If you'll permit a little meta-blogging/navel-gazing, sometimes I don't know what to write about when it comes to something I'm reviewing and I don't want to just post the tasting notes because their value is dubious. So I do a little research, by which I mean that I go to the library, read primary sources, consult with experts at various local universities, and other such activities. Either that, or I just spend a few minutes Googling around. Never mind which method is used more frequently! The point is that sometimes I uncover weird things. Things I wish I didn't discover.
Take, for instance, this little news item about Singlijan Tea Estate in India.
Singlijan Tea Estate in Upper Assam's Dibrugarh district has become the first tea estate in Assam to achieve "open defecation-free" status under Swachh Bharat Mission.I... kinda just stopped reading there. I mean, yeah, sure, manure is used for fertilizer, but I don't think that's quite what they're getting on about here. Talk about terroir! Eat your heart out wine! Anywho, at least this Estate looks on the up and up, so let's see what this open defication-free tea tastes like:
Open defecation is rampant in the tea estates of Assam.
Singlijan Estate GTGFOP - Has a dark (uh, for tea) brown appearance, maybe some amber or orange highlights to it. Smells nice, typical black tea maltiness with hints of something sweeter. Taste again hits that malty black tea character, but it's got a nice natural sweetness to it that lightens the load a bit. Upton says molasses, which might be it, but I guess my mostly untrained tea palate can't be that specific. Whatever it is, it works! Mouthfeel is full bodied and chewy, quite nice. Overall, a very nice breakfast cup, and would probably rank very high amongst Single Estate Assams that I've tried. Who knows, they may be onto something with this whole defication-free setup.
Tea Nerd Details: 1 tsp for an 8 ounce cup, infused at 212° for 4.5 minutes.
Beer Nerd Musings: Fortunately, I'm pretty sure that most barley/hop farms are open defecation-free. On the other hand, it's not something I ever really even thought to look into. Frankly, I'm not exactly getting all charged up to do so either. Otherwise, I guess this tea could make for a nice ingredient were I to try a tea-infused brew again sometime. Strong, malty, with a nice sweet note, that could work well if given the right platform. Or something. Alright, I'm talking out of my ass. Which I use to defecate. Jeeze, sorry to keep fixating on that, it was just unexpected.
In other news, we're coming down the quasi-hiatus homestretch, in less that two weeks, we should be getting back to beer. I'm sure you're all relieved. In other news, we got a couple of fantastic whiskeys coming up in these remaining two weeks, and who knows? I might swing something else beer related, like that post on Northeast IPAs...