Several weeks ago – mere hours after posting a blog on “Tea Tact” – I learned of something disconcerting. A local blogging network had ousted me from, well, their entire network. I was never given an explanation as to why. Heck, I never even received notification. One day, while trying to post a comment on the group’s Facebook wall, I was greeted by an error message: “You are not a part of this group.”
I messaged the person that’d invited me to it but never got a reply. Several theories swarmed through my head. There was a case for me not being an active enough participant, but I’d only been a part of it for a month. Surely, there was a leeway period. Guess not. Perhaps I didn’t post frequently enough, or contribute comments to other blogs? There was a strong case for that, too. Eventually, I did the only tactful thing I knew at the time.
I took to Twitter.
That didn’t even get their attention. Morose, I continued on with my week – brewing tea by the pint and going to work. The most notable of them was a particular Darjeeling that handled abuse and neglect quite well. Most mornings, I don’t have the time (or lucidity) to pay attention to exact measurements or steep times. I put the kettle on, boil water, put leaves in, and let it steep. Forever. Usually until after I’m out of the shower.
This particular morning’s Darjeeling was a low-altitude sort – one from the Rohini estate. The tea in question was a sample of their first flush clonal, generously donated by Happy Earth Tea. Rohini was one of the first Darjeelings that had a first flush out in 2012. They kicked the Darjeeling season off in February.
Someone informed me that, while lowland Darjeeling estates often yield crops earlier than highland ones, their quality is often sub-par. When I brewed the Rohini up normally, however, I didn’t find anything wrong with it. In fact, it was on par with some of the best I had that year. I even reflected upon it in story form.
How did it handle one of my post-shower, ten-minute, forever-steeps-o’-neglect? Perfectly. In fact, if anything, its character was even more pronounced. I’ve treated scores of Darjeelings to forever steeps, and none held up well. They often spinached, bittered or grew vegetal after minute six. Whether it was the heartier leaves, the lower altitude or unicorn magic, Rohini was a MANLY estate.
For weeks, I’d wanted to reflect on this phenomenon, but I didn’t have a proper platform in which to do so. I wanted to compare it to something, and draw the point back to the earlier blog group ousting. What I didn’t have was a proper bridge. Every blog needs a damn bridge – burned or otherwise. One was finally provided…by my cat.
My Maine Coon mix rousted me from bed at the unholy hour of 4AM. I snatched her up by the “mommy”-scruff and rasped a sharp, “NO!” Then I tried to collapse back into the warm bosom of my ‘lectric blanky. It was too late. Thoughts swam in my skull. Finally, I gave up with a, F**k it, I guess I’ll write.
And there was my bridge.
Like a good lowland Darjeeling, even a lowbrow lad like me can exceed expectations when pushed. True potential can be squeezed at the oddest of times. Even friggin’ 4AM. I am a forever-steeped tea, sweating potential like a steaming kettle, and if other blog networks don’t see it…well…I raise my cup to ’em…
And a middle finger.
UPDATE: So, it would appear that the culprit behind my blogger group ousting was none other than…
Technical difficulties with the platform caused the kerfuffle. The group had nothing to do with it. FB me was the one that threw me out.
Damn you, Zuckerberg!!!
*Shakes tiny teacupped fist*