Tag Archives: Beverages

The Bitter Truth

By Titas Mazumdar

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Books, music, movies and the afternoon siesta after a heavy Bengali meal, is all that I crave for on my Sundays. Once the evening sets in my heart starts becoming heavy with the thought that another week to toil in office.

I always wanted to be free just like a bird and to some extent I enjoyed the taste of independence during my college days. But once I started  working my life felt all in chains. Everyday I reach office 10-15mins early so that I am not marked late and a part of my salary gets deducted. I can feel my phone vibrating in my jeans pocket yet I cannot pick it up or even check who had called up. Scared to open the news site, lest my IP address is being scanned through and my evening break is munching biscuit while researching for my next content. Ah that’s my life in office , working as slaves for some billionare.

Whenever my colleagues and I feel sleepy for working hours in front of the computer we take refuge to the nearby tea shop. The owner of this tea shop sell such a refreshing cup of tea that most of us simply ignored our office coffee. He might own a small tea shop by the roadside but the conversations with him are always  interesting. This man downloads films from the internet and watches them . To our surprise he even discussed Rittwick Ghatak and Rituparno Ghosh films with us. At times the topics would revolve around politics, current affairs and even spirituality.

On a gloomy Monday when one of my colleagues and I visited this tea shop found it to closed. Disappointed at this we had no other option but to sip the infamous ‘phenyl tea’ of our office. The next day when we enquired why he didn’t open his shop, he answered that he just wanted to stay at home with his family. We were quite surprised that he incurred a days loss but this man was unperturbed by it.  And the next thing he said simply got etched in my mind and I think its going to be there foreover.

‘My life is not like yours!! For the slightest mistake or absentism you people always in the tension that your boss will shout at you or in the worst case sack you from your job.   But here I am the boss no one is there to tell me anything. It might be just a small tea shop by the road but at least its my own’.

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Absinthe, a Tale of the Green Fairy!!

By Antara Roy

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Let’s start this post with a quirky food fact…Did you know a certain green fairy (read as absinthe) was banned for a century after a European Highness decided that crime evolved from this bottle of alcohol!!! Arguably the most delusional drinking spirit, it came back into productions only in 90s, and see, how our world decided to break free.

But drinking this spirit is a bit of a science in itself, I admit. Absinthe is one the most alcoholic distilled spirit found in the world, with a total alcoholic volume of 65% to 75%.  And so having it the right way is most crucial and important. It cannot be treated as a shot of tequila. Because of the simple reason, that it isn’t tequila. It is not a drink for a round of “bottoms-up” in a party!! Moreover it should never be consumed like that. Take your time to make it right. It’s an expensive bottle with a delicate flavour which has to be savoured, rather than gulped down the throat! In this post, I have mentioned a way I tend to use this green magic, which is quite appealing to our Indian taste and never-ever, will propel your minds criminally!!

Absinthe portrays a strong flavour of fennel (saunf), something that we Indians don’t consider a cocktail flavour. Our tastes compel us to associate fennel with mouth fresheners. After a hearty Indian meal, that paan walla’s paan (betel leaf laden with a sweet cocktail of fennel seeds, betel nuts and sweetened dry fruits) is what we grab out for. So for me, my first thought while having absinthe was, Paan!! And so I introduced my friends to an after meal liqueur, which is just about right for our matured, yet hearty Indian Tastes!!!

So if you are having a cocktail party, indulge your guests to a small helping of absinthe to end the party. Making a perfect glass of the green fairy is laborious, never-the-less very satisfying. One helping is good enough for 6 shot glasses and tends to be a well deserved end to a beautiful meal, the Indian way!!

Ingredients:

  • 30 ml absinthe
  • Ice (optional)
  • Cold water
  • 1 sugar cube
  • Absinthe strainer, comes with the bottle
  • 6 chilled shot glasses
  • 1 tall water tumbler

Method:

The first step is to make the apparatus required. Assemble the absinthe strainer and the sugar cube on tall water tumbler as shown here.

IMG_0011-004 Now pour in 30 ml of absinthe, passing it through the sugar cube.

IMG_0003-001 Slowly drip in cold water (drop-by-drop), and let it slowly dissolve in the sugar cube.

IMG_0005-001 Once the sugar dissolves in, adjust water to suit your taste. Remember, it is at least 60 % alcohol, so filling up the glass with a bit more water will be a good idea.

IMG_0016 Divide it equally between half a dozen shot glasses and enjoy!!

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For any further clarification, feel free to write in. Cheers!!

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Goodness Gracias Green Tea

By Tahira

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Consumption of tea originated in China nearly 4000 years ago and as far as Green Tea is concerned, it was first brewed in 2737 BC, during the reign of the Chinese Emperor Chen Nung. Over the ages, Green Tea has been known and extensively used for its medicinal purpose long years together. But what makes Green Tea so popular and endearing. Lets take a look.

Green Tea and Weight Loss
Wondering that consumption of a liquid can actually do such a wonder? Well, yes it does. Regular consumption of green tea increases the rate of metabolism. The substance named polyphone present in green tea works towards intensifying the levels of fat oxidation. It also intensifies the rate at which our body burns calories.

Green Tea and Cancer
Consumption of Green Tea is known to reduce the risk of oesophagus and breast cancer. However, the cancer fighting abilities of green tea is not only limited to these two. Flavinoids present in green tea helps reducing cancer risk. The antioxidant in green tea has been proved to be 100 times more effective than Vitamin C and nearly 25 times better than Vitamin E.

Moreover, Catechins found in green tea help deactivate certain carcinogens, prevent cell mutation and reduce the formation of tumors. Drinking as many as four cups of green tea in a day can help reap the benefits.

Green Tea and Cardiovascular Diseases
The lowering risks of heart diseases and stroke has long been associated with Green Tea. According to Harvard Health Publications, regular Green Tea consumers develop lower risks for heart diseases. The presence of the strong antioxidants in green tea, blocks the oxidation of bad cholesterol and increases good cholesterol thereby improving arterial functions. A Chinese study, published in the Archives of Internal Medicine showed nearly 50% reduction in hypertension risks in those who consumed Green Tea on a regular basis.

Green Tea and, Oral and Bone Health
Presence of flavinoids, natural fluorides, catechins and polyphenols are known to kill bacteria that are responsible for causing tooth decay, gum problems and bad breath. A study published by the European Journal of Nutrition, found that those who consumed at least two cups of Green Tea everyday, developed less risk of tooth decay. However, it is advisable that you consume Green Tea without sugar or honey.

green tea 1Though researches are still being undertaken about the Green Tea’s association of promoting bone health, but some studies have found that routine consumption of Green Tea for more than five years can help in reducing the risk of diseases such as osteoporotic fractures. Green Tea is also thought to reduce bone loss through antioxidant and anti-inflammatory activities. It is believed that Green Tea also helps in bone building cells.

How to Reap the Benefits
In a cup of  hot boiled water, add one or two teaspoons of green tea leaves. Keep for five minutes and strain. You can add ice if you want to have this beverage cold. But, always remember to be able to reap the benefits of Green Tea to the fullest, have it plain, without sugar or honey.

Rendezvous with the Rains

An evening downpour cannot be enjoyed without a steaming cup of coffee! Sampurna Majumder relates one of her many experiences of enjoying cappuccino after getting drenched!

coffee cupAnd there it stood in the kitchen shelf. Beckoning me with its tantalizing smell, a hot steaming cup of cappuccino, sprinkled with cocoa powder. My desired one, one which I yearn for, every minute and every second, whether am jovial or sad or experiencing severe mood swings.

Heavy rains slashed against the window panes. Droplets had gathered on the glass pane giving it a smoky and sensuous look. The leaves were in the best of their colors, shining brightly. Rain washed mother nature stood in front of me, absolutely spik and span. I was carried off to an almost different plane altogether.

Yes I had to go. I ran up to the rain washed terrace without any second thought. I stood there at the middle of the terrace with my arms stretched out. The heavy downpour blanketed me and my senses completely. It was absolute ecstasy. I could feel a velvety touch underneath my feet. I was engulfed by the rain’s intensity.

No horns, no hustle bustle of the concrete jungle was to be heard. It was only me and the rain droplets in an open terrace on a just another ordinary day which became extraordinary both physically and emotionally for me.

Water dripping through my wet hair, soggy clothes clinging on to my body, shivering within, I came down, reentered the living room and headed towards the kitchen shelf. Took the cappuccino and went inside the kitchen to heat it up.