Monday, January 31, 2011

This /t/ could be a savior of the Middle East

DukeOEarl: One word. Da Hong Pao. It is the favorite of this Blag without question. After classes, Tea_Pain and I went to Dobra Tea Room for some Da Hong Pao /t/. If you are unfamiliar with Da Hong Pao, the legend goes as such:

Book of Oolong 2:3-11
3 And when the /t/ failed to be other than Lipton, the mother of /T/sus saith unto him, They haveth no /t/.
4 And /T/sus saith unto her, Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine sandwich is not yet come.
5 His mother saith unto the servants, Whatsoever he saith unto you, do it.
6 Now there were six waterpots of stone set there after the Jews' manner of purifying, containing 18 or 27 gallons apiece.
7 /T/sus saith unto them, Fill the waterpots with water. And they filled them to the brim.
8 And He saith unto them, Draw out now, and bear unto the ruler of the feast breasts. And they bare breasts.
9 And when the ruler of the feast finished with the breasts, he tasted the water now become Da Hong Pao, and knew not whence it was (but the servants that had drawn the water knew), the ruler of the feast calleth the bridegroom,
10 and saith unto Him, Every man setteth on first the Da Hong Pao; and when men have drunk freely, then that which is worse: thou hast kept the Da Hong Pao until now.
11 This beginning of his signs did /T/sus in Cana of Galilee, and manifested his glory; and his disciples believed on him.

/T/sus turned water into Da Hong Pao. Then during the Ming Dynasty, an emperor found that it cured his mother of her illnesses, and he put red cloth around the special bushes on Mt. Wuyi in the Fujian Province of China where the tea was grown to honor the plants. Thus we have Da Hong Pao.

We ordered it and received it exactly like the above picture. Notice how the /t/ and the honey are the same color. Beautiful isn't it? On the first go, no honey was added so that we could sample the delectable flavor, unaltered. The roasted, malty scent fumed from this tea, while the sweet malty taste was reminiscent of the fermented peat in an expensive scotch whiskey. The taste lingers too, and sometimes, it is slightly salty in a good way. To clarify, this /t/ needs no honey, but a little goes a long way towards sweetening it. Five or so pots later, Tea_Pain and I were satiated.

Tea_Pain: I...uh... couldn't quote the New /T/estiment better myself, Duke. This is basically the Goldschlagger of /t/: it turns shit gold. And the flavor is a mix of wheat bread and honey. Hell, I'm calling it Da Honey Pao since it kicks the shit out of my taste buds every time I've had it. And you know what, that's alright. My tongue loves the abuse. My tongue is actually so happy right now that it could take another 2 gallons of this stuff, burning-lava hot, and love every minute of it.

Update: This is what it looked like after three and a half pots with the same leaves...

DukeOEarl: Tea_Pain wants me to talk about some conversation that I was supposed to eavesdrop, but frankly I was too captivated by this tea and by the crashing Ford stock to notice. As a side note, we hear at the Blag support the freedom of speech and press, and thus we support the rights of the people in Northern African and the Middle East who are protesting their governments. Without revolutionaries, we would still be drinking Earl Grey with milk while wearing silly wigs. blech.

Update: This is what it looked like after five pots with the same leaves!!!:

And yeah it looks the same as before. This is for serious.

Tea_Pain: Never have we gone this deep into a brew of /t/. It just doesn't stop getting better though. This probably could have gone another 3-4 steeps and been sex-water. Da Honey Pao essentially begins as an earthy main course and finally gives way to a dessert comprised entirely of honey. Da Hong Pao: how does it work?

What: Da Hong Pao aka "Large Red Robe" Tea (Dobra Tea Room)
How much: $4.95 for a large pot or $5 per oz
What kind: Oolong aka "black dragon" (yeah fucking dragons in this bitch)
Taste: Hands down the best /t/ we've ever had (malty, roasted honey-sex in a cup)
Repeat Drinkability: 11/10 (the taste goes on and on and on and on and on and on a gobstopper)
Manliness: 11/10 (if black tea is manly, surely fermented black tea suckled from the bosom of /T/sus is the epitome of manliness)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Lemon Par/t/y

Tea_Pain: After spending much of my life sucking from the Lipton teat, I branched out to Darjeeling /t/. As of about 6 years, I'm still a BIG FAN of Darjeeling varieties. I saw this special in the Dobra menu and went to town on this black /t/. I brewed the first batch of the "Degu" /t/ and slowly found the scent of a lemon grove in the air. Actually, it was a lot like huffing Pine Sol if you stuck your nose in the pot... The tea tasted a lot like lemonade, only without the citrusy bite. Now, this was a 1st flush of Darjeeling, so I expected it to be a little more "delicate". Turns out this was by far closer to a green /t/: it was lighter in color, wasn't nearly as thick as a black tea, and was a lot easier on the caffeine. I could see this more as an iced tea, or add some honey and we could call it "Lemon Par/t/y". Think about it, Dobra.

DukeOEarl: After Tea_Pain was finished with the first steep, I had my turn with this "lemony" /t/. It certainly smelled like lemons, yet it also smelled like tabbouleh. After a few more sips, a tomato smell captured my attention. Its taste was rather acidic and citrus-like, similar to tabbouleh with the standard ingredients such as tomatoes, lemon, and parsley. Suddenly my tongue became partially numb. I guess this tea has the power/chemicals to numb your tongue.

Tea_Pain: Going off Duke's comment, one thing I really didn't like about the tea though was how it essentially numbed my tongue. I felt like I burned my tongue and couldn't taste a whole lot by the end of the first brew. The feeling eventually wore off, but when I finished off another round I felt like I had just gone through a really bad makeout session (see: freshman year of high school). I guess if I wanted to be emo, I'd drink a lot of this /t/ so I could be fully numb. However, I'm not a big fan of dragon tattoos and Insane Clown Posse.

DukeOEarl: The third steep had a very apparent tomato blanching smell, and I recalled a time when I was making pasta sauce anda meataballs. The tongue numbing effect seemed less severe too. It's interesting how the flavor changed over the course of the brew. It went from an emo citrus tea to a tomato, hairy Italian tea. Either way, we've had worse.

What: "Degu" 1st flush Darjeeling (Dobra Tea Room)
How much: $2.00 special (cause Tea_Pain's better half is Jewish)
What kind: Black
Taste: Lemons--> tomatoes --> blanched tomatoes
Repeat Drinkability: 7/10 (I love drinking me some horse tranquilizer)
Manliness: 7/10 (Darjeeling is the champagne of teas so it's like High Life right? Its sufficiently manly)

Thursday, January 27, 2011


So, I went to the Steep and Brew on State St. this morning. When I was a freshman at the UW, I would pretty much live at that place. They have cheap waffles. They have loose leaf tea. How could this ever end poorly? It can't, waffles cure everything from sadness to terrorism. If you disagree, I will bury you.

I decided to return to my nostalgic, non-hipster-infested stomping grounds with hopes of trying a different tea. I'm a big fan of their darjeeling, and trust me, there will be a future post dedicated to its splendor. Though, instead of that sweet, darjeeling nectar, I decided on something similarly exotic: Kenyan.

If any of you remember Powerthirst, you'll realize this is a grand experiment. After drinking this tea, would I run as fast as KENYANS? Would people think I was KENYAN? Would they send me back to KENYAAAAA? Well, if all of these are the case, Kenyans are extremely "meh".
Did I like the /t/? Yes. Was it as inspiring as climbing Mt. Kilimanjaro and skydiving onto a giraffe in the Great Rift Valley only to be attacked by Somalian pirates from the Indian Ocean? Not even in the slightest. Don't get me wrong, this /t/ definitely had some good notes of caramel and a good acidity to it. Hell, it's even got the whole black thing going...but Powerthirst it is not. This could have been blended with rooibos or, if they even had food, some sort of culturally-centered substance like millet or sorghum (thanks Wikipedia!). Make this shit interesting. It is supposedly from a foreign country, make it more African than regular black /t/. I didn't want Early Grey, but sans bergamot this Kenyan stuff is practically identical. I am disappoint, Steep and Brew. Stick with waffles.

What: Kenyan (Steep and Brew)
How much: $2.10 for a "small"...or $4 for 4 oz
What kind: Black
Taste: Average black tea with a hint of caramel.
Repeat Drinkability: 5/10 (It's your standard black /t/ with an ethnic sounding name. Drink it at parties to show how "worldly" you are.)
Manliness: 6/10 (A piece of me died when I saw this unfortunate KENYAN dressed up in FUBU.)

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wen en Jermanee spel ebrything rong

I don't know what it is with Germans, but they spell everything wrong.  Like for instance, this box of /t/ that I'm reviewing, seen below, has the words "fruit" and "tea" misspelled several times.  What the fücht?  Spell words the right way.  Jesus came to Earth to teach everyone how to spell properly, but since y'all are a little slow, Mammad had to come 700 years later to try again.  Anyway here is that picture:

Oh how did that get there...well I guess it's just gonna stay.  Go Stillers.  Well now I gotta find that other picture...So anyway, this tea is a fruit tea.  What is a fruit tea exactly?  Well apparently hibiscus and rose is the base for a fruit tea.  And I thought they were flowers.  Silly me.  Apparently there are apples, oranges, lemons, and elderberries in this /t/.  It füchten smells like it!  It smells more like fruity pebbles than that blueberry pie /t/.  It tastes like a good bottle of cough syrup too.  Not quite on par with the super flavorful Fruit Punch Robitussin for kids, which you have to drink like four bottles of for any kind of fun cause kids are lightweights, but it's still good albeit very fruity in a fruity way.  I sorta wish it was more red.  I love shiny red things like Bar Refaeli.  This looked more like blood.  I get enough blood when I eat raw meat.  I don't need to digest any more blood.

Overall this /t/ wasn't so bad.  I mean I drank about four roses worth of rose hips and more fruit than I'll ingest throughout the rest of my life, but it wasn't pissass.  Thank /T/sus for that.  In the end the fruity flavor was subtle and sweet (no honey necessary) even though it came from a box that expired about six years ago.  I guess the Germans build things to last.  Oh wait.

What: Fruit Tea aka Fchte-Tee (Julius Meini)
How much: I dunno ($10 a box?)
What kind: Herbal - Fruit
Taste: Like this
Repeat Drinkability: 6/10 (minus a point for being six+ years old)
Manliness: 1.5/10 (fruit, especially apples, without pie isn't very manly)

P.S. - If you like the Blag, like it on facebook and tell your friends!

Oh here is the picture of the /t/

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Soulless /T/

Tea_Pain: Well, since the other Alterra tea was so awesome, we figured we should try another blend: Organic Tangerine Ginger. I'm a fan of both of these flavors and really hoped it lived up to the new standard of Alterra teas I had figured out. We turned on some G4, watched some Cheaters (quality American programming), saw some quality advertising (To quote Rescue Capital, "We don't use cartoons. That makes us better than the competition.") and went to town.

DukeOEarl: Not NEARLY as potent as the other Alterra tea. It smells way more epic than it tastes because it smells like orange rind and fresh cut ginger root. However in the /t/, the ginger takes a ton of time to build. It would be a better potpourri. I wish there was more ginger. Actually this is the only time I've wished for more ginger. Gingers anger me.
Tea_Pain: If you like warm ginger water, you're probably better off sipping Carrot Top's bath water. I mean, it's just warm, sour, and tastes like failure. If this is a widely available and marketable brand (see: Alterra), you will want to reach out to the audience that pays the most money. In this case, that audience likes things sweeter than a Care Bear milkshake. Even as a purist, I have to say that this tea is just overpowered by ginger. I came in wanting orange ginger; I came out wanting orange ginger.

DukeOEarl: Tea_Pain is right. Remember when I wished for more ginger? Yeah well that sucked because on the second pour it tasted way more like ginger albeit sweeter, but not like the good kind of sweet ginger. I still wanted fucking ginger in my /t/ except that's what I got. The only logical explanation is that we were tricked. Some ghost ginger hoodwinked me and Tea_Pain to like ginger. Ghost ginger also made it bright red to trick me specifically. /T/ime to pray to /T/sus to protect us from that damned ghost ginger. Oh great /T/sus send us gifts of Da Hong Pao (and money) (or just money) so that we may bask in your glory!

What: Organic Tangerine Ginger (Alterra)
How much: $10 for 3.25 oz tin
What kind: Herbal - Ginger, "citrus"
Taste: like Pinesol
Repeat Drinkability: 3/10 (It's borderline meh)
Manliness: 4/10 (looks like wine, not beer. MAN UP)

Monday, January 24, 2011

Alterra should stick with coff...oh my god /t/his is delicious

DukeOEarl - So Tea_Pain invites me over to cuddle, I mean drink /t/. He whips out his tin and it smells like blueberry yum yum. Actually, it didn't, but it did smell delicious.

Tea_Pain - I basically woke up that morning and said, "A'ight, today I want to drink a muffin." Since this is the case, I pretty much had to make this stuff for the blog. Luckily my birthday wasn't too long ago and I think I got some good stuff from the rents (to be determined in about...1 minute). One blend is this Blueberry Rooibos from Alterra. Smells like blueberry crack. You know how manly crack is, right? Try fruity crack. Effing. Stellar.

DukeOEarl - It's definitely rooibos...but it also tastes like blueberry pie. If Homestarrunner were to drink this, it would say, "Okay bwuebewwee tea. Wowww it tastes wike bwuebewweessssss! That's gwate." Also what the fuck are shazandra berries? I can't even say that name twice in a row and apparently they were in this /t/. They will now be known as shazam berries. Why? Honestly I don't know.

Tea_Pain - I know why they're called shazam berries: Shaq ate them enough during his days on the Magic that he went on to make a movie about them. They also cured Shaq's unbearable viral hepatitis. Anyway, Alterra loved the movie so much they decided to put them in this /t/. Makes complete sense. As for the taste, I think that if we could steep this repeatedly I wouldn't have to buy another tea. Rather than act the role of a weak herbal with a strong scent, this stuff went full retard on me and kicked the crap out of my taste buds. Though it's a little expensive for loose leaf tea, this stuff is well worth the money. A++++, would buy again.

What: Blueberry Rooibos (Loose) (Alterra)
How much: $10 for 3oz tin.
What kind: Herbal - Red, Blueberry
Taste: Like muff-diving into a blueberry patch
Repeat Drinkability: 9/10 (if you COULD steep it twice, this would be a 10)
Manliness: 9/10 (just like blueberry pie on African Christmas)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

Manliness is measured by.... much you like football.  Here at /t/he Blag we love football.  We were going to post s/t/uff today, but there is too much football.  Go Stillers! Go Pack!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Between the Devil and the deep black tea

When Amerigo Vespucci invented sailing and discovered how to rob indigenous peoples of their land, spices were still expensive. That's not the case anymore because the same kids that make your Air Jordan's and answer your customer service questions also grow your cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg, blah blah blah. Actually that brings up an interesting question. Is it still a sweatshop if it's air conditioned? Think about that, but I digress...It's basic economics; the supply is larger, which lowers the cost to us. Because of that, everything is spiced now, but especially crappy /t/. I like to call it chai tea. Actually I don't because chai means tea in a bunch of different language tongues. See what I did there? I'll do it again. Chai means tea in the languages of many different country nations.

In a round about way, I'm getting to the fact that I'm reviewing a “chai” /t/ aka tea tea, redundant tea, or a tea within a tea. Since it was basically free and my first experience with Stash, I thought what the hell. Plus the package looked cool. I like bright red things.

I opened the /t/ bag, and immediately my nose was assaulted by more cinnamon than Big Red gum. I was fully expecting to get a spice ship from India when I opened the microwave, but instead I got this tea. It has a normal black /t/ base with a cinnamon scent. There is also a subtle cinnamon bite to it that builds, likely from the Big Red flavoring, but the clove and nutmeg flavors that are announced on the box are only present when the tea is room temperature or colder. It's a little dusty too, probably from ground spices. To be honest, I consider the artificial cinnamon taste a big negative along with the dustiness. It really lacked depth. The spices were there, yes, but they didn't really enhance this tea in any way. A straight cinnamon tea would've been better, like this one /t/ me and the Tea_Pain had at Macha Teahouse last year. A tea with spices other than cinnamon would've been better too, provided the spices were in the right quantities, proportions, etc. When you have so many spices, you spread out the flavor. Sometimes it's best to go with a larger quantity of fewer spices. Stash, you need to go deeper.

What: Chai Spice Black Tea (Stash) aka redundant tea is redundant
How much: $5.45 per box (30 bags)
What kind: Black - Spiced
Taste: Like a tea within a tea.  Probably would be better as a tea within a tea within a tea.
Repeat Drinkability: 6/10 (I expected more. More of what? Exactly.)
Manliness: 7/10 (men love Big Red gum and spices)

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


So I'm in the store buying groceries on my magical, free money card, some people call it Visa, and I look over and...holy shit...there's a dragon.

A FUCKING DRAGON!!! ON SOME TEA!!! Is this a sign from /t/ Jesus?! Or /T/sus as I like to call Him. What could this mean?! There's only one way to know, so I bought the /t/ with the magic, free money card and drove home. The first thing I did was turn on the hot water or as I like to call it the microwave. Time stood still as I waited to try this dragon tea.  The water could not heat fast enough.  I still had to steep it.  Ugh.  This was going to take too long.

Finally, after what seemed like about a week, I could drink this tea.  In my passion for this tea, I burnt my tongue.  Drinking boiling water minus three minutes of cooling equals a burnt tongue.  Maybe that's why it's dragon tea, cause it burns your tongue.  It didn't taste like much with my burnt tongue.  Mostly like a lot of water.  Didn't look like much either.  I did notice that there was a ton of sediment on the bottom of my cup, either from the crappy string-less bags or from the minced leaves.

Well I guess I should try it another time, since my sense of taste was pwn3d by the burninator.

Ok, so I tried it again the next day when my tongue could sense things again.  Hmm...Houston, can haz probrem.  There's still no taste.  Where is this dragon that is supposed to ravish my tongue with awesomeness?  I'm waiting for it to surprise me like I will be surprising T Swift next week.  I guess there is no dragon.  I'm as disappointed as I was when I saw Mulan for the first time in which there was NO DRAGON or when I realized that Santa actually drives a Geo rather than a sleigh with reindeer.  This tea has flavor like French people are hardworking.  Asking for this tea to have flavor is like asking for light beer to have flavor.  It is the Coors Light of tea.  It lacks taste and drinkability (har har har).  Typically you can describe a beer by hops, malt, alcohol, fruitiness, etc.  Coors Light has a discernible bearing for taste description like this tea has flavor.  I'd rather drink the hard water that we have here in Madison, which will give me cancer in seven years because of all the chromium.

I guess you could drink it for the antioxidants.  You could also limit your oxygen intake by deciding not to breathe.

What: "Authentic" Green Tea (Celestial Seasonings)
How much: $2.79 per box (this is entirely too much for 1.4 oz of this shitty tea)
What kind: Green - "Authentic"
Taste: Less taste than steeping grass clippings in water
Repeat Drinkability: 2/10
Manliness: 2/10 (Fake dragons FTL)

Monday, January 17, 2011

/T/rifecta Complete

Tea_Pain: We headed over to Macha and discovered the place was packed; I don't think that's ever actually happened before. After realizing that deciding on one tea from the menu of 30-some /t/eas was going to be troublesome, I took advice from a chalkboard proclaiming “SPECIAL” and ordered the Bolivian Whole Leaf Tea. 
DukeOEarl: Bolivian Whole Leaf Tea. Bolivia...Bolivia...isn't that the city where they invented cocaine?
Tea_Pain: No, I believe Bolivia is actually where the song “Who Let The Dogs Out?” originated. Rather, cocaine was invented in the richer segments of Los Angeles to combat weight gain. It's doing alright so far.
DukeOEarl: Tea_Pain told me about his break over in Antarctica or Wisconsin or whatever. Apparently he wasn't teaching young children how to marry Taylor Swift, which is good since I will be doing that soon. Instead, he was admiring my pudding fart movies, and drinking girly tea. Not a bad break I guess. I mean it could be worse, like he could've taken stock tips from 50 Cent or been Lindsay Lohan in rehab. Plus talk of pudding farts scared away this annoying pseudo-couple that was sitting next to us talking about which friends they liked more. Shoot me in the face. In the faaaaaace.

Tea_Pain: "Admiring" is a weak word, but I digress... After a couple minutes of some hardcore brewing action, I took a swig of this black /t/. I'll just throw this out there now... this is tits. The whole tea had a honey feel: taste, look, smell. Effing amazing. I want to live in Bolivia so that I may grow thousands of honey trees and drink their nectar. It was so good we each got 3 pots of it. Sad day though, it looks like this tea is seasonal.
DukeOEarl: Tea_Pain's assessment that the /t/ tasted like honey is fair. To be honest, my nose is so clogged right now that I wouldn't smell the manure-filled cow barn thing on campus if I was standing in the manure. I could ice a cake with the amount of mucus that I produce in one hour. My sense of taste is skewed too, but I could taste that this /t/ was delicious. Its flavor was light and sweet, and the liquor was a little lighter than a typical black tea. And by god there were no pomegranates in it. We drank three pots each before channeling our inner Michael J. Fox. That was a serious amount of fluid and caffeine. Justin, fresh pot?
P.S. - On a sad note, Hockey Muhammad, Sidney Crosby, is injured. :'(

Tea_Pain: Though it is sad that the holiest of the holy was injured after falling on the ice, we did get some words in for a decent conversation. Hell, I found out I should have bought BP stock after that oil spill (I could've bought out Lipton with all the money I would have made). And to conclude, I'm actually still shaking. This /t/ was so good it gave me several post-orgasmic tremors. More in the summary.

What: Bolivian Full Leaf (Macha Teahouse)
Quote from Macha: Bolivian Black- A strip style whole leaf from La Paz region near the Andes. The cool climate and high altitude along with the unique cultivar give this tea an amazing sweet ,malty and earthy taste. A great addition to your personal stash.
tl;dr= Latin tea that tastes like honey. Ol
How much: $3/pot
What kind: Black – Full Leaf
Taste: It's like Jesus looked down upon our earth and cried warm tears of joy into a small drinking vessel and then bellowed “FREE REFILLS FOR ALLLLLL!” It's like a subtle black tea but with the taste of hope, rain, and honey.
Repeat Drinkability: 10/10. I'mma be serious here when I say that neither of us can normally finish more than two pots at Macha. Even after the third, we were still loving it (until we noticed the shaking).
Manliness: 7/10. The only way this could be manlier is if you knocked down a wasp nest to flavor the tea. Shirtless. With a baseball bat and small explosives.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

When in Rome, drink with the Irish

I woke up feeling like P. Diddy, Ke$ha and Amy Winehouse. 2 words: blood everywhere. Time for some Twinings to help me get through the morning as fast as possible. Steps to replicate fastest /t/ea ever:
1) Plug in microwave. If you have one that is old enough to need to be turned on, stop reading this as you are not worth my time.
2) Put cup full of liquid, preferably, but not limited to, water into microwave. Heat that shit up.
3) Tear open tea packet with something sharp, a machete works well here. Put that shit in the other shit and wait. Patience is not manly, but you'll have to suck it up here, or else you'll be drinking plain old hot water. You ever drink from the shower?
4) Drink /t/ea until finished. If you desire more, allow woman/women to refill your cup until satisfied.

I wielded my machete and chose the Irish Breakfast /t/ea. I figured it was better than Earl Grey because it was Irish. The Irish have plenty of manly things to brag about: alcoholic beverages, alcoholics, bar fights, and Leprechauns. After very little thought, I sipped the dark brown liquid in front of me and was a little "meh'd" by it.

Much like any other breakfast blend in the civilized world, this stuff's purpose to get you caffeinated and give you cotton mouth. If someone woke up and said, "Awww yeaaah, I'mma get my breakfast flava ON!" then they would be disappointed. The /t/ package suggests using milk and sugar. My cereal also suggests this...but at least it tastes fine on its own. I believe that if you drink this /t/ for taste, you are a divorced coffee drinker trying to quit drinking grog but still wanting the bitterness of life in every cup. You wake up every morning saying life can only get better but then you take a sip and realize that life sucks and you just grew a 3-inch beard.

So why would I rate this tea so high? Breakfast is legit. Cereal sells better than gold bricks. If you find a way to piggy-back, by all means, do it. If they took out the word "breakfast", Twinings would be looking at a semi-bland tea that would be a class above Lipton. Just by leaving in this word, they guarantee a share of the market. My inner economist is going "cha-ching" as I will now be marketing a new breakfast line of dresses and dildos on Oprah.

What: Irish Breakfast Tea (Twinings)
How much: $0.14/ bag
What kind: Black - Breakfast
Taste: Lipton with added class
Repeat Drinkability: 6/10 since it supports eating large amounts of sugary corn products at an early time of day.
Manliness: 9/10. "Irish" is Latin for "chest hair" and this tea gets nearly as black as Guinness. Might as well pour some beer in it and call it a night.

Friday, January 14, 2011

If beer makes you social...

...we are a 500 pack of handlebar-mustached-trucker-hat-wearing-frat-boy-conquering Natty Light.

Check us out on Facebook and Twitter.

(No, there will not be a Myspace you dumb, 5th grade hooker.)

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Seriously... Pomegranates. How do they work?

I am currently travelling across the state of Wisconsin. Why do I do this? Because it's cold, snowy, and I like walking around shirtless or in ungodly amounts of flannel. Yes, I'm somewhat disappointed that this state can't support its own tea industry, but I survive.

Today, I figured that since my voice sounded like shit coming out of a meat grinder, that I would tell my throat to MAN UP! Sadly, my host only had, you guessed it, more herbal teas. I chose the Strawberry Pomegranate Rooibos tea from Stash. At first, I was impressed, the color slowly took the form of blood, like I had taken a field of fruit and slaughtered it like my enemies so that I may quench my thirst. Like the title suggests though, I still have no idea what makes pomegranates so great. They taste like watered-down crystal light and take about as much time to eat as one of Duke's pudding fart movies, but still, girls gobble this shit up.

Now, have you ever drank water? Have you ever drank RED water? Well kudos, you have just described this tea. I kept the /t/ bag in the brew for the entirety of this drink. What came of this? More red, no flavor. Sure it smelled like some sugary sap from the heavens, but in reality it was so extremely subtle in flavor that you'd think you were drinking hot water. "But Tea_Pain, girls love gentle things like kittens, bunnies, and lightly flavored beverages!" Yeah? Well at least you can make Chinese food and stews out of the first two. Still, you know what makes guys manly? Getting girls. So to embrace this tea means that you will be embracing women later. Repeatedly. In 5 minute bursts.

I'm kinda disappointed with this rooibos blend. Usually they're pretty pleasant and tangy /t/eas. If anything, I got a hint of sweetness in the background. It's kinda like taking your woman to the mall, buying her $hit tons of shoes, and then realizing that she actually looks pretty hot in those throwaway stockings. You want to be happy with your purchase but you realize you could've been just as well off doing nothing. Those shoes are just as much trinkets as diabetes is to a McDonald's fanatic and disappointment is to a liberal arts major.

What: Strawberry Pomegranate Red Tea (Rooibos) (Stash)
How much: $0.18 per bag on the Stash website.
What kind: Rooibos- herbal
Taste: where? maybe a 2/10
Repeat Drinkability: 2/10
Manliness: 3/10 (looks like thinned out B-movie blood)

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Watch out Taylor Swif/t/ I just cleaned my shotgun

Soon Taylor Swift will be my wife.  I've got the wedding materials ready: one shotgun, one priest, and one redneck to scream "YEEEEEHAAAAA!" Actually, that reminds me.  Tea_Pain is out of town teaching little African children about electricity and the Western ways of marriage, so I'm gonna do another review.  In honor of Tea_Pain's trip to Cairo, Ethiopia I will be drinking a classic South Asian tea, Rooibos.

Actually Rooibos is South African.  Yeah I didn't know there was a difference either.   It is also know as bush tea because the broom-like bush that it is picked from and because that's what they call the region of Australia in which it grows.  Imagine it lions probably pissed all over it as it was growing.  I mean what other water is there in the Mohave Desert?

Holy.  Fuck.

I'm drinking tea grown from lion piss!  That must be why it tastes so god damn good.  Or it could be because I'm sick and I can't taste anything.  Well this lion tea should kick the shit out of my cold.  I guess it's better than drinking.......well I was gonna say beer cause that's the only other thing I drink, but there's really nothing better than beer.  Anyway, since there's no caffeine, I can't see myself drinking it that often even though it tasted like African Christmas.

The taste is rather hard to describe.  It's a bit dusty and earthy, in a good way, and its taste is more like black tea than like your typical herbal tea.  This unique taste is probably based upon the specific lion that pissed on the bush.  OMG what if a bear and a lion had baby and that baby pissed on that bush.  Best.  Tea.  Evar.

What: Rooibos (Generic Loose-leaf OMGRLY???!!!!)
How much: $.85 per oz
What kind: Herbal - Red
Taste: Like John Wayne's boots, steeped in water
Repeat Drinkability: 6/10
Manliness: 7/10 (minus points for being herbal and a lack of caffeine, plus points for LION PISS)


P.S. - Tea_Pain will be back soon.  Here is a picture of my future wife to tide you over.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Sconnie Land and I/t/s Chinese Girl Infes/t/ation

Your Duke is back in Madison.  The entire Midwest looks the same, so I didn't realize it until I saw people driving like eight year old Chinese girls who had a few Four Lokos.  Ahh Wisconsin, where people drive like potato.

I woke up this morning feeling like I needed cigarette.  Fuck, I don't have any cigarettes, I thought.  What's the next best thing?  Come on Duke, you know no. cigarettes are fun after sex...smelling those awesome fruity scented markers? no.  they don't even taste like fruit!  fuck that I want something that smells and tastes like fruit. ok Duke, come on, think...oh yeah Lapsang Souchong is like cigarettes.  duh.  I went to my cabinet and grabbed my Twinings Lapsang Souchong.  Heated up my water and poured it in my loose-leaf tea pot.  My smoke alarm went off.  Shit.  Smokey-ass Lapsang Souchong.  Get Smokey Bear up here to supervise my L'Chong brewing.

You like my French-Chinese name for it?  It seems appropriate to me since it tastes like French people protesting a reduction in their 37 days of paid vacation a year by burning down the Louvre and Chinese girls with bound feet waddling around a hillside filled with my future tea.  Lapsang Souchong is a "smoked" tea, so its smokey flavor is either taken from the wood used to smoke it or the smokey flavoring infused into the leaves.  I don't know how Twinings does theirs, but god damn I thought I was drinking a campfire.  I assume it is actually smoked.  The campfire in my mouth was smooth too, likely due to it being loose-leaf tea.

Twinings is cheap as shit too.  I don't even remember how much I paid for it.  I actually had to go to the store to figure that out, after I finished my tea though.  On my way I couldn't help but think that everyone was driving like little Chinese girls with bound feet.  I heard my smoke alarm go off in my head and remembered something I heard when I was a little kid:

"Only riot police can prevent French protest fires."

What: Lapsang Souchong aka L'Chong (Twinings)
How much: $7.33 (3.53 oz listed),  $5.59 (3.53 oz on sale)
What kind: Black - smoked
Taste: Like getting my mouth raped by Smokey Bear
Repeat Drinkability: 5/10 (I mean do you want to smell like a Texas barbecue every day?)
Manliness: 8/10 (smoke is manly cause fire is manly)


Thursday, January 6, 2011

Sleepless in Seat/t/le

OMG why didn’t you to the /t/ to the first t in Seattle.  STFU /t/ n00b.  The Duke does whatever he wan/t/s.

So recently I arrived in Seattle for business (yes that kind of business).  I’m not tea bragging.  I’m just sayin’.  Seattle should be known as the city of hipsters and other ugly people.  They were everywhere.  

Exhibit A:  

Exhibit B:  

I can normally stand hipsters, but when your city is 50% hipsters and the other 50% is just ugly people (not to say hipsters are hot because they’re usually not), you should prolly just nuke i/t/ and start over. Anyway, my Seattle ladyfriend and I decided to drink tea because a) /t/ is fucking awesome, b) /t/ is fucking awesome, and c) /t/ is fucking awesome.

We went to a /t/house close to the University of Washington called Teahouse Kuan Yin.  It is a cool little establishment with a multitude of different teas.  She likes girly teas with more lemongrass than a potpourri store.  The only black tea that I could get her to try was Earl Grey.  Mmmm fuck yeah, my favorite.  Kuan Yin had a “house blend” Earl Grey that smelled fantastic, so we got that.  They delivered the tea in typical teahouse fashion, with a pot for steeping, a pot to pour after steeping, and two little cups.  I’ll be god damned if it wasn’t some of the best Earl Grey that I’ve ever had.  The wonderful scent of bergamot was rather overwhelming, but the tea flavor was exquisite nonetheless.  We basically chugged the first pot down without any sweetener, although honey would’ve made this tea so orgasmic that sex later that day would only last like two minutes instead of my usual three.  The whole while we were discussing shitty high school teachers, the newest Star Wars movies, how much hipsters suck, and how to tell that your daughter is a sl00t.

“Duke why did you say “sleepless” in the ti/t/le?”

What: Earl Grey (Teahouse Kuan Yin house blend)
How much: $3.95 per pot, also priced per oz
What kind: Black - bergamot infused
Taste: Fuckin' bergamot oil up in this bitch; smooth like Keith Stone
Repeat Drinkability: 8/10
Manliness: 7.5/10 (minus point for not dripping bergamot oil like seagulls in the Gulf of Mexico)


Monday, January 3, 2011

It's a /t/rap

After a brief hiatus highlighted by cheap champagne, Robot Unicorn Attack, and not caring that Snooki is the bane of all human existence, I decided to sober up. I opened up my new FRENCH PRESS and went to town on some Rishi.

Now, I feel there is a faux hierarchy to tea brands that I have to address. There are the specialty tea websites that market their own stuff... some of it might even be worthy of our taste tests *hint*. Next might come the more available brands such as this Rishi blend and The Republic of Tea offerings, yet still more expensive per ounce than gasoline will be in 20 years. And then there is a gradual decline in overall quality as we get into the bagged brands such as Tazo, Twinings (though still a favorite of DukeOEarl), and Lipton. So essentially, we get to review an upper-middle here. My migraine and I are ok with this. My wallet and college-sized budget, however, are rightfully sketched the fuck out.

(30 seconds in, this doesn't *look* like a green tea...)

The tea looks more like a light black than a citrus-y green. The cup smelled more like Pine Sol than Tang. But the taste was pretty awesome. The best part about this tea has to be its stance on making any type of sweetener unnecessary. Hell, if I put honey in this, I'd have to dilute the whole brew. I can only think of a couple teas that can make you think there's enough direct flavor to go around and this is probably one of the cheapest blends.

This is a solid tea but the maker's kind of missed the mark, in my opinion. It's like the developers had two targets on a wall, threw the dart, and instead of getting their desired product (an orange, fruity, green tea) they hit a different bullseye and got another seemingly decent tea (lemon, tart, black/green hybrid). If I wanted to be a complete /t/roll, I'd say this shit didn't live up to the name of "Organic Orange Blossom Green Tea". But then, I'd realize that I was already counter-trolled by Rishi because they made something I drank two pots worth of in under an hour and ran away with my money.

I feel this tea actually has been the best one I've reviewed so far here. It missed a couple marks because it was more "generic lemon citrus" than orange, more black than green, and more "OW, my wallet" than cheap. If you think all teas should be sweetened, save the $5 you would have spent on a half gallon tub of Splenda and just buy a tin of this. It's actually worth it if you don't plan to drink this every day. Outside of flavor/tea accuracy, the only thing that could make this tea better would be to chill it, put in a little sugar, and wait for summer to come back. Hopefully Al Gore is right and it starts to warm up around here.

What: Organic Orange Blossom (Rishi Teas)
How much: $4.00/ oz on the Rishi website...probably cheaper at wholesale
What kind: Green - "Orange" and/or "Lemon"
Taste: Definitely green tea, finishes with of a lemon tang
Repeat Drinkability: 7/10
Manliness: 7/10 (bonus points for being looseleaf and tasting like Miami would if all the Jersey Shore rejects left)