink that resonates with you. It could be a type of tea that calms your nerves, a coffee that invigorates you, or a hot chocolate that comforts you. The key is to select something that genuinely appeals to your senses.
2. Choose Your Vessel: The vessel you use to prepare and serve your drink matters. A beautiful teapot, a vintage coffee press, or a hand thrown mug can enhance the experience. Consider the aesthetics and how they make you feel.
3. Silence or Sound: Some people prefer complete silence during their hot drink ritual, while others enjoy soft music or the gentle sounds of nature. Choose what resonates with you for both the preparation and consuming your hot drink.
4. Create a Ritual Space: Dedicate a corner of your kitchen or a cozy nook in your home for your hot drink ritual. This space should invite relaxation and reflection.
5. Mindful Preparation: Pay attention to the process of making your hot drink. Whether it's boiling water, grinding coffee beans, or steeping tea leaves, each step should be deliberate and unhurried.
6. Engage Your Senses: Take time to appreciate the aroma of your beverage as it steeps or brews. The smell can be as satisfying as the taste. Savor the visual appeal of your drink as well; the colors and textures can be quite pleasing.
7. Mindful Sipping: When you finally take that first sip, let it linger on your taste buds. Notice the flavors, the temperature, and the way it feels as it warms your body.
The art of ritual when enjoying a hot drink is a simple yet profound way to infuse your daily life with mindfulness and meaning. By slowing down, engaging your senses, and embracing the process, you can turn a routine act into a cherished moment of self-care and connection. So, the next time you reach for your favorite hot drink, remember that it's not just a beverage; it's an opportunity to savor life's little pleasures.
My Cacao Ritual
I take as much pleasure in making cacao as I do in drinking it. My most favourite time for this ritual is in the morning on my day off when I have the boat all to myself. I select the perfect record, light some incense and set up a sit spot either on my yoga mat by the wood burner, or in my favourite arm chair that catches the sun perfectly. I like to enjoy this time to either got my thoughts down in my journal, or just to sit quietly and listen to whatever come up.
I measure out my mug of milk, either cows or plant based (I use Plenish oat milk) to a small pan with warming and aromatic spics to the milk: one cinnamon stick, a few pepper corns, a couple of cloves and cardamom pods and warm gently on the hob over a low heat.
Whilst the flavours of the spices infuse with the milk I finely grate a lump of raw organic cacao (around 20g).
Once the milk is up to drinking temperature I strain out the spices and return it to the hob where I add the grated cacao and one teaspoon of coconut blossom syrup for sweetness and stir.
Whilst the cacao is blending I like to think about my intention for the day, like I am literally stirring that into the infusion with a bit of alchemy.
Once the cacao is silky smooth, I pour it into my favourite mug ready to sit and savour.