Page:An account of the manufacture of the bla.pdf/12

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prevent these baskets from slipping off when pushed against it. The two pounds of hot leaves are now divided into two or three parcels, and distributed to as many men, who stand up to the table with the leaves right before them, and each placing his legs close together; the leaves are next collected into a ball, which he gently grasps in his left hand, with the thumb extended, the fingers close together, and the hand resting on the little finger. The right hand must be extended in the same manner as the left, but with the palm turned downwards, resting on the top of the ball of tea leaves. Both hands are now employed to roll and propel the ball along; the left hand pushing it on, and allowing it to revolve as it moves; the right hand also pushes it forward, resting on it with some force, and keeping it down to express the juice which the leaves contain. The art lies here in giving the ball a circular motion and permitting it to turn under and in the hand two or three whole revolutions, before the arms are extended to their full length, and drawing the ball of leaves quickly back without leaving a leaf behind, being rolled for about five minutes in this way (fig. 8). The ball of tea leaves is from time to time gently and delicately opened with the fingers, lifted as high as the face, and then allowed to fall again, This is done two or three times, to separate the leaves; and afterwards the basket with the leaves is lifted up as often, and receives a circular shake to bring these towards the centre. The leaves are now taken back to the hot pans and spread out in them as before, being again turned with the naked hand, and when hot taken out and rolled; after which they are put into the drying basket (fig. 9) and spread on a sieve, which is in the centre of the basket,