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Food Blog Archive - Jul 2016

Posts Below
7/18/2016 - Links: Free (as in Freedom), Libre, Open Source Agriculture
7/22/2016 - Teeccino: An Excellent Alternative to Coffee
7/23/2016 - Postum - Buy 3 Jars, Get 1 Free Sale Until August 31, 2016


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Links: Free (as in Freedom), Libre, Open Source Agriculture
Monday, July 18th, 2016
14:57:07 GMT

Ever since I saw the documentary Gasland several years ago, I've been increasingly worried about farms, groundwater (or any water), nature in general, and also places where people live, possibly getting contaminated by pollution from various forms of industrial activity.

And I also think it's quite distressing that unless you pay extra to buy organic food, you're stuck buying food which quite possibly had pesticides used on it, or which might have been genetically modified (GMO).

And, as someone who has at times had a rather inadequate diet simply due to lack of enough money, I've sometimes daydreamed about how nice it would be to be able to grow my own food on my own farm, or in a greenhouse, or something.

So, today, I was very pleased to run across the below links, since perhaps free (as in freedom), libre, open source agriculture will someday help alleviate some of the above problems.

This Ag Innovator Wants to Find Your Broccoli by IP Address
(June 10, 2015 from

MIT Open Agriculture Initiative

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Teeccino: An Excellent Alternative to Coffee
Friday, July 22nd, 2016
21:32:18 GMT

I sometimes run across articles which suggest that it would be healthy to give up caffeine.

I actually mostly don't drink coffee, and I only drink 1 cup of caffeinated tea per day maximum - but I'm definitely addicted. (Edit, Aug. 13, 2016, 10:42 PM EDT: Actually, I drank one 17 ounce mug which I mistakenly thought was 12 ounces.) I've tried repeatedly (though not very determinedly) to gradually give it up, but I just like the taste too much.

It's probable I'd consume less caffeine if I simply switched completely to coffee, because I only enjoy coffee which is very diluted with water and cream. (Otherwise, coffee tastes unbearably bitter and horrible to me.)

But, my goal is to mostly stop drinking any caffeine, since I think maybe I have adrenal fatigue, given that I have sometimes been unusually tired lately despite going out of my way to avoid stressful things for over a month now.

There are various non-caffeinated herbal teas I like. But, I wanted to try something totally new to me.

So, today, I tried Teeccino, which is made of chicory and other tasty ingredients.

I tried a "tee-bag" of the Maya Chai flavor. And, I liked it! I could definitely distinguish it from coffee, but it was still quite good, coffee-like, and better than any decaffeinated coffee I've ever had. (But I should probably point out that I never tried a wide variety of decaf coffee, nor even caffeinated coffee.)

Teeccino "tee-bags" seem to take longer to steep than probably most tea does. I didn't carefully follow the instructions - I stuck the bag in a cup of cold water and microwaved it, which I think worked well enough.

Rather than removing the bag, I decided to just leave it in as I was drinking it, and see how long it would take for it to get too strong for my tastes. I don't know exactly when that happened, but it seemed to take a long time, maybe over 10 minutes.

Similar to the way I drink coffee, I liked it best with a lot of cream.

I greatly look forward to trying all the other flavors of the sampler pack I got, and I think Teeccino will definitely assist me in hopefully finally really giving up caffeine, or at least drinking a lot less caffeine.

Addition, July 30, 2016, 11:14 AM EDT. Here's a new blog post by me which could be of interest to Teeccino drinkers:

Chicory and barley: reputedly good for dental health, etc.

Additions, July 23, 2016, 3:23 AM EDT, etc. The way I sweeten my tea, coffee and Teeccino is usually:

I used to be able to just use any random brown sugar from a grocery store, but I find that difficult to use anymore because the above makes everything taste so much better in comparison.

Anyway, I just tried the Chocolate Mint flavor of Teeccino. I liked the Maya Chai, but I love this! It reminds me of Andes mints in liquid form, but more subtle. I think I like it even more than hot chocolate, because hot chocolate (unless you make it from scratch) tends to be overwhelmingly sugary, and with this, I can control the amount of sweetness.

Addition, July 30, 2016, 12:27 PM EDT. By now, I've tried all the flavors from the sampler pack.

There are only 4 flavors I wasn't so fond of - Orange, Maya Chai, Almond Amaretto, and Chocolate.

But, I liked (or loved) them all, and all of them were superior to any decaf coffee I've ever had. And it turns out mixing multiple flavors together is fun, so, I might eventually buy even the ones I'm less fond of just to see if they'll taste better as components of my own custom blends.

I already got two 11 oz. packages of ground Teeccino from a local store. The store had only had 4 flavors (and only 2 I particularly liked), so I got Java and French Roast.

For me, coffee machines are too much of a time-consuming nuisance, even though I don't have a non-libre coffee machine with DRM. :-) But fortunately, a coffee machine isn't necessary to brew ground Teeccino.

On various pages on the Teeccino website (like this one), it says "The exact same Teeccino grounds are in the Tee-bags as in our 11 oz. bags." And Teeccino's website sells empty tea bags. (But I already had some of a different brand - I got 100 on sale for 99 cents from a local store.)

I considered getting a metal tea infuser, strainer, filter, or teaball. Particularly to my liking was this one (but beware of the volume in that video around 0:46 to 0:55). But, in the end, I decided against any metal tea contraption, because I was worried about things like, where was this manufactured, exactly what is it made of, how was it made, and is it really safe?

Teeccino takes minutes longer than ordinary tea to steep. I'm not sure exactly how long, but it probably varies depending on how strong or weak you'd prefer it to be. And also depending on which Teeccino flavor it is.

Filling my own tea bags was a bit less convenient and more messy than buying already-filled "tee-bags". But, I love being able to choose the amounts to put in, and being able to easily mix multiple flavors together.

In my 17-ounce mug, I like both pure Java (with about 3 non-heaping spoonfuls) or pure French Roast (with some amount less than 3 non-heaping spoonfuls, since 3 initially seemed too strong for me, though I soon got used to it and liked it anyway).

But I also like combining Java and French Roast, with 2 non-heaping spoonfuls of Java, and less than a spoonful of French Roast (since just 1 spoonful surprisingly seemed a bit too strong for my liking). And I'll be trying other combinations too.

I think maybe I'm unusually sensitive to strong flavors (especially in light of my inability to drink undiluted coffee). A former coffee drinker I know very much enjoyed an 8.5 ounce cup made with 4 spoonfuls of French Roast! (Addition, Aug. 2, 2016, 2:08 PM EDT. That person said 2 spoonfuls is just as good.)

Here is my mostly indecisive ranking of all the Teeccino flavors from the sampler pack, which no doubt will vary depending on my mood:

  1. Chocolate Mint - Still my favorite! But it seems too much like dessert for me to use it as my usual tea replacement. And also, chocolate (including Teeccino flavors containing chocolate) contains theobromine, which has effects similar to caffeine.

  2. Java - I never had real java, so I can't compare this to that. But, it's definitely good. Mixing it with a small amount of French Roast enhances it for me.

  3. Vanilla Nut - Better than all the vanilla teas I've ever had. I seldom have found a vanilla tea I've really liked. (Hedley's Vanilla comes to mind, but I don't know if that's even made anymore.)

  4. Hazelnut - Reminds me of Almond Amaretto, but somehow more agreeable to me.

  5. French Roast - Amongst all the Teeccinos (including the ones I'm less fond of), this one seems to have the strongest, most intense coffee-like flavor.

  6. Mocha - I don't remember many details about this one, but it was good. But since it has chocolate (and therefore, the caffeine-like substance theobromine), I should probably usually avoid it.

Here are the flavors I'm less fond of. They were all good enough for me to finish my cup, but I liked the above more.

However, the below might still be interesting components to mix into custom blends - so, for that reason, I might buy these too eventually.

  1. Orange - I figured this was one of the flavors I was least likely to like, because I seldom like any fruit tea. (The only exceptions I can even think of are Gevalia Ceylon Cinnamon Orange and Blackberry Spice, which I love.

    And a notable pseudo-exception is Twinings Ceylon Orange Pekoe tea - which has nothing whatsoever to do with orange fruit. It's simply a black tea - but for some years, it qualified as my #1 favorite daily tea, until I tried PG Tips.)

    Fortunately for me, it turned out Orange Teeccino didn't actually taste very orangey. I liked it a bit more than the Maya Chai.

  2. Maya Chai - I don't think I would have even guessed this was a chai if I tasted it without knowing what flavor it was. It's still good, though. But the name makes me compare it to chai teas I've had. And since I've had some really excellent chai teas, this scarcely compares at all to them.

    But this is a favorite of the aforementioned former coffee drinker I know. That person said they liked this because it's strong.

  3. Almond Amaretto. This is another flavor which the aforementioned former coffee drinker particularly liked, which I didn't like so much. The smell of this reminded me of anise, or something else I mostly don't like. (Not sure I know the correct name for the scent I'm referring to.)

    It reminded me of a weird Celestial Seasonings tea I had a long time ago called "Almond Sunset", which I also found rather disagreeable (though sometimes intriguing).

    Even though I didn't like Almond Sunset that much, it saddens me to find that Almond Sunset was retired. Yet another reason why it's better even for food and drink recipes, including tea, to be free (as in freedom), libre, and open source.

  4. Chocolate. Even though I love the Chocolate Mint flavor - for me, the plain Chocolate flavor didn't compare well to ordinary hot chocolate. Still was good enough to drink, though.

There are numerous other flavors for me to try. I'm most interested in trying Pumpkin Spice, since I love pumpkin pie, and one of my favorite teas is Bigelow Pumpkin Spice.

I'm also interested in French Vanilla, since I've had a surprisingly hard time finding vanilla teas I really like, and Vanilla Nut Teeccino was better than all of the vanilla teas I ever had.

So, I'll probably try this Boutique Sampler next.

Addition, Aug. 13, 2016, 5:36 PM EDT. I tried all the Boutique Sampler flavors. Here's my current ranking of everything, which will also probably vary depending on my mood:

  1. Hazelnut

  2. Pumpkin Spice - For some reason, I usually like most pumpkin-flavored things. I haven't had Bigelow Pumpkin Spice in quite a while, but I'm sure this Teeccino is least as good as that, and probably better.

  3. Chocolate Mint

  4. French Roast

  5. French Vanilla - Might have a stronger vanilla flavor than Vanilla Nut. I'll try comparing the two more carefully at some point.

  6. Java

  7. Vanilla Nut

  8. Mocha

  9. Caramel Nut - I'm almost tempted to put this in the group of flavors I'm not so fond of, except I probably liked it a bit more than them. Pecans were never a favorite nut of mine, even though I'm capable of enjoying them.

And the flavors I'm less fond of. They were all good enough for me to finish my cup, but I liked the above more.

However, the below might still be interesting components to mix into custom blends - so, for that reason, I might buy these too eventually.

  1. Orange

  2. Maya Chai

  3. Almond Amaretto

  4. Chocolate

  5. Southern Pecan - I wasn't sure what I'd think of this one, since pecans were never my favorite nut, but, I actually really liked this great pecan pie.

    Anyway, the Teeccino Southern Pecan flavor seemed to improve the longer it steeped (or the more I got used to it), but until it reached that point, I was considering discarding it. But, it somehow gradually became tolerable. So, I suspect maybe it might be good for me in small amounts as an ingredient in a custom mix.

And I finally found a flavor I found undrinkable:

  1. Chocolate Raspberry - I seldom like fruit flavor in tea or coffee, especially if it's raspberry. I'm not even very fond of most fruit pies (except pumpkin, if that qualifies as a fruit). People around me liked the smell of Chocolate Raspberry, but, I didn't even like the smell. Both its smell and taste reminded me too much of medicine. So, I had to discard it.

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Postum - Buy 3 Jars, Get 1 Free Sale Until August 31, 2016
Saturday, July 23rd, 2016
05:56:08 GMT

Postum is another excellent caffeine-free hot drink which tends to be placed in the same category as Teeccino - a coffee alternative.

And, until August 31, 2016, there's a buy 3 jars, get 1 free sale of Postum from Postum's official website.

I haven't had Postum in a long time, maybe since 2004 or something. But even though I didn't drink it very often (since I mostly drank caffeinated tea instead), I still liked it.

I only ever tried the Original flavor, which never tasted that much like coffee to me. But, I liked it anyway, especially since I wasn't even looking for a perfect replica of coffee - just something new (to me) and different from what I usually drank.

I read on this page that Postum was actually discontinued by the company Kraft in 2007, which I found very surprising and bizarre. Why would any company discontinue such a good, popular product?

Fortunately, Postum was so popular that a different company (Eliza's Quest Foods of Charlotte, North Carolina) revived it in 2012.

Which is very unusual - since I don't think any other discontinued product I ever liked ever got revived. I wish such revivals would happen more often.

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Note by Apollia on Nov. 8, 2023: Please join my Patreon if you'd like to support me and my work!

My main personal website is now I'm still not sure what to do with Astroblahhh.Com, so it's mostly staying as-is for now.