Wednesday, March 30, 2016

Change of label...

...and label the change.

A few years ago, I wrote about making a "dumbed down" version of the Starbucks Vanilla Rooibos Tea Latte. I had stumbled upon a cheaper DIY version, where you can take Celestial Seasonings Madagascar Vanilla Red Tea Bags and mix it with some NestlĂ© Coffee-mate French Vanilla Liquid Creamer (whip up the creamer first), and you've got yourself a party in a mug for half the cost.

Before I continue, I have to make note: I do not own the rights to any item listed in this post or generally mentioned through out my blog. I do belong to Amazon Affiliates, and I receive a small stipend when an item is bought through that service. However, all things mentioned in any post is based on personal experiences and experimentation. Everything I write, are mere suggestions on how to help ease the pain in the wallet as days go by (in instances where I name something and say "try this instead"). I am not suggesting the reader stop buying their Starbucks items, nor am I insinuating the Celestial Seasonings is the best way to go. It is all a matter of opinion, and that is what my blog is: opinion. If you attempt to try the vanilla latte I write about, then great for you; you'll thank me when you make it again. If you decide to continue going to the Seattle chain, then that's great too; I still shop with them when I can. It's a nice treat and it is a way to get out and see people and what they order. It's actually kind of fun to see the faces behind the orders.

Back to the DIY version at hand:

What I've done in the past, and what I've told people, is to "look for the red tea box with the lion on it". The problem? I guess I haven't bought the tea in a while, because the brand did a total re-design on all their teas. I found the new box just the other day in one of the health food stores (actually, the only health food store in the area that sells this specific flavor. No one else... including the normal grocers.. sells it). So, lesson learned: make sure you are up to date on packaging as you suggest it to people.

The old design

The new design

Although, the more I just looked on Amazon, the original design does show up. Maybe they are phasing it out, in favor of the regular Vanilla Rooibos, I don't know, but I suppose it's the same. I completely take this whole thing back if it's not. But either way, maybe the reboot is just as good?

Second "although"... I checked the Celestial Seasonings site, and keyword searched "Madagascar Red" and the new box showed up. So maybe it's not so phased out, but a change of packaging. More over "Change of label, change of package, label the change"... as in "it's the same horse under a different color". 

Back to the beginning, or there about... 

It's a simple procedure and all that is missing thus far, is a coffee mug of your choice, milk frother (or whisk), and some sort of water heating device (whether that's a kettle, coffee maker, or anything else that can turn cold water into hot), and you've got the basic ingredients to make this drink. 

Wrapping up basics:
I do have to point out that I've used both a kettle and a coffee maker to make a pot of tea before. I used to use a 4 cup coffee maker back in school to make teas and coffees, and prior to that, I had a little microwaveable boiler kettle. I don't think they make the latter anymore, as the thing I have is ancient. But whatever you can get to boil a cup of water, will work for this.

Steps or it won't be done properly:

  • Place teabag in your mug
  • Boil water in whatever vessel you have
  • In a separate cup, pour some of the creamer in, so you'll be able to froth / whisk it
  • Once water is done boiling, pour it into your mug
  • Start frothing the creamer. Once it starts becoming airy looking, pour it into your tea
  • Stir once (with a spoon. Not your whisk or frother, because the tea bag will still be here)
  • Enjoy!
If you don't want to go the extra mile in making it look pretty with the aerated creamer, you can just pour the cream in the cup and stir it. It's not the same, but it is all at once, because you get the same taste regardless of whether the topping is whipped or not. It just makes the drink "more fun" and "true" to the original. 

A couple simple steps to make a long arduous blog post. If anyone tries it, let me know, as I know a lot of my friends always do the comparison test - this version to the original - but I won't tell which one comes out better. That's for you to decide...


Friday, March 18, 2016

A city thats built on Rock N Roll...

Long time no post, I know. As my work schedule allows some infrequent times of blog check in, I've got to use my minutes accordingly. Therefore, I've been quite busy working, and none of that time has been able to get online.

In other words, sorry for weeks of delay! I'm back for a few days, ready to make some posts, and first order of business: I found snow last week. No, all hell didn't break loose in southwest Florida. I was actually in the Chicago area for a business trip, and although it was super nice out (daily average was nearing 60 degrees... I felt like I was home in Massachusetts!! Walked around in a polo shirt, sweater, and dress pants. And of course shoes, but no winter coat! Yeeee), I found the last two piles of snow on the ground near the office I was visiting.

And yes, I had to touch dirty Chicago snow.

Double yes on it's how I remember it. I haven't seen or touched snow in what will be five (5) long years! YEEEEEEEEeeeeeee!!! Big. Grin.

Also found: Some pretty cool sunrises and sunsets.

Outside of my "fun" trip to Chi-Town (are they still calling it that?), I've been busy doing errands, as I've had a few days to chill out from the trip.

Today, I went into a local java chain (not Dunks) to get a drink, and I happened to be wearing a David Bowie shirt (it's got the ChangesOneBowie album cover on it). I typically don't like to interact with other people waiting in line for their beverage / food ... or just interact with people in general.. but I guess because His Death is still pretty new, people are bound to comment.

Well... some guy waiting for his (large) hot coffee, happened to see the shirt. The way he was interacting with people, as well as his body language, led me to believe he's got to be some sort of functioning alcoholic, and he happened to be in the coffee shop in that down time from drinking. Gotta get a fix somehow... Anyway, the first comment out of his mouth when he saw my shirt was "Ah.. David Bowie.. Rest In Peace. Good shirt. Good album" and smiled. What am I supposed to say to that besides just nod my head and smile back? Thank goodness my phone rang and his attention turned to flirting with the barista behind the counter. But who knows, as it was a such a throwback to when I was in Dunkin Donuts in Massachusetts, and some guy started hounding me about knowing his tattered version of The Bhagavad Gita book he kept in his back pocket. Only difference between that guy and this guy, is the fact I was wearing my POEM shirt then, and his daughter was an English major or something. This new guy was just trying to pass time.

Otherwise, nothing "new" has been happening lately. Yesterday was "National 'Lets get drunk' Day" (aka St. Pat's Day). I did get to wear green, and I did rock it out. Between my Boston Irish t-shirt, Boston Red Sox fitted hat (white hat, green B, green shamrock on brim, green socks on back of hat.. I can't find it except on an auction site now. I bought it at JetBlue Stadium two years ago... must be out of fashion already), Army green shorts, green socks, and for a splash of color: Grey Nike sneakers. Odd combination, I know, but hey, gotta rock the home team somehow... I just happen to have everything going at once. *Shrugs*

I guess I should probably stop rambling, as company has arrived, and I should say hello...

Until next time;


See also (via Amazon):

David Bowie (albums / books / clothes etc)