Another Bead Crochet Experiment

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Another bead crochet experiment, this time with C-lon cord and a hank of variegated turquoise and brown size 8 beads I purchased during my trip to Michigan last month. I don’t think you’re supposed to see that much of the cord but I loosened my crocheting up because it was getting so tight that I could hardly get the hook (size 2.25mm) in the stitch. Do any of you bead crocheters experience that? I think it’s going to be a matter of practice to get the right tension. This cord is pretty stiff so maybe that was part of the challenge for me, too. This piece is a little over 4 inches long so too short for a bracelet but I could use it for part of a necklace.

I have a color challenge for myself based on a post I read at Morwyn’s AnotherCountry Beadworks blog. She invited her readers to pick 3 or 4 numbers between 1-50. Then you click on a link to a list of numbers that had a color associated with each number. I love lists and anything to do with color so I had a lot of fun doing this. My colors are turquoise, fuschia, Paynes gray and copper. Paynes gray is a dark bluish gray.

What a great exercise to get beyond your usual color choices. So, today I am gathering components to make a necklace with these colors. Thanks for the inspiration, Morwyn!

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Saturday Morning Tea

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A couple of weeks ago, I brewed a cup of green (raw) Pu-ehr tea and I talked about how there are 2 types of Pu-ehr. Today I am enjoying a cup of black (cooked ) Pu-ehr tea called Ancient Pu-ehr Mini Tuo Cha. This tea is from the same area in Yunnan province as the green Pu-ehr.

Another name for this black Pu-ehr tea is dark green “pile fermented” tea. It is created with a special pile fermentation process, a fairly new method in existence since the 1970s. Think compost piles. The tea leaves are heaped into measured piles in a well ventilated, climate controlled room and water is added to each pile to moisten it. The tea master will turn each pile periodically to evenly disperse heat, moisture and bacteria for proper fermentation. After approximately 90 day, the leaves are steamed and compressed into little cakes and then dried.

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Look how black both the tea leaves and the liquor are. Even a China black like Keemun or Yunnan or an Assam tea are not this dark. It looks like black coffee. However, the aroma and taste are very different form coffee! The aroma is sweet and earthy with a hint of woodiness to it. The flavor is also sweet, like molasses, and has a very full mouth feel. I drink it straight but it would probably stand up very well to milk or cream. I don’t recommend sweetener though as it has its own sweetness to enjoy.

One of the most interesting things about Pu-ehr tea is that it gets better with age, like a fine wine does. There are people who collect aged Pu-ehr cakes and some cakes are up to 150 years old! It is also reputed to have medicinal benefits, especially for the digestive system, and has been used as such in China for hundreds of years.

I enjoy tea because of its taste but it’s nice to know that there are health benefits, too!