Review of the Day - Chelsea Morning

15th December, 2009: Posted by glpease in Review of the Day

Okay, it’s time to fess up. Sure, it’s fun to post these reviews, the ones that I really like, and that are well considered and well presented. That’s not under any sort of scrutiny, here. No, what I am confessing to is something else. It’s my excuse for doing this, not writing something new of my own, but letting the Chronicles be carried on the shoulders of others. Mea maxima culpa. It’s true. I’ve been busy with a few projects, some of which I’ve talked about on the News page, some of which have been hitherto submerged in murky secrecy, where they will have to remain for at least a little while. What’s life without a little mystery? It gives it spice. But, all will be revealed in time. Until then, there are Reviews-O-T-D.

Anyway, I’d meant to capture and edit an amazing review of Chelsea Morning written by Crookshanks, and had just been too scatter-minded to get to it. Sometimes that happens.  It’s usually when the plate of things that has to be done is heaped higher than the plate of things I really want to do. Lately, that second plate is getting a little lonely; the only attention it gets is when my dog wanders over to give it a sniff, then wanders off in search of something more chewy. The problem here is that Crookshanks’s review is very long, and doing a decent and worthy job of excerpting it would require considerable effort - and, frankly, there’s just not that much in it that I thought should be struck by the ruthless blood strokes of the red pencil. So, I didn’t get round to doing it. Really, I should probably just post the entire thing, but after you’re read the one that follows, you’ll probably want to go to the site and read them all, anyway. At least I’ve mentioned it, and that’s something.

Then, today, I saw the new review by Talonr1701. It’s wonderful, and brief enough to be quoted here in its entirety. He bravely navigates into waters that he’s uncomfortable sailing, and finds unexpected treasure. Sometimes the fates are kind.

I am about to do what I despise others doing. I am reviewing a style of Blend I generally dislike. But since I don’t write reviews of blends I don’t approve of, stick with me gentle reader.

I received a tin of Chelsea Morning as a gift. People have asked me if I’d tried this, and I politely said “No”- It’s been suggested to me on occasions. The gifter knows I don’t like latakia blends, but they did it anyway so I have finally accepted that Kismet, Karma, or Destiny must play it’s part. Opening the tin, the smell is like Aarakis Spice. The Orientals waft up to the nose as much as the latakia, which is gentle. The moisture is perfect-Hmmmmm…I don’t normally say that. I take enough for a pipe, and leave it in my mixing bowl to breath through lunch. Returning I fully rub the thick ribbons, and pack a Peterson Meer that ,like a bloodhound, never fails to sniff out nuances. I prepare myself as a Samurai for a tea ceremony. Baby is asleep, phone off, house quite. I am ready. On light up, The latakia takes a brief, but bold front. As it calms, the Virginia body comes forward building the blend up as the latakia recesses- The two become one. The Orientals- Izmir I assume for the sweetness- and perique become more noticeable, and suddenly I get a vision of Sidney Greenstreet in the Blue Parrot. Why? Got me. Perhaps the scene subconsciously represents the Exotic. Through the rest of the bowl I have this wonderful, exotic, Incense like smoke that has good strength, a big character, great burn characteristics. This is a transcendental smoke! Much as a symphony can tell a story, so does this blend- It’s one I shall enjoy experiencing again and again. A Hat Tip to Master Pease.

So, there it is. We should all take the lesson, here, and try something we don’t think we’ll like, just like I tell my kid every day. Sometimes, the surprises are pleasant.

I’m really thrilled with the response Chelsea Morning has received, overall, but offer my special thanks to those who have taken the time to write these wonderul reviews. And, I promise, I’ll offer something of more substance very soon. I’ve got at least a dozen articles in various stages of completion, so I’ll dust them off, and get them out here, soon. Really.