Monday, April 9, 2007

Morning Ritual, spam reading -- and tea

T. my oldest friend (since kindergarten) and roommate is sitting next to me at The Wife's computer, reading me excerpts out of his spam log. "Jade wants me to know that I can extend my Johnson." "Wow, I didn't even know you could extend your Johnson... only hear about it 500 - 600 times a day over email, I must be stubborn." "You gotta love emails that just say "an acre" or "it is" in the title -- WTF is that?"

We are both dazed and not awake and haven't even had tea. I've been drinking a lot more tea lately (don't do coffee at the moment, I'll explain later), because we have an enormous box of testers from our friends who own The Jasmine Pearl Tea Merchants. Hmm, is it more appropriate to say who ARE the Jasmine Pearl Tea Merchants?

Anyway, our family has been part of their tasting team for quite a while now, and we have this box full of samples from India that we're working through. Jasmine Pearl doesn't carry anything to my knowledge that isn't basically the very best they could find in the whole world. Their options are narrowing -- and much of the stuff they receive from wholesalers to test out now isn't even worth drinking (in that context, at least).

So we're taking the bullet and trying out all this tea. We've found 2 out of the maybe 20 we've tested so far that are worth a squat. Some have been mediocre (fine for us, not good enough for JPTM), some have been downright bad. Like -- really bad. One tasted, honest to goodness, like water from an ashtray. Not a good wood-fire ashtray, but a cigarette ashtray. A nice smoky Lobsang tea it wasn't. Another tasted like it had gotten mold on it during drying and nobody caught it before it was shipped out.

Overall, our impression is that for whole leaf teas, India might consider sticking with black teas -- and let Taiwan, China, and Thailand deal with the greens and oolongs.

So I have to wrap this up, as we have water to boil and teas to try. This is of course done on the bitching wood-fired pottery I mentioned earlier. It's a rough job but someone's got to do it.


Kate said...

<--turning green with envy

Bpaul said...


Bpaul said...

If it's any consolation, I didn't have time to hit the tea as I anticipated, missed my bus and had to beg a ride to school from T.

Not quite the morning I had signed up for.

Shocho said...

Ooh, getting lots of samples of different kinds of tea to sample sounds terrific.

Ick, getting occasional samples of weird alien bad tea to sample sounds awful.

Shangri-La would be pleased, however.

Tate said...

JPTM people are fantastic, what a fun time at T's b-day party eating great food and *sigh* only getting to watch the tea drinking.. i cant wait until after june when i can do Caffeine again...