Selected Digest – June 2019

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June 2019: The Best of the beverage industry.

Drinking a Liquorice Tea or Two Could Land You in Hospital, An Archaeology of Beer with Travis Rupp, Is Coffee Good for You? Good News: A Breastfeeding Mother Can Drink Wine, Drinking Water on Earth, But Not for All...



Drinking a Liquorice Tea or Two Could Land You in Hospital


Overconsumption of “normal” tea can have something of an overstimulating effect, but “liquorice” tea might take you a step further by offering you the chance to meditate for eternity in the dark depths of limbo as an irreversible consequence of your excesses.

We are not talking here about twelve cups of tea a day (the average for an average Englishman, who claims to drink only one cup, at “Tea Time,” but who secretly gorges on tea as good Frenchmen do on coffee), but our man who was admitted to the emergency department with very elevated blood pressure insisted that he only drank a cup or two a day!


An Archaeology of Beer with Travis Rupp


If you run into this character and he asks you to chew quinoa grains for hours, then spit them out and make beer out of them, don’t run for the hills: it’s for science, and Travis Rupp, world expert on ancient beverages, is not crazy.

Travis is an enthusiast; he travels the world looking for clues, material evidence of ancestral methods (some of which date back several thousand years), and the secrets of making one of the most popular drinks: beer.


Is Coffee Good for You?


What a question! It is quite clear to us that agents of Her Gracious Majesty are trying to stir up a serious anti-coffee lobby. Coffee is good for you, even if you drink litres of it (well, almost). An excellent article, which gives us the proof ... (of course, there’s nothing to say this magazine’s editorial team hasn’t received a backhander from the coffee lobby ... it’s probably best to split the difference [or the coffee bean, or perhaps the tea leaf]: drink coffee for the first half of the day, and you can dedicate the second half to tea: should the world one day slide into a totalitarian regime that bans one and promotes only the other [which I’d quite like, just to be done with endless debates about the pros and cons of each], you will thank us for having prepared you for this eventuality well in advance.)


Good News: A Breastfeeding Mother Can Drink Wine


This doesn’t mean that women can “drink” (even secretly) during pregnancy or during the first month of breastfeeding. On the other hand, this is where we discover the true unfairness  of an ancient patriarchal system that is still clinging on despite the (often drunken) promises of our elected representatives: the father of the child can drink both during and after the pregnancy.

On a serious note, let’s not forget that altered brain connections can be seen in teenagers who were exposed to alcohol during their “gestation” in their mothers’ wombs, which can lead to lowered cognitive performance.


New Coke: Back to the Future


It was supposed to be a groundbreaking campaign ... but it was the greatest drinks marketing flop in history. When someone decides to radically change the dietary habits of a large part of the planet, it’s only to be expect that there may be some ... reluctance. New Coke was rejected by most fans of the best known fizzy drink on this planet, only to experience a resurgence of heavily nostalgia-laden interest thanks, mainly, to a Netflix series.

Stranger Things has quickly gained notoriety by recreating the world of the 1980s, an era many of us miss ... Stranger Things tells of strange goings-on in 1980s America, with its monochrome computers, its Raleigh Choppers, its Walkmans, its console games where a lot of imagination was needed to visualize the still and hyper-pixelated 16-colour image, which appeared, ghost-like, on the still-hot cathode-ray tube, as a dangerous mansion full of fantastic creatures ...

The series also took the opportunity to give a nod to “New Coke,” scorned and rejected in its time, but finding gustatory favour in this world ... our own current world, full of apathetic information junkies, compulsive likes/dislikes, already sick of 4K monitors, 3D photorealism and the virtual reality that goes with it ...


Silicon Valley Coffee: Seven Years in Tibet for Nothing


“BulletProof” coffee was apparently born in the belly of the “digital beast” that is Silicon Valley. This coffee, which is supposed to trigger weight-loss through “ketosis,” is, in reality, a “copy and paste” of a traditional Nepalese drink. Those familiar with Lobsang Rampa will know that salted-Yak’s butter tea flows freely through his adventures, almost as much as the mythomaniac ramblings of that brilliant and illustrious British writer–deceiver.

Silicon Valley invents nothing: it transforms, recreates, and kindles that quasi-narcissistic need to possess whatever might increase the value of our group identity. Did Steve Jobs drink it? He certainly knew how to elevate a hazy and obscure IT tool (the virtual office, the mouse, the optical screen ...) and turn it into a canonical object of the digital cult.


Tomato Juice: Drink It Everywhere (even if you have to pinch your nose)


The benefits of tomatoes are well known, so why add yet another dose by way of their very beneficial, but very undrinkable juice ... It should be noted that, like all fruits, and despite their acidity, tomatoes are high in sugar: doctors recommend only one portion of juice a day (which is a small glassful).


Post-Parkerism Is Here (and has been for ten years already)


Robert M Parker Jr was a dominant force in the world of wine criticism in the US for over a quarter of a century. He saw a brilliant future in the scarlet robe of a great 1982 Bordeaux, but it is now time to reconsider his legacy and free ourselves, to make way for new methods, from the all too “hip” action of consulting a specialist publication, with a marking system that is perhaps too cut and dried, before opening a “good bottle.”

The master of wines retired almost ten years ago; it is time to put the world to rights and be open to new trends, no matter if we must declare some vintage grand cru wine or other blessed, divine, etc.


Drinking Water on Earth, But Not for All


300,000 children die every year from illnesses linked to consuming non-potable water. It is one of the planet’s major problems and it doesn’t seem to be diminishing in our current world. Another alarming statistic: it seems that almost one third of the inhabitants of this planet do not have access to water that is clean enough to prevent them from contracting, among other things, cholera, dysentery, hepatitis A, or typhoid fever ...

The bad news is that this figure may double in the decades to come, and if we add the effects of climate change, which are thought to be coming in the next thirty years and have already been making themselves felt for some time, there aren’t many options left, other than to bathe in a pool of wine, like the Japanese, and forget the sad wretchedness of this world.

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