NaNoTeaMo, Day 22: “AKA Spike My Ceylons with Jessica Jones”
Before reading the ramblings below, it’ll probably help you to visualize it being read by Humphrey Bogart. To set the proper mood.
If that’s too difficult, or way to serious a voice . . . then picture Garrison Keillor as Guy Noir reading this aloud.
Both are applicable.
It was a chilly Fall evening, and I just finished a rather grueling work weekend. One that made me yearn for food that was bad for me . . . and women that were worse. Luckily, both were in great supply and very nearby. Fast food was easily found and consumed, and now it was time to binge on a fast woman. Faster than me, anyway.
For you see . . . Jessica Jones premiered on Netflix last Friday.
I can’t say Marvel has anything on me, but I will admit that they have this way of luring me back in. I was starting to grow weary of their output. And rumors of corporate dipshittery further fueled my malaise. That and I was a little skeptical for whom they’d chose as the lead in Jessica Jones.
Krysten Ritter. As in, Gia Goodman from Veronica Mars.
Nothing about her screamed “Badass!” to me, and I considered myself a discerning palate when it came to diehard dames. I refer back to my “Veronica Mars” statement. If someone was gonna play the tough-as-nails, hard-drinkin’ superhero-turned-private-eye, they needed to prove their mettle.
In fifteen minutes – with one stare – she did just that.
Before I knew it, four hours of my time flew by. Sure, the show suffered from that “gritty-to-be-good” half-assery that a lot of superhero fair defaulted to. Some of the drama was ham-fisted, and even a shady accountant could tell some pennies were pinched during production. But I have to admit . . . Jessica had me jonesin’.
Throughout the weekend, I even found some of her snark rubbin’ off on me. If someone asked me an idiotic question, I returned with a well-placed idiotic response. But with just enough love so they didn’t catch on. My work ethic was also affected – as in, nothing phased me. Not even a building fire. Yes, I had to deal with one of those. Long story; won’t go into it here.
As my Sunday shift came to a close, I knew I’d be visiting her again, but I had to have something more to show for it than a half-smile. I needed to pair her with a proper drink. Something that said, “I know what I’m getting myself into.” But one that would steel the heart without numbing the pain..
I had just the thing.
Several months back, I sampled a bunch of barrel-aged wares from J-TEA – including a certain Ceylon that was put in a bourbon barrel for almost two month. I remember digging the hell out of it, but I needed to revisit it to . . . properly investigate. I just so happened to have such “evidence” in my file.
The leaves for this Bourbon Ceylon were . . . well . . . barely leaves at all, anymore. They were cut pretty darn close to CTC-grade without being so. They were still discernible as leaf stock, but definitely fannings at best. That didn’t matter, though. Even lower grade Ceylon was still Ceylon in my book. Plus, these smelled like straight sweet liquor.
I can’t say that there was a real bourbon smell here, but there was – indeed – something. Black teas tended to take to the bourbon barreling process like a stripper to a pole. For some reason, they took on all the liquor-like aspects, all the sweetness, but none of that weird battery acidic, “I-hate-my-life” undertones. All party; no recovery. Brain cells intact.
Such was the case here. The Ceylon leafy bits glommed onto whatever the barrel gave over – scent-wise – and made it their own. The result was something that smelled a bit like Kahlua, right before adding it to a hard coffee.
For brewing, I treated this with all the delicacy of a go-go dancer on prom night. Given that it was a Ceylon tea, what better way to get it in the mood than to introduce it to teaware that spoke its liquid language. I broke out my finest (as far as it knew) Ceylon steeper cup, then had it make the acquaintance of boiled water, and a three-minute wait. For propriety.
After those three agonizing minutes, I poured the cup over. A foggy, copper liquor graced me with its presence. It wasn’t as bold and blustery as some higher-class Ceylons, but it shyly waved in my direction. The aroma it gave off was both floral and fiery. Tiramisu danced with tannins, playing Ping-Pong with my nostrils.
The flavor it gave off would send anyone to the slammer in a tea drunk stupor. The intro was all Friday nights, while the rest was morning-after cuddles and sweet nothing whispers. The flirty floral aspects took up the top note, while the bourbon aspects gave a courageous handshake to the tongue in between. (Whatever that means; I’m not taking it back.)
Not sure what sorta thing I have for female sleuths and bourbon aged teas, but I’m sure the link is right in front me. Oh yeah . . . I know. I’m a little bit messed up.
But so are these streets. In the show, I mean.