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A Handcrafted Cup of Tea That Will Change Your Day

A Handcrafted Cup of Tea That Will Change Your Day

Shopping ethically sourced goods this World Fair Trade Day and every day transforms lives: the artisans’ and yours. Artisans are paid fair wages & handcraft in safe workshops and your everyday moments like a cup of tea, are made more beautiful.

A great horned owl perched on a tree outside my window this morning. I saw him as I drank my tea. I’m sure I would have missed him if it weren’t for the tea.

Mindful Moment: Slowing Down with a Cup of Tea

It’s a new habit for me. Inspired by the daily culture of many of the artisans we work with around the world who craft goods by hand and have done for generations.


The mug, nestled between my palms, is made in Bat Trang, Vietnam, known since the 15th century for its sought-after blue and white ceramics. it may sound strange, but I can feel it’s history.

Tran Kinh and his wife run an independent workshop of 50 artisans that he began shortly after the Vietnam War. He is the fifth-generation potter, taught by his father. In a village devoted to ceramics, the Kinhs’ fair-trade business stands out.

How Ethical, Fair Trade Impacts Artisans’ Lives

Fair pay and safe working conditions ensure that pottery continues to be a viable source of income for the artisans, most of them women.

The pay supplements farming income, helps them send their children to school or education for themselves. In this way, fair trade strengthens the community and preserves this ancient art. I think about this, this World Fair Trade Day. I’m grateful for my mug, for their skill, for the opportunity to buy ethically sourced gifts—it makes my tea more than my morning caffeine.

Tea drinking is often more than the drink itself.

It sets the tone for my day and makes me better able to take it on. Tea is a call to slow down, to a beautiful everyday moment: to connect with one another or oneself. Spiritual, celebratory, and daily. Tea invites us to reflect on the moment: deepen our breath, smell, taste, and feel the warmth of the cup. Chiah in Nepal. Matcha in Japan. Mint in Morocco. Chai in India. Leaves. Herbs. Spices. Sweet. Savory. Milk or no. Always a comfort.

Chiah | Spiced Tea, Nepal


  • 3 Tbsp black tea leaves or 3 tea bags in 5 cups of boiling water


  • 1 1/4 cup heated milk
  • 1/3 – 2/3 cups sugar
  • 4 whole cloves
  • 2-3 cardamom pods, cracked open or 1/2 tsp ground cardamom
  • 1 cinnamon stick

Simmer for 10 minutes to blend flavors. Strain into your handcrafted mug and enjoy.

Extending the Table by Joetta Handrick Schlabach>

I invite you to join. Pour a cup, have your journal near to capture your thoughts, daily gratitudes, sketch if that’s more your style. The daily practice of slowing down, of being in the moment may be just the thing to start off the day. And who knows, you may spot an owl.

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