Monday, April 12, 2010

This Is What I Drink : 25

Coffee, Tea, Sega.

Trader Joe's Unsweetened Green + White tea with mint.

When I was trying to wean myself off of the sugary beverages that I used to love so much, one of my best buddies was lightly or unsweetened iced tea. Just drinking water gets boring after a while, and tea is a pretty flavorful and healthy option to have around if you're looking for a 0 calorie beverage. TJ's version is interesting in that it's a blend of both green and white teas. Green & black is pretty common (they call it oolong), so green + white (baby green tea leaves) presents a light caffeine option. Mint is a classic tea partner and it really makes you forget that this tea is even unsweetened because it has such a nice flavor. Unsweetened iced tea is a bit of an acquired taste. I absolutely hated it as a kid, but now it's one of my favorite drinks. The Trader Joe's version isn't the best I've had, but it comes in a gallon jug, so the value is pretty great.

Nick's Cardamom Coffee:

What's that green thing floating in my coffee up there?! That's a green cardamom pod! At the suggestion of my friend Nick and per his instruction, I placed one pod and poured the coffee over it to release the flavor of the cardamom. Apparently in the Middle East they grind green cardamom and coffee beans together and boil that mixture in water to make the coffee. In Asia they use it to make a form of chai. That may be the next step, but this version was pretty great too. Just the one pod created enough flavor, but not too much, to spice up an ordinarily ho-hum cup of coffee maker coffee. I'm not exactly sure how to describe the flavor of cardamom if you haven't had it. It's some kind of hybrid of cinnamon + ginger, but not exactly that either. I think Nick got these from a fancy spice shop in NYC because apparently they're harder to find otherwise. I don't think I'd make cardamom coffee a regular habit, but every once in a while it's nice to spice up your coffee with a unique flavor.

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