Sunday, April 22, 2007

Tea and Tirade: Sunday Morning at its best

I'm feeling fantastic this morning, I'm not hacking up pieces of lung, I'm slowly catching up on schoolwork, and I had fucking FANTASTIC tea first thing.

As you may remember T. and I have been working our way through some sub-par samples from India for The Jasmine Pearl Tea Merchants. It's a rough gig, testing teas, but we take on our portion of the labor for our friends at the shop.

So this morning, T. suggested we have a "real oolong" -- one of the primo standard oolongs that Jasmine Pearl stocks, instead of trying out more samples. The samples, once you get out of what India knows best in tea -- blacks -- were very hit and miss, mostly miss. So, we've been drinking bad tea for weeks now, basically. T. pulls out some Jade Oolong off our shelf, one of Richard's beautiful wood-fired teapots (perfect for two folks) that we have, and we did it up right.

Holy Cow the difference was staggering! I mean, really staggering. The first cup was absolutely full, the flavors ranging from floral to grassy, with plenty of "Gan." Gan is hard to describe, but it's basically a fullness of taste that lasts on the tongue and changes over time. It's one of my favorite aspects of premium high-mountain Oolong teas from Taiwan. You just can't get that quality in low-elevation teas. The flavor lasted through, oh I think 7 or 8 brewings, ending in a nice palate-cleansing grassy astringency, letting us know the tea was brewed out. Fantastic experience.

For some reason there was an Orgonian newspaper sitting around on the living room floor, maybe they are accidentally delivering the Sunday Only editions to us again. Happens all the time. Right on the bottom of the front page is an article about a debate raging in Milwaukie, an eastern suburb of Portland known for a weird mix of redneck/rural flavors with more standard Portland South East activist/green types.

This debate was centered around hanging clothes on clotheslines. It's one of the voluntary simplicity moves that are becoming so popular in Portland lately. Maybe huge environmental problems won't be solved by this type of thing, but it's got a great Luddite feel to it, saves money for electricity, and makes clothes smell great. Apparently there's a contingent in Milwaukie that wants to make it illegal in their city, calling it an eyesore. This set T. *right* off. "These dam people need to get out of the country, need to see a 3rd-world country! My God! Pull your head out! It's *laundry* for God's Sake! What if your dryer is broken? What if you are poor and trying to save on power bills? These people need to see multi-colored saris drying along the edges of rice fields -- how gorgeous that is. God, look at me, one little headline and I completely lose it. That's why I don't read the paper, I swear."

It was a good tear he got on, I was impressed -- we hadn't even had caffeine yet.

The conversation then turned to the dangers of remaining single and insular into later adulthood. How this seems to create some serious problems for folks including solipsism, a resistance to "getting out and mingling" because hanging out with folks who don't share your world view leads to problematic situations demanding introspection, eccentricity, strengthening false world views and philosophical beliefs, among other things. This was rich conversation fodder and I think I'll need to visit it in another posting, as I have to get going with my day.


Bentley said...

Mmmmm tea.
I was going to try and write something really interesting and worth while.. but now i just really want tea. :P

Tate said...

cant wait for july when i can have tea again....
strange that milwaukie doesnt want clothes on the line, considering some of the trash that lives out there

Bpaul said...

LOL Bentley *wiggles fingers* youuuu wannnntttt teeeeeaaaaa

Tate, maybe you hit it on the head -- the "white trash" element is giving hanging laundry out a bad name.

Granny panties in the front yard for the win?

Bentley said...

Being able to see clean clothing might make them feel inadequate. It also might arouse feelings of guilt and frustration at that inability to get off their lazy white trash asses and make themselves worth something. and all this will lead to a ban on the words "Clean" and "Fresh" and make it mandatory for all laundry mats to Tint their windows..

Bpaul said...

Bentley bently, I don't envy your encounter with whomever pissed in your wheaties this morning.

(he's normally such a nice young man, everyone, honest)


forcedentry said...

Well, I, for one, have a problem with solipsism. Anybody not sharing my world view is downright wrong! The burden falls on their shoulders to seek me out for correction - until then, they are "introspecting" their own ass! Line-drying laundry is the best way to achieve fresh-smelling, coarse, abrasive jeans. And nothing beats a pair of jeans which not only protect from the elements, but also exfoliate! Rednecks do not know this little secret because they have not come to me for life-altering advice.

Bentley said...

I rant i rant! no one needs to piss in my Wheaties. :P