Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Texas Tea

I recently participated in a tea seminar with one of my distributors, Sunbelt Imports, down in Houston Texas. I presented a brief history of tea followed by processing methods, brewing practices, implementing a tea program that is right for your business and a tasting.

I always love exposing people to the world of tea through tastings. It’s one thing to talk about the various methods of processing and how they affect the flavor profile and something else entirely to follow that up with a tasting, side by side, so you can experience the difference. You can literally see the ‘Ah ha!’ moment and watch the excitement build which is the most amazing part of educating.

We tried a variety of white, green, oolong and black teas from different growing regions as well as some herbal teas and tisanes.

My favorite of the day was a Jade Oolong from Taiwan. The leaves were rolled into little nuggets that unfurled beautifully during steeping. I could not resist playing with the leaves and found a completely intact ‘two leaves and a bud’.

I even went so far as to actually eat one of them and found it quite pleasing, like any other bitter green, I could see it being served alongside fish with rice and lemon, yum!

To learn more about tea visit www.tea.co.uk

Friday, March 12, 2010

Next stop

Portland, I have arrived. Seems like a fitting point in my life to get back on the blog wagon. It was quite a trip out here in the Suburban packed with all of my worldly possessions, my dog and my brother.

Our road brought us through Bismarck, ND where I met a friend’s 7 week old baby girl for the first time, then Livingston, MT where we ran into our first problem, a broken valve on one of the tires. Shit. $12 later we are on the road again to Bozeman, John, losing his glasses somewhere between the two. We decide some Mexican food will lift our spirits

and find a little joint that had amazing jalapeno poppers, just roasted jalapenos with cheddar melted on them and a piece of bacon, I have to recreate the magic. After lunch we realize that another of our tires is going flat so we bring it in and find out that the seals were leaking. F*&^ck!!!! $30 later we have brand spankin new seals on all 4 tires. After thanking the travel god’s for not getting a flat in the middle of nowhere, in the middle of the night we feel like a soak in the hot springs will set everything right once again.

Missoula. Iron Horse Brew Pub www.ironhorsebrewpub.com that is not actually brewing their own beer because the partners got ‘divorced’ and it was easier to keep the Brew Pub name and explain the situation to weary travelers, offers local brews on the menu. Shitty. Buuut, they had amazing salads, it’s their thing. They make all of their own dressings which are spot on and build the salad with delicious ingredients. Score.

Missoula to Portland via the amazing Lolo National Forest and stunning Colombia River Gorge. The intensity and contrast of the gorge is certainly a sight to behold and I will return to explore.

So now here I am. Portland. Home.

Friday, January 29, 2010


If you are unfamiliar with Malcolm Gladwell and his works, I urge you to run out immediately and pick up a copy of Blink. He tackles questions we have all thought about, albeit fleetingly and weaves together case studies and impressive research to dig below the surface.

Blink; the power of thinking without thinking, explores rapid cognition, the snap judgments that occur in our subconscious and how they affect our daily life and interactions with others. it is a thought provoking work that will change the way you see the world.

Here is an excerpt everyone can relate to:
'A person's bedroom gives three kinds of clues to his or her personality. There are, first of all, identity claims, which are deliberate expressions about how we would like to be seen by the world: a framed copy of a magna cum laude degree from Harvard, for example. Then there is behavioral residue, which is defined as the inadvertent clues we leave behind: dirty laundry on the floor, for instance, or an alphabetized CD collection. Finally, there are thoughts and feelings regulators, which are changes we make to our most personal spaces to affect the way we feel when we inhabit them: a scented candle in the corner, for example, or a pile of artfully placed decorative pillows on the bed. If you see alphabetized CD's, a Harvard diploma on the wall, incense on the side table and laundry neatly stacked in a hamper, you know certain aspects about that individual's personality instantly, in a way that you may not be able to grasp if all you ever do is spend time with him or her directly.'

Hopefully this passage inspires you to go and pick up the book!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

November Fourth

Left and right I have been hearing complaints about the campaign adds this year, like every other year, and how getting rid of them is the thing people are looking forward to most. We are sick of these adds, gripe about them every year, and swear we hate them and can see right through them.
Do you seriously think these politicians would spend millions on something that did not work? Using the television as a medium of communication is tried and true. We eat that shit up. It has mesmerized us. If we stopped watching then maybe we would not get so annoyed by all the campaign adds, we would have some time to ferret out information on where the candidates stand on issues that are important to us and strike a chord in our lives.

So you can bitch all you want about the ridiculous campaign adds, how much you hate them and how destructive you think they are, but I have no sympathy for you and if you ask me my opinion, I will tell you to throw your television out the nearest window.

I am excited to have taken part in this very historic election. I hope to be proud of my country once again.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Tolstoy Quotes

Life consists in penetrating the unknown, and fashioning our actions in accord with the new knowledge thus acquired.

The only thing that we know is that we know nothing — and that is the highest flight of human wisdom.

Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.

There is only one time that is important — NOW! It is the most important time because it is the only time that we have any power.

To get rid of an enemy one must love him.

True life is lived when tiny changes occur.

Harder and more blessed than all else is to love this life in one's sufferings, in undeserved sufferings.

Seize the moments of happiness, love and be loved! That is the only reality in the world, all else is folly.

To seek, always to seek... (Tolstoy's final words).

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Ode de Unibroue

I heart beer.
All kinds of beer, I don't discriminate. Oh wait, yes I do....
Bud, Mic, Heini, Corona..... No dice. I would rather drink water.
Unibroue is a company that is doing it right. (thanks for the introduction Epp!)

Out of Quebec (that's in Canada in case you were wondering), I have never had one of their brews that was a disappointment. The Maudite and La Fin Du Monde are two of the tastiest beers to ever pass my lips. That's kind of saying a lot as these past three years have been sort of a beer discovery extravaganza. Unibroue is a staple in my fridge.

I will now leave you with a beer haiku from this guy:

The champagne bubbles
Hints of fruit and cloves spring forth
Warmingly potent

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Juice Fasting

So I have decided to learn more about fasting so that I can start to incorporate them into my life. I borrowed Jenny's book:

It has a lot of great information on fasting in general, the different types and what is needed to treat specific ailments. They leave no stone unturned in it's 154 pages (including index); they have even managed a riveting chapter on 'Exotic Enemas'.

With other deeply informative chapters like: Yuck!, Try it, you'll like it!, Priming the pump and Are you crazy?, this book, in my opinion, is the definitive guide and bible of the fasting world. If this book tells you to put a luke warm solution of lightly steeped licorice tea and vinegar up your bum, you had better do it.