Hamilton's first Crafternoon workshop of 2015 will be simply adorable and adorably simple- we will be making hand-stitched and customised little tea bags!
After visiting the rolling hills of tea plantations in Sri Lanka's Hill Country, learning
about the process of manufacturing tea and of course sampling (and buying!) lots of Ceylon teas, it was inevitable there would be some creativiTEA brewing!
The terraced planatations around Nuwara Eliya and Ella are just breathtaking- me and my selfie stick simply don't do the place justice:
I firstly visited Finlay's Tea Factory in Ella where they make various grades of Newburgh Green Teas, graded depending on all sorts of factors from how high the leaves were picked, at what time of year, how well the leaves roll into little balls and, of course, their delicacy and flavour. Photography wasn't permitted in most areas so you'll have to bear with me!
Looking glamorous in my hair and foot nets!
This factory was modern, machine-based and pretty touristy, so I was interested to learn more about traditional tea production, and this time black tea- my cup of choice (milk, no sugar).
Kinellan Tea Factory near Ella was humid, authentic and atmospheric- I learned much more about tea manufacturing at this factory, and got to see up close the incredibly hard working staff slaving away amid piles (I mean PILES, higher than me, sat on the floor, everywhere) of black tea. One highlight was when the fans that dry the fermented tea for almost a whole day were turned on and I was momentarily in a tea-storm, little warm rolled leaves flying up from their drying rack all over me, ready to be swept into piles.
Yeah that's me amid the tea!
I ended up buying quite a few different types of Ceylon tea from different regions, (mostly B.O.P- broken orange pekoe, the type favoured by Australia and the UK), and that's why I thought it'd be fun to have a tea-themed Crafternoon. We will stitch teabags into heart shapes, sew intials or designs into square bags, add cute tags and maybe even some quirky tea people like these awesome ones by German brand Donkey Products:
With a spoonful of learning, a cupful of crafting and a dash of fun, this next Crafternoon is set to be just my cup of tea!
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