A Beginner’s Guide to the Different Types of Tea

All tea in the world comes from the same plant, Camellia sinensis, but why are there hundreds of kinds of teas with their own appearance, flavor, and aroma? The answer lies in the way they are cultivated.

Much like wine or coffee, factors such as climate, humidity, rainfall, and soil acidity can influence how the tea tastes from harvest to harvest, as well as from one region to the next. The different varieties of tea also reflect how much a tea is oxidized to bring out specific flavors and aromas.

While there are hundreds of tea varieties all over the world, the following are some of the most common that you can find. Most, if not all, are often variations of the preparation process that are close to one of the following:

White

White tea has the most gentle and delicate flavors and aroma among the major tea varieties, which can be fresh, or sometimes even earthy.

This is because white tea is the least processed and oxidized among the other varieties, and harvesting the leaves is meticulous work done only a few days a year. To prevent oxidation, the tea shoots allowed to wither and dry.

Green

While Chinese green tea has a more yellowish appearance, Japanese green tea has a range of colors, from pale to deep green.

However, the similarity of these types of green tea lies in heat-treating to prevent oxidation. While white tea shoots are allowed to wither, green tea leaves are heat-treated, either by pan-firing or steaming at a high temperature.

Oolong

Also called wulong, oolong tea is semi-oxidized by bruising the leaves by being shaken in baskets. To stop the oxidation, the leaves are then heat-treated using methods that vary based on the region, which in turn creates different flavors.

Oolong tea is usually characterized as having a flowery or fruity taste, but can also have a smoky flavor.

Black

This tea is known in China as “red tea”, and is the most famous variety in the West. Black tea is the most oxidized, as the leaves begin to wilt once picked, and the process is sped up by crushing or rolling them.  

Black teas are often split up into two categories: broken and full-leaf. Broken leaf black teas have leaves that are broken into smaller pieces before they are processed, and tend to be higher in caffeine, while full-leaf teas are gentler.

Pu’er

This is a type of tea that is actually fermented, consisting of larger leaves that can be withered and aged for several years at a time.

This tea is often characterized by a hearty brew with a low caffeine content, and the resulting taste lacks the sharpness otherwise found in other types of tea.

5 Crucial Things You Need to Do Once the Wedding is over

“Now what?”

This is the question that you will eventually ask, and should be a question that you have several answers for. 

However, people respond to situations differently. Sometimes, the stress of planning and coordinating a wedding to make sure everything goes smoothly can suddenly be replaced by that feeling of sadness once the wedding is over.

While it can be easy to feel a little deflated, the planning is not quite over yet. Here are a few crucial things you need to do to wrap everything up and fully settle into married life:

1. Say “thank you”.

Getting caught up in the whirlwind of planning your wedding itinerary can be stressful and may make you want to unwind, but the first thing you need to do after the wedding is to thank the guests who came – especially the close friends who came from out of town.

2. Spend time as a married couple.

Feeling the post-wedding blues is normal, but it’s important to get over it by actually spending time with your partner as a married couple.

You can take this opportunity make dinner at home more romantic by lighting a few candles or take a detour from work – anything, really, as long you focus on the small things that make you feel loved, secure, and warm on a daily basis.

3. Take care of your finances.

Planning your wedding has most likely put a considerable drain on your accounts, and with a new chapter of your life comes a new set of financial challenges that you need to slog through to keep your status situated.

However, you don’t have to work through your problems alone. Be sure to sit down and discuss your financials with your partner, and be open and honest about everything when you do.

4. Set up house.

Whether you’re already living together or one of you is moving in with the other, make sure that people know where to look for you. (If you’re not already living together,

For instance, changing the address forms of your credit cards and utilities or adding your name or your spouse’s name to the lease agreement will help make things easier not just for the people who need to find you, but for yourselves as well.

5. Start making plans.

It could be for anything – buying a new home, travelling somewhere for your vacation, your first anniversary, or even just a simple dinner plan or a fun night at the movies – but the important thing is that you’re looking forward to spending time with your partner for the rest of your life.

Get Better at Your Social Skills with These 4 Simple Tips

Being socially anxious can make it more difficult for you to communicate your thoughts and opinions more openly, but the good news is that there are ways that you can be more assertive and express yourself in a more honest and respectful way.

With assertive communication, you not only allow yourself to relate to others more genuinely, but it also gives you more confidence in meeting other people and living your own life.

Here are a few simple tips to get you started on your social skills:

1. Start small.
If you find yourself in an open area, you can practice your conversational skills with just one person you don’t know.

You can do this simply by saying “thank you” to the clerk at the grocery store or the waiter in the restaurant when he/she takes your order, which is crucial if you’re not good with spending a lot of time in large crowds.

2. Maintain eye contact the right way.
A lot of people have trouble maintaining eye contact during conversation. While some don’t look other people in the eyes at all, others hold it for too long and come off as unintentionally creepy.

The trick is to get yourself used to looking at people in the eye, and you can do this by practicing in the mirror by staring at yourself.

While you may feel uncomfortable and weird at first, try to keep your gaze with your own reflection in the mirror. The discomfort is part of the exercise, and doing this lets you familiarize yourself with the subtle signs that other people are uncomfortable.

3. Keep your questions open-ended.
To start a conversation, you want something that will start more than a “yes” or a “no” – you want to encourage others to engage in the question and have something interesting, instead of you simply trying to make chit-chat with no results.

A great conversational starter is anything outside a “yes-no” question, and by opening the door for others, you allow them to bring their own thoughts to the table and engage.

4. Record yourself talking to yourself.
Mirror-work is perhaps the best way to get you started on picking up certain cues and improving your conversation.
Start by sitting down in front of your laptop, smartphone, or your camera, and hit record, then start talking as if you’re engaged in a conversation with someone else. Do so for at least five minutes before stopping.

Once you’re done, stop, and play back the video. Carefully observe yourself and try to watch despite the initial discomfort, and look for certain tics and subconscious gestures that make you more self-conscious. By identifying them and being aware of them, you can change them.

5 Easy-to-Start Habits to Make Your Life More Organized

Being organized is the best way to take control of your life, and it’s not just something you do at the start of every year – it’s something you can do at any day, and at any time. Ideally, the best time you can start is right now, at this moment.

Here’s how you can get started making your life more organized:

1. Get everything written down.
The first step to remembering something is getting it written down, and this is where planners, or even a simple notebook, can really come in handy.

In a lot of cases, a simple notebook is even better than a planner as it could help you jot down almost anything that you came across but don’t want to forget, such as sudden chores, tasks, or things could help you get closer to your goals.

2. Give your things a place where they should be.
The phrase “getting rid of clutter” doesn’t always mean “throwing away stuff” – it also means putting stuff back in their place after using them. If you find that your room or desk is messy, now is the best time to put things back in order.

Once you see that you room is a lot cleaner and more organized than before, you can start to appreciate the amount of space that your room actually has.

3. Know when to get rid of things you don’t need anymore.
If your room is bursting with stuff, it might be time to start getting rid of the ones you don’t need or haven’t used for a long time. While this usually means getting rid of physical things to include only the ones you use, this also extends to other aspects of your life.

You should also make it a point to de-clutter regularly. Because stuff doesn’t organize on its own (instead, it either clutters or builds up), you need to take the time to clean house.

4. Get an app.
An app that reminds you of the things in your to-do list for the short- or long-term is one way to motivate you to get started on your track. The good news is that there are all kinds of these organizing apps that can help you out, and they’re both easy and fun to use.

5. Lay out your clothing for the next day.
Being prepared for the day ahead and laying things out for easy access when you need those lets you reinforce your other habits, which can help you become a more organized person.

For instance, you can lay out next day’s work clothes or uniform the night before, or before getting into the shower, which can save you a lot of time when getting ready for school or work.

Why You Should Seek the Services of a Laundry Shop

Doing laundry has been a common household chore for many years now. These days though, many of us miss out on the chance to do our own laundry because we can get pretty busy with work. Luckily for us, we can always find a laundry service anywhere in Singapore.

Taking your laundry for spa or dry cleaning should be a good enough deal when you find yourself short in time or if you really just find it convenient. An added bonus of this is you can also get laundry delivery services so that you won’t have to go to the laundering establishment again, basically saving you more time and effort.

The laundry business
Washing businesses and laundry shops thrive because of what they are able to bring in for the needs of people. You don’t have time to wash and fold your clothes? Go to a laundry shop! You forget to wash your uniform for tomorrow? Take it to a 24 hour laundry place! Because there are times that we become too busy with other things and overlook washing our clothes, Singapore laundry services can be very convenient to get clothes washed quickly.

There are also commercial laundry services which offer a wide array of services from wash and fold, to ironing, to same day dry cleaning. These can be particularly beneficial to those who are in a hurry to get their clothes washed and ironed. Commercial laundry, of course, caters to restaurants, companies, and institutions for uniform laundry. And as mentioned earlier, many laundry businesses also offer laundry delivery.

Laundry cleaning and dry cleaning
Whether you want to wash towel, t-shirt, or suit, it should still be a good idea to go for a washing service. If you consider it, you might still end up with clean towels and shirts anyway. Some laundry places also offer to iron clothes after the washing and drying process. Then, there can be two types of cleaning you can opt for, laundry clean and dry clean

Laundry cleaning employs the use of water and detergent, hence can be very effective with removing dirt and stains. It is also much cheaper and can give a clean and fresh look to your clothes, especially ones made of cotton. Washed clothes will also fairly smell better compared to dry cleaned ones.

Dry cleaning, on the other hand, can also be great with removing dirt and stains as well. The difference though, is that this laundry service uses chemical solvents which can help to avoid shrinkage and the loosening of the fabric. The price at your recommended clothes drying shop in Singapore is also a bit more expensive because of these chemicals that are being used in the process.
One downside of it, however, is that a person could be allergic to the chemical used in the process that it may bring negative effects to the skin. Still, express laundry will usually utilize either of the two though.

The best laundry shops can offer great help when it comes to washing, drying, and ironing garments and even others pieces of cloth like bedsheets, towels, pillowcases and more. A laundry service is there for a reason, so don’t hesitate to go if you need to.

Biometric Door Access and CCTV: What You Need to Know About the Future of Integrated Home Security

Biometric door access systems are a sophisticated type of door access control system that you should get for your office if you’re worried about your office security.

Instead of using a standard card access door system or a traditional pin access door system to unlock the door, it uses specific biometric data unique to each individual. This data includes thumbprints and facial recognition patterns.

Because the person always carries that data around, it can’t be copied or stolen, as is the case with a thumbprint biometric as opposed to an ID.

Biometric door access system and security camera systems in Singapore (either a standard office camera or an IP camera system) let you effectively track access entry and monitor access to office activities in different ways, but the best way to get the most security is by combining both biometric technology into one system.

Types of Biometric Recognition Patterns
Here are a few types of recognition patterns that can be used for biometric door access:

• Facial biometrics – Facial recognition software is the cornerstone of any facial biometric system, which you can also integrate to your CCTV camera systems to get the most out of both types of security systems.

• Biometric thumbprint – You can encode and record a thumbprint biometric into set of data points, but these can be delicate and rejected by the machine at times.

• Intercom – Having an office door intercom setup (usually a SIP intercom system) can be useful to your Singapore workplace as it lets employees communicate in case the door access doesn’t work.

Here are the other features of a biometric system commonly used by establishments here in Singapore:

• Systems Integration – You can connect a biometric access system with your standard CCTV camera system over a central database or network. This can be made of IP CCTV security cameras, but an analog camera system can also be used for this purpose.

• Database Entry – In integrating biometric authentication, biometric data points can be recorded, saved, and transferred from system to system. One key feature is having a time attendance software for your Singapore office, which is known to calculate staff time entries in an automated manner.

Along with the system of your choice, you can integrate wireless camera system to a thumbprint or facial biometric access system to have all these features at once, as well as an intercom solution as a back-up in case they fail.

On Central Network Integration
All these systems can work together for added overall security. A complete office security system would have a working intercom system, top-of-the-line IP camera (usually IP CCTV – an analog camera system is rarely used today), and a biometric authentication system.

If you have an IP camera system, you will be able to view your database and your security camera footage in real time from anywhere, which is much better than simply using an analog system.
From these systems, the data is then sent to a central computer database where an administrator can view and verify them.

When building your database, it’s important that you keep your door access control system updated. From your regular employees, especially for facial recognition patterns and other types of biometrics.

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