Hollla to all Aussies and especially Melburnians! As I grew more interest into tea during my stay in Melbourne, I believe there are some other people who do too. Sometimes it’s not easy to choose tea for ourselves. Chances are, we don’t know where to buy or we are not quite sure which tea to buy besides those on the supermarket’s shelves. You can feel me, can’t you?
Few months ago, I was contacted by Emily through email when she also introduced Mr. Earl, a new Australian’s tea business. I decided to have a look on their site and captivated by the premium vibe of the brand. Mr. Earl offers a unique tea shopping method by sending monthly tea box subscription. Every single month, you will get a box full of surprise since you don’t know what’s inside! The subscription box offered in three different pricing of 1 month/ 3 month / 6 months ( $ 20 / $ 45 / $ 78 ). Mr. Earl team will carefully select, arrange and deliver three different teas from various premium tea vendors to our doorstep month by month. We may get something that we wouldn’t buy ourselves or never tried before and here we got the chance to savor it.
Gladly I could receive their very first January tea box, filled with three golden pouches contained around 50 grams of teas including product information card. The card is a guidance of what and how to enjoy the tea right. The January box went classic, simple yet sophisticated with the royal No. 7 French Earl Grey by Deitea, aromatic Fresh Mint from Informal Tea Co and Premium Matcha from Kenko Tea. I’m excited to ascertain more tea brands such as Deitea and Informal Tea Co while Kenko Tea is a brand that I’ve been familiar with.
Mr. Earl also provides a tea community where tea lovers can stay updated from blog posts, rate and make reviews for teas they have tasted. This is a wonderful thirst quencher for any tea drunkard in Australia-wide who always challenged to try out new different teas but agitated by large quantity tea packs in the market.
Deitea’s No. 7 French Earl Grey is a beautiful blend inside-out. It does look so pretty, smell good (a little bit too fragrant I reckon) and taste pleasantly fruity.
Fresh Mint is green tea blended with herbals such as peppermint, spearmint, rosemary and lavender. I had this tea iced with some sugar drops.
“Because life is too awesome for average tea” Well said, Mister.
Finally I can get up and go out after four days bed-resting at home. I was food poisoned on last Sunday. Thanks to that jerk. That “not-so-fresh clams” who had brought me into fever and acute stomachache. But ya’ll know, there’s always something good behind every sorrow. I effortlessly losing my weights!!! Not weight, yes you read it correctly, weightS. Just like most twenty-something women, it seems that I can’t eat as freely as I used to because it’s getting too hard to lose a kilo nowadays. That’s why, at the end I’m glad for this week’s stomachache drama. Pinch me. I may sound so shallow for that reason but whatever works, right? Hahah.
Well well well..I’m on the way to Jakarta right now (2pm this afternoon) and stuck on the toll road. Neither the traffic nor weather is friendly but the show must go on. Chinese New Year family gathering is just too important to be missed out. So here I am, under a stormy rain and traffic jam going to the flooded Jakarta. My friends said I’m crazy for keep going there in this kind of national flood disaster.
Chinese New Year really matters for some reason for me. Here they are…
- The first reason is a kind of love-hate relationship. Nobody hates the red envelope on CNY and so do I. That’s the loving part. But at this silvery age,it’s also embarrasing to join the younger peeps lining for envelopes. Hate it.
- Foods. Besides Christmas, this is the only occasion when abundance foods are literally abundance. Forget “staying in shape” and go eat tat yummy fatty pork!
- Red clothes. I know many families don’t wear red clothes any longer in CNY but in my family, red is still kinda crucial. Pink and orange are still acceptable but wearing black. white or even blue is a big no. “Hey you, you with that blue shirt, you are not allowed to go in, just wait outside..” That’s how strict my family is. I’m joking.
- Family reunion. Besides weddings, CNY is the only occasion when most of the family members gather altogether. So imagine hundreds of people talking in Hakka accent wearing red clothes. How festive!
This is the first time I write a post via my mobile and really intend to make it short. Losing some kilos before CNY is relieving so I can eat more without burdened (Hahah).
Happy Chinese New Year to you guys who celebrate! Hopefully the upcoming “Wood Horse” year will bring us greater happiness and prosperity!!!
When I was much younger, let’s say 8, my mum used to “force” me and brother to chew some small pieces of “wood”. We always got the supplies from my grandmother who consistently sent them for us. I hated the flavor, the smell and extremely wondering how could people say this “stuff” (later I knew it was ginseng) nice no matter how healthy it is. Well, routines had me used to it and that “ginseng chewing” or drinking brewed ginseng became normal even though I still couldn’t find it nice.
I had no idea that one day I’d fall for ginseng beverage like a lot. This is not my first Ginseng Oolong and really thanks to Teasenz for this beautiful tea that has captivated me so much once I drink it! Teasenz Ginseng Vitality Oolong is produced using superior oolong tea mixed with ginseng roots.
Name : Ginseng Oolong
Origin: Alishan, Taiwan
After Steeping (gaiwan style)
Wet Aroma : sweet, ginseng, lightly smoky, earthy undertones (at the 5th infusion)
Liquor color : light yellow (the steeped leaves were still rolled pretty tight until the 3rd infusion) a delightful good sign for more steeps!/ stronger color intensity until 4th steep then it slowly became lighter
Amount of tea : 3 grams
Amount of water : 6 oz
Water Temperature : 98˚ C
Steeping Time : rinse / 30″ / 1′ / 1’15” / 1’30” / 2′ / 3′ / 3’30”
Wet leaf : full dark green leaves
I had eight steeping including the rinsing step and I am pretty sure the tea could actually go for some more steeps. Honestly, multiple steepings is one of the reason why I like Oolong teas in general and this Ginseng Oolong hit the top notch in multiple infusions.
The first infusion was a light body, sweet and clean in the throat. The subtle ginseng sweetness harmonized with nutty and toasty notes. The 3 following steeps were stronger in color intensity and body but my favorite was the 4th one. The color was the most vibrant with silkier-thicker body, tasted sweet ginseng with hint of honey. More interestingly, I found that the leaves also slightly start unfurling at this time. In the next three steepings, the tea slowly went mellower and lighter in any aspect.
Ginseng Oolong is simply delicious and very pleasant to drink as the sweet aftertaste lingered long in the mouth. Obviously you can’t rush this tea because you will regret to ignore its optimum potential for multiple steepings! If I have to describe it with three words, it would be sweet, relaxing and revitalizing!
I just had a trip to East Java with my family after the New Year day. Actually it was a short 8-day trip to Malang and Surabaya only. We had so much fun and also ate so many delicious foods! Consider myself lucky for having a fellow foodies family. Forget pizza, steak or sushi as in this post I will reveal some of the (un)/traditional foods you have to eat when you are in Malang!
Nasi Pecel Mustika Panderman
What to eat : Nasi Campur and Nasi Pecel
Price : IDR 9000 – 15000 / $ 0.90 – 1.50
Highlight : This place has been established for long time and also very well known in Malang. The price is very affordable and the portion is just right for breakfast.
Address : Jalan Rajekwesi No.10, Malang – East Java
What to eat : Rawon dengkul (knee), Rawon daging, Sayur Lodeh
Price : IDR 10000 – 57000 / $ 1.00 – 5.70
Highlight : The rawon dengkul was amazingly flavorful with rich broth, the knee parts were chewy yet tender and came in big portion fit for 2-3 persons.
Address : Jalan KH Zainul no.62, Malang – East Java / 0341 324684
Nasi Bhuk Matirah Madura
What to eat : Rice with some selections of proteins such as tempeh, empal (sweet fried beed), fried innards (tripe, paru, and etc.). The rice is also served with rawon or lodeh tewel (jackfruit lodeh).
Price : IDR 9000 – 15000 / $ 0.90 – 1.50 (depends on what and how many pcs you choose)
Highlight : All of the innards are cooked nicely, tender and well-seasoned. The rawon is also really nice, a more savory type compared to the sweet-savory broth of the one in Rawon Nguling.
Address : Jalan Trunojoyo no. 10EF (nothern side of Kota Baru Train Station) / 0341 7703377
Depot Gang Djangkrik
What to eat : Pangsit mie (Wonton noodle), Baikut goreng (Fried pork ribs), Kolokee (sweet and sour chicken), Tami seafood (seafood crispy noodle)
Price : IDR 10000 – 60000 / $ 1.00 – 6.00
Highlight : Malang is famous for its Cwie Mie or Pangsit Mie or Noodle, Gang Djangkrik is one of the most notorious place to eat best cwie mie in town. They cook delicious Chinese foods in proper portions fit for family diner.
Address : Jalan Kawin kios 26, Malang / 0341 566283
What to eat/drink : Single origin coffees in various brewing method, chocolate, tea, light bites like fried mozzarella cheese and pizza
Price : IDR 10000 – 80000 / $ 1.00 – 8.00
Highlight : They serve (said as the best) coffees in Malang! More to add, Java Dancer is a really nice place with Javanese traditional ambient that would make you stay for hours.
Address : Jalan Kahuripan no. 12, Malang, East Java / 0341 8199899 / www.javadancer.com
I’ve been a sucker for Oolong tea these past few months. I found Oolong or also known as blue tea is very enticing and fascinating once you get to know more about it. So glad that I got the chance to try Jin Xuan Milk Oolong from Teavivre recently. They sent me some of the nicest teas generously which came in 2 pockets for each tea types. From its name, I found Milk Oolong is very inviting and more to add this is a combination of my two favorite beverages, Oolong and milk. I couldn’t wait to savour it fast!
Name : Taiwan Jin Xuan Milk Oolong
Origin: Alishan, Nantou, Taiwan
Dry Leaf before Steeping
Dry Aroma : grassy, floral-Osmanthus flower
Dry color : olive to dark green with some yellowish tinges
Dry shape : tightly rolled leaves
After Steeping (gaiwan style)
Wet Aroma : floral, fresh light grass and sweet
Liquor color : pale yellow / light gold / denser gold
Amount of tea : 3.5 grams (or nearly using all of the sample pack)
Amount of water : 6 oz
Water Temperature : 98˚ C
Steeping Time : rinse / 1 minute / 2 minute / 2.5 minute
Wet leaf : olive green with fine yellow outer linings
1st infusion : The tea has thin body, clean in the throat, tasted sweet and left light aftertaste. Rather than milky or even creamy, I found it tasted more vegetal and light floral but overall it was a pleasant cup. I was really anticipating the second cup would taste milky and creamy just like its name!
2nd infusion : The second infusion was my favorite as it tasted sweeter, milkier with thicker body and silky texture. It wasn’t very milky or creamy though, but I could taste those notes clearly. Apart from that, this infusion also resulted in stronger aroma too. I also really pleased by the sweet aftertaste that lingered long in my palate.
3rd infusion : The liquor seemed a bit paler and the aroma was somewhat faded. This infusion still tasted quite nice with more vegetal tasting note and light astringency.
The tea is nice to be enjoyed on its own but I reckon pairing it with lightly sweet dessert and fresh-cut fruits would be great too. I actually expected to get milkier notes but overall this Milk Oolong is scrumptious regardless.
My last post in 2013 would be talking about this gem at Haymarket area a.k.a Sydney Chinatown. I consider myself lucky because if it’s not my aunty’s office located around here, I probably wouldn’t find this noodle shop.
Mixed Seafood Stir Fried Noodle – Xinjiang Hand-made style
It’s pretty awesome to realize the noodle that had just been made in front of us is now served on the table. It was pretty big and thick, reminds me of Japanese udon but in flatter way. The portion is ridiculously big enough to feed 2 persons or more! The chewy doughy noodle tasted well-balanced between sweet and savory sauce plus we got abundant toppings too.
Pork and Chives Dumpling (steamed-15 pieces)
As seen in the picture, the dumpling’s wrap was quite thick and fluffy. I don’t like thick dough but really love the pork and chive stuffing. They are really generous in putting the well seasoned minced pork inside and it tasted really nice when combined with the soy sauce and sesame oil provided on each table!
Vegetarian and Black Sesame Bun
The buns weren’t our favorite because it’s a little bit hard and rough. We also didn’t like the mixed vegetables filling for it’s under-seasoned.
Black sesame bun topped by coconut crumbs, looking so luscious. Unfortunately, same like the vegetarian bun, this one also had a rough and kinda hard dough. The black sesame filling was not very special as well.
Bun is just not their specialty, so go grab noodle and dumplings when you make a visit. The staffs don’t really speak English but they are very friendly though, so just point the menu while you are ordering the foods. Overall it’s a nice place to go when you are craving for affordable homemade dumplings or Chinese noodles around Chinatown!
I never feel burdened to make blog posting as I’m doing this to sum up my most favorite things all at once : writing, tea and foods. But I realize that I am a little bit off lately for some reasons…
I have been told by my coffee geek bf that once I come back home, many things would be different. I would have less time to do everything that I use to do in Melbourne. And it is going on right now, I can’t believe it.. I hate to say this but I need to write something behind the minimum updates, the postponed blog posts and the late replies I made. These past 1,5 months have been awesome yet awkward for me. I love to be back and close to my love ones (of course) here in Bandung, but I kinda hate the loss feeling. I miss my abundant me time when I lived just by myself and I miss Melbourne already, like so much!
December is much more hectic than what I thought it would be. I have to go to a physiotherapy session twice a week due to my back pain issue, I helped my dad doing some of his projects while taking care of my own project, the Christmas preparation at home that always be hectic every single year and in addition there was a cake expo where my bf’s coffee shop quite suddenly joined and made me spending some whole-days there. I also had my final month and exams of the Tea Master certification this month. I just finished it last week and am so happy for this. Being a Certified Tea Master is the best Christmas and let’s say birthday gift for me this year! Woohoo..!!! All of those things pretty much have successfully kept me occupied.
The year of 2013 has been very awesome and full of surprises and I believe 2014 will also be a great year. I really hope all of you enjoy the holiday season and have a wonderful upcoming year of 2014!
Neysa behind foodandteatraveller
December has always been my favorite month of the year for some reasons. It’s my birthday month and no need to mention we also celebrate the festive season of Christmas and New Year too! This 12th month of the year is when I have my final exam and then rewarded by a long holiday until the next year, when abundant yummy foods are available at most of the time and when family and friends come and gather to celebrate the joy of Christmas. For those reasons, how can I not love December?
I just had my silver birthday this December and sometimes I can’t believe I’ve reached this age. I feel like I’m still 22, isn’t that normal or it is just me? HA! I had a small birthday lunch with my family of mom, dad and my brother at Glosis Grill and Bar. This is one of Bandung’s old eatery that survives until today. I chose to have lunch here since Glosis Grill and Bar has pretty much historic childhood memories for the family. Our family is a loyal customer since I was very little and we used to spend many of our Sundays at Glosis back then. Even though many things have changed (they have relocated for several times since their first appearance) but we still want to go back there.
The soup served with tiny bites of croutons and warm yet moist bread roll. I (was) a big fan of Glosis’ mushroom soup as they make it with blended champignon and cream instead of adding sliced mushrooms into cream soup. Honestly I felt a little disappointment as the soup was too watery and not much blended mushroom there.
I’m not very sure why the starters were mushroom themed until I write this post. The presentation was lovely and inviting, mushrooms also fried perfectly crunchy but it would be nicer if they add more seasoning to it. Seriously the mushrooms were plain but the good things you can savor the freshness of the mushroom, (if that’s what they intend to highlight with the dish?).IDR 28,000 ~ US$ 2.80
Salmon Lemon Butter
I got excited and delighted to see all the vibrant colors on my plate and couldn’t wait to devour them all! Salmon was grilled to medium as what I requested and I really love how it went well with the lemon butter sauce and salsa. I just feel they need to add a little bit more seasonings for the potato, really.
My mom’s all time favorite at Glosis is the Smoked Pork Chop. Pork meat was smoked and seasoned very well, super tender smokeyyy meat combined with the sauce was beyond. I reckoned the smoked pork chop was the star on that day!
Sirloin steak is actually a very basic menu, sadly the meat was cooked very medium instead of well done as my dad’s request. We were relieved because the staffs did a quick response to change it with well done cooked meat.
New Yorker Steak
The New Yorker was nice, perfectly medium cooked and also well seasoned. The sauteed mushroom, onion and tomato was lovely too. My brother had a quick movement eating it up!
The beverages were so-so but I recommend their Mojito selections as they are pretty awesome and would be a good pair for any dishes. A little offs we found during the lunch couldn’t ruin our joy and happiness that day. We still love the place, the ambient, the attentive staffs and hope there will be some improvements to their foods.
Glosis Grill and Bar
Jl. Hegarmanah No. 6
Bandung (022) 203 – 1321