The flickering glow of a candle, the sound of rain, the feeling of wrapping your hands around a warm mug – some things are just inherently soothing. For coffee and tea lovers, few things are quite as relaxing as settling in with their favorite hot beverage.
But why exactly do we find hot drinks so relaxing? As it turns out, there’s some science behind those feelings of zen. Here’s how warm drinks, daily rituals, and the right mug help us feel like our calmest, most centered selves.
It’s not just about the drink. The entire ritual of warming your kettle or coffee maker, brewing your drink, and pouring it into your favorite mug offers benefits in and of itself. Daily rituals and routines – even ones as simple as brewing and enjoying a cup of tea – have powerful effects on our mental wellbeing.
The social effects
Many studies suggest that a warm drink impacts our psychology more than we realize. Sure, we’re aware of feeling calm and cozy, but even more subtle effects are at play. One famous study found that simply holding a warm drink made study participants more likely to view strangers as warm and friendly, while holding a cold drink had the opposite effect. These subtle cues are known as “social priming,” and they’re likely part of the reason we love to catch up with friends over coffee or why we offer guests a warm drink.
Having a favorite mug also plays a crucial role in all benefits of a warm drink. Our daily ritual just doesn’t feel the same without it. Holding a warm paper cup is never quite as satisfying. And thanks to a psychological effect known as the endowment effect, we get pretty attached to our favorite mugs because they’re, well, ours.
We choose them based on our personal aesthetic. We associate them with pleasant memories. They’re often gifts from loved ones. They carry practical as well as emotional value. And for Ember Mug² owners, they help prolong the relaxing ritual of a hot beverage. By keeping your favorite drink at your perfect drinking temperature, the Ember Mug² ensures that your daily cup never goes from “relaxing and warm” to “unpleasantly cold.”
Looking to feel extra relaxed? Chamomile and lavender are both well-known for their calming effects and therapeutic aromas. We love using loose leaf versions for their stronger flavors and aromatics as well as the ritual of blending our own leaves. Adjust this caffeine-free blend to your tastes for a relaxing evening tea.
Served at 140°F (60°C)
If this is your first time experimenting with loose leaf vs boxed tea, finding a good tea infuser is key. The Finum Mesh Brewing Basket is a top rated, traditional tea infuser at a price no one can turn down. If you are interested in brewing larger batches of tea, the Bodum Assam Tea Press is a beautiful addition to any kitchen. And, if you are looking for a quirky choice that is sure to make you smile everytime you see it, the Fred Manatea Tea Infuser is the one for you.
Celebrate International Tea Day! This kumquat fruit tea recipe is the perfect drink to warm you up on a chilly day. Made with freshly squeezed kumquats, this tea has a sweet and slightly tangy flavor that is sure to please.