Monday, 27 August 2012

tasting the Darjeeling and not yet ready for the Nepalese...

The three amigos of questionable tea

Did a tea tasting this weekend. With the lady who sleeps next to me.

She didn't like either tea, and I wasn't much more impressed. Oh well. Can't win them all, eh?

To be fair, these are not top-shelf Darjeelings. I knew that when the samples arrived.

Not going to do a tea review. Other than to say I wouldn't buy these. I suppose that's a review of sorts. I'll hold my tongue rather than go any further.

The Tumsong Darjeeling was the only one I'd drink again...under duress

Wednesday, 22 August 2012

Reviewing tea on the dark side

What tea is this?

I don't read Chinese, so I can't tell you. One of my clients found out I was into tea, which is an understatement, and brought me this. It was ok, not great. However, now I really want to know what it was.

All I know is that it's a green tea and tastes weirdly burnt. Actually, if she hadn't told me it was green, I'd have never guessed it.

That means it might not be. She doesn't read Chinese either. Anyone have any idea what this package says?

I can make it larger if that helps.

Oh, big news over here at the Lahikmajoe Drinks Tea blog. Hasn't been big news here in ages. I've neglected my tea blog for long enough. All that's about to change.

Turns out one of my favourite tea companies is interested in doing something with me.

Exciting, eh?

I've been very careful with such things in the past. Several times, I've had companies approach me who wanted me to write glowing reviews in return for tea.

As Robert Godden says, if your review can be bought then your review isn't worth much. I realise this isn't the standard position on this by many/most tea bloggers. I know for a fact that some tea bloggers will write scathing reviews if a tea is bad.

Those reviewers are the only ones I trust. Really.

If you can find something positive to say about every tea, then you and I are on opposing sides. Think about it.

There are some teas that really are a crime against humanity. If your policy is to never say anything bad about a tea, then you're essentially working for the dark side.

An exaggeration?

I've been known to exaggerate.

So, about the tea company with whom I'm talking. Who could Lahikmajoe possibly be talking about? Hold your horses, bub.

There'll be time enough for that in a future post.

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

tea for the revolution

Twas a bit cryptic over here for a few days, wasn't it?

Planned a blogpost about Revolution Tea, and quickly provided the link and thought I pressed 'save', so that I could write the post at a later time.

And here's what showed up instead:

Revolution Tea

That's it. A post with two words and if you clicked on it, it would've taken you to their website.

Pretty minimalist, don't you think?

I agree.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

wet leaves and drier leaves

in Hamburg looking through the windows at Messmer Momentum's Darjeeling boxes  

Why are most Monsoon tea flush Darjeelings not normally sold outside of their region? Aren't all flushes worth drinking. I've had something called Autumn Flush from at least one company, and it was tasty enough. Certainly not bad. Anything but bad.

Then while I was talking to Michael J. Coffey and Geoff Norman, we got to talking about wet leaves versus drier leaves. Michael was talking about about Taiwanese tea rather than Indian tea, but he made an interesting point.

Apparently, the wetter the leaf is when it's been picked, the lesser quality the resulting tea will be. Now, I'm not a grower. Clearly. Sitting here in my flat in Germany, anything I say about growing tea is based upon very limited information. I read and I listen to tea people more knowledgeable than I, but I'm passing this onto you the way I heard it. My retelling is hopefully accurate.

I found the next thing Michael said to be the most intriguing. Here's what it was:

'There’s a tension between the farmers and the pluckers.  Pluckers want to work early in the morning, because the dew is still on the leaves and they’re plumper. They’ll be paid more for the same amount of work. Farmers know that higher quality tea results from plucking late in the morning.
 Some farmers will make a compromise, and they’ll do both an early and late morning plucking. Afterwards, they’ll sell the two different batches separately; the late morning one being of lesser quality.'

Michael Coffey said that this was true of Taiwan in general, so this doesn't directly relate to Darjeeling tea. The reason I even mentioned my favourite tea growing region of India, is I've often wondered how the rainy season affects the tea grown at that time.

There you have it. Wet leaves = ok, but not necessarily the best. Waiting until later in the morning to pick the leaves makes the resulting tea even better. Well, that's great because I was hoping to sleep in anyway.

Tuesday, 7 August 2012

a turtle and a strawberry

Welcome back to the new and improved Lahikmajoe Drinks Tea.

Have had a bit of a break due to my day job, but hopefully that's settling down so I can devote more time to teablogging. After all, that's what really matter, right?

Some have asked me if I'll ever blog again? Well, I suppose this is an answer to that.

Want to see a photo of a turtle and a strawberry?


What other teablog offers you something like this? None! None, I tell you.

As a matter of fact, this is the first I've ever seen such a photo on a teablog. What does it have to do with tea, you ask?

My answer?

What doesn't it have to do with tea? Strawberry tea. Turtle tea.

My friend Diana, when we were touring in Japan in the early nineties, compared the taste of green tea to turtle pee. After the obvious enquiry as to whether she had personal experience with drinking the urine of the testudo, we agreed that the tea we'd been served by our host actually smelled like turtle urine must someone who had actually tasted turtle pee, which we hadn't...not us.


Oh, you still want the photo, don't you?

Well, here it is: