Saturday Morning Tea

This is a perfect tea for a gray, drizzly day like today. Or, for that matter, an icy winter day. In my cup this morning is a garden bouquet – a white tea that has been delicately scented with jasmine blossoms. It is called Jasmine Silver Needles.

I have read that it is customary to serve jasmine tea to guests to welcome them to your home. What a lovely way to welcome someone.

The tea buds are plucked in early spring and processed as white tea. The buds remind me of little pea pods. Once the jasmine plants get ready to bloom, the flower buds are plucked in the early morning and kept cool all day. As early evening approaches, the flower buds are mixed with the tea buds. As the night blooming jasmine flowers open, the tea buds absorb their scent. This process is repeated every day over the course of a week. So, a lot of work goes into creating this beautiful, unique tea.

I steeped the tea for 3 minutes in 180 degree F water. Another name for this tea could be Jasmine Silver Swords. What do you think?

A candy sweet, floral aroma greeted me the moment I lifted the lid of my glass teapot. The pale, straw-colored liquor is quite sweet and softly floral, allowing the mellow whisper of white tea to come forward as well.

As I sat quietly and sipped my tea, I thought about how many times we can get lost in our thoughts and, at those times, we aren’t really fully inhabiting our bodies. You know that spacey, kind of out of it feeling you can get? Yup, you’re not fully in your body. You’re off somewhere else, in the inner space of thought energy.

There are many ways, exercise being one of them, that can bring us back into our bodies and away from the hamster wheel of thoughts running through our minds. Sipping and appreciating a delicious cup of tea is another way. What do you do to bring yourself back into your body? I meditate and do yoga and have even been learning T’ai Chi again. And, of course, I drink tea!

Have a great week, dear tea friends!

“And the day came when the risk [it took] to remain tight in the bud was more painful than the risk it took to blossom.” 

~Anais Nin

Saturday Morning Tea

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Yesterday on my birthday, a colleague brought in a blooming periwinkle colored hyacinth as a gift for me. As it was the coldest day on record in years and springtime seems so very far away, it brought hope and a beautiful fragrance to my day.  Thank you Rebecca! With the memory of that heavenly fragrance still permeating my being, I have chosen a white jasmine tea for my morning cuppa. It is called Jasmine Downy White Pekoe.

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A white tea is scented with jasmine blossoms to create the ethereal beauty of this tea. Early in the springtime, tea buds are gently plucked from the tea bushes. These buds are so new that they are still covered with the white down of the just emerged growth. They are newly born. The tea buds are dried and then heated to halt the oxidation process that would turn them dark.

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I steeped the delicate leaf in 180 degree F water for 3 minutes.

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It is important to remember that this tea is not flavored, it is scented. Since the tea leaf is so sensitive to picking up the scents and aromas to anything that is placed by it, it is perfect for scenting with flower blossoms. Once the jasmine is blooming in the summertime, the leaves are laid out and the jasmine blossoms are laid over them. This process is repeated until the tea master is satisfied with the level of scenting. There are no dried blossoms mixed with this tea. Its fragrant jasmine aroma and flavor come directly from the scented leaf. The delicate herbaceous quality of the white tea blends perfectly with the jasmine. Truly an aromatherapy experience!

jasminedownywhiteliquor0117I treated myself to a big bouquet of orange carnations this week. In my healing process, I am trying to bring as much warmth into my life as possible to thaw out this frozen shoulder of mine. The beautiful salmon orange color of the flowers brings color and sunshine to my spirit.

As I focus on healing, I have been, unfortunately, away from my studio and my artwork. I yearn to feel my materials in my hands, weaving them together to express what is present in my soul. I am hoping to return to my studio soon and my Studio Wednesday posts as the pain heals and I regain more mobility. A big thank you to all of my readers for their patience as I continue to step back from my creative side just now.

Of winter’s lifeless world each tree

Now seems a perfect part;

Yet each one holds summer’s secret

Deep down within its heart.

~Charles G. Stater