Stop Hitting Snooze
This is going to be a hard one for anyone who uses their phone as an alarm clock. Snoozing after your alarm jolts you awake is actually going to have you get up more tired. Plus you’ll be extra pissed off because your alarm went off multiple times in your ear.
According to Dr Jodi Mindell, your brain won’t fully go back to restful sleep in the 5 minutes between the alarm, so you might as well set your alarm for exactly when you have to be up.
Throw open the blinds
Bright light might some like anathema to your sleepy brain but sunlight upon your skin will wake you up far better than any amount of coffee. Seeing and exposing yourself to sunlight will let your body’s internal clock know that it’s time to energise the body (that’s you) and to kill all the sleepiness.
So don’t squint and shut the blinds, crack open the window and eat your breakfast with morning’s glow.
Probably the most unpleasant but undeniably effective, you could start your morning by jumping right into a cold shower instead of waiting for the water to come up to temperature. It’s cheap, fast and simple: perfect if you’re in a rush because you woke up late.
That’s sweating, not swearing, though they might both be equally invigorating. Chase away the drowsiness with some light exercise in the morning to get blood pumping around your body. For the more extreme, you can opt to jump right into a morning workout instead.
No one on Earth can say they hate all music: everyone has some music they absolutely adore. The next time you shuffle out of bed as a zombie, play some of your favourite songs and your brain will send a rush of dopamine (the feel-good chemical), easing you awake.
Bonus points if your songs of choice are upbeat as high tempo songs will energise you. The best bit is that you can combine music with any of the above 4!
Try it all
We can’t guarantee that all of these will be painless but it’s better to try some instead of starting every day groaning and walking into things.
Of course, the best way to wake up energised is to get sufficient sleep (around 7 to 8 hours for adults) but if your work (or social life) is in the way of sweet sweet rest, you know what to do.
Story goes that Anna Russell, the Duchess of Bedford and lifelong friend of Queen Victoria, was the creator of the English “Afternoon Tea”. She wanted a light meal to curb her hunger between lunch and dinner. Soon after, she began inviting her companions to socialise over tea and pastries. And thus, the Afternoon tea tradition caught on and gave the the English people a legitimate reason to snack. And boy do they take it seriously!
High Tea, Low Tea?
In today’s terms, high tea and afternoon tea are used interchangeably. In actuality, high tea refers to a heavier meal, more specifically, dinner. Despite so, many restaurants and upscale cafes still label it as “High Tea”. Afternoon tea is also called “Low Tea”, mostly because it takes place in sitting rooms with low tables.
The tea wares are the backbone to recreating the most authentic afternoon tea experience. These wares are intricately designed with some fetching upwards of $50,000 to a few Mils. When planning to host a tea party, don’t forget the following or you might be thrown into the dungeons for crime against the English national pastime.
Afternoon tea served are often less robust than the morning brews. Black tea like Darjeeling and Lapsang Souchong or blends like Earl Grey are the go-to staples.
When it comes to nibbles, the menu traditionally consist of 3 courses: scones, savoury sandwiches and sweet pastries or cakes. These snacks are served on tiered stands in this particular order: top layer for scones, middle for savoury and the bottom for sweets. Etiquette dictates that it should also be consumed in that order. But to be honest, nothing can stop a sweet tooth from reaching for that piece of macaron.
All poised with the basics of hosting your first proper tea party, now you’ll be all ready to entertain whenever the kettle’s whistles. Of course, with the Queen’s seal of approval.
Expensive Piece of Bean
Starting off with the most expensive, coffee drinkers may be familiar with this cash wrenching cuppa – the kopi luwak. At about $35 – $100 per cup, it is produced from coffee beans found in the byproduct of the Indonesian Civet cats. During the digestive process, the beans are processed by the enzymes in the Civet’s intestines, making it less acidic, less bitter and ironically, with a better aroma.
Excavating the oldest coffee bean in the world probably bring you back to the time you first taste coffee and how much it would change the course of your waking life. This discovery pushed the origins of coffee back to the early 12th century. This changed what we thought we knew about coffee, that these beans might have already been a staple trading commodity 250 years before it was spread to the Middle East. The tiny magic bean was unearthed in the Emirate of Ras al-Khaimah, near Dubai.
With a recurring obsession with animals being a part of the coffee preparation process, it comes to little surprise when the Taiwanese produced the monkey spit coffee. Farmers would harvest and roast these half chewed seed regurgitated from the Formosan Rock Macaques. For the curious, it reportedly yields a sweet brew, topped with vanilla-scent.
None shall sleep tonight
Aptly named the Death Wish Coffee, a serving of these Robusta coffee beans hold up to 651mg of caffeine. That is almost 200% more than the average cup of joe. This lethal brew is said to be the strongest coffee in the world, with many caffeine addicts citing that this elixir bestows an endless supply of energy and a feeling that sleep is for the weak.
Coffee beans has been through multiple testing to get to the wide varieties that we grew to love. Whether you like your coffee deathly strong, or prefer to have it processed by animals, before you take a sip of your next cuppa, perhaps take some time to appreciate the weird and wonderful world of the coffee bean.