Monday, January 16, 2012

Oh Yeah, That Bitch

So, I think that most that read this also know about my tumblr, Bitch With a Teacup,  but for those who don't, now you do!  Go check it out...and then probably get hungry.

I like matcha deserts.  There will probably be a lot of those.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Coco-Not So Much, and the Earned Cupcake

A few things to chat about today: a blend of teas I tried, teas I've had to drink while dancing, and what I'm going to write about.

First, a new blend I tried.  Krista was working one day when she thought of trying some coconut black tea with the coconut cocoa pu-ehr, to try and get more of a coconut taste into it.  Now, if you've read this blog much, you know I looooove my coco-choco, but I agree that it doesn't have the strongest coconut taste.
Except adding the coconut black didn't really make the taste any stronger either, it just kinda made it taste a bit more like black tea.  It was still a nice cup of tea, but not really coconutty.  Oh well.  Maybe next time, Krista.  By the way, usually when she thinks up something, it turns out to be really good.  If you happen to be in the area and pop into World Tea House, don't go ignoring the sage advice of the people who work there just because this one cup didn't work out as well as we'd hoped!  They know their shit.

Speaking of knowing your shit, tomorrow World Tea House is offering a TEA101 class tomorrow. (Jan 16th) It's $10 for 5 teas and a tea talk by owner, Phil Holmans.  Personally, I'm skipping because I know tea basics and I'm so broke, but if you happen to be around and wanted to learn more about teas, you should totally go!

And since I've already talked about my second home, World Tea House, today, now it's time to talk about my third home, Serpentine Studios.  I've started just bringing my travel mug with me so that I can fill it up with tea while I'm at the studio.  They serve tea from World Tea House there, so I know I'm always going to like what they have there.  More importantly though, can I just talk about how awesome it is right after you've had a good dance class to just sit down and have a few sips of tea before heading back out into the world?  Tea is pretty much always a great way to press pause for a minute, but it's an especially welcome pause after a workout.  Even if it has caffeine in it, a tea break is always at least a little bit relaxing for me.

And on the topic of good classes, I had some tough ones yesterday!  I'm pretty awful at them right now, but I enjoy all of them and I'm going to stick with them until I get better!  I was sooooo tired after my classes yesterday though that I decided to treat myself to a cupcake.  I'm really broke so I shouldn't be getting anything more than just tea when I go out (and I really shouldn't be going out either), but fuck it.  I earned that cupcake this week.

Finally,  what I'm actually going to write about.  I'm still trying to figure that out.  Obviously, I'm going to talk about tea, but that covers a surprising amount of info.  If it didn't, I wouldn't still be writing about tea after a year.

Oh hey, I've been doing this for a year!  Go me!

Anyway, I've noticed that if I keep track of all the tea I've had to drink, it provides me with more opportunities to write something halfway-halfway (or just one quarter) insightful about tea, but it usually just turns into a journal of tea I've had.  If I only update when something new happens though, I don't update as much.  Tricky.

I'm going to try and do a bit of both.  It won't be a daily update, but it will be regular, and there will be a log of tea I've had as well as anything interesting that might have happened that week.

Let's see how long this lasts...

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Notes from Experimenting

Alright, if you've seen the few posts I've been re-blogging on my Bitch With a Teacup tumblr, you know that it's pretty much all matcha deserts.

Well, I want deserts that feature some other kind of tea!

So I decided to make some:  Chai Nog Latte Cupcakes!

...except they still need some work, and I'm all out of egg nog now.  I'm still messing around with the recipe.  I'll post the actual recipe and some pictures once it's perfected, but for now, I'll share my "study" notes:

-I am baking powder/soda dyslexic. :(
-wasn't chai-y enough. Added a bit more cinnamon. No cloves left. Must get grinder.
-Added 1 egg.  No egg in original recipe. WTF?
-Batch 1 did not rise.  Needs more baking powder.
-Batch 2 still did not rise. Added a bit more. Now batter tastes baking powdery.
-Added a pinch of ginger and cloves. Stole mom's coffee grinder. Added liberal sprinkling of sugar.
-Batch 3, cupcakes are rising.
-My "testers" say there is too much ginger.  I believe they are crazy.  May still scale back the ginger a bit.
-Finally getting the right shape. Over-baked batch 4.  Batch 5 was out on time though.
-Cupcakes are too dry and sticky.  Added more oil.
-Cupcakes are no longer super sticky.  Yay oil!

And I'm sure that next time I get around to it there will be even more notes to add.  Hopefully next time I won't mix up the baking powder and baking soda again...

'Til next time!

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Tea: The Manliest of Manly Drinks

Well, I was reading Mz. Magazines Marketing by Masculinizing the Feminine and while reading it I stumbled upon  Here's the list of teas they have available, including jalapeƱo, RadioactiviTEA, and three different flavours featuring bacon.
With the manly flavours, manly-looking website, products and rather suggestive logo, I think the only way to make it any more manly would be to have explosions coming out of every cup.

But this got me thinking:  Since when hasn't drinking tea been manly?  Or at least gender neutral?  Certainly, I've never thought of it as being particularly girly.  The exception to this might be a little girl throwing a tea party with her stuffed animals. When it comes to actually drinking actual tea though, I've never thought it was particularly feminine.  Whether it's out of a tea set or, more likely, the exact same mismatched mugs you drink your coffee out of, I just haven't felt particularly girly while drinking tea.

Have I been wrong all this time?  Have i just not noticed that tea (or rather, marketing for tea) has been geared toward me because of my ladyparts?  Have I just taken various tea companies' extra consideration of my gender for granted?  Or is it just because it doesn't necessarily cater specifically to men that it is seen as not manly?  And how does this view differ from culture to culture?  Is it the teacups?

It's the teacups, isn't it?  Extending the pinky, maybe?

Anyway, this topic gives me lots to think about, I guess.  For now, I leave you with this:

'Til next time!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

And for those of you that keep bitching about the layout...

For those friends that didn't like the layout:  I finally got around to actually thinking about it.  If you've still got a problem with it, there are two steps to take:

1.  Kiss my ass.
2.  Fix it yourself.

And bonus(!) third step:  Make me some tea.

On a serious note, if there actually are any problems, or if you have any suggestions, I suppose you can skip those steps and just tell me what it is you'd like fixed.  Making me tea would still be appreciated though.

Sweet, Sweet Matcha!

Sooooo, I just got back from seeing Sherlock Holmes: A Game of Shadows with friends.  I think it was a pretty good movie.  There were parts I didn't like, but even the parts I didn't enjoy as much were still visually pleasing.
And there was Robert Downy Jr.  He is also quite visually pleasing.  Oh yes.

Anyway, afterward we were in the mood for tea (surprise, surprise) but World Tea House had already closed by then.  Our second choice for tea, DavidsTea, was also closed.  We settled on Second Cup, because I like their hot chocolate.

It looks like Second Cup is starting to include some better tea choices....but the loose leaf tea they sell, while in a bag that would be big enough to let the whole loose tea expand, looks like it's made of plasticy gauze in the pictures.  Nuh-uh, not for me. I don't want plasticy stuff in my hot drink, thank you very much.

Instead I figured it would be safe to go with a matcha latte.  It's just steamed milk and matcha powder mixed in, right?

Holy sweet matcha, it was sweet matcha.  Very sweet.

And this brings us to the reason that I like Second Cup's hot chocolate:  their drinks are really, really sweet.  They tend to be sweet, and then covered in whipped cream.  This kinda works with their hot chocolate which tastes like hot sugar in a cup anyway.  I don't think it works for a green tea latte, because the actual matcha taste is pretty much totally drowned out with that much sugar. (But not whipped cream.  I think that's just for the hot chocolate.)  They either used very sweet matcha with sugar added to it, or they added a sweetener to the drink while making it.  Either way, it's too sweet for me.  Now, don't get me wrong, I don't think that the drink was unenjoyable; I just don't think it tasted like matcha.  Not bad if you're going for green sugar in a cup though.

Sweet Matcha Latte:  It looks a bit like pond scum, and tastes like sugar!

...Ok, so maybe I shouldn't go into advertising.  Good thing working in advertising wasn't one of my lifelong dreams.
As for looking like pond scum, well...that always happens with matcha lattes.  Luckily, they taste far better than they look.  If I had been thinking, I would have snapped a picture.

In other tea-related news, I found my tin of ginger mint tea!  I wish I'd had some with me on New Years Eve.  Not because I had been drinking to the point of sickness, but because I was eating sushi.  I was eating sushi to the point of self-hatred.
I paid for all you can eat, and I was going to eat all that I could, dammit!  A few sips of ginger mint after shoving my face with as much rice and seaweed wrapped seafood as I could would have really helped me.  Oh well.  Lesson learned for next year.

As for my upset tummy backup tea, the licormint tea, I still like it quite a bit, but I think I'll stick with something with a bit of ginger in it for when I'm feeling sick. (And by "with a bit of" I mean "50-100%")  I still have yet to try the licormint iced.  I think it would make a lovely, sweet drink cold.  I also found the website for the store where my friend picked it up, The Feel Good Store.  Unfortunately the site doesn't really have anything on their products, but it does have their twitter and facebook feeds to follow.

That's really it for me and tea lately.

'Til next time!