Monthly Archives October 2014

An Alternative Iced Tea: Why We Love Pokka Oolong Tea

So you love tea, but you don’t always have time to brew your own cup during a busy day. You also forgot to ice your last batch and put it in the fridge for later. The obvious option is to purchase some canned or bottled tea to make things a little easier, but which one would be able to come closest to the taste you’re used to having?

Most of the well-known brands have added sugar, or become watery and thin compared to proper tea bags and loose leaf blends. The variety also changes from store to store. To top it off, most mainstream brands only deal in green or black tea. Where are you supposed to go when you want to have a different flavor on stock?

Well, there’s good news. Iced oolong tea exists. Enjoy the fact for a second. Okay, now you know another pre-blended flavor exists. I know you’ll be asking, so let’s go ahead and list out the next questions: Where can you find it? Do the same issues with other canned/bottled teas apply?

The basics first: while there are a few brands that feature iced oolong tea, one of the easiest to find is named Pokka oolong tea. You can purchase individual cans for a taste test, or you can buy in bulk at most Asian food markets and specialty grocery stores. It seems impossible, but it’s true!

As for the tea blend itself: Pokka oolong tea is unsweetened, and will be sure to say so on every can, right where you can see it. Other cans that deal in unsweetened tea will be marked the same way, if you happen to see more in your search for an easy drink. That just leaves the most important factor in purchasing store-made teas.
Taste: Sometimes store-bought teas will have a chemical after-taste, even with good ingredients. It’s also possible to have bitter or watery tea. Not to worry with this kind—this canned oolong tea tastes just right. There’s no aftertaste or bitterness in this particular canned brand, and the dual layers that make oolong a nice balance between the more common green and black comes out in full earthiness here.

Buying canned tea during a busy week doesn’t mean you have to settle on flavor. Just remember to search markets that know their stuff. Your taste buds will be grateful!

Read More

TOEFL Preparation Guide: What You Need to Know

The initials TOEFL stand for Test of English as a Foreign Language. This test, given by the Educational Testing Service, is taken by hundreds of thousands of people around the world each year. TOEFL is a highly important test that is accepted by many places. If one is to do well on the test, proper preparation is essential. TOEFL preparation is important to help pass all aspects of the test.

Part of doing well on the test is to understand the basic parts of the test. The test typically consists of two parts: a writing test and a listening section. Test takers may also opt to take only one part of the test if they so choose. The writing section calls for the test taker to write two effective and coherent essay, each of approximately three hundred words each. The listening section consists of multiple efforts to test the speaker’s ability to speak English fluently. The aim of the listening section is for the person taking it to demonstrate native-like fluency.

People who want to take the test must often sign up in advance. The test is given at testing centers around the world. Test takers are allowed to take the test via a computer system. This system allows the test taker to type their answers rather than write them down. Many test takers are urged to get familiar with a computer keyboard and learn to type rapidly if possible.

Another important tip for all those planning to take the test is to practice. The test is a timed one. The person taking it only gets a certain time to complete their answers. This means they must finish each section of the test within a given time frame.

Test takers will find that the Educational Testing Service provides many forms of assistance for those taking the test. One of the best methods is using old tests as a means of practice. Sample TOEFL tests are available in many places including via books published by the Educational Testing Service. Test takers should ideally spend time taking at least one test and multiple tests if possible. This will give them the chance to see how well they have mastered the required material so far. Each test should be taken under timed conditions to mimic the conditions of the actual test that is given by ETS.

Read More

How to Care for Teak Furniture

Teak is known for its beauty, durability, and versatility. In the tropical regions it grows, teak is used for everything from bridges to serving utensils. However, this hardwood also makes stunning outdoor and indoor furniture.

Whether you’ve found your new teak furniture at a yard sale or a high end store, you should care for it well to make it last. After all, even the best teak furniture in Singapore needs some TLC every once in a while.


– Indoor Use

Teak is known for being low maintenance. You can help it last even longer with just a few simple steps, namely, don’t fuss with it. Unlike other woods, teak does not need to be oiled or sealed. In fact, teak is just best left alone with its natural oils. Too many products designed for wood care will discolor the teak pieces or cause them to mold.

As life moves on, however, your furniture is sure to become scratched and stained. Thankfully, teak is easy to clean up. When necessary, just wash the piece with water and mild soap. Treatment for stains and scratches are the same: lightly sand the wood with the grain until the blemish is gone. If you have oiled or sealed the teak, then you will need to repeat the process on the sanded area.


– Outdoor Use

Teak is frequently used in the production of patio and outdoor furniture. Because of the conditions it’s grown in, teak is perfectly suited to this. However, teak will turn gray when left in the sun. This graying process isn’t a problem and it doesn’t change how long the furniture will last. However, if you’d prefer that your teak furniture keep it’s color, you can seal it with a teak sealer. When the wood eventually starts to turn color again, just wash it with a warm soapy water, clean it with a soft brush, and seal it again.

During harsh winters or prolonged periods it won’t be used, it’s a good idea to cover teak furniture to protect it from the elements. However, only use breathable covers or mold can grow on the furniture.

Read More