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Top tea brands to try (2018)

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tea brands in 2018

Must-Try Top Tea Brands of 2018

If you are, like me who loves tea but has an okay relationship with coffee, then you’re in for a treat! There are tons of tea brand out there that we tea lovers have yet to explore.

Tea is a wholesome warm or cold drink which is full of nutrients and enzymes which are beneficial for our health. And, this is one of the reasons why I love them. But, did you know that teas also contain caffeine?

They do, which is why I highly recommend that you try drinking tea in the morning rather than just coffee. It gives you energy to kick-start your day without the jitters.

Which is why we created a list of the best tea on the market. Sit back, relax, and grab your drink or snacks, and let’s get on this tea.

Tetley

Tetley Tea Brand is the world’s second largest tea manufacturing company. They are also the largest tea distributor in the United Kingdom.

They offer a wide variety of tea types and flavors. Tetley offers one of the best black tea, and they also offer tea blends which are also very fun to try.  

But, whenever I need a stronger boost my go-to drink will probably be the Tetley Extra Strong Tea. Whenever I drink it it’s as if I drank a double-shot espresso without the jitters. And, did I mention that it’s extra-tasty too?

Twinings

Twinings is one of the oldest established tea company in the world. It was first found in 1706 by Thomas Twining at No. 216 Strand, London, United Kingdom. The famous Twinings’ logo is the world’s oldest continually-used company logo.

They offer numerous tea flavors which are perfect for tea lovers, like me, explore different types of tea. Personally, I love their spicy chai tea and their earl grey tea. I remember way back in high school I will always drink a cup of their earl grey tea while studying.

Harney & Sons Tea

Harney & Sons Tea is an American Tea company based in Millerton New York. It is famous for its whimsical yet simple packaging.

I remember receiving their Birthday Tea on the day of my birthday, which was given by my best friend. And it has been a tradition of my  Best Friend and me to drink this tea on both of our birthdays.

They also offer tons of classic flavors and holiday blends which are equally delicious and revitalizing.

The Republic of Tea

Are you looking to try different kinds of tea blends? Well, The Tea Republic is the perfect tea brand for you. They offer different types of tea, flavored tea, and iced tea.

I highly recommend their Organic Goji Berry Green Superfruit Tea, Organic Pomegranate Green Superfruit Tea, Peppermint Cuppa Chocolate Tea, and Ginger Peach Chocolate Truffle Black Tea. They are my absolute favorites.

It is also worth mentioning their Pumpkin Spice Black Tea since it’s fall and we’re on this pumpkin-everything bandwagon. And, this is my top favorite tea brand.

Numi

Numi Organic Tea is a company which is based in Oakland, California. They are known for their fair trade certified and organic teas and herbal teasans.

They offer a wide range of organic tea assortments and herbal drinks which are beneficial for our overall well-being. And you must definitely try their ceremonial matcha tea. It’s really good, and it’s also a great energy booster.

Pukka

Pukka is a herbal tea and supplement company which is based in the United Kingdom. They offer a wide range of herbal tea options which are specifically aimed towards relaxation, energy boost, cleansing, immunity, digestif, and women’s health.

It’s refreshing to see herbal products which are geared towards women’s health. Which is really awesome!

The English Tea Shop

This is definitely my second favorite tea brand of them all, not only because of it’s cute packaging but with it yummy fruity and sweet flavors which you can enjoy every day.

Usually, I start off my day with their English Breakfast Tea to jump start my usually lazy mornings. Then by afternoon, I drink their Peppermint Tea which really helps my digestion. And, by evening when I crave for something sweet I drink the Super Berries Tea or the Chocolate Super Berry Burst tea.

And, if I’m having difficulties sleeping, I drink their Chamomile Tea. I am an ‘English Tea Shop’ girl since 2012.

Kusmi Tea

Kusmi Tea is a Parisian tea company which was found in 1876. Kusmi is known for their variety of sweet tea blends which are equally delicious and revitalizing.

This French company primarily sells Russian tea since its founding by a man named Pavel Kousmichoff who hails from St. Petersburg, Russia.

Yogi

Yogi Tea is an international tea brand which is known for their black, chamomile and their detox tea. The company prides themselves on having quality ingredients in every cup.

In all honesty, I haven’t tried this tea brand yet, and it is definitely in my grocery checklist for this coming week.

Good Earth

Good Earth Tea is an American company which is known for their premium artisanal tea and tea blends. They offer tea which will tickle your taste buds while revitalizing your senses.

They’re known for their exotics tea blends which give you an instant pep in your step, even at the laziest of all mornings.

And, I strongly recommend that you try their Sweet Rose Chai if you’re feeling sophisticated, and this is really my go-to tea for my stay-at-home brunch party with my friends. And you can either serve it hot or cold, depends on your mood and weather of course.

But, if you miss your tropical island getaway then I recommend trying the Mango Chili Bang Bang Tea. It’s like Hawaii and Bora-Bora in a glass. It’s better if you serve it cold.

 

Whether you love tea or not, it’s really worth trying. Tea isn’t a boring beverage if you ask me. In my opinion, tea is like the vodka of healthy people, since you can pair it with just about everything.

If you’re still not convinced, then you are truly missing out.

BONUS

Wise Ape Tea

top tea brands

One of the coolest brands in the tea market is headquartered out of South Jersey. Wise Ape Tea brings a unique perspective to the tea world. They note only brew some of the highest quality tea on the market, they are also philanthropic. With a certain percentage of each sale, goes directly back a non profit. They currently have three teas on the marketing; Chocolate Hustle, Coconut Warrior, and Orange Dreamsicle.

Each carefully crafted and tested in their lab. What I love about Wise Ape Tea the most is their passion for tea. It’s not just tea to co-founder Joe Scola and his team. It’s a way of life.

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How To Eat In Kansas City Missouri, Summer 2018

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Kansas City summer food 2018

We’re currently in the midst of summer, and it couldn’t be any hotter, could it? More than likely, you find yourself spending some days by the pool, enjoying a nice tall glass of lemonade. Or perhaps you attend your neighbor’s barbecue party and indulge in summer’s staple of grilled hot dogs, burgers or some lovely buffalo wings. Or maybe you like to eat out – that is rather popular when it comes to long relaxation periods.

 

Many restaurants tend to have specific menus that they love advertising when it comes to this time of year; foods that capture the true meaning of summer – spices, cool drinks and the like. Personally, I love this time of year from a culinary standpoint, just because of the sheer volume of things offered.

Ideal Summer Spots

Another important aspect of summer is travel. Are you living in, or going to Kansas City this summer? Allow me to suggest some Kansas City summer food locales; it’ll make your trip quite worth it.

  1. Beer Kitchen (beerkitchenkc.com)

Are you a lover of beer, grilled food and a great time? A good beer can go with any succulent meal, so look no further than Beer Kitchen, situated on 435 Westport Road, it boasts a large selection of premium lagers with equally tantalizing meals to go with them. From their Smokestack Burger to their BBQ Creekstone Short Rib, you can be sure to find something for just about everyone. Oh, and did I mention that they now carry a gluten free menu? Like I said, caters to everyone.

  1. Longboards (longboardswrapsandbowls.com)

Who says you need to go all the way to Thailand to enjoy some native cuisine? With Longboards, they know how to make a good wrap and bowl of noodles. With cheese, vegetables and all forms of meat, you’re sure to find something to enjoy this summer.

For those that are more into tropical foods, Longboards has native Hawaiian–style food too. Their Hawaiian Sliders are absolutely divine, and come with all sorts of sides to further enhance the experience. If you find Longboards to be your choice, you can find them at 6269 North Oak Trafficway.

  1. Cascone’s (cascones.com)

If you’re looking for some Italian food, then look no further than Cascone’s. Located on the North Oak Trafficway, Cascone’s combines great food, modern ambiance and a sense of family – and speaking of which, it’s a great location to take the whole family! Cascone’s understands nothing more than the importance of family. It’s perfect for that group outing this weekend.

  1. Sullivan’s Steakhouse (sullivanssteakhouse.com/leawood/)

Located in Leawood on 4501 West 119th Street, Sullivan’s Steakhouse boasts a unique atmosphere that is hard to find anywhere else. With some of the best steaks in Kansas City, alongside fresh seafood and signature cocktails, it’s the perfect place for an evening night out with the guys (or girls). Coupled with swinging live music with in-house entertainment, you’ll be sure to create some unforgettable memories this summer.

 

And there you have it – some excellent eats within the Kansas City area that you can spend this summer. Why not give them all a try if you’re feeling up to it?

Do you think that there are other notable places that could make this list? Leave them in the comments below!

 

 

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Vietnamese Street Food

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Vietnamese Street Food

The best word of advice that I could give to someone who is looking to explore the country of Vietnam, is to follow your nose. Vietnamese street food is by far, one of the most incredible and unforgettable experiences you will have on this earth. There is a special beauty and bond that you have with a child sized chair and table. Not to mention, you are just a few blocks away from one of the best culinary experiences you will ever have and a few Tiger beers away from an unforgettable evening.

Vietnam is a simple country that believes in very simple and fundamental values. They treasure moments of togetherness and family, most likely all surrounded by some form of food or beverage.

A day in Vietnam most likely starts very early in the morning with coffee. Unlike America, coffee isn’t taboo. In Vietnam, it’s a lifestyle. Coffee starts in the morning, but if it gets too hot and you need to cool down, you can have coffee in the middle of the day, and then again at night. Coffee is everything to the Vietnamese community.

Some of the best coffee I’ve ever had in the country was never given to me by a barista. Instead, it was an old grandmother on the side of the road, or an absolute legend who goes against the law by adding a few shots of your favorite liquor in order to jump start your day on a bike stand.

Your average coffee should charge you about $.25 or ₫10,000. Even then ₫10,000 is on the high end of the spectrum.

This blog is a catalog of some of the absolute best dishes I’ve had during my two plus weeks in Vietnam. I can say that most of my entries are from the city of Ho Chi Minh or as the locals call it; Saigon. We did travel to Mỹ Tho and Nha Trang.

Before we begin with the food pictures, a quick background behind Vietnam if you have never been. When you go, do your best to find a way or friend that understand the general language. Or if not, find a way to have a general understanding of the language itself. Now, I’m not saying that you should know way’s to converse, but understand how to order food. Remember words like:

  • Bottled water
  • Coffee
  • Some numbers
  • Names of food

I had the luxury of going on this trip with two Vietnamese speaking friends and it absolutely enhanced the experience. If you do not have any of these luxuries nor do you care about understanding the language, that’s ok. Just do me one huge favor. DO NOT, and I repeat, DO NOT eat at any sit down formal restaurant that has an English word on the menu. In fact, stay clear of places that have menu’s entirely. (unless you’re going to a Quan…and then in that case…drink until you begin to have the laughs.)

In America, we are spoiled. We are used to having a ton of options. We like options. But you see, in Vietnam, the best meals are only available to those who get there first. A lot of the restaurants are on the side of the road but they specialize in just one dish. They make one thing, every day, 365, rain or shine and they made it effing well.

The last thing I should mention is that although I am taking pictures of food and also some restaurants, most of the places I took pictures of, you will not find or won’t be available when you go to the country. My goal isn’t to necessarily try to get you to go these restaurants, it’s more so to humanize the country and make it more palpable to those who may be turned off by Vietnamese food or is interested in exploring the country.

With that said, here are my experiences with Vietnamese street food:

DISCLAIMER, I DID A POOR JOB DOCUMENTING AND KEEP TRACK OF MY DAYS. SORRY EVERYONE.

Vietnamese Street Food Day 1:

Vietnamese pho

Vietnamese Street Food

  • Pho tai at Pho Phuong Bac 
  • Sauces balanced the dish, custom sauces 
  • Second dish- chicken balls that really had no idea what it was, with rice, and a very bitter vegetable that was way too bitter

Day 2

  • Com tam (broken rice, bacon bits, egg quiche, cucumber, pork, shredded pork, and sweet sauce
  • Banh Mi

Day 3 (Best Vietnamese Street Food)

  • Breakfast Bun Rieu in the history Ben Than Market. This was the dish that absolutely blew me away. It was absolutely perfect. The dish is a soup with crab meat balls, tofu, tomato, Vietnamese sausage
  • Legendary coffee day.This young man offers the best home made coffee. He brews it himself and adds a speciality ingredient that helps you jump start your day 🙂

Day 4

  • We explored the city and had some Vermicelli. The place that we ate at was known within the area and had one chef; a Vietnamese grandmother.
  • Later that night, we had a few beers with a group of friends/coworkers. At the bar, we had a lot of good laughs and some salty foods. This is an image of what a normal bar looks like in Vietnam. Incredible experience.

Day 5

  • Who would have thought that you can have an amazing meal in a dirty alley way? This was on of the better culinary experiences in Saigon. This was a random alley that we decided to go down. The alley had flags on it, but tucked away in a corner was a mother and daughter tag team that just blew us all away. The fan barely worked to keep us cool, but the food was cooked to perfection.
  • Later that night we went to what is equivalent to Bourbon Street in New Orleans.

Day 6

  • In the morning we had beef steak. Which you’re probably thinking, what the heck is that? Well, it’s a cast iron skillet with a chunk of steak, egg, French fries, a hot dog, and a side of break to soak up all of the oils!
  • Later that day, we traveled to Nha Trang. The city itself is near the coast and is known as a fisherman town. That night we had lobster on the side of the road. That’s right…fresh lobster on the side of the road. It came out to being about $5 for each lobster that were easily a few pounds big.

Day 7

  • When we went to bed on night one, we looked out into the ocean and say nothing but darkness. We had absolutely no idea the true beauty to what we were going to wake up to. This was our view from our hotel in Nha Trang.
  • After we woke up, we went out and got rice with honey pork 
  • For lunch we had fish and more seafood
  • Pasta with noodles, croutons, pepper spice, sugar sauce, 

Day 8 and beyond

This is the part where I am not quite sure what or when or where we ate these meals. So I decided to put a whole montage of food pictures to get an idea of the street food in Vietnam. From my experience, after the first week or so, I did start to feel sick, but it wasn’t because of the cooking. It was more so what we were consuming. The food in Vietnam has a lot of sodium. For me and my body (6’2″ 190lbs) I am extremely acceptable to salt. A lot of it destroys my body and makes me feel uncomfortable. I personally am in touch with my body and I know my limit. There were a few days in which all I ate were fruits to provide a sense of balance to my body. (Which I wish I did during my first trip to Vietnam)

The one dish that was absolutely stunning and took my breath away was the first few pictures. I am not entirely sure what the dish is, but if you can help me that would be great. Drop a comment below. It was buttery, garlicy, soupy, and absolutely perfect.

 

UPDATE: November 5th, 2018

The name of the winning dish is: Hi Tieu My Tho. Which is a dish made famous by the city of My Tho.

WINNER

More pictures of Vietnamese Street Food

 

If you would like me to add your favorite Vietnamese street food on this blog, feel free to send it directly to Johnathan@penji.co and I will add it on here along with a brief description.

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