Saturday, May 26, 2007

The Great Beverage Melee, Round 01

Not everyone drinks tea. Hey, that’s cool—more for us, right? As for me, I haven’t had Coke since I was 10 or something, but I do like coffee now and then. They say ‘you’re going through a phase’, but I love walking into Starbucks just because of the smell. I don’t even hate them for ripping me off, because Haagen-Dazs is coincidentally right across the street and puts things in perspective.
That got me thinking, though. What if tea, coffee, and Coke were all drunk, Irish, and at a splintery little pub with no glass in the windows? Who would win? That’s why this week we’re having a very special 3-part drink fight on this here blog. Now accepting bets!


OK, let’s get this straight. Water is the only thing you actually have to drink in life; everything else has the consequences of either a chemical buzz or a chemical slump, the latter more commonly called a ‘hangover’. If you use this logic, fruit juice is useless and soda a short-term measure that ultimately just wastes your money (Root Beer, being awesome, is an exception). Plus, everyone at the meeting will think you’re a hippie-ass yoga moron if you walk in there with a chaya-pineapple smoothie, and yes, they’ll still laugh if you can prove your doctor told you so.

Espresso coffee, brewed, 8 fluid ounces: 502 mg
Coffee, brewed, 8 fluid ounces: 85 mg
Coffee, instant, 8 fluid ounces: 62 mg
Coffee, brewed, decaffeinated, 8 fluid ounces: 3 mg
Coffee, instant, decaffeinated, 8 fluid ounces: 2 mg

COKE (per can):
Coca-Cola Classic: 23 mg
Coca-Cola Blak: 46 mg
(All other varieties are between 15 mg and 31 mg)

Black Tea: 40 mg
Flavored Tea 40 mg
Oolong Tea 30 mg
Green Tea 20 mg
White Tea 15 mg
Decaf Tea 5-10 mg
Herbal Tea 0 mg

WINNER: COFFEE, hands down (see below). Which isn’t always a good thing.

Tune in for Round 02: Health Benefits sometime next week!

SOURCES: nutrition fact sheet

Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Tea Gear - well, it's your money

Tea accessories? Look at all of the stuff you WON'T be buying this summer if, like me, you plan to devote your cash to art supplies, a tennis racket, and learning to ollie properly.

Crafted in Kyoto, Japan, it can be yours for $45 from
If that's not enough for you, get some Chawans!
I remember Chawans from the video game Shenmue II, when Ryo has to secretly communicate with other martial artists in Hong Kong by arranging teacups in restaurants.

On the creepy side of things, there's a place on the net where you can buy a tea set, for $175, that seems to feature realistic human faces. Uh, OK. No, I'm fine...thanks.

The New York Botanical Garden made these lovely espresso spoons--but of course you can cheat and use them for tea. That goes double for their petal-saucer cups.

But above all, there is the Teashirt. It's actually a tea brewer by designer Eva Solo for people want the choice whether or not to have their tea with tannin. I don't get it, but it looks awesome! But does it remind anyone else of Kingdom Hearts?

Sunday, May 20, 2007

AriZona Canned Tea - Now I've Seen Everything

It was the Japanese who launched canned tea in 1981, and I still don't get the concept. Arizona Beverages' green tea was my gym partner today, and though it was too sweet compared to Tazo or Honest (the glass-bottled tea drinks I'm used to)it gives you lots of energy when cold, and can you beat the size of this thing? It's like a foot worth of tea for a buck. Awesome, except don't fool yourself; this might be closer to tea than Gatorade but it's still not tea. Yeah, and read more than the label because they sneak in HFCS every now and then.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Jamaica – the berry of flowers

Jamaica is a drink made from the dried calyces of a flower native to Central America (Hibiscus sabdariffa). The bright red flower, with its frilly petals and protruding pink and gold stigma, may put you in mind of someone who just loves catching attention; jamaica ('ha-my-ka') with its crimson color when brewed, is no different. The cranberry-like flavor is best when chilled, and those who find it strong should add honey. Hot, it's a wonderful sick-day pairing with ginger because of its high vitamin C content, but watch out for the stains!

Iced Mint Jamaica

3 dried flowers per teacup (about 9 per pitcher)


Fresh mint

Peeled, thinly sliced fresh ginger

Brew flowers with a couple of slices of ginger like any other tea, steeping covered for a few minutes. When tea is bright red fish out and discard flowers; add honey by teaspoons and stir in. Leave the ginger to chew on (aphrodisiac, good for digestion and the immune system) and chill or let cool for about an hour. Do not add ice cubes. Serve in clear glass with mint leaves.

Saturday, May 5, 2007

No Time For Tea!

I know I haven`t updated this blog since last month--shameful! But you see I just moved and have no internet at home (I have yet to unpack my laptop. Moving sucks >:( ). But I am working on a wholesome, informative article on tea, just need some facts and figures and that`s done. You know what else? It`s hot here--Al-Gore`s-I-told-you-so hot, happiness-is-a-frappuchino hot. And we don`t have our own car OR air conditioning. I hope I can get back to tea soon.