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The 10 Best of…

10 Best of … Teas

As I grew up everyone I met was a coffee lover. Most blamed “no coffee” for their stress, headaches, and bad moods. My thing all along was a nice cup of tea.To me tea is a symbol of serenity and clear thinking.  Experiencing with tea and enjoying it is part of my daily pleasures, it is the time of the day I look forward to and savor. In this selection I referred to Nathaniel and Andrew Lande’s expertise, experience, and reviews to mention the top 10 best of teas.Many of you will be disappointed that Lipton and Twining’s did not make this list.

1- Republic of tea

In 1992, a few people shared a vision that tea could be something more than a Lipton tea bag in a cup; that tea was actually more like fine wine and that consumers might be open to that vision. So started the tea-revolution in the United States. Creative Director, Nancy Bauch led the team to think about a new way to communicate the experience of tea. Founded in 1992, The Republic of Tea sparked a Tea Revolution. Their mission is to see these teas steaming in the cups of men, women and children everywhere, and to emphasize a Sip by Sip Rather Than Gulp by Gulp lifestyle.

2- Upton Tea Imports

Upton Tea Imports are known to scour the world in search of the top teas. They have over 400 varieties. www.uptontea.com

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10 Best of … Watches

It is time for a “10 Best of”, and in this post I will be listing the watches. Dr. Patrick Chourgnoz is a world class time keeper and consultant to European railways which are known to “time the best”. Nathaniel Lande and Andrew Lande alongside Dr. Chourgnoz compiled this list of the best watchmakers, based on time precision, style, and grace.

1- Patek Philippe

Geneva, Switzerland

Patek Philippe  is a “complete” manufacture that not only sustains a unique level of vertical integration in movements but also produces its watch cases and other key exterior elements in-house. Thus, the quality specifications at Patek Philippe relate not merely to the movements but to the entire finished watch.

As of Spring 2009, all of the manufacture’s mechanical movements will  be embossed with the exclusive Patek Philippe Seal. This is the evolution of a philosophy of quality and independence that the workshops in Geneva have been systematically pursuing since the company was founded in 1839. 

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10 Best of … Coffees

I personally am always in search of references for the best of everything, that’s one of the reasons I refer to Nathaniel and Andrew Lande’s expertise, experience, and reviews. Below is a list of their selection for the best coffees,a review which was done in 2008. Coffee lovers will criticize, as this is a matter of taste, as the case is with all gourmet food and beverage items. Although the brands listed are  American brands, as we all know the bean origin varies from continent to another. Bring your cup and enjoy !

1- Peet’s Coffee

Each day they hand-roast 32 varieties of coffee in small batches then ship them within 24 hours to give the freshest, most deeply flavored cup of coffee possible.Peet’s sample each batch to make sure the roast tastes just right.  www.peets.com

2- Terroir

They specialize in medium roast styles that bring out the character of the green coffee. They sell only single origin coffees no blends. Terroir™ freezes its green coffee in nitrogen flushed containers. The reason behind this strategy is because they believe that one should not blend truly fine coffees, just like one does not blend fine wines, because they are already complete statements.

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Mont Blanc releases John Lennon special edition

Today Montblanc unveiled their latest fountain pen—a  guitar neck clipped designed pen to honor John Lennon’s would-have-been 70th birthday.

This Donation Pen pays tribute to the legends of music and provides real help to young musicians by donating part of the pen’s proceeds to projects that support contemporary arts and music.

 

“To celebrate this edition, Montblanc will be hosting five simultaneous events in major cities around the world.The spectacular New York City launch event hosted by Susan Sarandon and Lutz Bethge, CEO Montblanc International will take place in a location overlooking Central Park, only a few blocks away from where the legend lived in his final years.
Throughout Sunday, September 12th Tokyo, Hong Kong, Berlin and Mexico City will be doing their part to bring to life John’s vision of bringing the world together. Of special note is the launch event to be held in Berlin – for it will be honored with the presence of Yoko Ono, who will be sending a special message of peace to the world in honor of the launch.”

Price for BP pen: $700 and FP pen: $920 prices go higher as gold and diamonds are added to the designs.

Update: Today , September 13,2010, Mont Blanc released the official stories behind their marvelous John Lennon pen collection with more photos of the various designs.

John-Lennon-Montblanc-pen-490

The story of John Lennon for Mont Blanc is found in these 2 links: link 1  link 2


The 10 Best of … Pens

“I write entirely to find out what I’m thinking, what I’m looking at, what I see and what it means. What I want and what I fear.”

Joan Didion  (American Journalist and Novelist, b.1934)

No Matter how much we rely on our computers, IPads, mobiles etc.. there is a certain charm for handwritten notes and articles. Among my favorite accessories are pens. I can never write with an ugly pen or use one that deforms my handwriting, this is a sensitive subject to me. And as a designer, I use my pens to sketch and communicate my ideas and designs. This is why it is important to me.

I have compiled a series of photos for some of the best designed pens that are also from well known companies. The first brand, which happens to be my favorite as well, is MontBlanc.

Montblanc is well known for its limited editions. Pen collectors and admirers look forward to their upcoming tribute whether for a writer, a patron of art, or a theme, and Montblanc have truly mastered it. In 2010, according to Pen World, the readers’ choice award for “best tribute” was for Mont Blanc’s “tribute to Thomas Jefferson” pen.

Among their vast collection lies the   limited edition  Mahatma Gandhi  pen launched specifically for the 140th anniversary of his birth. This has to be my favorite. The details and design are just amazing.

Montblanc- Tribute to Gandhi 140yrs

The latest addition to the Patron of Art tribute, Montblanc launched recently The Elizabeth I Limited edition.

The Elizabeth I Limited Edition 888 is a 750 solid gold fountain pen featuring a barrel and cap in precious lacquer.

Hand engraved on its 18 K gold nib is a bejeweled gold crown in which Elizabeth I ascended the throne in 1559.

Topping the cap is the Montblanc emblem rendered in shimmering mother-of-pearl.

The clip descends from a solid gold Tudor Rose while its embellishment, a princess cut green garnet reflects the bejeweled crown.

Montblanc- Tribute to Elizabeth I

Other amazing designs are the Mark Twain pen, The Lorenzo De Medici, and The Louis XIV shown below.

Mont Blanc- Tribute to Mark Twain, Lorenzo De Medici, Louis XIV

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The 10 Best of… Cigars

” A good cigar is as great a comfort to a man as a good cry to a woman”

Edward G. Bulwer- Lytton

When mentioning life indulgences, cigars make it in the top 10 to most connoisseurs. Personally I am totally against smoking ,  a small bowl of chocolate chips and a large mug of peach falvored black tea would make me feel in heaven anytime. However the history and the details pertaining to cigars and their making never seizes to amaze me, its why I will be kicking off my ” 10 Best of…” section with the top 10 cigars.

Authors of ” The Cigar Connoisseur” have come up with a top ten list  starting with the worldwide most popular, Cohiba.

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1- Cohiba

Origin: Cuba

Cohiba cigars were introduced in 1968 and became the symbol of Cuban cigars. It was marketed heavily in 1982. The initial sizes were the Lancero, the Corona Especiale, the Panetela, and in 1989 they added the Esplendido, Robusto, and Exquisito.

Cohíba was originally a private brand supplied exclusively to Fidel Castro and high-level officials in the Communist Party of Cuba and Cuban Government.

2- Trinidad

Origin: Cuba

Trinidad was not marketed until 1998, but was already well known  to connoisseurs everywhere because of a variation of it available in 1969. Trinidad had been produced for Fidel Castro himself.

3- Arturo Fuente Opus X series

Origin:  Dominican Republic

The Fuente family has been making these cigars for 3 generations, the Opus X is conseidered one of their best among others.

4- Montecristo

Origin: Cuba

Montecristo started in 1935 named after the famous novel ” The Count of Montecristo”. It is known for the tangy taste, and superb aroma.

5- Sancho Panza

Origin: Cuba

This is a very poplar cigar in Spain thus the reason behind its name which is after the character in the famous Spanish novel Don Quixote. These are usually recommended to beginners or daytime cigar smokers.

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