The concert

July 28, 2009

In a word, amazing. With all honesty it was the best DMB concert I have been to in a very, very long time. The combination of our amazing seats and the best play list I have heard in years! Just hearing Satellite and Crash live made my night! Of course there were several songs from their new album, Funny the Way it is, Spaceman, Squirm (the opener), Why I Am (with a special shout out to LeRoi Moore), Alligator Pie, Shake Me Like a Monkey, and a few others. There were several amazing improv moments, including some seriously awesome sax action (courtesy of Jeff Coffin)! Boyd was also amazing, I have no idea how he plays so well with the swirling braided hair action going on but he does! Of course Rashawn was there and the amazing Carter on the drums (he is seriously the man…). Picture taking didn’t work out really well but I have included a bunch of photos that did actually come out, sort of.

Beautiful Warehouse Tickets!

Beautiful Warehouse Tickets!

Stage View

Stage View

Timmy

Timmy

The Amazing Carter

The Amazing Carter

 

Stage

Stage

Boyd

Boyd

Rashawn

Rashawn

My View

My View

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The Where

July 22, 2009

As of late, I have been asked, quite frequently, where I get my tea. I recently texted someone several websites where they can go to get tea but I figured I should share this information to the general public (aka the 1 or 2 people who read this blog) and offer recommendations in the tea purchasing process. I don’t just shop anywhere for tea, nor do I buy just any old tea so naturally I have a very selective process in buying it. The type of places I go to cater to a wide variety of clientele and at each shop I typically have specific products that I purchase.

www.russianfooddirect.com

I pick up my supply of Czar Nicholas II tea from Russian Food Direct! They have five flavors (Nostalgia, Renaissance, St. Valentine, Russian Black, and Green) and offer them in boxes of 100 tea bags and in 250g of loose tea both are $7.99 or for $3.59 a box of 25 tea bags.  Either is a great deal but I would, as always recommend the 250g of loose tea, even if you have to go out and buy your own filters (which we will talk about in a later entry along with the pros and cons of loose tea vs. bagged tea).

www.premiumsteap.com

This cozy shop right on 18th street in Philly has everything! The website hardly does the shop justice, especially in the teaware section. Everyday they are getting something new in and the tea is always fresh and of the highest quality! They have all kinds of tea from the high end Chinese Silver Needle tea to the everyday fruity herbal teas. Everything is sold loose and in 2oz, 4oz, or 8oz sizes, in resealing bags to maintain the freshness of the tea. As wonderful as the site is, you are better off going into shops like this and smelling every tea you are interested in. Often the aroma sells the tea, not the name or list of ingredients.

STEAP

STEAP

www.teavana.com

This is a very popular chain of tea shops that are all over the country! They are best for their variety of tea blends and excellent selection of accouterments. Most of their tea blends are excellent both hot and iced and mixed with any type of sweetener. Their German Rock Cane Sugar is excellent and truly does not detract too much from the natural flavors of the teas. (Although in my opinion the tea blends are so sweet to begin with they do not need Sugar in any form.) Again the tea sold in this shop is sold loose and in quantities of 4oz, and it is sold in lined paper bags that you can seal with a tie. In this case you need to invest in tins, jars, or good old plastic baggies so your tea does not loose flavor from living in a bag that allows air inside.

New Investments

July 17, 2009

So today I finally made it to Steap, my favorite Philly tea shop! I wanted to pick up a few things since I gave so much tea away last week at St. Tikhon’s and recently fell in love with Russian Caravan all over again! It was so long since I had it last I coveted every sip I had last week, but now I have some of my own! Of course I agree to share this with Nick… but I don’t recall saying how much I would share with him.

Smokey Russian Caravan Tea

Smokey Russian Caravan Tea

I also selected another tea, Silver Needle white tea harvested in spring 2009 in China. I have not had a good white tea in a while, probably because good white tea is very expensive and let’s face it, I don’t buy crap. This stuff is AMAZING and totally worth the investment! Its aroma is simply fantastic; it’s so fresh and light! I can’t wait to brew it!!!

 

Silver Needle Tea

Silver Needle Tea

 

Silver Needle

Silver Needle

The tea of the night is Rooibos Sweet Amore, from Teavana. Vanilla, cinnamon, almonds, apples, peach, pear, and red Rooibos tea blend together to make an amazingly smooth and spicy tea! www.teavana.com They recently updated their website!

Rooibos Sweet Amore

Rooibos Sweet Amore

 

Rooibos Sweet Amore in my cute leaf tea cup!

Rooibos Sweet Amore in my cute leaf tea cup!

Tea Time with Tat

July 16, 2009

In case you didn’t know, I am very fond of tea. I will drink tea in almost any form, from any country, and in any flavor. That being said I would like to use this blog as a platform to exchange information and suggestions about tea and the many tea traditions that occur cross culturally.

Tea is universal. It is consumed by the leaders of empires and by the lowest of slave workers. It has been raised to a traditional art form of the Japanese and carried from camp site to camp site in the deserts of Africa. It was brought to the Western world by Chinese traders and European explorers where it received mixed reviews depending on the court. In some places it began with the upper classes and was treated as luxury good and in other places it was the drink of the lower classes who couldn’t afford anything better. Eventually it spread to all socio-economic groups and became a staple of everyday life instead of a luxury good.

Because of its nature tea travels remarkably well and still maintains its quality and flavor. I keep tea everywhere so that I am never without it! At work I have a special box full of little baggies of tea (see below) and I also have a box of pre-bagged tea (which typically goes against my tea principles but it was free and one never looks a gift horse in the mouth). The pre-bagged tea was a “free” gift from the company I order my Russian tea from and when I bought 8 bags of loose tea for camp they gave me this box as well. (Last time they sent me a box of black tea with lemon flavor with my order) Let’s just say if they are trying to keep me as a customer its working!!!

My personal things at work.

My personal things at work.

 

Free tea is ALWAYS good tea!

Free tea is ALWAYS good tea!

 

My tea stock for work

My tea stock for work

In the (ikea) tea box for work I have; Czar Nicholas II St. Valentines Tea (Church Tea), Czar Nicholas II Green Tea, Czar Nicholas II Renaissance Tea, Earl Grey Rooibos Tea, Chai Lemongrass Black Tea, Oolong Tea, a Spice Rooibos, and two different Pi Lo Chung Green Teas. There are also a few bagged teas in there, a bunch of filters, and a teaspoon.

Recovery

July 13, 2009

I think I am now fully recovered from camp. At least I feel like I am even though I am writing this under a pile of paper work and messages at work.

 

Tat’s post-camp recovery method:

Step 1: 15 –hour coma

Step 2: hour long shower

Step 3: A handful of Margaritas

Step 4: Visiting the Fruit Cart and all it’s majesty!

 

Here are the only two pictures I have with me. These were taken on Sunday during orientation.

Martin

Martin

 

Counselors during Orientation

Counselors during Orientation