That would be these.
My friend Kary and I went out for coffee yesterday morning and the coffee shop had these in a glass on the counter. So here I am, ordering my frozen blended coffee concoction and eyeing these. Pretty, aren’t they? Well, of course Kary notices me looking at them. And being the good friend that she is, SHE knows just WHY I’m looking at them. And laughs at me. 😉 Now don’t get me wrong – I LOVE tea. More of a coffee person these days, but love the occasional cup of tea. Especially a good tea. But of course, I wasn’t originally thinking of drinking these, lol.
Did some research on these and here’s what I found:
Tea enriched with the fragrance of jasmine flowers has been a favorite since the Sung Dynasty ruled China 800 years ago. The jasmine plant was brought to China from Persia before the third century. These intoxicatingly fragrant flowers first made their appearance in tea around the fifth century.
Dragon Phoenix Pearl gets its name from the tea bushes “climbing the hillsides like a Dragon rising from the waters”. It is grown in a mountainous, often fog shrouded area near the border of the Fujian and Jiangxi provinces. Dragon Phoenix Pearl is one of the finest jasmines shipped from the port of Foochow.
The tea is plucked in April and May and stored until August when the finest jasmine blossoms are in bloom. Night blooming white jasmine flowers are picked in the morning when the tiny petals are tightly closed and kept cool until nightfall. In the early evening the flowers begin to open with a popping sound which is the signal for the scenting to begin.
Once open, the “mating” of the jasmine and tea leaves takes place in several applications, each taking up to four hours, after which the jasmine petals are removed. Once the petals are removed each leaf and bud set are skillfully hand rolled into a tiny pearl size ball. The tea is then wrapped in silk mesh and dried to set the form.
During infusion the boiling water causes the tiny pearls to open like flowers and then sink slowly to the bottom of the cup. We recommend placing 18 to 20 of these tiny pearls in a clear glass cup to watch their graceful unfurling. The superb fresh bouquet, delicate flavor and unique leaf shape make this tea extra special.
Let me tell you – these smell AMAZING. So I bought some. Kary followed me home to watch (she knew) and the minute I got in the door I tried to poke a hole in one with a needle tool. I tried stabilizing them with Future Floor Finish first (just turned their pretty colors to a dark, shiny brown). I tried wetting them down first. Unfortunately, there just is not a way to string these.
So with Kary giggling and offering helpful suggestions along the way (I am soooo converting her to a crafty girl!), I began testing other options. I cut a small piece of acrylic and began gluing the pearls onto it using Helmar’s 450 Quick Dry Adhesive. Kary suggested it might look better if I added some color to the acrylic so I pulled out some alcohol inks and dabbed the back, then added a silver bail and popped it onto a hemp cord. I actually braided some of the cord but forgot to string it before tying off the knots and didn’t feel like re-doing it for the photo, lol. But anyways. Here’s my tea pendant.
And yes – it tastes every bit as heavenly as it smells!
Filed under: Altered, beads, DT Work, Helmar, Jewelry | 4 Comments »