A Darjeeling… where does it have its place in Siam Tea Blog? Nowhere. That’s why it’s here instead, in the new SIAM TEABLOID, the blog inside the blog. After lots of pondering and contemplating of the How, the When, the Where, and in between time and again also the Why, now here it is, SIAM TEABLOID, the blog inside Siam Tea Blog, which it actually has got nothing to do with and where it even wouldn’t belong at all, if it would not be its perfect complement.
For 3 years now I have been working on Siam Tea Blog, for which I have combed through the northern Thai tea landscape, up to the most remote tea gardens, down to the rearmost corners of the tea factories, and to the very last detail of the history, development and backgrounds of tea cultivation and processing in north Thailand. It’s not that there wouldn’t be anything left to say about that, but honestly, the really big topics are slowly getting rare. Instead, a huge pile of “small topics” have accumulated in the course of time, topics that might not have directly anything to do with tea from north Thailand, that may not appear as that important or aren’t meant all too serious in the first place, that often might not even be particularly informative. Topics I don’t have pictures to. Topics I have pictures to, but don’t know what to say about them. Topics that – by type and volume – do not really belong into Siam Tea Blog, but then again they still do, once, because they are my topics, and then, because have emerged and grown in the context of my work with tea in north Thailand, and finally, because they are tea topics. In short: topics about which I would love to write, but didn’t really have a place for so far. For all such topics, I have created SIAM TEABLOID, the one-page outfit inside Siam Tea Blog, as the place for them to be. From now on, there will be new things to read, to enjoy, and definitely sometimes also to be annoyed by and to dispraise.
For a while, my activity as a content writer for the tea blog of a major online tea trader served me as a vehicle for these topics. Not that this would have been any bad… near-free choice of topics: „anything, as long as it is about tea“, with the exception of ever mentioning my own interests and business, of course, and no politics. Still, as I said, actually not bad, and, the best, even fairly paid! What finally completely consumed my initial passion was when I realized that none of the stuff I ever wrote for them still belongs to me today. All gone, sold, and no longer mine anymore. Another incentive for SIAM TEABLOID: everything always there, not for sale and – whether rubbish or not – my inalienable intellectual property forever.
SIAM TEABLOID is my private and personal daily on the greater realm of tea, with an exclicit claim to incompleteness, imperfection, inconstancy, and even political incorrectness, where (considered as) appropriate. The ultimate replacement for pretty much all newsletters. Guaranteed cooking recipe free zone! Whether now the blueberry muffin goes better with the newest tea/herb/flower/sweets blend of company XY, or whether it rather might be the butter-cream cake after all, not in SIAM TEABLOID. How well the pink silk laced table cloth will grace the English hen party aristocracy’s 5 p.m. tea table… not here. For the ten millionth time the cautious answer on the even more cautiously asked question, whether tea is healthy now or not, and if so, then how healthy and good for what exactly, wherever else my pleasure, but here rather not at all. The latest high tech tea maker, the remotely controlled up to at least minus 500°C space-fit Gong Fu Cha machine – SIAM TEABLOID couldn’t care less. And tea reviews? What about the oh-so-elementary tea reviews, where 20 completely different teas will receive the same ever-repeating attributes in differing sequences, thus making it virtually impossible for the valued audience to distinct them at all, at least in theory (never mind, you are supposed to buy them and try for yourself anyway)? No, no tea reviews either, except for the occasional case, where we actually don’t have anything to do with a tea apart from drinking it, and therefore – in a narrower sense – also have no reason really whatsoever to review it, such as with the above-mentioned Darjeeling Doke Rolling Thunder dark Oolong tea, which by the way is really delicious, and really strong, strong enough to wipe dark clouds off the sky like dust from the window sill, and at the same time still pleasantly runs down your throat to the very end of all infusions, and which nevertheless still has depths, where other (easily perceived as) black teas only had a surface. And what about teas from north Thailand, and what about the Chinese teas represented in Siam Tea Shop? Well, we have Siam Tea Blog for these, where we pride ourselves of always learning to know a tea very well, before we even think of reviewing it.
In SIAM TEABLOID instead, time and again there will be rather unusual, sometimes even absurd, in the worst case unpleasant, only moderately interesting and mostly zero mass-suitable topics, or topics just for once illuminated in the light of a pungent satirical perspective, all around the grand topic of team, in SIAM TEABLOID. At times extremely trivial even, subject to nothing but whim, but: never standard, and even more rarely déjà vu. Pure, uncompromising entertainment value. And my own interests and business? Well, of course, SIAM TEABLOID will have all the room in the world for me to talk about those!