20 January, 2017

Everybody Darths, Sometime

I've heard people talk about me, when they think I'm not nearby. "He's more machine now, than man", they'll say, with a wistful tone and a distant gaze.

You may fire up the kettle when ready, commander.

Is it because of my Sith chamber, pictured above?

Perhaps my favoured drinking spot could be considered to be a little austere, but I think that it's a comfortable place to take my tea - and I like the controlled humidity, which makes an excellent environment for aging a few tong of one's favourite cakes.  Every now and again, someone approaches while I'm in the middle of a particularly tricky brew, but they don't tend to come back too willingly after a force-choke or two.

Plus, it's far easier to brew tea in a Sith chamber than it is in my bacta tank, in my lava castle on Mustafar.  (Very low humidity, bad for storage.)

Padme and the Younglings

If ever there were a tea-provider who feels the full power of the Force in every brew, it must surely be EoT.

If you read the small print on the web-site, you'll see claims about how their products surround us and penetrate us, and how they bind the galaxy together.  I've also noticed that their teas are tested for midichlorian counts.

You were supposed to bring balance to the shengpu, not destroy it!

The Wuliang-B is, as you might expect, rambunctious.

I don't know if EoT has a "house style", but this must be getting pretty close to it: the compact nature of the sweetness reminds me of a tight formation of TIE fighters, while the pleasantly rough finish leaves me with a raspy throat, as if voiced (for example) by James Earl Jones.

Good tea sessions are built on hope

Even before I heard the Tragedy of Darth Plagueis the Wise, I've always been a big fan of Wuliang teas.  This intersection of a favourite zone with a favourite supplier makes for an interesting combination, a little like asking a famous actor from the Hammer horror genre to play the Regional Governor of the Outer Rim.

As expected, this Wuliang-B disappeared from our long-range scanners some time ago, and is no longer available for purchase.  I therefore anticipate hiring my usual crew of bounty hunters to track some down.

At least IG-88's fees are lower than those of Taobaonow.

16 January, 2017

Congregation of Vapours

I have of late, but wherefore I know not... lost all my mirth.  Foregone all custom of exercise.

And, indeed, it goes so heavily with my disposition that this goodly frame, the Earth, seems to me... a sterile promontory.

However, what better way to desterilise one's promontory than with some EoT?

This little baby has been sitting in a box, on a shelf, in my office, calling to me.  Every day, I come into the lab, and it starts its siren-song.  DRIIINK ME.  Every day, I bustle around pretending to be busy on something or other, and, before I know it, the end of the day is upon us, and it's nursery pick-up time.

But not today!  Today, we stand and fight.  Today, we are all Kunlu!

OK, this isn't the Kunlu, but it's a nice recent (Darjeeling) tea all the same

It looks as if the old addage "You snooze, you lose" is true yet again; as I peruse the EoT web-site, I learn that many of the 2016 cakes have long since been vanquished by a ravenous public, starved for affection and good tea.  Thus it ever was, and rightly so - it's good to see the ol' Essence pimping its wares effectively.  Long may the pimping proceed.

If there is one (just one) thing that bothers me about the charming, dazzling white of the EoT website it's the fact that every cake seems to cost between £0.08 and £0.40, judging by the main page.  "What a great price!", thought no-one, ever.  Instead, we ceaselessly have to click through to each individual page to determine the actual price of each cake - presumably, this clicking is the point.  It rather feels like putting the milk at the far end of the supermarket, so that you have to walk past shampoo and haemorrhoid cream to reach it.  It feels like those shops that put chocolate bars next to cash tills, on the hope that some poor child will convince their tired parents to buy them a package of solidified diabetes while they queue to leave the shop.  It really sticks in my craw - and, Gentle Reader, if there's anything I don't like, it's a sticky craw.  I keep my craw glisteningly clear of all such nonsense.  It's a source of pride.

So, this cake doesn't cost "£0.20", which is the price shown to me by the product page, as it lies to me through its fetid teeth.  The cost is, in fact £32, which is a rather larger number than £0.20, but which is a more accurate number than £0.20.  Also, this cake is "Out of stock".  I believe I may have whispered "MOTHERF*CKER" to myself, at that stage of the proceedings.

The tea.  As the description on the EoT page reads ("Perhaps not for girls, or for people who are girlymen cowards"), this is rather a bitter tea, and tastes like KUDINGCHA - bitter tea, of the astringent kind that puckers not just one's lips, but every single last sphincter that is physiologically available at the time of consumption.  However, it's a nice bitter.  It's long, strong, and thoroughly absorbent.

In form and moving, how express and admirable: the sweetness is enduring and potent, like the irony of a reality-TV host being elected president of a third-world country somewhere out west.  It has the bittersweet tang that stays with you, like the economic consequences of half a country voting against its best interests to leave a large socioeconomic union of nations.

Which is to say, it's challenging.  If you like a challenge, then drink it today: let's make shengpu great again!
He quoth with irony, for the literal-reading folk amongst us.