Imperial Jasmine Pearls
Is there a better way to relax in the morning than taking a leisurely sip of Imperial Jasmine Pearl tea? It has enough caffeine to wake me up without giving me that knockout punch. I feel a sense of peace and comfort, usually associated with bedtime herbal teas, and yet my mind is clear because I am wide awake. Besides, I appreciate the unintrusive, yet exquisite, fragrance in my mouth that will last for a long time through the morning.
Such a fine tea exists because of the loving practice of honoring old-time traditions—by craftsmen who keep alive the art of making a tea worthy of representing their region (this was done as a tribute to the Emperor during the time when China was ruled by emperors). The process of making this particular tea is quite tedious. There is no artificial infusion of fragrance, just the patient practice of spreading a layer of fresh Jasmine blossoms on choice tea leaf tips that are then spread onto a sieve and left in the shade. The next morning, the flowers are winnowed out and replaced with new blossoms. This process is repeated at least four to five times before the tea leaves are finally hand rolled into pearls and dried in an airy, bright place in indirect sunlight..
As I ponder over the process of making Imperial Jasmine Pearl tea, it occurs to me that we live in an in a time that is dominated by all things artificial. As a nation and as a world of nations, we have not kept alive some good and laudable old-time traditions such as grace, kindness, and honesty. Although some of us may think that the practicing of these virtues by our forebears are pure myth, the truth is, these were the goals and ideals of many people. It also seems that these days, many people allow that artificialness to take over their minds and hearts, and as a result, ‘whatever the heart thinks the mouth utters’. St. Paul said it so powerfully centuries ago when he reminded us to practice “whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable…”
I believe that change has to begin with each person. I have determined that for me, I will practice graciousness and patience—even when circumstances are not conducive to such behavior. Sometimes, standing in another persons shoes can make such practices easier. For example, maybe the waitress who ruined your morning is a single mother with three jobs, and yet still does not make enough to pay her rent. Maybe she worried about that all night long and was therefore tired and unable to perform her job on par. While standing in another person’s shoes can help, being gracious and patient requires more than just that. It requires wisdom and a measure of humility that must be infused into our very beings and contain nothing artificial or superficial.
My hope is that Imperial Jasmine Pearl tea will forever remind me that a better version of me is possible, and that I have promised myself to practice being joyful, grateful, gracious, patient and kind! I may not achieve my goal even at my last breath, but I hope it is not for lack of trying.