Mar 072015
 

How does Moses make his tea? Hebrews it of course. 😀 But I bet Moses never got a chance to enjoy a 100 year old vintage tea that costs $600,000. This round disc of tea, which weighs 375 grams, is raw compressed pu’erh (a type of black tea.) It was recently imported into North America for the first time by a vintage tea wholesaler based in Vancouver. 😀 This tea is said to be the most valuable of vintage teas in the world. Wealthy hipsters in Vancouver can finally get their hands on some expensive tea to go along with their expensive Vancouver bungalows. :)

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Brewing this $600,000 tea’s first pot would cost about $150,000, including the depreciation from breaking up the disc. It’s like driving a new car off the lot. Personally it’s a little out of my price range so I’m just going to move oolong, because there’s nothing for me to tea here. 😀

Vintage Tea

Pu’erh is known as the “king of teas” in some parts of China. It’s been drunk by emperors and monks. It’s even said that wars have been fought over it according to the Province article. Much like a fine wine or Scotch whiskey, vintage tea becomes better with age, gaining a richness and complexity in flavour as it matures. This particular tea dates back to around 1910.

Many people collect tea the same way they collect art or vintage wine. $600,000 for a 375 gram tea cake works out to a price per weight ratio of $1,600/gram. Let’s see if this tea has been a good investment over the last century. If we assume the vintage tea was originally $1/gram 100 years ago then we can easily calculate its average annual return.

($1,600/$1)^(1/100 years) = 1.077

So this tea cake has increased in value by 7.7% every year on average over the last 100 years. Not as good as the stock market over the same period but it’s still a decent return regardless. 😎 As an alternative asset class I can see myself investing in vintage tea, or maybe even vintage tea cups. 😉 Large chains such as Teavana and Quebec-based David’s Tea are becoming more popular across North America. Tea consumption in Canada is expected to grow 40% in the next 6 years, according to Agriculture Canada. Maybe I’ll just pick up some Earl Grey and store it in a cool and dry place. I’ll wait 50 years, pass it onto my grandchildren, and give them instructions to sell it after another 50 years. :) Why limit my investment time horizon to just a lifetime when I can go multi-generational? 😛

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Random Useless Fact:

42 years ago a Big Mac was only $0.65. Today it’s almost $5.00. #foodinflation

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Feb 122015
 
cooking steak with Liquid

In some parts of the world steaks are rare, but if you can find one well done! because today we will learn how to prepare a juicy steak for only $4. Welcome to another edition of cooking with Liquid. :)

For this recipe I’m using a 9.5 oz inside round steak which costs $3.57 from MarketPlace IGA, a local grocery chain. I find round cuts are good value for steaks at roughly $13/kg, and can be found in most supermarkets. I’m also using carrots and green beans because they are cheap and abundant across Canada and the U.S. A bundle of 10 carrots is $1.79 in Vancouver. That works out to only 18 cents each! Green beans cost $1.78 for a large handful and are a good source of potassium and dietary fibre.

Note: This post contains images of meat. I hope I didn’t offend any vegetarian readers. Feel free to stop reading here if you want, but doing so could be a missed steak. 😀

Easy Steak Recipe

Ingredients:

  • 1 steak, any size you want (9.5 ounce pictured below)
  • 1 tbsp cooking oil
  • vegetables of your choice
  • salt and pepper, or seasoning of your choice

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Cooking Instructions:

  1. Heat the oil in a pan on medium-high heat. Then season the veggies and steak, and place them into the pan
  2. After cooking for 3 minutes on one side, turn over the steak and veggies and cook for another 3 minutes
  3. Remove steak from the pan and let it rest on a plate for 2 minutes while the veggies finish cooking

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Eh Voila! 😀 A succulent steak dish cooked to medium-rare in less than 10 minutes. Bon appétit! It’s an easy weeknight dinner recipe for busy people who are looking for a frugal, yet somewhat fancy meal.

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Below is the receipt of the ingredients I bought and used for this recipe.

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Nov 162014
 

The secret to a long life may lie in the fast food industry, ironically. Earlier this year the founder of Chick-fil-A passed away at the ripe old age of 93. The Canadian entrepreneur behind Baskin-Robbins, Carl Karcher of Carl’s Junior, and Colonel Sanders of KFC all died at age 90. The founders of Hardee’s, Taco Bell, and even McDonalds all died in their 80s. Meanwhile the average life expectancy in the U.S. in 2012 was 79 years old.

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At first I was surprised that these people who seemingly surrounded themselves by greasy fast food could live to be so old. But the more I thought about it the more it made sense. Restaurant owners usually have a solid understanding of nutrition so it would make sense for these entrepreneurs to eat well. And since they are rich they can also afford the best health care in the country. :) I don’t think it’s a coincidence that fast food restaurant owners are wealthy and live long lives. It’s interesting how these moguls can be so passionate about their businesses but not consume their own products. Who knows. Maybe if we invest in these high caloric companies then we can also live long and prosper.

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Random Useless Fact:
The word “billion” (or its relevant translation) is by no means ubiquitous throughout the world; in many countries it means 1 million million, and even Great Britain used this system until 1974.

Aug 232014
 

Hello, and welcome to this edition of cooking with Liquid, where we learn how to create tasty dishes on a frugal budget 😀 Today we will prepare a simple quinoa recipe.

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For those who have never heard of quinoa before it’s pronounced (KEEN-wah.) You can buy it at places like Whole Foods, Costco, and even Walmart. Today I’ll use the organic quinoa from Costco that comes in a 4 pound green bag for $18. It works out to be $4.5/lb.

Ingredients:
1 cup of quinoa (170 grams)
1 carrot
1/4 cup of spinach

1 cup of quinoa = $1.70
Carrot + spinach = $0.50
Total Recipe Cost: $2.20 

Cooking Instructions:
1) Cut vegetables into small pieces
2) Mix all the ingredients in a pot or saucepan, along with 2.5 cups of water
3) Close the lid and cook over the stove top on medium heat for 20 minutes

Est voila 😀 Just remove from the heat, fluff with a fork, and bon appétit! Add salt and pepper to taste or use your own choice of seasoning. Quinoa is tasteless so it can be flavored any way you like.

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This recipe makes 2 servings so it’s a great meal for two, or it makes two meals for one :) Each serving contains about 350 calories. You can mix in some pumpkin seeds for some extra crunch, or add 1 tablespoon of honey for a sweeter taste. You may also add blueberries, banana slices, oats, cooked beans, mixed nuts, cucumber, and other veggies. Quinoa is very versatile and pretty much goes with anything 😀

Quinoa is full of essential nutrients :) One cup of uncooked quinoa has 24 grams of protein (the complete kind) which is about half the recommended daily value. It also contains calcium, folate, magnesium, 12 grams of dietary fiber, and 43% of the recommended daily intake of iron. Hipsters like quinoa because it’s gluten free and vegan friendly. Quinoa is also high in riboflavin which helps reduce headache pains for migraine sufferers by improving the metabolism in their brain and muscle tissues. Quinoa also has complex carbohydrate with low glycemic index which is good for weight management. So whether you’re looking for protein, iron, or just a cheap and nutritious meal, quinoa has something for everyone. At just $1.10 per serving it’s one of the most affordable super foods around 😀

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Random Useless Fact:
The word for the day after tomorrow is overmorrow.

 

Jul 082014
 

Bonjour mes amis! Creative people are making tons of money by using the internet these days. And the best part is you don’t even need any marketable skills to do so. If you can make an ordinary potato salad, you can make money online!

One internet trend that has gained a lot of popularity in the last few years is crowdfunding. The idea is to collect a bunch of money from backers – the “crowd” – to fund a common initiative. It could be to raise money for non-profit purposes, charity, or to fund start-up companies or new products that can eventually be commercialized to benefit the public. For example you can make an interesting pitch about a new idea you want to try, along with a target amount you want to raise. If your idea sounds appealing to others they will gladly throw money your way.

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Many ideas, games, indie films, smartphone apps, and companies that are worth millions of dollars today got their start by raising money through crowdfunding sites such as kickstarter.com. The virtual reality headset Oculus Rift had almost 10,000 backers on Kickstarter. Over $2 million was raised, which was enough to create a real prototype of the product.

But there’s a campaign underway right now to fund a bowl of potato salad 😐 Yup, that’s all she wrote. Zack Brown from Columbus Ohio recently started a crowdfunding project to simply make potato salad.

 “Early this week someone asked if I’d ever made potato salad and I couldn’t say that I had. So I turned to Kickstarter to change that.” ~ Zack Brown

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