Friday, June 29, 2012

The Republic of Tea's Honey Apricot Rooibus Tea Review

The juicy nectar of ripe apricots is combined with sweet honey in a base of rooibus. The result is a sublime, healthy, caffeine-free brew with fruity top notes and caramel undertones.

Price: $13 per 3.5 oz/$3.71 per oz
Preparations: 5-7 min.

  • Artificially sweet taste, mostly falls flat however. I don't know how it can be so saccharine and so bland at the same time. Not something to savor.
  • The aftertaste is almost worse than the actual sip. It tastes better piping hot, when you can't really taste it.
  • Too much money, apricot flavor not fresh or even real.
Ouch, that was a waste of money for me... For 3.5 ounces in the tin, it was $12.50! My $15 tip earned in one day of waitressing... sigh.

Rating: 1 out of 5 stars

Tuesday, June 26, 2012


"I decided, very early on, just to accept life unconditionally; I never expected it to do anything special for me, yet I seemed to accomplish far more than I had ever hoped. Most of the time it just happened to me without my ever seeking it."

-Audrey Hepburn

^I adore that woman... but she must've had it all so easily then. She was very fortunate, I think, but at least she was never arrogant about it.

This morning's aggravation became this afternoon/evening's appeasement :)

If you're ever in Carrollton, Texas, hungry and looking for a good place to eat... try Asian Bowl!

Asian Bowl
3052 Old Denton Rd Suite 100
Carrollton, Texas

^My IB Chemistry lab demonstration for incoming sophomores... I did a very simple "Crush the Can" experiment to show the relationship between pressure and temperature. My silly classmates filmed this with my phone, haha^^

Sunday, June 24, 2012

The Art of Drinking Tea

The art of drinking tea... at least for me, haha. Everyone has their own different way that suits them, and that's fine, but I'm quite an obstinate freak and don't like my tea what I consider the "American" way simply because restaurants and cafes here always seem to make their tea too sweet or artificial.
Then again, to each his or her own taste^^

#1. Choose the appropriate type depending on the time of day. Black tea is good in the morning, since it has the most caffeine out of all the teas. Green or white tea is nice in the afternoon. If I ever drink any tea in the evening, it would probably be something like rooibus tea, which has no caffeine and is not energizing.

#2. Always get loose leaves. They're so much flavorful than tea bags... I understand they might seem more inconvenient if you do not have a good filter or teapot, but it's always better to get something less handled by men. Maybe I'm paranoid, but I always feel as if there's a chemical quality about tea brewed from tea bags...
#3. Brew and steep depending on the type of tea!! Oolong, green, black and other strong-flavored teas will probably require a little longer to steep than white tea, but fruity and rooibus teas probably need to steep even longer for the flavor to get out.

#4. Consume as it is - pure and simple. No need to add sugar or milk, tea has a wonderful taste on its own (unless it's poor quality, then maybe not). Slowly take in the fragrance first, and then savor the flavor. If it's still too bitter or flavorless, then maybe add just a little bit of honey.

#5. Sip, don't chug. Tea is not beer (but in my opinion, it's probably not a good idea to chug down any beverages... haha). By small sips, you enjoy it longer. This being said, I never pour myself a huge cup of tea either, because that adds pressure to drink it more quickly... I prefer to take small cups^^

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Ayur Shahi Ubtan Face Pack

I finally used up the Shahi Ubtan face pack I bought from the Indian supermarket a year ago!

Though it's not the sort of mask I usually put on (not so fond of mud/clay/herbal masks since they can get quite messy!), I don't regret a thing. It feels so good after I'm done with it - my skin will seem brighter and softer, and my pores temporarily shrink too! Not to mention it's at a decent price - I bought it for only $3!

Sunday, June 17, 2012

The Republic of Tea's Moroccan Mint Green Tea Review

My first tea review!
Cool and refreshing, this brew is traditionally sipped from glass teacups with an overindulgance of sugar. Fragrant gunpowder and refreshing mint brews a soothing cup.

Price: $13 per 5.1 oz/$2.55 per oz
Preparations: 2-4 min.
  • First thing I noticed when I poured out the tea: the color is very light-colored and pretty.
  • With the first cup, the mint was a little overpowering - I tasted nothing else but mint. But after steeping it a second time with the same tea leaves, the flavor was much more subtle, a very good balance.
  • This should be a wonderful iced tea as well. So refreshing, and perfect for summer!

^The tea leaves after being brewed...

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Chinese Mood for Mexican Food

My dad's been in a strange sort of phase lately. He keeps asking me to make Mexican food for dinner. Last night was steak quesadillas, tonight it's going to be burritoes.

Not that I'm complaining. I get to experiment around a little more, and... it's fun. Just added a bit of Chinese flavor to it as well^^ Chex fusion for the win!!

^Steak quesadilla: place tortilla on pan heated low-medium, sprinkle mozarella cheese on top (my dad added cheddar to one of the quesadillas too, even though I dislike the sharp flavor of cheddar :/), put strips of already-cooked steak after the cheese has somewhat melted, and add onions and other condiments as needed! Then heat up another tortilla, sprinkling cheese on top, and when it's halfway melted, combine the two tortillas together!

We also added Chinese leek inside... just because we had so many left over from the previous night, haha... Chinese people hate to waste food.

^I prepared this stack of burritoes entirely by myself because my dad went out golfing. First, cook the red and orange peppers and sweet onions thoroughly until the flavor comes out. I added salt and black pepper, and also some mushroom soysauce to the vegetables. Then I cut up the leftover steak meat into cubes, and heated them up, and seasoned with teriyaki sauce.

I then just placed this delicious combination inside the tortilla. I also cut up some scallions, sprinkled it on the combination. And homemade guacamole - made it using avocadoes, fresh lime juice squeezed by hand, Japanese mayonnaise, and salt. Mash it all together! And then add some on top. Roll up the tortilla like a burrito... I completely guessed how to, because I have never done this before, but what does it matter if the shape doesn't exactly match? It's the taste that counts!!

And just because I'm weird, I ate mine with a small dab of Siriachi sauce on top. Sometimes, I feel so glad to be a Chinese-American... I have strange taste, but I don't care because I enjoy eating too much.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

A Plate of Fried Rice

^White rice, eggs, sweet onions, pork strips, green onions, seaweed, ebi fumi furikake seasoning, and siriachi sauce... yumyum^^

I enjoy making this type of lunch for my brother...

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Dermal Green Tea Collagen Mask

Koreans make such amazing face masks^^ I was so sunburnt from that party two days ago, and had two big pimples on my cheek. After lightly rinsing off the face, the pimples were much more diminished! You can hardly even see them anymore... and it felt soooo good and soothing...

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

Graduation Pool Party

^Somebody's foot..? Haha;;

^So tired after "M in the Middle" and water volleyball!!

That was a lot of fun~! We grilled chicken and sausages, ate plenty of chocolate cake balls, chocolate cupcakes, and gumbo soup~ haha.

^That was the gumbo I brought. Made it Chinese-style, but still very authentic. Red bell peppers, onions, crab meat, sausage, shrimp, okra... then added green onions (scallions) and a little more Cajun seasoning, but I tried not to make it too spicy. Success~! Because it was devoured within three minutes, haha^^

This is the part of summer I always want to remember...

Saturday, June 2, 2012

High School Graduation

Slowly inching down the funny winding path called life
I travel, and I don't dislike it but nothing is new either
All old familiar faces that I wish only the best for
maybe not knowing which traveling road they'll take
but all the same in their hope, anxieties, ambitions
The feeling. Is the same
We all want to be something with pride or power
or at least something pleasant-sounding, so if we go
to see each other in another twenty years we can at least
brag about ourselves and our jobs and our spouses and lives
The successful ones anyway
Others may rot where they lay and it's a terrible thing
to say but it's the unspoken truth that lies in the fears of our

We shall march on to the future, eagerly looking forward
and (hopefully) not looking back.

[Erin Wei]