Nirvana, Zen, and inner peace. Meditating monks, Chinese calligraphy, and lots of green leaves everywhere. That’s the world you enter when you drink tea. At least according to many of the advertisements. It seems that someone, somewhere figures that “waffle wisdom” sells tea.

Drink tea and your mind shall grow big and strong

Drink tea and sip the spirit

Drink tea and you shall be on a journey to…

Where exactly?

Guess someone doesn’t think highly of us tea drinkers. Simpletons that we are, we require a large dose of soul booster to nudge us along. Seems that our souls need lots of improvement and wisdom. If your philosophical compass is that far off, brewing up a cuppa isn’t going to do the trick. Warning: You will not enter the third realm with just tea leaves in the pot. You’re drinking tea, maybe some very fine tea, but thou shalt be no smarter than before you fired up the kettle. And your kitchen is no haven of pious purification. Heck, it might even need a bit of a clean.

All this mystification of tea, smacks of esoteric nonsense.

The ordinary ritual of preparing tea tends to be a rather down to earth experience – hot water, leaves, a pot. Doing laundry is probably more spiritually purifying than making tea, at least you are using the hot water to clean something. The real joy of tea comes from drinking it; but it isn’t all about relaxation, lighting candles, and soaking in the tub. More often, it’s about getting something decent to drink while we go about our daily business. We are less likely to become one with our tea when we are engaged with the piles of paperwork on the desk, spreadsheets, or the physics textbook we are tempted to throw across the room.

Certainly tea appeals to the senses – taste, smell, and heat are all enticements. Even with basic teas, the combination leads to satisfaction, but none of this is cause for spiritual enlightenment. Some people are passionate about tea – but does that passion mean to take them to a higher level? No. Most people who drink tea probably don’t want enlightenment during tea time. At least not here in the Western World. Marketing tea under the banner of wisdom, health and inner journey in order to sell more of it to Joe, Jane, or Juno trivializes Far Eastern culture. And mocks dear Juno’s intellect.

Make tea available. Provide it at a good value, with fresh quality and convenient delivery. Tea does not need to be dressed up in monkish robes, surrounded by candles and images of monkeys and elephants. Tea is such a good and magnificent drink that it stands on its own and needs little fanfare.