Monday, August 4, 2014

My New Beverage of Choice.

There was once a time - many, many, years ago - when my diet pretty much consisted of three things; coffee, beer and cigarettes. That's no longer the case.

I gave up cigarettes more than 20 years ago. It was 22 years this past July, as a matter of fact.

Although I won't go so far as to say I have given up having a beer now and then, I hardly ever indulge any more. I'd say probably no more than once or twice a year. Compared to what I once put away, this is nothing.

Of the three vices mentioned above, the only one that I still indulge in on a regular basis is coffee. But, even my coffee drinking isn't what it once was. Even before moving to Sibulan, I had made a conscious effort to cut back on the Java. Now that I'm living in Philippines, I can see the habit dwindling even more.

Part of the reason for this drop in coffee consumption is the desire to cut down somewhat on the caffeine. I brought along a supply of ground coffee and I put some into a balikbayan box which has as yet, not left the U.S.. No, one of the main reason why I foresee a further drop in my coffee consumption is the price of coffee in Dumaguete.

Since I still have a small supply left, I haven't shopped for ground coffee; I have looked at prices, out of curiosity. Instant coffee is preferred in Philippines and there isn't a wide selection of ground coffee. When looking at Super Lee's, I noticed only one brand - one that I had never heard of - though it came as either ground or as whole, roasted beans. The cost of both varieties is the same, and neither is a bargain.

Translating pesos to dollars and kilos to pounds, it seems that the price of coffee is around $10 a lb.. I didn't spend a lot of time searching for more coffee at the grocery, and it's possible that I might fins a wider selection. But, I cannot understand why coffee should cost that much here. Coffee can be grown here, though I've never seen a Filipino brand anywhere. Vietnam, one of the main coffee producers in the world is not so very far from here. Walmart's store brand coffee is arabica beans grown in Vietnam, so the coffee shouldn't cost so much here.

As my coffee consumption has gone down, I've started drinking a bit more green tea. I've found one brand of green tea here that is reasonably priced, and actually quite good, though it is also a brand that is new to me.

The green tea I'm using now is called "Susan Baker's Chinese Green Tea". I've Googled the name to find out more about the brand, but very little shows up on the Internet.
Here's my preferred method for green tea: I put the tea bag into a mug; I've found a regular cup too small. I pour in boiling water, cover the mug with a saucer and allow the tea to steep for a few minutes. When it's the color I like, I had the juice from one calamansi and loads of sugar. For you folks who can't get calamansi, well, I guess you can substitute some other type of citrus. calamansi is a wee bit smaller than a key lime. The taste is different, however. I've read somewhere that it is a cross between a lime and a Mandarin orange. I don't know. Limes, oranges, grapefruit - all the citrus fruits - have a slightly different taste and I couldn't possibly describe the taste of a calamansi.

Every I read on the Internet tells me that green tea has several health benefits. Reading about,calamansi, I learn that it's pretty good for you as well. Perhaps by combining the two, I can live to be 100.

Even if green tea and calamansi turns out to not be a magic elixir, it certainly tastes good.

No comments: