The Monthly Brew – August 2023 (Recap)

This entry is part 7 of 8 in the series The Monthly Brew

August was rough.

One of the reasons for that was the interminability of this particular summer, especially given the impossible and (for the most part) terrible weather that has been occurring in so many places.

So far, we’ve gotten off light, here in Albuquerque.

One of the others was finding out that my puppy-whom-I-miss because THFKAMT decided he was keeping her has cancer. I found this out because the vet sent me the invoice detailing out the information regarding her surgery and biopsy and anesthesia and…

Communication has not been as promised, on any level, in regard to anything, but this sequence has been exceptionally difficult. There’s more to it than that, but for the purposes of this newsletter, I figure that’s probably well more than enough.

We’ll go back to my opening statement, and just reiterate – August was rough.

Despite the combination of the above, high pain levels, and one of my outdoor projects turning complicated and creepy – there was still good in the month, and progress was made.

Not as much as I would like, and the growing pains/transitional difficulties are real, but it was still there.

Continuing the progression of teas coming from random commentary and humour – in one of my Discords a short sequence regarding Legolas led me to comment: “…it’s not shooting, it’s long distance stabbing. Completely different.”

The phrase “Long Distance Stabbing” hit a chord, and it was suggested that it would make a fantastic tea name.

Closein shot of a blend of twig tea, green kukicha tea, and golden yunnan tea.

I agreed, and started riffing on ideas for it – which led, not only to scribbled notes for what will probably be Yet Another Foundational Tea, but also to a number of ideas for tastes and flavours and names. There are a lot of archers of renown and interest out there, as well as many characters whose lives were made more interesting (or ended) by arrows or archers or… Smaug’s Ruin is on the list, and I have some thoughts about Helm’s Deep, too. And that’s in just one fantasy realm.

It’s been a disconcertingly productive month as far as tea naming and renaming. There are teas that have been waiting for years that will be able to be released over the course of the next few months as they work their way through the process.

2-100 became Engineering Spaces, 10-487 is now Only the Anacrusis, 8-408 will be known as Raindrops Taste like Tears and 10-488 might be Jam Session – but first I need to be fully satisfied with the blend and I’m not quite there yet.

If you were involved in the discussions about naming the tea that became Sorry I Stabbed You, I’d tossed out “Drums in the Deep” as a potential tea name, but had also expressed that it might be a terrible name for a tea.

A small white bowl full of a blend of black tea, barley, and bits of roots and spices. (The image taken from above,)

Following in line with what has become a standard pattern, the potentially terrible tea name got stuck in my head, would not leave, and I ended up working up a test using seaweed, cacao shells, dandelion root, There & Back Again, cherrywood smoked barley, and smoked chile – it is another tea on the list of things that I am not quite certain are done yet.

I may be tucking some random “what do you think of this?” teabags into orders or tea of the month club shipments, if taste profiles match with the teas I am interested in feedback on.

In other progression-of-teas news four of the teas on the “need to be renamed because de-Terfing” list got their new names and Eliot’s Knife, Long Rest, Phoenix Feathers, and Last Peaceful Night will be appearing once the labels get worked up.

Also in that type of news, many things were batch-sized this month. Can I Exist Yet?! (8-384), Sorry I Stabbed You Again (LatchTin), Here Be Dragons (8-405), Dammit, Me! (8-398), Old & Kind (2-116), Fathoms Below (8-429), and The Wayward Plane (8-407) have all moved on to the “now I have to make labels” metaphorical pile. (Actually a file folder and a recipe box section rather than a pile, but it feels like a pile. And a relatively massive one.)

Setting aside the physical work of tea, there were, of course, some posts that made it onto the website and some tea releases.

The new teas were Sorry I Stabbed You, Face the Day, and Rise Up.

I finally got around to explaining the reasoning behind the standard Tea of the Month Club choices for June and July, a poem went up – though it falls into the heavy content and password needed part of the site. Passwords can be found on the Patreon, through the newsletter specifically set up for dispersing passwords, or you can reach out directly through one social media venue or other.

I also continued with catching up on actually posting ink tests, so if fountain pens are your jam, you can have a look at Colorverse KSLV-II, Colorverse Pillars of Creation, and Colorverse Extreme Deep Field. (There will be not-Colorverse inks again, I’m just currently working from an alphabetized list of the inks mentioned on the two in-use posts.)

Lastly, for this month, and I hope I am not forgetting anything too important – there is a single curated tea of the month club slot open. This is the version where I choose a tea specifically for you, to your tastes as set forth in the tea preferences survey, each month. If you are interested, please reach out, and I can send you the link.

Monsoons have finally started here, and we’ve been getting a portion of the rain we so sorely need. Not enough, but I am glad of what we have received, and it has been enough to soothe the mind, to dance in, and once to grab an umbrella and scramble to save newly repotted plants from drowning and damage during the summer storm that came with generous sides of lightning and nickel-sized hail.

Two happy little flowers surrounded by leaves and slightly fuzzy stems.

It broke up that interminable sense of summer that I mentioned back at the beginning of this missive – and I hope that if there were things causing similar pressures and discomfort, that there has been relief for you, as well.

Signing off for now. See you next month.

Brought to you by: St. John’s Verity, There & Back Again, Baker Street Blend, Gift of the Gloaming, Corvid’s Caravan, Long Distance Stabbing – and the Number 10.

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