Valentine’s top tip
With Valentine’s Day coming up, let’s talk #seduceyourself. To me, the summum of seduction is driving a man insane, just by exposing a glimpse of your wrist while pouring him tea. Can you imagine?
Well, if you’ve seen ‘Memoirs of a geisha’, you know exactly what I’m talking about. A geisha is trained in the art of seduction, and performing a tea ceremony is a very important part of that training (which makes it the art of ‘tea’-sing, right?). I say ‘performing’, because the Japanese tea ceremony is basically a choreographic ritual of preparing and serving a Japanese green tea called Matcha. When done well, it’s a hypnotizing, mesmerizing engagement of all the senses. In other words: sexy.
I’m a tea drinker, and one of the things I love so much about drinking tea is the sensuality of the experience; the comfort of a warm mug, the fragrant steam, the delicate ﬂavors… Even when I’m at the airport or in the middle of a busy office, it can be a moment of meditation.
In Japan, you have to undergo many years of rigorous training to become a so-called ‘tea master’, but the essence of the Ocha or tea ceremony is something anyone can apply to their lives: to perform an ordinary act of daily life with so much grace and beauty that it becomes an art. And, in the case of the geisha, a very seductive art…
This Valentine’s Day, seduce yourself – and perhaps a loved one – with some seriously sensual tea. Here’s how:
claim a space:
in one traditional Japanese tea ceremony, guests walk silently through a garden to the tea room, to symbolically leave the everyday world behind and enter the realm of the senses. You most probably don’t have your own tea room, but you can make any space special; a room, a table, the ﬂoor or even just the other side of your desk. Use a tray or place mat to mark your tea-territory (wow, that’s a tongue-twister!).
become a tea snob:
get into tea the same way that people are into wine or coffee. Did you know that even the humblest tea bag is the result of hours of sipping, tasting and blending? And there are so many different kinds! Green, yellow, white, oolong, black, puerh and ﬂavoured teas; you name it. Once a year, I go to Mariage Frères, France’s oldest tea house (1854), to get my mind blown by their ‘Haute Couture’ tea collections and crazy new ﬂavors. Find a tea that makes you go ‘aaaah’ and trust me, after this Valentine’s Day, tea time will never be the same…
get some top tea gear:
find a tea set that you will only use for your special tea moments (I have a museum-worthy set by Russian artist Vika Mitrichenka, but also love to ‘mismatch’ vintage finds). Sometimes buying just one amazing mug or bowl is enough. And yes, I said ‘bowl’, because that’s something I learned in Japan: a bowl can act as a sort of dome over your nose and mouth, really immersing you in the experience of the tea.
REFLECTIONS FROM YOUR MIRROR
FOR THE WOMEN OF THE WORLD
Between king and QUEEN
Who is Tasya van Ree? The mysterious girl in the big black hat has been fascinating art connoisseurs and fashion lovers alike since she burst onto the scene with her stunning black-and-white photographs of celebrities like Michelle Rodriguez and (one-time lover) Amber Heard. I asked the Hawaiian-born visual artist of Dutch-Japanese ancestry (41) about her art and soul. “Between both King and Queen is where I exist.”
Sara Mearns (31) is New York City Ballet’s boldest ballerina. A passionate, intense dancer, she started dancing at 3 and starred in Swan Lake when she was only 19. But instead of resting on her laurels, Sara has kept challenging herself with daring projects, from a collaboration with hip-hop dancers to a leading role in a Broadway show. I talked with the fierce Swan Queen about sacrifices, body confidence, and how to turn pain into gain. “I’m not the typical skinny, tall, long-neck kind of ballerina.”
The art of love!
Get your creative juices flowing
This Valentine’s, don’t wait around for that love-note or those fancy chocolates to feel loved and desired. Express yourself to fall in love with yourself, now!