bah humbug…give me a white monkey

It’s almost Christmas, which means I should probably be writing a holiday-themed blogpost, but that’ll simply have to wait. This is NOT a holiday-themed blogpost.

I’m irritable and frustrated and don’t want much to do with either the holidays or humanity in general. So, how am I going to spend the next little while?
< With a bit of White Monkey tea that I got from Claus Kröger in Hamburg. Why?

Because I’m assuming that monkeys enjoy themselves even when the going gets rough. And I’m curious why there are so many monkey-related things when it comes to tea.

Oolong-picking monkeys have already played a very central role on this blog when Lisa Galaviz went to the Galleria in hopes of setting the monkeys at the tea shop free. Here’s Don’t tell her it’s not tea for your reading pleasure.

And here’s Lisa’s update on the topic in How can they still be out of monkeys?

Just rereading her gem of a blogpost and even a few moments of mine have put me in a bit better mood. Maybe this tea lark isn’t so bad, after all.

Don’t tell her it’s not tea

There were so many things I wanted to do on the old teablog this weekend, but great weather got in the way. As did the Rugby World Cup, and Manchester City beating Manchester United, and did I mention the weather was really very nice?  I was outside as much as possible.  Not much time for teablogging.

But luckily, I have done my little part for the teablogging community in the past, and some of it has started coming back to me.  I’ve said it so many times, but it needs repeating…as much as I like tea drinkers reading what I have to say, it’s nearly as much of a joy to find out that the occasional non-teadrinker comes to visit.

I’ve made no secret of the fact that I enjoy luring people over to the leaf-side.  So when I find out someone’s actually taken any of my advice seriously…well, it makes me simultaneously proud and a bit nervous for the individual.

Several times over the last few months, Lisa Galaviz has threatened to actually attempt to put some of her newfound tea knowledge to the test.  If you know anything about Lisa, you know that if she goes through with something, she’s going to blog about it.  Without further ado, here’s the account of Lisa going to Teavana:

How NOT to go to a Tea Shop

Teablogging doesn’t get much better than this, eh?

Let me just say something about Teavana, because I hear/read some unflattering things.  As a matter of fact, Lisa’s blogpost wouldn’t be so telling if it weren’t similar to quite a few other experiences I’ve heard about shopping there.  It’s the most common complaint I’m aware of.

But to be fair, a lot of people only get into tea because they stumble into a Teavana shop.  There are things this company is doing right, and I’ve been impressed with some of their practices.  I’m sure there’s an entire other blogpost I could devote to what I like about Teavana.  Maybe another time.

Having said all that, you can really imagine those hippies hollering about antioxidants, can’t you?  I certainly can.  Stay tuned for more on Lisa’s experiments with tea.  Her endeavours with that Samurai Chai Mate are magic waiting to happen.

Let’s not mention that Yerba Mate isn’t really tea, ok?  I can just see her flying down to the Galleria demanding her money back, setting the Oolong-plucking monkeys free and riding away into the night.

For the sake of all that is proper, just don’t tell her it’s not tea.

tea for every (phlegmy) situation

(a very phlegmatic statue in Munich)

There’s been a lot of talk about phlegmatic people in my little world lately, and although I’ve attempted to portray myself as such, I’m not actually allergic to anything that I know of. That was the meaning of the word phlegmatic that was used. Someone with a lot of phlegm. Someone who’s allergies had got the better of him or her (I think it was a her in this case).

I was thinking of the Four Temperaments meaning of phlegmatic. The one that’s ‘…receptive and shy and often prefer stability to uncertainty and change…’, but then I realised that the phlegmatic person in question was coughing and wheezing and generally being a nuisance in the office. Her kindness was not the problem here.

I should really go back to the beginning of this story. Lisa Galaviz (@lgalaviz) describes it all rather concisely in her blogpost How to Create Drama in your Life and Workplace. And if you got down to the bottom of the post, you know as well as I do that Cara in Cleveland (@zippy219) won Drama Day and did so rather convincingly.

So the question now is: What tea is best to mask the taste of Allegra? Apparently it’s got quite a bitter taste, and we don’t want it to be detected.

I asked Erik Kennedy (@thetearooms) what tea he would recommend for the job. I asked him partially because he’s a very knowledgeable chap, but also because he was there. 99% of life is showing up. Let that be a lesson to you.

His answer? A nice Japanese Sencha. Strong enough that you won’t even notice the bitter medicine-y taste of the Antihistamine. He actually didn’t specify whether the Sencha should come from Japan or China, but I know some of you loathe Japanese tea as a general rule. It’s my responsibility to mention it at every opportunity.

Right after his wonderful recommendation, Erik said that for this purpose he’d actually use fruit juice. But this isn’t a fruit juice blog. You’ll have to go somewhere else for that sort of information. This is a tea blog. We’re giving unsuspecting people medication that they may or may not need in their tea, thank you.

One last thing before I leave you and go brew some more tea sans medicine. There’s been quite a lot of traffic lately to my teablog from some unsavoury countries and places. I don’t know exactly what you’re doing here, but it better be tea-related. No funny business, eh? You hear that Newfoundland and Labrador? Don’t make me come over there.