James Marshall's Food and Drink Page

This page contains some brief information on foods and drinks I enjoy, primarily tea and tea varieties with some other food and drink related topics, but I may add more later.

Tea

Made by steeping tea leaves in hot/boiling water, this is a very popular drink worldwide, said to be second only to water. There are many types of teas: black, oolong, green, white, rooibos, herbal, etc. and I'm not going to go into all of that here. If you want to know about that side of things, I'd suggest starting with The Tea Page, Tea and Sympathy, or Wikipedia's Tea article. Instead, I'd like to provide links to some good tea retailers in two groups. In the first group are mainly online stores where you can buy higher quality loose teas: Adagio Teas, Golden Moon Tea, Republic of Tea, SpecialTeas, TeaFrog, Teavana, The Tea Table, Upton Tea Imports. Some sellers will have better selections or rarer teas than others, so look around to find exactly what you want. I've either tried teas from these companies or personally know someone who has, and they're all pretty good. In the second group are companies whose teas I typically find sold in grocery stores as bagged teas: Bigelow, Celestial Seasonings, Lipton, Stash Tea, Twinings. I've tried all of these brands, and while I prefer the loose teas, these are still good and they sometimes have some nice flavored teas.

Specific to Adagio Teas, I'd also like to offer a $5 gift certificate to use on your first order with them (or put your e-mail in the form below and hit enter).

Also, I've created a number of signature blends: Apple Cinnamon Chai, Chocolate Caramel Chai, Chocolate Raspberry Chai, Coconut Cream Chai, Neopolitan Chai, Smoky Chai, Thai Tea Experiment. (The image below displays one of them chosen at random.)

Tea Varieties

There are a number of different variations on the basic tea idea. Chai tea (see also chai-tea.org), or more accurately masala chai, has become a favorite of mine. Of Indian origin, it consists primarily of black tea (though others could be used), milk, and sugar or other sweetener, and a variety of spices (cardamom being a common one). The spices are the main characteristic of this tea, the exact blend playing an important role in creating the final flavor. Many companies like the ones above have chai tea blends and some companies like Oregon Chai, Pacific Chai, and Yogic Chai basically specialize in chai.

Bubble tea which goes by many other names including pearl tea, boba tea, and tapioca tea, is another favorite. Of Taiwanese origin, it's basically a strong tea, flavored and sweetened, with small balls (pearls) of tapioca added. The tapioca is the unique ingredient here with the soft but chewy balls (like gummy candies) providing something to eat between sips. A straw wide enough to suck up the tapioca balls is used to drink the tea. It's pretty good, almost a drink and snack together. I normally get my bubble tea from the Ten Ren's Tea Time store near me, but there are a few other places I get it from. One I like because it really specializes in bubble tea is Bubble Tea Cafe (Yelp's review) -- I discovered pop boba there, and while that isn't a big favorite of mine, I like how it's an option I haven't seen elsewhere.

Another variety that I don't know very much about is Thai tea. I've had it a few times as a bubble tea and bought it powdered to mix at home, so I can't say too much about it, but it is another tasty variety. Recently, I tried yerba mate, which is like herbal tea with its own distinct flavor. The one I had was pretty good, but it was also chocolate flavored. An unflavored one might have a different taste.

Other Food and Drink

Here are links for a few other assorted food and drink related items I enjoy: Pocky, which seems to be a rather popular snack among anime fans, and it's one I enjoy, partly because of the large variety of flavors (I usually buy it at local Asian food stores); Jelly Belly makes some of the best tasting jelly beans I've had (many recipes and some other information can be found on my Jelly Belly page); Mountain Dew is probably my favorite soda; Oral Fixation Breath Mints makes some nice mints in 11 flavors, sugar free except for one flavor, with my favorites being Antioximint (green tea) and Spare Mint (spearmint), but the only thing is their minimum order is $30 (12 packs) and their site seems to have disappeared.


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James Marshall (e-mail me)
http://www.jmarshall.net/

This page was last updated on April 7, 2013.
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