Solo Taking Stock and Restocking

Ado harvests and processes tea leaves for Mhakula Teahouse[Job Thread]

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The Diamond of Kalea is located on Kalea's extreme west coast and called as such because its completely made of a crystalline substance called Skyglass. Home of the Alvina of the Stars, cultural mecca of knowledge seekers, and rife with Ethaefal, this remote city shimmers with its own unique light.

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Taking Stock and Restocking

Postby Adoian on May 8th, 2021, 7:24 pm

15th Day of Spring, 521 AV
Lhavit

Syna's light had just peaked over the horizon as the citizens of Lhavit woke from their dawn rest. The sounds of morning songbirds filled the air as parents readied their children for the day, cooking breakfasts and fretting over getting them clothed. Ado rolled over and sat up in his bed, stretching and yawning then going to wash his face and rinse his mouth from the small bucket of water in his home. He went and sat in front of his altars, meditating for a few chimes and listening to his neighbor, Ellie, hum as she worked in her garden. Ellie had been living in the Okomo Estates since before Ado was born, and seemed to be the first person awake every morning. A retired healer from the Catholicon, she now spends her days tending to her small garden or wandering the city with her friends and family. Her husband of 53 years passed away two summers ago, so she spends more time with their children and grandchildren, cooking meals or taking them out to places around the city almost every day.

"Good morning, Ellie," Ado waved to her, stepping into his own garden after dressing and fixing his hair. She looked up and smiled, waving back.

"Hi Adoian, will you be at the teahouse today?" She asked. Knowing Ado since birth, and being a close friend to his own grandparents, Ellie is one of the few people that calls him by his full first name. Even most of his family only refers to him by his nickname.

"Yes, the tea plants need to be trimmed and we have to restock the leaves. Our reserves from last Spring are running low so Guzo will be running the dining room today while I'm in the gardens." Ado bent down to inspect the tomato saplings, which were just beginning to sprout. He had installed wooden trellises a couple of weeks ago for the green beans and tomatoes. Being opportunistic growers, the green beans had sprouted quickly and were nearly six inches tall now. Ado knew, however, that once the tomatoes' roots were established they would be as tall as him in just a couple of months.

"And your sister?"

"Training. Many in the city have piqued an interest in martial arts. She has had a full house for weeks." Most of the recent newcomers to Atsuya's training gym were young men and women looking to defend themselves or fill some leisure time. Occasionally, Ado was volunteered for demonstrations.

"I see. Well, I'll be taking Patra out to the market for a dress fitting later today. Perhaps we will stop for some tea." Patra was Ellie's eldest granddaughter and was to be wed in the summer to a fisherman. Ado and Patra had grown up together and even dated briefly but they mutually decided to end things when they realized their interests were just too different. They were good friends now but rarely saw each other, especially with all of the preparations to be done for her wedding.

"I'll be sure to say hello when you do," Ado replied, giving her a quick smile, then standing up, "I'm going to get some water from the well pump, do you need any?" He asked.

"Oh no, thank you. I went for some earlier." Ado nodded, then grabbed his bucket and went out his garden gate, heading for the community well.

The small neighborhood was bustling, many people were already out running their morning errands, tending to gardens, or heading to workplaces. Some children were playing in the Okomo fields, being sure to leave the creatures be. The air was quite dry, as the rain had been scarce, but the temperature was mild, still with a little bite from winter. Today was the first day of this work period for Ado, and he would have three more days to go before his rest days. That would be plenty of time to harvest and process leaves before the next new buds sprouted. Since Morwen decided to stop bringing the snows to their city, the tea plants did not go dormant in the winter. So between him, Atsuya, and Guzo, pruning was to be done frequently and diligently. The growth was somewhat slowed during the colder months, meaning harvesting was only done a few times, with many of the fruits, herbs, and flowers becoming a priority.

There was a small group of people gathered around the pump, chatting while waiting their turn to fill their own buckets. Ado stood off to one side so as not to intrude on their conversation while he waited for them to be done. Despite this, he couldn't help but eavesdrop.

"And so what if it is? I haven't been asked by anybody yet and the wedding's only a week away!" One of the women, wearing a bright red dress exclaimed, speaking to a different woman, who was in a muted blue dress with slits up both sides. Ado recognized them from around the neighborhood but wasn't able to remember their names.

"Well, the reception is going to be right in the plaza, and the Heart's festival will still be going on as well. I'm sure you will find somebody to spend the night with." The woman in the blue dress replied, giving a wink. They must have been talking about the wedding of the Craven and Dusk families. It was the talk of the whole city and this wasn't the first time Ado had heard people complain that nobody had asked them to be their date. He didn't plan to go with anybody, rather he would bring some white and yellow flowers and serve tea with his family.

"Aye, but I just don't understand it," The other person at the pump interjected, a tall, middle-aged gentleman with a trimmed beard and full belly, "This Craven family, mysterious in all of their ways, moves here three years ago and manages to get only the wealthiest family of Lhavit wrapped around their fingers? I hear they have dealings with ghosts... seems a bit strange if you ask me."

The woman in the red dress shook her head, "You're just a bit jealous, yeah? Chiona Dusk is a rather gorgeous woman, despite the rumors about her and the Dawn Tower girl. I would probably fall in love with her too if she gave me some attention." She was done pumping now and gave it over to the blue dress woman.

"And even if it was purely for reasons of politics and wealth," she continued, "What's it to ya? Your wife and kids are happy and healthy, there's no reason for the suspicion."

Ado smiled and looked out at the Okomo fields, watching the beasts wander and graze so as not be obvious that he was listening.

"I still don't trust it." The man mumbled, now pumping water into his own bucket. The group finished, said their farewells, and dispersed. Ado pumped water into his own bucket, then made his way back home. He filled his watering can leaving about half of the bucket full, then went to water his garden. So far he had planted green beans, tomatoes, onions, and carrots, each vegetable having a dedicated corner of the garden. Once he finished up, he put the can and the bucket back in his home. He grabbed his satchel, stuffed his journal along with the ink vial and pen, and his waterskin into it, then left, heading for the Mhakula Teahouse.

WC: 1,247
Last edited by Adoian on July 13th, 2021, 6:26 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Adoian
Tea is always a good idea
 
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Taking Stock and Restocking

Postby Adoian on May 10th, 2021, 7:40 pm

Ado walked through Shinyama peak quickly, the clubs and bars quiet until nightfall. Springwater Square was milling with a few people, its gorgeous fountain flowing powerfully. Ado continued to the much busier Zintia peak, Surya Plaza brimming with citizens doing their shopping and going out for breakfast. Mhakula Teahouse sat further back from the plaza, reached by a winding gravel path. A garden and several small gazebos surrounded the building.

As Ado walked up, he noted the new leaves with small white buds at the tops of the tea plants, some of them still lined with fine white hairs. The plants were pruned down so they stood about three feet high, almost reaching his hips. The gentle winds blew the smell of fresh greens to him. He breathed it in, feeling a sense of calm and serenity wash over him. It was the smell of home, where he belonged.

He walked up the steps to the teahouse and opened the front door, ringing the bell that announces a customer's entry. Only one table was occupied with two elder gentlemen, gently talking, and sipping on their black tea. They were regulars, coming in at the same time every morning, always ordering the same thing. Guzo stood behind the counter, putting mugs away from the back room.

"Ado! It has been ages! Look at me, I've gone all grey waiting for you!" Guzo exclaimed with a big smile. He came around the counter and toward Ado with arms outstretched.

"I just saw you three days ago, Guzo." Ado answered, accepting the hug and squeezing his grandfather back. He was used to the old man's jokes, yet Guzo never let up.

"Ah, with that shyke again. I am always missing my grandchildren!" He let go of Ado and patted him twice on the shoulder before heading back to the counter.

"I'm happy to see you too. The days can be too long without you around." Ado said. Guzo chuckled.

"I keep you busy, boy. Without me, those restless feet of yours would have walked you right off the edge of the world." The old man said, grabbing a mug and wiping out the inside of it with a dry rag as Ado sat at the counter, setting his satchel on a different stool.

"At least your intentions are pure. Share a pot with me?" Ado asked. Guzo nodded and pulled two mugs down, setting them on the counter. The coals were already burning brightly on the wood stove, Guzo usually tried to leave them burning low all night to keep the building warm. He had several iron kettles filled with water already, and he put one of these on top of the stove. Ado took after his grandfather in that his favorite tea was a regular green, no milk, no sugar.

“One cup, then I need you to start harvesting. There is much to be done today and Atsuya will be too busy with training to spend any time in the gardens.” Guzo said while portioning leaves into an infuser, enough to steep one kettle’s worth.

“Of course. And what of the herbs, fruits, and flowers?” Ado asked. He noticed on the way in that the jasmine flowers in the greenhouse were blooming, as well as many of the plants in the herb garden.

“Yes, yes you will get to them another day. Your hands will be full with the tea today so let’s just focus on that.” There were hundreds of tea plants and Ado would be the only one able to harvest them today. He doubted whether he would be able to get it all done today, but Guzo seemed to have faith in the young brewer. Either way, Guzo would let him finish the job tomorrow if there was any leftover from today.

“Okay. Should I be prioritizing anything?” Ado asked.

“Hm, I haven’t checked the stashes in the pantry but from what I see on the shelves… why don’t you do a little bit extra black?” Guzo suggested.

“Can do.” Ado answered. The kettle began to whistle a second later and Guzo turned and put it on the higher shelf to let it cool a moment before steeping the leaves. Ado thought for a second.

“Have the prices for the imports been raised?” Ado asked. Guzo scoffed and shook his head.

“Last Spring, Sykan traders say they will make a deal, 15 kina for a pound of cocoa, and a free cup of tea whenever their ship lands at Port Tranquil. I said fine, one free cup whenever your crew is in Lhavit. This year they say they do not want the deal, 18 kina per pound! I understand that the long trip is quite an expense for them but if I could grow the stuff in these mountains, I would be living in the Dusk Tower!” Guzo complained, throwing his hands up and raising his voice so the men at the table even caught notice. “And don’t even get me started with bergamot!”

Most of the herbs and flavorings needed for the different teas offered were grown right in the gardens but many things simply could not survive in Lhavits climate. Namely cocoa, cinnamon, lemons, bergamot, ginger, and vanilla. Those plants need hot, humid air to thrive which was too difficult and pricey for the teahouse to grow in a controlled greenhouse, so they opted to have it shipped in. However, it proved to create good trade relationships with farmers in Falyndar, relationships that Mhakula Teahouse has maintained for almost two hundred years.

“Would it be more cost-efficient to process the beans ourselves?” Ado asked.

“Perhaps, but we do not have the tools and equipment, or the space to put it anywhere in the kitchen,” Guzo sighed then shrugged, “Ah, well, more free tea for my loyal customers, then.”

He took the kettle off the high shelf and dipped the infuser in it. The water surrounding the mesh ball began to bleed green, running out in spirally rivulets until all the water was dyed a light yellowish green. The scent coming from it was familiar and soothing. Guzo let it steep for only a couple of chimes before taking the infuser and setting it on a small dish. He poured tea into the mugs, then handed one of them to Ado. Ado took it and gently sipped on it. It was fresh and bitter, the taste lingering in his mouth in a way that made him want to drink more, just the way he liked it.

“Mm, sometimes this is what I look forward to the most every day.” Ado said. Guzo nodded and grumbled in agreement. They sipped on their teas in comfortable silence, the gentle conversation of the only two customers filling the space. It would be only a matter of chimes before Atsuya would arrive and start setting up the gym for her first students. Then it would be time for Ado to start working. For now, he enjoyed his grandfather’s company and let the tea warm up his body.

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Tea is always a good idea
 
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Taking Stock and Restocking

Postby Adoian on May 13th, 2021, 6:46 pm

A few more patrons filtered into the café, finding tables to sit at and waiting for Guzo to come to take their orders. At this time of the morning, many of the customers were elderly, retired men and women, loyal customers for many years. Guzo was happy to chat after dropping off their tea, even sitting with some of his older friends for a moment to share gossip and pick up on new rumors.

Ado finished the last of his tea and set the mug on the counter. Guzo could put it in the bus bin under the counter for him. He grabbed his satchel after standing then walked to the backroom, waving, and smiling at familiar faces as he passed. He did not feel as particularly fond of engaging in small talk the way Guzo did, which was a lot of the reason that Guzo had him in the back, working on making blends and infusions. It was not out of shyness or fear of rejection, Ado could talk with people just fine, but pleasantries did not interest him as much as the nitty-gritty details of something that person is passionate about. He likes to dig deep and uncover the scope of their self-awareness. However, it isn’t easy to find a stranger that is receptive to such a conversation without being put off at first.

The bell to the front door rung again as someone entered, and Atsuya’s voice soon followed.

“Guzo!” She exclaimed cheerfully. Ado heard what sounded like a large duffel bag hit the floor then her presumably running to embrace the old man.

“Ah, it is good to see you, my child!” Guzo responded, groaning a bit as Atsuya squeezed him. She let him go. Ado didn’t bother peeking around the corner to say hi to her, he knew she would come up for a break in a few bells.

“Have my students arrived yet?” She asked.

“Yes, I’ve seen a few come in and head right downstairs. More will show soon.” Guzo responded.

“Good. Any latecomers get an extra 25 laps around the gym!” She laughed. Guzo chuckled a bit.

“Don’t give ‘em any leniency. They’ll learn the hard way.” He said. Her footsteps retreated toward the stairs that led down to the basement.

“I’ll be up for noon rest.” She called as she retreated into the lower chamber.

Ado went back to focusing on his tasks for the day. In the pantry was stored several 4-gallon casks, each containing tea leaves under different processing.

The shelves were full of 32-ounce jars, holding teas being flavored with flowers, herbs, and fruits. One shelf was dedicated just to storing the casks, holding plain leaves without flavorings. The other two shelves were full of a mix of jars of teas with flavorings, many different types of blends, some were just raw, unprocessed ingredients yet to be added to any teas. Today, Ado’s job was to refill the tea leaf casks. He checked inside each one, took out his journal, and made a couple of notes to remind him of how much there was of each type. The top shelf was where black tea was stored, the middle shelf green, and white on the bottom shelf. There were two casks dedicated to each type of tea.

Next, he went out into the kitchen to set his belongings down and grab the tools he would need to collect leaves. He decided to grab the largest reed basket and a pair of scissors, which would leave clean cuts for new leaves to grow back. The basket had a strap attached to it to be slung over the shoulder. He grabbed a separate small basket, in which he would put the buds.

Deciding not to walk through the dining room, Ado went out the back door that led directly to the gardens and got to work, starting on the left with the plants closest to him. He would work his way up and down each row, going around the whole building, coming back in to empty his basket into circular withering racks.

The top, newest leaves were the most important part of the plant to be collected and would provide the freshest results when they were processed. To the large basket, Ado added the bright green leaves. In the small basket were the top buds and the newest leaves that still had white hairs on them. These leaves would be used for making white tea.

The sun was hot and bright, Ado could feel it warming his skin and he broke out in a sweat even though it was not a very strenuous task. The cool breeze was welcome, and soon Ado fell into a sort of trance, his mind wandering as his hands worked.

It took him several bells, and when he was just about done Guzo called him in for the noon rest. He waved to him and said he would be in in a moment. When he finished up with the last of the tea plants, he made his way back into the kitchen and dumped the basket into another withering rack. There was a separate room in the teahouse with three simple bedrolls for the workers to take their rests in. It was darkened by heavy curtains and kept warm by a small fireplace that was just barely burning. Atsuya was already laying down to rest, as was Guzo. Ado settled on his roll and pulled a thin blanket up to his chin. He rolled over and closed his eyes, thankful to rest his body for a couple of hours.

Guzo was first to rise and shook the two gently awake before standing to go reopen the shop. Though they were able to have three different rests throughout the day, it was well-known that by the time the dusk rest came around, they were closed for the night. That gave the siblings enough time to go about their own activities, spending the evenings as they pleased.

It was time now for Ado to process the leaves. This would be fairly easy, considering they needed to wither until the next day before he could do anything else. He made sure to spread them out on the racks as much as possible, keeping the green leaves, white leaves, and buds all separate. He would decide later how much of the buds should be added to each type of leaves. There was ten racks total, which could all be stacked on a metal cart with different rails on it that the racks slid into.

He decided to use four of the racks for black tea, as they needed it the most. Then three racks for green and two for white tea, with one left for the buds.
Once this task was done, Ado stepped back into the dining room. Guzo was behind the counter, talking with the few customers sitting on the stools. He walked up to him and let his conversation stall before interjecting.

“The leaves are drying now; I will be able to do the rest of the processing tomorrow.” Ado told Guzo, pulling out a mug and wiping it with a clean rag as Guzo did earlier, to keep his hands busy.

“Good, just in time for the lunch rush,” Guzo said. Ado nodded and got to work prepping the kettles. He poured water into them by first filling a 2-quart pitcher from the large bucket of water kept in the kitchen, then pouring that water into the kettles. He put two of them on the stove, so there would be hot water ready for the next customer.

Business flowed steadily from that point. When Ellie came in with her granddaughter, Patra, he nodded and greeted them, then went over to their table to take their order.

“Hi, Ado,” Patra said to him when he walked up. He smiled at her.

“Hi, Patra. How did the fitting go?” He asked. She seemed surprised for a moment that he knew about it but realized just as quickly that Ellie must have told him.

“Oh, fine. I’m still undecided on the design, and Nana insists that a long veil will represent my ‘purity’. I think I will have a hard time dancing if I have to avoid stepping on it all night!” She laughed, and Ellie waved her off.

“I think you underestimate the power of a longer veil, but it is not my decision in the end,” Ellie responded, then looked toward Ado, still waiting to take their order, “For now, I will have a jasmine black tea, thank you.”

“And for you?” Ado asked, turning to Patra.

“Ginger white, please.” She spoke. Ado nodded, said he would be back with those soon, then headed to the counter.

There was a long shelf behind the counter, to the right of the stove, holding many 16-ounce jars, each with a different type of tea and tea flavoring. The more popular ones were already mixed and ready to serve. If a customer were to ask for several different flavorings in one cup, Ado would need to pull them from the ingredients separately and mix them in a mortar and pestle before infusing them.

He pulled down the jar of black tea leaves flavored with jasmine petals, one of the more popular mixes, then the ginger white tea. There was a standard amount of leaves to put into one mug, which was measured by specific spoons kept in a cup by the jars. He put one spoonful of each flavor into its own mug, then took one of the kettles that were still hot from the top shelf and poured water into the mugs. The black tea turned a dark, reddish-brown once the water poured over it, the white tea only turning a faint yellow. He put the kettle back on the shelf, then grabbed two small dishes and set each mug on them.

Carefully, he carried the two dishes over to their table and set them down. The ladies thanked him, and he bowed respectfully before going back to the counter.

The rest of the night was much like this, taking orders and pouring tea, cleaning up dishes, and wiping the counter, until the dusk rest was upon them and they closed shop for the night. Atsuya’s students all came up from the basement, looking exhausted. They waved their farewells and Atsuya helped the men clean up. When the store was clean they left, Guzo locked the door behind them, and they went their separate ways. Ado planned to go home to rest and freshen up, then he would meet up with his friends and find something to do in the city.

WC: 1,787

OOCI realize I'm assuming the teahouse already has a lot of equipment, some of which I've put in a price list request form. Please let me know of any issues with this. Thanks!
Also sorry if this is long-winded, still figuring out my style for posting. Trying to make this job a bit more fun.
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Adoian
Tea is always a good idea
 
Posts: 46
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Taking Stock and Restocking

Postby Cleon on July 13th, 2022, 10:13 pm

Image





Grade Award!

Adoian:

Skills:
Cooking: 2
Herbalism: 1
Gardening: 2
Investigation: 1
Meditation: 1
Observation: 3
Socialization: 3

Lore:

Elie: Friendly neighbor
Elie: Physical appearance & mannerisms
Okomo Estates: Location & Appearance
Rumor of a wedding between Craven and Dusk
Guzo: Physical appearance & mannerisms
Guzo’s favorite tea
Mhakula Teahouse: Location & Appearance
Cooking: How to infuse tea in boiling water
Atsuya: Appearance & Mannerisms
Gardening: Harvesting tea leaves
Gardening: Trimming tea plants
Herbalism: Drying out tea leaves on racks
Patra: Elie’s granddaughter
Patra: Appearance & Mannerisms
Cooking: Making a cup of Jasmin black tea
Cooking: Making a cup of Ginger white tea

Feel free to pm me with questions or concerns about your grade, and don’t forget to edit your grade request! :)
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