Sunday, May 23, 2010
18 Foil Teabags, $3.47, EnglishTeaStore.com
Anyone with a certain amount of musical hipness has made a mixtape (or CD or mini-disc or wax cylinder depending on who you are and what you believe in). From ancient Make Out Club threads to movies starring John Cusack, a lot of time has been wasted on figuring out how to get your mixtape just right.
As someone who used to be into that sort of thing I will say I always tried to use variety within a theme. For instance the theme of the tape you make for that slender legged gal that caught your eye on the L train might be I Want to Have Sex with You (preferably soon). The variety then might include a range from the playfully forward “Never Say Never” by Romeo Void to something a little more flattering like “She’s a Rainbow” by The Rolling Stones.
In this sense the tea sampler pack is a lot like a mixtape, there is variety built around a theme. The theme of this Stash sampler is green tea and the variety ranges from chai to decaf. What follows are some of my thoughts on the nine flavors included.
Chai Green (Blended green tea, cinnamon, ginger root, allspice, nutmeg, cinnamon flavor, clove, clove bud oil, and cardamom oil):
Never had Green Chai before, didn’t know it existed
Nutmeg and allspice make themselves known
The green smooths out some of the spiciness
Fusion Breakfast (Indian Assam black tea, Indonesian black tea, Chinese green tea, Japanese green tea, African black tea, and Japanese Matcha):
Peachy green aroma
Dark amber brew
Like too many stars crowded into a mediocre movie
Good but no big standout
Fusion Green & White (White tea, Japanese green, Chinese green, Assam green, Darjeeling green, and organic green teas):
Clean floral scent
Mild green tea flavor
Flavor could be fuller after such a rich smell
Ginger Peach (Green tea, ginger root, peach flavor, and Japanese Matcha):
Have you ever been punched in the nose by the ginger bread man while walking the peach orchard?
My least favorite of the sampler
Organic Premium Green (Blend of organic green tea):
They only give you one
Much like the Premium Green albeit a little lighter
Tastes the same as any other green tea in the box
Moroccan Mint (Green tea, spearmint, lemongrass, and peppermint):
Rich peppermint smell
Rich peppermint flavor
Just enough of a whisper of green
Pomegranate Raspberry (Green tea, chamomile, hibiscus flowers, orange peel, citric acid, pomegranate flavor, raspberry flavor, and Japanese matcha):
Sharp pomegranate odor with a dash of hibiscus
Not too much raspberry
Tamer than your average pomegranate product
Not too much zing
Premium Green (Select blended green teas):
Grassy fresh odor
Light green liquid
Roasted green tea flavor
Very good for a bagged tea
Decaf Premium Green (Select blended naturally decaffeinated green teas):
Just like the real thing
Saturday, May 15, 2010
1.5L (Amazon.com, $6.60)
There is an Asian supermarket close to me called Asian Food. For someone like me who has never really been in an Asian Supermarket there is a lot to see and touch and laugh at and be disgusted by. From the silly cartoon people on noodle boxes to the wads of tripe in the cold section to the 30 some odd types of tofu, it is easy to spend an hour and a whole spectrum of emotions in the store without really accomplishing anything. How am I supposed to figure out which Korean BBQ sauce will go best with my bok choy? What are you supposed to do with black duck eggs? Why is this herbal tea not safe for children?
Amongst the exotica there are all kinds of neat things to drink that I have never seen before, including this lychee flavored drink from Calpico. While trying to find more information about it on the internet I learned that it is a Hello Kitty drink. It is unclear as to why but sometimes this product comes with a Hello Kitty logo and sometimes it does not. A quick Google will tell you that some people only like it because of the Hello Kitty appeal. The one I bought (along with its sister flavors available in the store) did not feature any sign of Hello Kitty however it did show up on my receipt as “Hello Kitty Lychee Drink”.
Sans Hello Kitty (such as in the picture above), the product immediately reminded me of a prize you might come across in the Nintendo game Bubble Bobble. It would please one of those dinosaurs to devour a bottle of white sugar milk amongst their 8-bit cakes and pies. Make no mistake, dinosaur or not, there is a certain attractiveness to the packaging. It feels kind of good to look at and hold the bottle. The white plastic is not like a regular plastic water or soda bottle. There is something a little more futuristic going on. It’s the kind of plastic children of tomorrow will be familiar with, something they will recall as a fond part of Saturdays filled with Ultra-Comics and Hyperball. It’s a reward their parents will give them for walking Rex the Electro-Doggie all week.
Within this plastic the ingredients are pretty simple. Consisting mainly of water, sugar (52 grams), and non-fat dry milk it is a dessert kind of drink with a hint of lychee at the end. Kind of like drinking a melted sorbet it’s not exactly liquid candy, but it is a close runner-up.
Saturday, January 23, 2010
Gentill Abdulla is a young man with ideas for a time machine. You can read more about his project on CNN's iReport. You can also e-mail him directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter.
1. Do you like tea? If so, any favorite type or brand?
I do like tea. I don't know what type of brand my mom buys but it tastes good all the same.
2. Could you give us a typical day in the life of Gentill Abdulla?
Wake up, shower, brush teeth, change clothes, go to school, eat breakfast, eat lunch, come home, do homework, eat dinner, and go to sleep.
3. If you could go back in time and have tea with any historical figure, who would it be?
I would go back and talk to Einstein.
4. What got you interested in time machines?
When I first heard about time travel in the TV series Dragonball Z.
5. When you first tell people you want to build a time machine what is their reaction like?
They usually don't think I'm all that smart first, so I really have to explain it a lot.
6. What has the feedback on your project been like?
Mostly good feedback. Lots of people have told me that I was smart and they hope for the best. Also some kids from my school keep asking me if they could be the first person to go back in time.
7. What was it like to be on Coast to Coast AM? Had you ever heard of the program beforehand?
I did hear about the program before, but I had never listened to it. I wasn't really nervous on Coast to Coast I think it was because it was just explaining what would happen and how.
8. If time machines already existed, what do you think you would be working on instead?
I would be working on getting to places faster than the speed of light.
9. If you could have tea with any living physicist, who would it be?
10. Is there anything you would like to add?
Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Just in case you are still not tired of hearing about the end of Gourmet, former editor Ruth Reichel talks about her post-Gourmet world with WNYC's Leonard Lopate.
A few notes:
1) Yes, the infamous David Foster Wallce lobster story is mentioned.
2) At one point Reichel starts to expound on the magic of a post-print world. I have to say I agree with WNYC listener Ihk who posted the comment "haha lose the new media guru hat keep the chef's"
3) In case you were wondering but do not want to listen to the show, Gourmet's cookbook collection is now housed at NYU's Fales Library.