Do you cheer for tea or coffee?

Personally, there’s nothing more seductive than an early morning brew – whether it’s coffee or tea. Both drinks bring a measure of warmth and serenity to a chaotic world of iPhone’s, deadlines and schedules. It’s the taxi-driver’s mate, a lawyer’s best friend, or a stay-at-home parent’s companion.

My favourite drink in the morning - coffee. Photo: Tina Tek.

My favourite drink in the morning – coffee. Photo: Tina Tek.

The only difference in my eyes, is tea has a spiritual aura surrounding this fabulous drink. I always imagine coffee drinkers to have foam solidifying on their upper lips, whilst juggling a suitcase, laptop and an iPhone on their way to work.

I’ve always wondered why this is the case. Why the coffee drinker has always been mocked and ridiculed for being an addict, while tea drinkers have gotten away with such abuse. It may be the fact that coffee houses in the 17th Century were formed alongside insurance companies to attract new customers. Or it could be the fact we picture coffee drinkers with yellow teeth, a nose which is dipped in espresso and blood-shot eyes. Not to mention coffee takes a significant portion out of one’s weekly expenses.

However, tea has gone trendy as well – to the point of being frivolous. Many tea houses now package tea leaves in swanky designer boxes, delicate porcelain teapots, cups and saucers. I’m intimidating to go to tea houses now, in fear that I wouldn’t know what white monkey jasmine tea is. I’m much more happy using a tea bag from Tetley and eating it with an apple and pecan cake.

Can't decide which tea to choose from. Photo: Tina Tek.

Can’t decide which tea to choose from. Photo: Tina Tek.

They’ve also got many interesting concoctions, such as watered downed Turkish apple and cinnamon, white flowery pekoe or green rooibos with berries. It sounds like a lawn mower has gone through his mulch, picked out the odd berries and tree roots from it and brewed it for afternoon tea. I can feel many tea drinkers whose preferred poison is an English Breakfast shaking their heads at the way tea is being marketed now.

For me, I prefer drinking a nice cup of flat white with a breakfast which resembles this:

Ottoman eggs, with garlic labne and crumbled eggplant at Circa Espresso. Photo: Tina Tek

Ottoman eggs, with garlic labne and crumbled eggplant at Circa Espresso. Photo: Tina Tek

Or this:

French toast with rhubarb jam, greek yoghurt and pistachio nuts at Circa Espresso. Photo: Tina Tek

French toast with rhubarb jam, greek yoghurt and pistachio nuts at Circa Espresso. Photo: Tina Tek

However, I want to rant about the stupidity of decaf coffee. For me, there’s never acceptable to drink decaf coffee, it belongs in the bin. It’s like drinking mocktails, you’re missing the point of the product.

Now it’s over to you. Are a coffee lover or a tea drinker? Do you think decaf coffee is pointless? I hope I’m not the only person who feels this way about decaf coffee.

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Sydney Market Review: Glebe Markets

I got to thank Carrie Bradshaw for turning me into a vintage shopper addict. There’s something about owning a beautiful old product, perhaps it’s the fact they lived a more interesting life than I ever will.Whatever it is, the Glebe Markets is a vintage shopper’s paradise. Opened every Saturday from 10 am to 4 pm all year round, it’s peppered with interesting finds. If you’ve got the chance, check out the guy who makes wind chimes out of spoons.

General layout of the Glebe Markets. Photo: Tina Tek

General layout of the Glebe Markets. Photo: Tina Tek

As it‘s set on the oval playgrounds of Glebe Public School, it gives the stalls an Aussie bush background with all the eucalyptus trees, wild grass and remnants of bark and dried leaves on the ground. The stalls will remind you of your grandma’s attic, from the ubiquitous amounts of vinyl records, to the overflowing racks of denim overalls, tan brogues and glomesh clutches, it’s something Zooey Deschanel would go nuts over. It’ll be a sin if I didn’t show you what goodies are on offer in visual mode:

We know what cool piece we should buy this summer - overalls! Photo: Tina Tek

We know what cool piece we should buy this summer – overalls! Photo: Tina Tek

Wide selection of vintage bags. Photo: Tina Tek

Wide selection of vintage bags. Photo: Tina Tek

Tribal fabrics. Photo: Tina Tek

Tribal fabrics. Photo: Tina Tek

Tan brogues at affordable prices. Photo: Tina Tek

Tan brogues at affordable prices. Photo: Tina Tek

Zombie keyrings. Photo: Tina Tek

Zombie keyrings. Photo: Tina Tek

For those who aren’t keen on fashion, there’s a great selection of food stalls available as well. From farmer’s selling freshly made yoghurt to organic rye bread, there’s something for everyone. If you’re stomach’s growling after strolling around the markets, you should check out this cute little food stall called Chai Watta and give their pancakes a go.

Chai Watta - excellent place for pancakes. Photo: Tina Tek

Chai Watta – excellent place for pancakes. Photo: Tina Tek

If you’re a dedicated foodie, it’ll be best if you went to the Eveleigh Markets for a wider selection of fresh produce. Personally, I feel the Glebe Markets will always be known for stocking pre-loved clothing and vinyl records rather than selling gourmet foods. Some have also commented how difficult it is to manoeuvre around the stalls, but I feel this adds to the market vibe of  the Glebe Markets. One thing I’ve noticed is while genuine second-hand stalls are still available, they aren’t around as often and more of the newer stalls are offering handmade goods or new products. Whilst prices of food and products are climbing at a steady rate.

All in all, the Glebe Markets is a fun way to spend Saturday mornings frolicking around to find one-off bohemian pieces and cool vinyl records from AC/DC.

Details:

Where: Glebe Public School on Glebe Point Rd.

When: Every Saturday from 10 am – 4pm.

Type: Flea market

Activities: Shopping for pre-loved clothing and accessories.

Sydney Market Stall Review: Paddington Markets

Open every Saturday on Oxford Street, Paddington Markets, or as the locals affectionately call it, the “Paddo Bazaar” is an institution in Sydney. With less sardines and more goodies made by upcoming designers, it draws many locals and tourists to scour for one-off handcrafted goods such as artworks and home decor ornaments. You’ll also find a line of fortune tellers outside the gates of the markets.

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Store front of the Paddington Market frothing up with dope items for your closet or the humble abode. Photo: Tina Tek

If you meander around the markets, you’ll find yourself feasting your eyes on the various teas, arts, crafts and other goodies available. You may hear at least one person say, “I’ll never drink again!” , whilst getting some much needed coffee. Nevertheless, my advice is to come here with an open mind, or even chat to some of the stall operators as you can always spark an interesting conversation with them, or gain an insight to their product. Many feel the Paddington Markets no longer have a ‘junk’ aspect to it, and this is true in many cases. Recycled clothing and accessories are absent here, as it’s filled with creations of up and coming fashion designers. I do feel that while some things are beautiful, they’re overpriced – according to my made up statistics, 99.9% I surveyed wouldn’t spend $150 on a cushion. If you want to grab a unique item of clothing or accessories, it’s worth getting up early to nab those things.

Various trinklets available at the Paddington Markets. Photo: Tina Tek

Various trinklets available at the Paddington Markets. Photo: Tina Tek

Spice trail. Photo: Tina Tek

Spice trail. Photo: Tina Tek

Colourful cashmere scarves. Photo: Tina Tek

Colourful cashmere scarves. Photo: Tina Tek

Vintage ties on display. Photo: Tina Tek

Vintage ties on display. Photo: Tina Tek

Cowboy boots - feeling that Texan vibe. Photo: Tina Tek

Cowboy boots – feeling that Texan vibe. Photo: Tina Tek

Clothing rack frothing up with tons of floral shirts. Photo: Tina Tek

Clothing rack frothing up with tons of floral shirts. Photo: Tina Tek

There's nothing more seductive than a brewed pot of tea. Photo: Tina Tek

There’s nothing more seductive than a brewed pot of tea. Photo: Tina Tek

Sunnies galore at Abe & Sara Photo: Tina Tek

Sunnies galore at Abe & Sara Photo: Tina Tek

One great young designer to check out if you’re ever at the Paddington Markets is Woody Roo. You may feel like you’ve stepped onto the set of Dead Poets Society when you browse through this label. With the neutral colours, argyle prints and soft tailoring, it gives a refreshing look to an otherwise conservative preppy style.

Blazer and argyle printed bow tie at Woody Roo. Photo: Tina Tek

Blazer and argyle printed bow tie at Woody Roo. Photo: Tina Tek

Oh silly me, I almost forgot to introduce you to the dapper lad solely responsible for designing these beautiful garments, his name’s Billy Wood. It’s always nice to put a face to a person. So here’s a photo of what he looks like :

The man behind Woody Roo - Billy Wood. Photo: Tina Tek

The man behind Woody Roo – Billy Wood. Photo: Tina Tek

For all you lads who are interested in buying an item of Woody Roo, you should check out the chino tan pants, they’re seriously dope.

However, I got something to say about this great Paddington institution. These days, Oxford Street resembles more of a ghost town, with small boutiques and established brands such as Nicola Finetti and Shag closing their doors in recent times. There are many factors which are affecting this once fashionable suburb. Online shopping, the opening of Bondi Junction Westfields, the lack of parking in Paddington and high rental costs are some of the reasons why many of the boutiques are closing its doors. Perhaps the Woollahra Municipal Council should consider a free bus shuttle service from Central station to Paddington, as well as the surrounding suburbs of Darlinghurst and Woollahra in order to help out the local boutiques in the area. Considering how the current government is axing seven of out the 12 free shuttle bus services across Sydney including Cabramatta, Liverpool and Mt Druitt area – I feel my proposal will go down the gurdler.

It’s not all doom and gloom at the Paddington Markets, as long as they continue to tap to the massive pool of emerging talent that we have in Straya, people will come here in droves.

Details

Where: Paddington Markets are located at the Paddington Uniting Church on Oxford Street.

When: Every Saturday, 10 am – 4pm

Type: Flea market – but showcases upcoming designers

An Open Letter to Daiso

Hey Daiso!

Or shall I say, “Konnichiwa!” We’re so happy you’re taking Straya by storm! You’ve got an unassuming store front on George Street, but when I glanced at the concrete stairs, I thought to myself, “I hope it’s a stairway to heaven!” And golly gosh, what a sight to behold!

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Daiso Store Front on George Street. Photo by Tina Tek,

With the store lit up with approximately 1,294 fluorescent lights, black and white colour combo, white hardwood floors, wide aisles and shelves bursting with products such as bento boxes, cupcake mugs, fishing hooks, fake eyelashes, office supplies and miscellaneous Japanese goods. They’re all interesting and neatly organised. However, I did spot a box titled ‘Instant Boobs’ in the kids’ section. Maybe not everything is put in its place, but I’m willing to let that slide. You’ve lured me to purchase items that I don’t need.

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Glorious fluorescent lights and aisles bursting with cute knick knacks. Photo by Tina Tek.

In my defence, I’ve been seduced by your $2.80 price tag. What can I say? I’m a habitual shopper who’s a reckless sucker for a bargain. You’ve revamped the definition of ‘cheap thrills’. I no longer need to head down to a fashion retail chain store to get my hands on the latest pair of shorts which will go out of fashion within 48 hours, I prefer scouring your shelves and be giddy at all the quirky items I can find in your store. These are some of things I bought from your store recently:

Sundae mug, cupcake mouse pad and strawberry flower pot plant. Some of the quirky items I picked up at Daiso. Photo by Tina Tek.

Sundae mug, cupcake mouse pad and strawberry flower pot plant. Some of the quirky items I picked up at Daiso. Photo by Tina Tek.

Though there’s one question I want to ask Daiso, how’d you manage to keep all your products to be at the same value? All I can think is the sheer volume of stock must contribute to this one scale price .

Animal coin banks. Photo by Daiso Australia.

Animal coin banks. Photo by Daiso Australia.

With all these brownie points, no wonder why you’ve opened up your latest store in Parramatta. With the cute white and purple colour scheme and magnificent lighting, it adds vibrancy to the place. I wish more stores use this colour scheme because the only time I seen this colour combo being used is in the beauty industry, and specifically anti-aging products. Who knows why they do that, perhaps to entice customers to pay a princely sum on skincare product they don’t need.

Anyway, let me get back to you Daiso, my friends all adore you. I’m not joking! I even bribed my friends with iPads to write down what they’re saying about you:

“Someone needs to put a lifelong ban on Daiso!” – Kimmy, 23.

“If Daiso ever needs a spokesperson, I bags that role.” – Rachel Khoo, 31 (author of ‘The Little Paris Kitchen‘)

“My master purchased a cute dog bowl from there. My favourite!” Spot the Dog

“Eww. They sell boobies!” –  Little boy in the dollar store.

“I wish I only thought of this idea sooner.” – Donald Trump, 67

You’re serving up a marvellous spectacle of cutesy items at the moment. This brings a wonderful synergy to your business. You’ve taken the world by storm, so keep it up!

All the very best with your future plans, and send noogies of love to  Pikachu, Hello Kitty and Dragon Ball Z!

Miss 5ft0 xoxo