Rooted in ancient traditions, tea meditation is a powerful way to develop mindfulness and experience the healing potential of aromatic plants in an embodied way. Beyond merely tea tasting, it offers a gateway to forming a deep relationship with plants and attunes you to the subtle nuances of flavor, aroma, and texture.

Tea meditation is an experiential learning process that involves using your senses, as opposed to reading about an herbal plant in a book or online. This form of learning allows for an intimate recognition of how aromatic herbs influence you. When we step into our senses, we can slow down and connect with our environment, ourselves, and the plants we’re experiencing more fully. So much of our life can pass by with the mind wandering somewhere else. Practicing tea meditation as a ritual offers space for the nervous system to relax, the mind to soften, and the heart to open, so we can receive greater understanding from the plants we aim to learn from. 

Through the practice of tea tasting, you can unlock the medicinal virtues of these plants and directly observe their effects on your body. Experiencing them in this way awakens you to valuable insights and information about each plant's characteristics and potential benefits. For example, a bitter taste in a plant may indicate the plant is supportive of cleansing the liver or aids in digestion, or earthy flavors may have a grounding effect on the body and mind. 

This blog is a step-by-step guide so you can practice tea meditation at home. You can shape this exercise to be as short or long as you would like it to be. The emphasis is essentially to consistently practice bringing attention to your senses and to interact with the medicine of aromatic plants.

Steps Before the Meditation

Choose an aromatic plant that you would like to drink as tea. Be sure that it is an herbal plant considered safe for consumption, as not all aromatic plants can be used internally. Some examples of aromatic plants that work great for tea meditation include Rose, Chamomile, Lavender, Peppermint, Lemon Balm, Ginger, Rosemary, Hibiscus, and the list goes on and on! Choose a plant that resonates with you and that you want to learn more about. 

Brew your tea by boiling water in a kettle or on the stove. In general, to make a standard infusion, steep 1 tsp of dried plant material per 8 ounces of hot water. Pour the hot water into a teapot, or through a strainer into a mug. Allow the herb to steep for 10-15 minutes. Be sure to cover the container to keep the precious volatile oils from evaporating out of your tea! While you are waiting for the herbs to steep, you can prepare your mind and body for the tea meditation with the following steps. Be sure to strain your tea before you begin the meditation.

The Ritual Begins…

Find a comfortable place in your home to sit quietly. Bring your teapot or mug of tea with you and place it somewhere nearby. You will likely want to have a journal and a pen or pencil available to write any reflections down during or after the meditation. 

When you are seated and settled, take a big inhale and exhale. Loosen yourself up a bit by closing your eyes, rolling your shoulders up to your ears and back down your spine, and then guiding your head side to side, up and down. You can do this a few times until you feel relaxed. Eventually, find stillness in a comfortable position. Start to bring your awareness to your breath. Notice the quality of your consciousness, your thoughts, and emotions. 

Welcome all parts of yourself here. Anything that is asking for attention, be it a thought, emotion, or bodily sensation… greet it as if an important guest at the door of your home. Everything is welcome. There is nothing that needs to be suppressed or turned away. Depending on the moment, your mood, and other factors, any sort of meditative practice can be a challenge. If your mind is reeling, try to take a few more grounding, deep breaths.

Engaging the Senses…


Open your eyes and rest your sense of sight on your mug of tea. Notice every little detail: the color of the tea; if there are any tiny particles of plants floating around in the tea. Notice the gentle movement, if any, of the tea… any ripples or spinning of the tea inside the mug, or steam hovering on its surface or trailing upwards.


When you are ready, close your eyes and gently guide the cup toward your nose. Notice how you know exactly where to bring the cup. Inhale slowly and sense the aroma of the tea. Pay attention as the scent is carried up through the nasal passages, and watch where it travels into the body. Be aware of any thoughts or memories that arise, and if any feelings, subtle sensations, or emotions unfold. Continue to observe the aroma for a few more slow inhalations.


Slowly bring the cup towards your mouth, and take a sip. Feel the temperature of the tea against your lips, tongue, and the inside of your mouth as it enters. Hold the tea in your mouth for a few moments and bring your full attention to the taste. Move the tea around your mouth and see if the flavors change. Observe the flavors dancing on your palate, and how the qualities of taste affect your tongue. When the first urge to swallow arises, place your full consciousness there, and swallow the tea. Feel the warmth of the tea as it trickles down your throat and into your stomach. Pay attention to the sensations that arise within your body, carefully observing.

Cultivating Awareness

As you continue to drink, let your awareness expand beyond the physical sensations. Closely pay attention to what is happening inside you. Notice any thoughts and emotions that surface, allowing them to come and go like ripples on a pond. Observe if the tea shifts any physical sensations in your body. Notice if the aromatic plant has evoked any memories, emotions, thoughts, or feelings you were not aware of when you began the meditation.

After drinking your tea, place the cup down, close your eyes, and turn your gaze within. Notice if anything has shifted or changed – maybe your breath has slowed, or your mind has emptied. Maybe you feel more relaxed, or your heart feels open. Maybe you feel warmer or more energized. Note your impressions. 

Take a few moments to write out your experience of the plant you are working with. These impressions are valuable and as you continue to learn more about a particular plant, you can reflect on these experiences and the information you gather to help build a more solid and complete picture of the plant's virtues and personality. If you have arrived at a more present, tranquil space, see if you can maintain this state for some time as you continue with your day. 

As you move through your tea meditation, if you don’t notice much or nothing seems to surface, don’t be discouraged. Every experience serves as a learning opportunity. Tea meditation is an intentional, transformative process intended for continuous practice, with each session offering unique insights and revelations. Try to set aside any preconceived notions or ideas you may have about the tea you are drinking, and remain open to the possibilities of what may occur.

Deepen Your Herbal Practice

Taking a moment to check in with your physical, mental, and emotional state before and after the tea meditation can help you learn a lot about how the plants interact with your unique psychophysiology. Immersing yourself with plants in a somatic way offers a personal experience, and helps you build a far deeper connection to each plant than if you were just to read about it in a book. It also may unfold a greater sense of awe and gratitude for the botanical kingdom, for how they unconditionally love and heal us on all levels.

While cultivating this practice, you may find the bliss you experience from meditation starts to expand to greater parts of your everyday life. Though it may seem so simple, it is easy to forget to engage with our senses and observe the present moment completely. The five senses are a gateway to the mind, so the more we train the mind to observe the present moment via the five senses, the more vibrant, rich, and alive this lifetime becomes.

As you become familiar with the aromas and flavors of individual plants, you might also feel more confident to explore creating various aromatic herbal preparations. Tea meditation can invoke creativity, and perhaps even inspire you to make your own aromatic blends, as you understand what scents and tastes pair well together. May this ritual be a helpful tool in exploring the vast landscape of your inner world, and in awakening you to the undeniable magic of aromatic plants.

Article Written By Dawn Gibson

© 2024 The Northwest School of Aromatic Medicine. All rights reserved.

*The statements above have not been evaluated by the FDA, and are for educational purposes only. This article is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. This article should not be taken as medical advice. Please consult your physician before you use this information for health purposes.

Follow Us On Social Media