"I pitty the fool with a rude unbrewed attitude."
Ugh. Stress, am I right? I mean who needs it? (A lot of people actually, but I hate it.) For the most part I live a pretty laid back life. I mean I do things and get things done, but I am not about the drama and I don't really see a need in getting all bent out of shape over things that will turn out one way or another. Look, you have a deadline, you have a lot of work to do to meet it. Why not try to have as much fun as possible while you do so? Why be all negative and stressed the whole time? Although even with all that being said, stress will still worm its way into us. When it does, we all have different ways to cope.
Some people turn to the bottle. The old booze. The genie in a bottle (nobody says that). Some people work out (those people stress me out.) Some people knit (I am guessing). Some people read equestrian spy novels (I am really guessing). Some people take baths and some people smoke weed (The weed people probably also invented the equestrian spy novel genre). My point is that we all need a way to soothe ourselves when the going gets rough and today our snacks are focused on one of those ways.
A nice cup of tea.
So take a seat and cozy up to the screen and lets get this par-tea started! (If you already groaned at that, you'd be best off not finishing reading this.) Oh I almost forgot, today's 1-5 scale is brought to you by methods to calm ones self or to find tranquili-TEA!!!! (I warned you.) In case you didn't know I am pretty much a guru of stress reduction. So you will no doubt marvel at my vast knowledge in the field. I know, lucky you! I mean all of this helpful information is free even! Please, enjoy.
Our first snack comes from the fine folks at Sugarfina. They are a company where you can order a variety of candies and treats. Most of them are packaged in cute little boxes, and when I ordered they included little packets of some other snacks to try. This is one of those snacks. Matcha Green Tea Caramels. I know. Sounds cray cray! (Is anyone still saying that? Yes. Oh good. Wait, is anyone cool still saying it? No? They never were? Oh man. Can't we all just get oolong?)
I know that photo is a bit blurry but compare the two pics. They are of the same candy but why is one yellow and one green? How weird is that? (Probably some sort of scientific explanation steeped in mystery....Steeped. Get it? Ok. Moving on.)
S- Well, it tastes like old tea. Oh man. It tastes like cheap-old green tea. Like dollar store tea. This is too bad bc I like the company and I give them a style point for the packaging but ultimately I give this a 1 out of 5.
d- It smells like maple syrup. No, it smells like a scratch n sniff sticker that was scented to smell like maple syrup a long time ago. Now that it is in my mouth it is somehow both gritty and waxy. The caramel seems cheap as well. Perhaps I am not familiar with green tea. Is it normally like sand in maple syrup? (Like cheap sand. Not the good kind of sand. You know, like dollar store sand.) I am completely serious when I tell you that this tastes nas-TEA! (Are you really still reading this?) I give this snack a 1- Deep breathing. If you want to make it sound tougher (or nerdier) you can call it "dragon breaths." When the stress hits the fan just take some slow deep breaths in thru your nose and out thru your mouth. Try not to randomly pee yourself as having pee pants will likely stress you out further. Also focus on anything except the sheer amount of germs and ghost poots that you are probably huffing at that moment because it can be distracting and counter productive. I also once heard of a person who's guts just fell out from being too relaxed...So don't do that. -out of 5.
Second we have a Smith Tea Smoked Chai Caramel. I know. Way more cray....z. (Crazy) than the last caramel! This treat comes from Quin here in Portland. Quin offers a variety of hand made candies and can be found online at quincandy.com or in fine shops abound. There isn't much in the way of elaborate packaging here. Which is nice because I don't have to worry about a smoke screen to distract me from what the confection is. Simplicity often puts me at ease. Nothing sends up more snack red flags than packaging boasting all kinds of things and making all sorts of promises. Think of those old time snake oil salesmen. Big banners everywhere trying to convince you to buy their product. I find most often that the best treats just say what they are and that is all they need. Now let's try it.
S- I love that this is actual tea. All to often things have a fake tea flavor. I also really like the texture of Quin's caramels. I have had many of their flavors and the quality of the caramel is always satisfying. I give this a 4 out of 5.
d- The first thing that strikes me is the rich flavor of the caramel. Second I notice that it has a very luxurious mouth feel. (Like I would imagine eating an angel's perm would feel.) None of the candy is sticking to my teeth at all. The tea component comes on almost as a second stage of deliciousness and even then it isn't super assertive. The tea element lingers on the palette not unlike after you take a drink of real tea and the aromatic elements ghost ride your tongue a bit. Quite nice. I give it a 4- Pressure points. My friend Daniel once showed me a spot that you could pinch in your hand that would make your headache go away. I know. Cra...Insane. Turns out there is like a ton of these spots all over your body. One of them, you put one hand on your third eye (that is between your other two eyes.) (*The real ones.) and the other on your collar bone and take deep breaths (Remember my previous warnings about the breaths though...) There is also a point on your hand that you can pinch but it is really close to the anti-constipation pressure point called "opening the river" or something to that effect. So maybe watch out there. -out of 5.
This is an interesting one. It was a gift from our dear friend JC. (Not to be confused with often bearded JC. Our friend JC doesn't have a beard but still often preforms miracles. Delicious miracles.) We have four flavors of this so you will probably see the others later on. This treat hails from yume Asian confections. It is called Sea Glass Jelly Candy. (Yeah, I don't know either. I had no idea this existed until she gave it to us. That is like just finding out that a unicorn is real and then being offered unicorn sashimi.) (*Side note: Pretty sure unicorn sashimi has the same texture as permed angel hair as well.) The flavor is Burgamot. Now I know that Burgamot is an orange type fruit but our frame of reference for burgamot is most often in tea. So that is why it is in our tea pot. Post, I meant post.
Here we can see the ingredients: (you can't really but I will list them for you.) water, sugar, agar, and essential oils. Simple enough. The really interesting part here is that it also has a "Consume or freeze by" on the label band. I mean it looks like your average rock candy so what could go bad? Lets further investigate.
I do have to say that this is one of the most beautiful confections that I have had the pleasure of reviewing. I mean it looks like broken glass.
S- Well, first of all it has a really cool texture. It is also really interesting, fun, and pretty. The flavor is great. It is crunchy on the outside and soft inside. I give this a 5 out of 5.
d- Either it smells like plastic or I am imagining that based on the appearance or from the packaging. The mouth feel is as I expected. It is like a hard candy or a sugar crystal. Oh wait! It just broke. It has like a light shell on the outside! Then inside it is a light jelly. I have never had anything like this. Wow was I wrong about this. I have to try another piece because I was so distracted by the shape and density that I missed the flavor. I have to say that the flavor is a tad tea like. Not overtly citrusy. This is amazing stuff. I give it a 5- Be positive! When you encounter a person who is frustrating you and in doing so is causing you stress just say this to yourself "They are doing the best that they can." The fact is, most people aren't out to get you. People aren't making mistakes to mess with you on purpose. In reali-TEA they are doing the very best that they can but to error is human and most humans are positively stupid. -out of 5.
Our final tea snack is from Klein's. Here we have a Sugar Free Earl Grey hard candy. Think tiny lozenges. Yeah, you got it.
Upon opening the box there is a scent not unlike opening a jar of Lipton's Iced Tea mix. This is a nostalgic smell for me as my mother always had that around the house when I was a wee tot. Lets see how it tastes:
S- I like the beginning. However after awhile it tastes like when you leave your tea bag in your cup and it gets bitter. I give it a 2 out of 5.
d- Oh snap. This has a REALLY strong tea flavor. ( "Hello! Is it TEA you're looking for? -Lionel RichTEA). The candy is about the size of a cherry Runts. (I wish it was a cherry Runts.) It is surprisingly not sweet which is nice. Except the candy is so concentrated that it transitions from tea to soapy tea really quickly. It is like if you were a kid and drinking tea and said "F*CK THIS TEA IS STRONG!" and your guardian promptly washed your mouth out with soap. I give it a 2- The Badger of Sereni-TEA. Imagine the cute tiny hands of the Badger of Serenity are cradling your heart. Its claws are not slashing your innards to ribbons (as they could so easily do) but are instead ever so gently warming your heart. The Badger of Serenity's fang filled mouth is gracefully nestled at your throat. Its jaws are not crushing your larynx though, as would be a non-Badger of Serenity's nature. Instead the Badger of Serenity is purring. A soothing purr sound not to be confused with the aggressive coarse sound the average badger would make as it sloppily guzzled your blood that would spill forth from your viciously severed arteries as the average badger made what can only be described as a breeding den of your eviscerated lung cavity. No. The Badger of Serenity means you no harm. As long as no ordinary badgers have followed the Badger of Serenity here, you will be fine. -out of 5.
Hopefully you enjoyed our little chat, I know I did. I would like to think we all learned a little about ourselves. I learned that I am possibly the worst stress reduction guru. (OR THE BEST!) See you next time.
P.S. You might notice that I took the high road here and did not make one tea bag joke. Yeah, some of us are really growing up. I decided not to get too dir-TEA! Awe yea! One more!!! (#SorryNotSorry)