The smokiness is the first thing you notice when you open the bag, thanks to the Lapsang Souchong. You can detect the Oriental Spice in there, riding noticeably underneath like a current. Still, it’s a very smooth, eloquent blend.
The golden-coppery color of the Lapsang when brewed fuses beautifully with the burgundy-red of the assam melody to make a burnt copper color kind of like ochre in your cup (well, in my white cup, anyway.) I know it seems weird, but the smokiness of the Lapsang really gives this blend some heft and strength without any bitterness. If you don’t like strong black teas then this most likely isn’t for you…. but it’s delicious! If you’re a coffee drinker like I am, then you will probably enjoy this blend a great deal.
Well… first and foremost the lapsang takes charge and never relinquishes olfactory control. There is the barest sting of ginger and spices with the slightest hint of sweetness from the apple chai.
My first cup I brewed at 212 degrees and let it steep for five minutes. After I poured it into my cup, the lapsang was still the strongest scent, but the spice of the chai was far more noticeable than before. I seemed to have lost the sweetness from the apple, however.
Initial tasting was inconclusive; I could not decide right away whether or not I liked it, and that is always an interesting result. At first, I wondered if I found the lapsang too smoky; but no, I like strong flavors, so that should not have been the issue. Then I wondered if perhaps the gingery sting was not enough, or if it was too much. Was the spiced apple chai overpowered by the strength of the lapsang and ginger? I knew before I’d even finished the cup that I would have to keep trying.
The second time around I let the tea steep for four minutes. Not much of a noticeable difference there; the discordant smoke and burn of the competing flavors still defied my ability to determine if I liked this tea or not. I was definitely more aware of the ginger influence, though. I wondered if the slight sweetness of the spiced apple chai diminished the burn that ginger would normally produce. There is the slightest smoky aftertaste that haunts the mouth, but it is neither unpleasant nor immediately noticeable.
The third time around I let it steep for at least seven minutes, mostly because I forgot it was steeping as I was in another room working on something. Surprisingly, it was not noticeably more intense than before with the previous steepings. While hot, I still could not quite formulate my feelings on this blend. However, I allowed the half cup left to get cold while I worked (on this tumblr layout and reblogging posts, actually,) and discovered that I quite preferred the tea cool. I don’t know that it gave the ginger and spiced apple chai time to fully permeate the lapsang’s smokiness and rise to prominence. My empty cup still smells strongly of smoke.
Overall, after three cups, I can see that this blend will require more tastings to fully understand its complexity. Also, I have the sneaking suspicion that it might be fantastic iced.
“I do the cakes,” he admits to me. “The cakes?” I ask. I’ve been preoccupied with watching the boy from District 2 send a spear through a dummy’s heart from fifteen yards. “What cakes?” “At home. The iced ones, for the bakery,” he says…. “It’s lovely. If only you could frost someone to death,” I say.
Inspired by The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins which I am in no way affiliated with. This is created purely for my own enjoyment.
The Peeta blend smells deliciously sweet in the bag (in this case, the tin) with the vanilla green and almonds at the forefront of the fragrance. I let it steep for about 5 minutes. In the cup, the vanilla and almond are still quite strong, but the chocolate chai scent complements nicely.
Upon the first mouthful, this blend is quite mellow to me, maintaining its sweetness without being overpowering, the almond and chai giving it just the tiniest bite afterward. I plan on brewing another cup and adding milk and sugar to see how it goes. I think this could also be quite good iced.
Bob Mackie is one of the most prolific American fashion designers. He has dressed such celebrities as Cher, Whitney Houston, Diana Ross, Barbra Streisand and Elton John. He has also designed custom and exclusive Barbie dolls for the serious Barbie collectors. However, a large part of his work was showcased during his 11 year run as head costume designer on The Carol Burnett Show. Now, in the featurette “Gags and Gowns: The Genius of Bob Mackie” the 72 year old talks about some of his most outrageous and wackiest designs for arguably one of the greatest comediennes of all time, Carol Burnett.
The featurette is one of 13 to be included in the new box set from Time Life, The Carol Burnett Show: The Ultimate Collection. The box set is available for pre-order and will feature 20 hours of bonus material as well as 50 episodes, all showcasing the signature Bob Mackie style and fashion, and of course the great comedy of Ms. Carol Burnett!
In honor of Disney’s upcoming fall release of Cinderella on Blu-Ray, they have decided to team up with world renown French designer Christian Louboutin to make a unique fairy tale creation; Cinderella’s glass slipper.
In probably one of the most similar to real life scenes in the animated classic, the Grand Duke has both stepsisters try on the glass slipper. However, as hard as they try to stuff their over-sized feet into the shoe, it just doesn’t fit. Then as he is about to go, Cinderella appears and he has her try on the same shoe for a perfect fit.
Anyone who has ever spent an afternoon shoe shopping for the perfect pair of comfortable fitting heels can sympathize while watching that scene. Looking for a pair of heels that are beautiful, match your wardrobe, and will fit without pinching your toes or chafing you heel is no small task.
What’s more, Christian Louboutin has come to symbolize that level of excellence, and elusive rarity of finding the most desirable pair of heels out there. His stunning shoe designs have always exuded a sense of luxury that could easily be compared with the pinnacle of ultimate fantasy shoes, which for most of us girls growing up was a glass slipper.
“I think we have made the fairy tale fashionable again. We can translate the ancient fairy tale into its modern equivalent without losing the lovely patina and the savor of its once-upon-a-time quality” – The Walt Disney Company
“Isn’t it everyone’s dream, to once in your life part of a fairy tale? Walt Disney Studios gave me a wonderful opportunity to live this magical moment. I have been so lucky to have crossed paths with Cinderella, an icon who is so emblematic to the shoe world as well as the dream world.” -Christian Louboutin
More details will be coming when Disney makes a formal announcement in early July. Christian Louboutin is also celebrating his 20th Anniversary with a retrospective exhibition at the London Museum of Design.
You go to the theater to watch an epic 3D movie, and they give you some cheap uncomfortable 3D glasses to put on that may or may not have been cleaned from the previous wearer, and you find yourself throughout the movie trying to position them so they are not irritating the bridge of your nose. Or if you are really unfortunate, you are wearing the uncomfortable contraptions over a pair of your own glasses, which doubles the amount of irritation, and takes away from your viewing enjoyment!
Well, twin sisters Kine and Einy Paulsen decided enough was enough, and that they were going to change the way we view 3D movies. By blending style, grace, comfort, and then mixing that with 3D technology, they came up with a line of designer 3D glasses. Ingri:Dahl is their vision of adding fashion and class to an important piece of the 3D experience that is often overlooked.
Recently, Kine and Einy have taking their vision to Kickstarter, and have launched a campaign to help fund their new Spring Collection. I had the opportunity to chat personally with Kine about Ingri:Dahl and what they think about 3D technology.
Ari: How did you get started making 3d glasses?
Kine: We started talking about what would later become Ingri:Dahl, when we went to see a 3D movie a couple of years back. We loved the movie, but hated the glasses! So, we put our business minds together, combined with our love for fashion, and decided to start a company designing our own glasses.
Ari: What inspires your unique fashion sense?
Kine: We get inspiration from all over: in LA traffic, drinking a latte, or even at the gym. Our main inspiration throughout our collections are classic Hollywood movies and icons. A lot of our research before we designed our first model “Popcorn” was spent looking at pictures from this era – and it was impossible not to get inspired! We decided that we want to bring that elegance and glamor back to today’s Hollywood. At the same time we were born and raised in Norway, so we’ve designed our glasses with the simple lines that Scandinavian design is famous for.
Ari: Any thoughts on what defines geek fashion or the fashionably geek?
Kine: Geek fashion is usually ahead of the curve, and it is combined with something from the “geeky” world. Our glasses are fashionable, but at the same time they are functional for someone who loves 3D movies, has a 3D TV or is a 3D gamer.
Ari: What was your favorite movie in 3D? And why is it your favorite?
Kine: We have so many favorites, but two that we really like are Avatar and TinTin. Both have amazing stories, as well as exceptional 3D effects.
Ari: How do you see 3D technology evolving?
Kine: 3D is just getting more and more common, and the technology is getting better too. Towards the end of 2011, we have seen that people have preferred the 3D version to the traditional 2D movie format, and that 3D TV and 3D gaming has become more popular. Sony also announced here in the US that they will no longer pay for the 3D glasses that the audience get for free at the movie theater, meaning that people have to bring their own pair, and hopefully the premium of 3D movie tickets will decrease. 2012 is going to be a great year for 3D. A lot of classic movies are being remade in 3D, in addition there are some great new movies that we are looking forward to.
Ari: Do you prefer going to the theater over watching a movie at home? And why?
Kine: Nothing beats the big screen with the loud sounds through the movie theater surround system.
Ari: Have you faced any challenges as female entrepreneurs?
Kine: Starting a company from scratch comes with a lot of challenges, not sure if our challenges were greater because we are female. In certain situations we have felt that people didn’t take us as seriously as we would like, but I think that was more related to the fact we are so young. At the same time, I think that we are young has opened a lot of doors. People always get really excited to support when we say we just graduated college.
Ari: What advice do you have for other women who have an idea they want to develop?
Kine: Do it! You really have nothing to lose. Even in worst case scenario you will have learned tons that no class could ever teach you! We have also met some great people that we would never have met if it wasn’t for that we took this dive.
Find out more about Ingri:Dahl and the twins, Kine and Einy, by visiting the following links:
Designer Thom Brown made a bold move using a mixture of Star Wars influence with fencing for the spring and summer 2012 Moncler Gamme Bleu Collection. Models marched down the runway to the strains of John William’s soundtrack to the movie while dressed in fencing outfits that looked more like storm troopers, imperial uniformed personnel, and of course Darth Vader.