Writing Tools

With two books in the works, I need fortifications. For me, that means tea.

Not that grocery store swill. I mean real tea. Strong stuff. Really good tea.

So, I got enough lapsang souchong to get me through the next couple of months, with additional reserves of Bai Mudan, decent sencha (great sencha can get too pricey for my budget), and a good cherry tisane for evenings, so I don’t stay up all night wired on caffeine.

I wanted to get a good Nepali Darjeeling, but this will have to do for now.

While I agree with George Orwell on how to make a nice pot of tea, every type of tea I ordered needs specific temperatures and brewing times. It’s not hard, but with dyscalculia anything involving numbers or time is complicated for me. So, I got a teapot that heats and steeps automatically for the various types of tea. It looks like Darth Vader’s bidet, but I hear it makes a good pot of tea.

Before you run out to buy some lapsang souchong for yourself, be forewarned that it is distinctly acquired taste: a black tea roasted over pine smoke that produces a taste and smell that my mother equates to a tire fire. Paul the Beatnik had a dirty plastic sack of lapsang souchong in his filthy kitchen that, in addition to the wood smoke taste was also just basted in cigarette smoke. I drank endless cups of the stuff every Wednesday night because it was less grotesque than his coffee pot.

Seriously, his coffee pot looked like something from Attack of the Mushroom People.

So, if you decide to try lapsang souchong, be aware that it ain’t Tetley! Like theremins and cheesy movies, this stuff ain’t for everybody. I have a collection of angry letters from people who, after reading my praises for this concoction, tried it and were completely grossed out in ways that led them to angrily compose epic beat poetry pieces on the sheer awfulness of the stuff.

I don’t know what they were complaining about. I like it.

Ooooooh! I opened the bag of lapsang souchong and now the room smells like Ron Sawnson. Wood smoke and dark wild places. This tea could make a baby grow a beard and start whittling. The smell from the open bag actually drove the cat out of the room.

Now to organize my writing corner so that the tea supplies are with easy reach.

Before anybody starts writing me, I know Adagio Teas is far from perfect, but they do have some good stuff that is priced in my range. If you want to get deep into high-quality tea, try Yunan Sourcing or other small operations that go to great lengths to source the good stuff.