The Five Types of “Real Tea,” and Other Little-Known Tea Facts

Chai tea is an Indian drink with a specific spice blend, and, in India, a specific process involving condensed milk. Its actual name is ‘chai masala’, which is Hindi for ‘spiced tea’. When white westerners found it, we straddled the line between ‘exotic’ and ‘palatable to anglophone audiences’, and in doing so, made a phrase redundant in two languages. It would have been fine if we’d called it ‘masala tea’ or ‘tea masala’, or just ‘spiced tea’.

Portugal has nothing to do with it.

Get The Sweet Nuttiness of Caramel Without Melting Sugar

Want to know something crazy? Sugar doesn’t melt; it undergoes thermal decomposition. That may sound like a pedantic distinction, considering we’ve all watched sugar effectively melt into a pool of caramel atop crème brûlée, but the implications are huge—worthy of far more explanation than a mere tl;dr.

Source: How to Make Rich, Flavorful Caramel Without Melting Sugar

This also makes your morning coffee, if you are the type that disturbs the holy sanctity of the black gift of the gods by adding anything to it, amazing flavor.

Instagram’s Viral Weight Loss Teas are Just Laxatives

Celebrities on Instagram love to hawk weight loss products, and one of the biggest trends is the teatox: Herbal “detoxing” teas that are supposed to help you lose weight naturally. Of course, miracle cures don’t exist, and many of these teas are just laxatives.

Source: Instagram’s Viral Weight Loss Teas are Just Laxatives

BooTea? More like PooTea!

Diarrhea was the old cleanse, too, actually. Back in the 1800s, some doctors thought your poop would poison you if you didn’t get it out ASAP.

This New Fake Leather Is Made From Tea

Researchers from Iowa State University have developed the unusual new form of synthetic leather using some rather normal ingredients. It’s made in shallow plastic tanks that contain cellulose fibers taken from kombucha tea, along with vinegar and sugar. When a colony of bacteria and yeast is added, the material grows on the top of the liquid’s surface. It can then be harvested and dried and—bingo!—teather! (Actually it’s not called teather, I just made that up. They actually call it “cellulosic fiber.” Teather is more fun.)

Source: This New Fake Leather Is Made From Tea

Actually, real leather is all of those things too.

…and a crapton more durable. …And doesn’t fall apart when wet.

What’s odd is that Kangaroo leather is the toughest stuff – high end football (AKA soccer) shoes are made of it.  Kangaroos are considered vermin in Australia, so why doesn’t someone kill two birds with one stone?  There was talk about selling the meat too…

Top 10 Tricks to Get the Most Out of Your Caffeine Hit

Coffee, tea, and other caffeinated beverages are enjoyable for the taste alone, but sometimes you might be thinking about their caffeine content more than the flavor. Here are the top 10 things you should know about this wonderful drug and how to use caffeine more efficiently.

Source: Top 10 Tricks to Get the Most Out of Your Caffeine Hit

I was taught that the darker roasts had less caffeine as it was leeched out by the roasting process, so that milder coffees actually gave you more of a jolt than espresso roasts, if prepared the same way.

Caffeine is known to double the impact of certain pain medications (not unlike the grapefruit effect). For those taking few different medications during the day for chronic pain, the dose can be halved by taking it with coffee.  Less drug, more coffee, no downside!

Those Extracts In Your Cupboard Have Many Uses Beyond Baking

It’s a tale as old as vanilla extract: You buy a bottle of it (or of almond, or anise, or any other kind of extract), it gets shuffled to the back of your pantry shelf, and then you buy another.

And before you know it, in a fervent pantry clean out session, you uncover an extract windfall. And then what do you do?

Source: How to Use Up a Heck of a Lot of Extracts

Couple additional options:

  • If you have kids, you can add it to your playdough (homemade or store bought) or rice.
  • They can be used pretty easily to make flavored syrups for cocktails. Just dump the extract in before (or after honestly) you boil the syrup down.

“Cycle” Your Caffeine Intake to Reduce Your Tolerance

Caffeine has a wide variety of effects in the body. Mechanistically, some of the effects are direct (such as Caffeine acting as an Adenosine Antagonist, the molecule literally blocks the receptor) and others are indirect (any effects on dopamine are ‘downstream’ of the reaction with adenosine, like the latter aspects of a Domino cascade). When tolerance develops to caffeine

Source: Do I need to cycle caffeine?

If you have “brutal” headaches when you don’t get your regular dose of caffeine, that’s when you need to cycle it down.

Teen Contracts Hepatitis After Trying to Lose Weight With Green Tea

Here’s something to think about next time you get one of those “miracle green tea” emails in your inbox: doctors treating an unidentified British teenager say she contracted hepatitis and jaundice as a result of her attempts trying to lose weight by drinking diet green tea. And the scary thing is she’s not the only person to suffer this fate.

Source: Teen Contracts Hepatitis After Trying to Lose Weight With Green Tea

The tea is believed to be the vector, not the actual cause.  Additives and/or pesticides are believed to be the actual cause, due to overdosing on green tea.  Read the directions, when in doubt – ask.

I’ve been there, trying to offset the hunger or desire to eat for various reasons.  Rushing does not help, and incrementally making adjustments to your diet will allow you to adopt a new lifestyle easier.  There really aren’t shortcuts.

Dairy Cream: How Much Vitamin K?

The question is… How much did you have?  There is vitamin K in all dairy cream, but here’s some details:

I don’t think most are going to drink an entire cup of cream, but if you do – it’s not a big deal.  But more than that would likely show up in your INR test if you don’t do this regularly.

What about whipping cream?  Because I don’t skimp on this, I won’t assume you do either:

So, you’re pretty safe if it’s the canned, pressurized stuff.  But that second piece of dessert with real cream should probably happen soon after an INR test to give time for the INR level to recover.