On a quiet afternoon, we caught up with Hong Kong born tea curator Resham Daswani at her serene apartment. For the last 4 years Resham has been sharing tea ceremonies and a plant-based lifestyle with others in Hong Kong, we chatted to her about the beauty of tea ceremonies, creating the perfect calm space and how she uses flowers in her everyday life.
Describe what you do
I’m tea curator for Fivelements Habitat, a new urban wellness sanctuary, where I’ll be sharing tea ceremonies or cha dao, as a way of meditation and mindfulness.
How did you become a tea curator?
I’m a believer that when the student is ready, the teacher appears and that was kind of my story. I was working in corporate fashion, but suddenly things started to align and show me this path. I visited a tea centre in Taiwan called Global Tea Hut, upon entering, I realised this was where I was meant to be. I came back to Hong Kong and felt a desire to share this medicine. Hong Kong is so busy, tea is already a huge part of our lives and culture, and this is an approach to using tea in a more mindful way to bring comfort and calm to our everyday lives.
What does a tea ceremony involve?
A tea ceremony happens in noble silence, it’s very simple, we drink tea, the bowls are passed round. On the last bowl of tea I open it up for discussion and we share our experiences with each other.
Can flowers be used in tea ceremonies?
We love using flowers in tea ceremonies, it’s such a beautiful way to bring nature into the space and as well as a reminder we’re part of nature ourselves. Flowers bring life to the ceremony and help to honour the occasion we’re coming together for. When choosing flowers we consider the time of day, guests and purpose of the tea ceremony, but we will always make sure the flowers are as natural and wild as possible, as you would find them in nature.
How can we incorporate mindfulness into our everyday lives?
In one of my favourite book, The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari, there’s a practical lesson, where you pick up a rose for 20 minutes every day and observe the colours, tones and individual petals. By doing this you naturally sink into meditation. This was something I started doing and introduced to my husband, we both found it transformative. By honouring the beauty of nature, whether you just look at a flower or cut open a grapefruit, its so simple but extraordinary.
Describe your interior style
I really wanted my space to feel like a temple or sanctuary but obviously it has to be accommodating to my husband’s needs as well. Our style is definitely rooted in Asia, we were both brought up in Hong Kong, so there are antique Chinese elements like the altars but we also wanted to bring in our Indian lineage through flowers, candles and artwork. It really reflects who were are as people.
How does your space influence your mood?
An intention when creating my space is that it should be conducive to a meditative practice, so when I’m in my space I feel like I want to sit, read, mediate, drink tea or journal. I feel it really does support how I want my life to be aligned.
Are there certain areas in your space that you always have flowers?
We have an alter in every room each of them has flowers on. Hong Kong houses are so small, so it’s really nice to brighten each room with the energy of nature.
What are your favourite flowers?
I love all flowers, but if had to pick warm tones like yellow and orange are my particular favourites. I have a special connect with chrysanthemums, as in India they are the flowers we use the most in our temples and homes, plus they remind me of my grand mother and spending time with her.
Tell us about your most powerful flower memory
After our wedding ceremony, our family and friends threw loads of flowers over us, it was a very special moment and one of my favourite photos from my wedding.
GET THE LOOK
Create a sense of calm in your space like Resham with fresh whites and clean greens
All Saints Flower Jar
Two Roads Flower Bouquet
Two Roads Bud Vase