The Yerba Buzz
There's a new drink on the market and it's known as Yerba Mate. A respected site, Tea Guy Speaks
, recently announced the rising popularity of this drink and how people are treating it like the next new thing, as they thought green tea was. Even though both have been around for many years, if not centuries, they only exist when American media discover them.
Now that I got that out of my system, I'd like to say a few, very brief things about this drink. Actually, this week I'm only going to have two posts because I have many writing projects going on at this time that are taking my time up. This post will have a few things about tea things, and in a day or so I will post some poetry.Yerba Mate
If you've been to the Tea Guy Speaks weblog then you probably have a good idea on what the buzz is about with this drink. It's not really a tea, but it tastes like tea and smells like tea so it belongs in the same category.
This is a traditional drink of South America that is consumed from a gourd or mate
as they call it. They then use a metal straw called a bombilla
to drink it. All this information as well as a whole lot more can be found here at Wikipedia
.Me and Erva
I had never had yerba mate (pronounced erva mah-tay) until this month of this year. My reasons for never having it before were mostly because I like to try everything in its original context before I attempt to make the drink and ruin the experience for myself. After hearing many things about this drink, the opportunity to try it presented itself.
I was at friends house who just so happened to own a french press. He offered to make some yerba in it that he had just bought from an organic store and I couldn't pass it up. So I tried it.
To my delight it had a very sweet taste that went down smooth. The aftertaste also lingered in a very pleasant way too. Needless to say I was impressed. I noticed the effect of this drink as well too. The stimulants inside the drink really give you a good jolt, or a pep in your step.
I can't wait to try this drink in its traditional way through the gourd and bombilla straw.
Bombilla is such a cool word.
Your Weekend Poem
I think I have a poem that actually fits the theme of the week for once. I wrote it a long time ago and I recently revised it to an acceptable reading level. I've kept the original rhyme pattern; however, I forgot what I originally wrote it about so it's kind of wierd reading it myself, but maybe you can figure it out.
Distance approaching is hard to hear
Waves of noise have been cut
Too many fell down in front
Amplitude shaped forms a tear
Unmistakable to anyone but us
What you've done to my heart
Can you hear my heart
At negative degree Celsius
I’m tired of trying this path
Someone give me something to do
I need importance to finish what’s due
Purpose and usefulness, as found in math
I'll admit, this post is more about tea sweeteners than it is about tools, but in my world sugar is just another tool in the process. I say this because like the Humming bird, I need sugar. If it's not sweet I usually don't enjoy it. I only use straight up sugar - none of that fake stuff.Crystal Sugar
Being the cultured tea drinker that I am, I know that putting sugar into your tea will distort its true flavor. So how can you make it sweet without ruining the fine quality of the original drink? Well, you could use the most natural sweetener of them all - honey. As lovely as honey is, it just doesn't get my drink sweet enough. So what I found that does the job for me is crystal sugar. It will sweeten the drink and yet retain the properties of the original flavor. Brilliant!
It looks like some kind of illegal drug, but I assure you, it's just sugar... really.Sugar Packets
This would be my guilty pleasure when it comes to sweetening my tea. Some times I just don't feel like waiting for the crystals to dissolve so I tear open a packet - premeasured mind you. It really makes it easy to know just how much sugar you're putting in this way as well. About one packet should do, and I know just how much that is by looking at the nutrition facts on the box.
Today is the post with gadgets that involve numbers. A very vital part of proper tea making. So let's not waste time and get right on into it.Thermometer
Not so much important for black tea or rooibos, but essential in order to make green, white, and oolong teas. I use to have a digital one, which was a lot easier to read, but this one works just fine. Just as long as you know it is accurate.
I shouldn't really have to explain this one, but I've listed it just in case you forgot about it. Any old kind of timer will do, but digital is the best and most accurate.
You've always thought the name sounded suspicious, now you know why. When you do find that special spoon, make sure it is the only one you use. This way you will have a consistent system for measuring your tea and you can play around with quantities easier without guessing.
Tools of the Trade
April is finally here and the spring semester is coming closer to an end. This means that I will be extremely busy with oodles of assignments and large papers to write. Yeah for me. The consequence of these recent events is prompting me to keep this weeks postings short, but as usual I will probably get carried away and end up writing long ones anyway.
So then, what I'd like to focus on in the coming days are the tools used to make tea. Mostly they will be the tools that I use, as other tea enthusiasts will most likely have a different preference with their devices. Onward, with lots of pictures...
A very integral part of the tea making process. Without fresh, clean water your tea won't taste as it should. In fact, it could ruin your tea if your water has high levels of chlorine or other harsh chemicals.
I highly recommend getting yourself one of these boilers. Their benefit is that they shut off the moment your water begins to boil, which is ideal for capturing the highest oxygen content. The oxygen is an essential part of the steeping process because the tea oils create a chemical reaction where oxygen is needed to facilitate this. Another nice feature is that is brings the water temp to exactly the boiling point and not over it.
If you want your tea to last a long time and stay fresh too, then I suggest you get yourself an airtight, porcelain jar. The keys to freshness are keeping sunlight out, keeping air out, and having a jar that won't allow contaminants to seep through or rub off like some plastic and metal ones do. You also want a jar that is going to seal properly and open easily. This is probably the best kind of jar you're going to find, and the latch insures that it will continue to seal for a long time.
A Tea Poet for your Teapot
So it's that time of the week again when I post a poem. I figure if you've enjoyed this week's teapot theme, then you should enjoy a poem, as both are considered art.
The piece I chose is really on the arty side of poetry. It is one poem constructed out of many smaller poems. I call it....
Another Spring Journey
Lilac Violent violet
Hums the key of B
Sharp and saturated
Sais la vie ****************** Time
Has no barrier
It just flows
Like wine And I am Drunk ******************
how do you help the poor
when they won’t accept a handout
help them help themselves,
but that takes time
time I need for my needs
because I want to want too
Pungent and nectareous
Delicious in redolence
Making mother’s day
Roy G Biv A bunch of jealousy
You chose one color