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October 9, 2020

Too fast to feel

People once thought a dystopian future looks like 1984, but it's more of a Brave New World.

In the West, "slowness" and "stillness" are largely viewed with negative connotations. We usually associate those terms with laziness, sloppiness, passiveness, and such. After all, "speed up" seems the ultimate theme of this era. Every minute, we're bombarded with information that battles for our attention. Every Tik Tok dance, every funny video, every Instagram picture delivers just one more tiny dose of dopamine, nudging us one step closer to the grim reality depicted in Huxley's "Brave New World."

San Francisco 2020 - @stay_in_touch

Instead of watching real movies, we watch five-minute commentaries; instead of reading entire books, we skip from summary to summary; instead of developing real, meaningful relationships, we find ourselves chasing instant gratification from one "partner" to another. The unsettling part? Most of us do what we do, not because we're busy, as we believe we are, but because we're lazy.

Sure, a five-minute montage is shorter than a two-hour movie, and a one-page briefing is shorter than a one hundred-page book. If only it were that simple.

This isn't so much about consumption or entertainment.  It's about how our brains are rewired when we're "hooked" to instant pleasures. We constantly swipe and tap without knowing why. And once we're used to acting without knowing why or caring why, that's when everything starts looking dangerously passive and robotic.

On the personal level, it all translates into a lack of emotion and activity. I saw myself gradually grow apart from the whole spectrum of emotions that once filled my childhood. There was a numbness in my mind, I felt indifferent to much of what went on around me. And I didn't want to do anything about it. I thought I knew all there was to know, leaning heavily onto convictions like "what will be will be…" But underneath, I knew those were merely excuses I used to make myself feel better.

We wish "slowing down" was easy, but it's not. It's like walking against the tide, the sheer momentum can be overwhelming. A person needs all the help he or she can get in such a struggle, especially at the beginning! That's why we founded this company. Because we have something to offer, because we want to connect to others who care about exploring the balance between hustle and stillness.

That something, is loose-leaf tea. For us, tea embodies many things we search for in a slowdown lifestyle. It is physical and full of colors, forms, and aromas that stimulate most, if not all our senses. So it inevitably pulls our minds into the present, to focus on its fleeting, subtle flavors. It contains L-theanine, which has a natural relaxing effect. It slows our body's absorption of caffeine, which gently boosts our alertness without the ugly crash. Last but not least, for over 2,000 years, tea has been seen as an irreplaceable part of Zen, regarded as the one thing that perfectly captures its profound beauty and philosophy.

For us, tea embodies many things we search for in a slowdown lifestyle.

People say that knowing how to slow down can boost your productivity, reduce your stress level, and even improve your sleep quality. But for us, it's more about being able to experience the joy, the pain, and the magic of those stories in a movie; it's about feeling connected with the boundless world found in a book; it's about loving every seemingly ordinary moment we have with our loved ones, which often are when we're together doing nothing.

Like Pooh, we too believe that, sometimes, “doing nothing often leads to the very best of something.”

Like what you read?

We write about tea. But most of all, we write about what it means to slow-down in the 21th century. Stay tuned, we're just getting started.

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