Tuesday, January 29, 2019

Tea Time

Let's talk Tea...
As we continue to pursue more nutritious eating habits and seek out
foods that are more beneficial to our overall health,
we have discovered that tea is one of the things at the top of the list.
It shares the limelight with power foods such as soy, fish, nuts,
 seeds, powerhouse grains, green leafy vegetables and most fruits.
Many of us realize at this point that tea, whether it's black or green,
 contains naturally occurring, highly beneficial antioxidants.
Tea also contains the neurotransmitter theanine,
 which despite the caffeine content,
is responsible for that wonderful feeling of relaxation 
we enjoy as we sip our favorite brew. 
Another vitally important substance this delicious drink contains
 is polyphenols, which play an important role in fighting 
all kinds of diseases along with the aging process.
So I say make that pot of tea and drink up!
Here's a guideline for Brewing Temperatures and Steeping Times:

Delicate Tea - 160 degrees - 2 minutes
Green Tea - 175 degrees - 2-3 minutes
White Tea - 185 degrees - 2 minutes
Oolong Tea - 190 degrees - 2 minutes
Black Tea - Boil - 3- 5 minutes
Herbal Tea - Boil -4-8 minutes

Always use the purest water you can along with the best quality 
 tea possible to ensure peak health benefits as well as your total happiness.
Tea is a whole mind and body experience.
Whether you are brewing an individual cup or a small pot 
 for just yourself or you're getting out a large teapot to prepare 
for special guests, the entire process of tea time should be savored.
The choosing of tea, the setting out of cups and teapot,
sugar, honey and milk if needed, tiny spoons and sugar tongs, 
it should all begin to clear the mind,
soothe the soul and build the anticipation.
A nice cup of tea is the perfect start to your morning
or the best end to your long day as you seek out 
 a quiet spot to be at rest with a warm mug of your 
favorite choice steaming its way through your senses,
and smoothing out the tensions stored up in your spirit.
 For the most part I prefer my tea as is...
Without anything added to it.
On occasion I will add just a dollop or two of raw honey
if I'm drinking African Rooibos or Honeybush Tea 
because I think it actually enhances the flavor.
I love all types of tea but I am very particular about the whole process of it.
My favorite kind is always going to be in the Black Tea category.
As much as I adore most black teas my absolute first love is
If you've never experienced Rose Petal Tea 
you should give this one a try. 
It's a subtle, rather delicate tasting black tea.
Also you should definitely enjoy the pure pleasure
of loose leaf tea if you have never done so before.
I promise you won't be disappointed!
Personally, I drink tea throughout my day.
It's one of my biggest, truest , deepest delights in life
and I figure it's probably usually 4 o'clock somewhere...

As for the tea cozy, 
I made this one for a custom order and will be 
shipping it out of state this week.
The knitted body of the cozy is my own design,
 while the crocheted rose is a pattern I modify slightly at times.
I've made countless tea cozies like this one over the years
in so many colors with different flowers to suit individual requests.
The two things that never change are that they are always made of 100% wool
to retain heat and keep your tea nice and warm and that I absolutely love
the whole creative process of designing each individual cozy.
Crocheted Rose

Row 1:  Ch 55, 1 dc in 4th ch from hook.
*Ch 1, skip 2ch, (1 dc, ch2, 1 dc) in next st.* 
Repeat from *to* to end.
Row 2:   Ch 3, (1 dc, ch2, 2dc) into first ch-2 space.
*(Ch2, 2dc, ch2, 2dc) in next ch-2 space.*
Repeat from*to* to end.
Row 3:  6 dc into first ch-2 space, 1 sc into next ch-2 space.
(7 dc into next ch-2 space, 1 sc into next ch-2 space) 12times.
(9dc into next ch-space, 1sc into next ch-2 space) 5 times.
Leave long tail for sewing.
Fasten off.
Coil into a rose and stitch together.

This is the original pattern.
 I have no idea where I got it because years ago 
I wrote it out onto a large index card that stays tucked in a drawer.
The way I change it up as needed is to chain less than 55 for a smaller rose
or use different weights of yarn. The flower pictured was crocheted holding
a double strand of worsted weight wool for a bold effect.
I also at times alter the amount of double crochets I do in the last 5 shells.
For example, sometimes instead of doing 9 double crochet stitches
 in each I do 8 in the first couple then finish the rest with 7 in each.
I play around with it to see what looks best depending on
what the particular item is that the rose will be attached to.
I encourage you to enjoy tea by yourself for its many benefits
and to share it with friends and family as often as you can.
In my home it's the first thing that's offered to all who enter.
I find it goes perfectly with everything from food, to crocheting,
 knitting, laughing and the sharing of ones day
 or it simply stands beautifully all on its own
as the only company you need at times.

"Drinking tea bespeaks a quest that one offers
to his friends for the beauty of gestures,
of objects and of the heart."
-Sogaku of the Hayami School 

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