Whoa! Slow Down. Because,
There is more to life than increasing its speed. –Ghandi.
How to enjoy the tea ritual:
- Take time to read the extensive tea menu while considering your present needs and desires.
- Choose your tea: is this a day for a dreamy-tropical experience? something stamina-increasing? an exquisite-jasmine bouquet? mild-and-soothing-cinnamon? do you need happy-with-a-capital-H? cleansing? order up your choice of one dozens of tea experiences.
- When your lovely tea arrives in its glass pot with a miniature hourglass timer, wait while it steeps. The wait is good, let it cause you to contemplate beauty, time, transformations, and the healing properties of water.
- Pour your tea. Notice and discern: the aromas (herbal? blossomy? spicy?), the mouth feel (thin? chewy? dry? smooth?), and the taste (earthy? floral? vegetal? sweet? malty?);
- Be grateful that you have been present to engage in this fleeting moment, to fully experience this sensual journey.
A business man rushed in to The Elephant Tea Room in Pawtuxet Village, Rhode Island, and ordered a cup of tea to go. Forced to wait two minutes while the water boiled, he managed to notice the ambient music. He glanced around at the tranquil gray-green walls and the inviting padded brown wicker furniture, he connected with the place he was in, and began to notice the present moment.
When he received his to-go cup, instead of walking out the door he said to no one in particular, “Maybe I’ll sit down for a minute.”
And that’s what he did, while he quietly sipped his tea. Then he paid, and he said, “Thank you. Ten minutes in that chair was better than two hours in psychotherapy.”
The Elephant Tea Room designers and owners, Tony and Olga Lopez, want to provide you with an experience. Here, you can take a breath and detach from the bustle of daily living to focus on the calming energy of ritual.
- time slowed down;
- tea (or coffee, or wholesome, inventive crepes and salads);
- a mental journey into yourself;
- a deeper connection with your family/friends;
- an uplifting moment of simple pleasure.
All this for only $2.45 – $3.95 for hot tea, add roughly .25 for iced.
Extend your experience by ordering a crepe ($6-10) or salad ($7-10). I had the Brie crepe with green apple, tamarind and walnuts. Delicious! Tony has spent half of his life in Mexico, and that influence is subtly reflected in the signature items of his menu (mexican caramel and toasted almonts, tamarind, roasted poblano, chipotle…) Check out the full menu here.
The Elephant Tea Room opened in September of 2012 and has been so successful that Tony and Olga are planning on expanding sharing their tea experience soon at other Rhode Island locations.
- escape your routine, mundane habits;
- stop focussing exclusively on efficiency and productivity;
- remember to gaze at and appreciate this meaningful, valuable, beautiful present moment.