I suspect, as I start to write this, that you might want to cancel the papers and phone work sick for a week or so. There's a lot to this.
In fact, I'm going to break it up into three parts, and I have no idea how part three might pan out.
As regular readers know, I worry a lot about the men, women and children who take part in my cup of tea. There's an appalling amount of exploitation within this industry.And having been in the industry, I also know it can be quite lucrative at both a wholesale and retail level.
In my quest for excellence, I also worry about the care taken with that precious cargo.
A while back a friend (the wonderful @joiedetea, for you twitterites) introduced me to an Indian company that was exporting great Darjeeling teas.
So I started buying my teas from close to the source. The quality is amazing, though I don't seem to save much money over buying them locally.
Since this means a great deal more of the money from each transaction remains in India; I assume that this must filter down to the worker level. Perhaps I am being naive.
So, here's where we can get interesting.
Yesterday I held a launch party/tasting for a new direct on-line Indian tea company in my home town of Adelaide.
It's not uncommon for people to send me tea to review or taste. But on this occasion, I have actively promoted a specific company.
The whole thing came about when I wrote to them complimenting them on their website. I struck up a conversation with the delightful Kaushal, and it wasn't long before we agreed that he would send me some teas, I'd hold an event, and review the teas.
So, Part Two of this Trilogy, I will commence writing in a few moments, and that will be the review of the teas.
At the same time, I invite Darjeeling Tea Express to write to me and explain what steps they are taking to improve the lot of the impoverished Indian tea worker. I already know they share my concerns - I read their blog.And that will help me put together Part Three.
Let's all see how that works out.