Why We Love Matcha Green Tea

 
During a recent trip to Starbucks, I ordered my usual iced green tea latte and the barista raved, “Oh my gosh, that’s also my drink. I’m so obsessed with it!” I smiled and agreed politely that yes, matcha green tea is indeed delicious. But that’s not the only thing that made me smile. How awesome that matcha green tea has been gaining more and more popularity outside the Asian American community in the last few years. What many don’t realize is that the green tea latte has been on the Starbucks menu for quite a while. So long, in fact, that I’ve been drinking it since about a decade ago in high school (you know how teens love their after school dose of Starbucks). So why is it just now that matcha is bursting into popularity? For matcha fans new and old, what exactly is so enticing about that bitter and slightly sweet taste?

We’ve heard the benefits of drinking regular brewed green tea, but matcha takes green tea benefits to a whole new level. According to domatcha.com, instead of drinking leaves that are steeped in hot water, you ingest the the entire tea leaf that has been ground into a fine powder. The tea leaves are of the highest quality from Japan. This creates a more concentrated and more nutrient-rich tea, which is why pure matcha powder is bitter. Some health benefits are as follows:

1) It is high in caffeine and is a great alternative if you aren’t a fan of coffee.
2) It boosts metabolism.
3) It contains over 100 times more antioxidants than regular steeped green tea.

Matcha has become so popular that many have found other creative ways of using this potent tea in ways outside of a beverage. I don’t know about you, but I still hunt for those green tea flavored Kit Kats that seem so hard to find. Check out some ways people have incorporated matcha powder into their own yummy recipes. Healthy matcha donuts, anyone?

Feature image courtesy of sleepwarrior.com.

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Top Stories of the Week: Why We Love Yoshi Sudarso, Jamie Chung, Ryan Potter & Daniel Henney

 


 

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1) Asian Community Offended By Apple’s New Yellow Emoji (READ HERE)

 


 

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2) Catch Up With Your Favorite SHAG (Super Hot Asian Guy) Yoshi Sudarso (READ HERE)

 


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3) Jamie Chung Looked Stunning at The Oscars This Year (READ HERE)

 


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4) [Video] Audrey Magazine Interviews Daniel Henney & Ryan Potter + Bloopers (READ HERE)

 


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5) Meet Mutya, The New Filipina Barbie Doll We Can’t Get Enough Of (READ HERE)

Your Favorite Asian Celebs Weigh In On The Infamous Dress Debate

Is the dress blue and black or white and gold?

That is the question that has the internet in an uproar. It doesn’t help that for some people, the dress seems to change colors. Whether you’re on Team Blue and Black, Team White and Gold, or Team Et Cetera, you probably have a strong opinion of the dress and our favorite Asian celebrities are no exception.

 


 

Team Blue and Black

1. Mindy Kaling seems to be having a full on Twitter meltdown over #TheDress. In fact, she’s out for blood with anyone who disagrees with her, whether it’s the cast and crew of The Mindy Project, recent Oscar Winner Julianne Moore, or her friend Reese Witherspoon.

 

 

 

2. Michelle Phan retweeted a Team Blue and Black photo, though she has a lot of opinions on the entire dress debate in general.MichellePhanTweet

 

 

3. Ming-Na Wen

 

4. David Choi

 


 

Team White and Gold

 

1. Margaret Cho

 

 

2. AJ Rafael

 


 

Team Et Cetera

1. BoA 

boainstagram1 boainstagram2

 

 

2. Steven Yeun

 

 

3. Chloe Bennet

 

 

4. Kal Penn

 

 

5. Arden Cho

 

 

6. Anna Akana

 

 

7.Ryan Higa

 


 

Which team are you on? As for us, we’ve been staring at the dress for awhile and we say:

rebelwilsonenough

It’s obviously black and blue.

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Meet Mutya, The New Filipina Barbie Doll We Can’t Get Enough Of

I know what you’re thinking. Barbie may not be the best role model for children (especially with all the unrealistic body standards), but we’ve got to hand it to Mattel, they’ve definitely put in effort to try and be inclusive.

In 2014, American Girl discontinued their one and only Asian American doll and we were devastated. After all, it’s not often that our little ones get the opportunity to see their culture and experiences reflected in something as mainstream as an American Girl doll. This is why we were three times happier when, while looking for an alternative Asian doll, we discovered that Barbie has been creating ethnically diverse Barbie dolls for years.

Most recently, a Filipina Barbie doll named Mutya Barbie has been added to the roster. Mutya is the third face in the Global Glamour Collection which also features Tribal Beauty Barbie and Venetian Muse Barbie.

Mutya Barbie was designed by Carlyle Nuera as his debut doll for The Barbie Collection. Needless to say, he made sure every single detail was given proper attention. It seems every aspect of the dress pays homage to Filipino culture. Not only did he choose to dress Mutya in a terno, a traditional Filipino dress worn on special occasions by women in the early 1900’s, but even the details of the dress try to capture the many aspects of Filipino culture and fashion.

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Photo courtesy of Mattel

Nuera spoke to barbiecollector.com and gave more details about the beautiful doll:

“Mutya” means pearl or beauty or muse; it’s a girl’s name, and is also used in the titles of beauty pageants in the Philippines. Mutya Barbie® will have the Kira face sculpt; I know a lot of collectors have a lot of love and nostalgia for that face sculpt, as do I, since that was a face sculpt I grew up with!

Her organza overdress is a take on the terno, with the unmistakeable butterfly sleeves. The organza’s print references textiles of the different tribes in the Philippines, as well as the sun from the flag. The embroidery on the hem is inspired by the sampaguita, a jasmine flower that is the national flower of the Philippines. The details of Mutya Barbie’s jewelry refer back to tambourine jewelry as well.

 

If you’re looking to get Mutya on your shelf, you may have to move quickly. Mutya Barbie has a limited release of only 4,400 dolls and we have a feeling she’ll be sold out pretty quick.

 

mutya 1

Photo courtesy of http://www.barbiecollector.com/

mutya 2

Photo courtesy of http://www.barbiecollector.com/

mutya 3

Photo courtesy of http://www.barbiecollector.com/

mutya 4

Photo courtesy of http://www.barbiecollector.com/

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Learn How to Make Traditional Korean Dishes From A Korean Rapper

Instagram videos seem to be getting more and more creative. You can find everything from quick comedic clips to a short vacation documentary. But what about a video series?

Oogeewoogee recently featured Korean American rapper, Lyricks, who began a mini cooking series which showcase step-by-step instructions on recreating traditional Korean dishes on his Instagram. During the snowy season at his home in Northern Virginia, he shows followers how to make kimchi, a spicy fermented cabbage that is a staple side dish with meals. He also shows his process of cooking braised mackerel for his girlfriend on Valentine’s Day. As a cute and hilarious bonus, Lyricks also includes a few tips he learned from his “halmeoni” (grandma).

Step 1. SALT SOAK #kimchi #koreanfood

A video posted by LYRICKS | THE BEAUTIFUL CYCLE (@lyricksva) on Jan 3, 2015 at 5:01pm PST

Step 2. PREP THE MIX #kimchi #koreanfood A video posted by LYRICKS | THE BEAUTIFUL CYCLE (@lyricksva) on Jan 3, 2015 at 5:05pm PST

Step 3. ANCHOVY SHRIMP COLLABO

A video posted by LYRICKS | THE BEAUTIFUL CYCLE (@lyricksva) on Jan 3, 2015 at 5:11pm PST

Step 4. TALK SHIT (ADD PEPPER, ONIONS, SCALLIONS, GARLIC) A video posted by LYRICKS | THE BEAUTIFUL CYCLE (@lyricksva) on Jan 3, 2015 at 5:15pm PST

Step 5. SUGAR X RICE FLOUR

A video posted by LYRICKS | THE BEAUTIFUL CYCLE (@lyricksva) on Jan 3, 2015 at 5:31pm PST

Step 6. ADD THE REST A video posted by LYRICKS | THE BEAUTIFUL CYCLE (@lyricksva) on Jan 3, 2015 at 5:36pm PST

Step 7. MIX (NICELY)

A video posted by LYRICKS | THE BEAUTIFUL CYCLE (@lyricksva) on Jan 3, 2015 at 5:44pm PST

 

As Lyricks would say… Boom Bap!

I found his commentary quite entertaining and I look forward to seeing what else he whipped up for his followers, but was left curious at what some of the Korean words meant. Anyone want to help out and translate?

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Fitness Friday: To Avoid Injury, Exercise Correctly

During my first experiences working out, whether it was a training class in college or at the gym with friends, I would always hear:

Keep your back straight.

Keep your core tight.

Make sure your knees don’t go past your ankles.

If you go to the gym, you’ve probably heard all this too. As tempting as it is to bump up the volume to your music and block everyone out, it’s actually really important to ask yourself why everyone talks about maintaining proper form. I’m absolutely no expert, nor am I claiming to be, but remembering these tips are important, especially if you’re just starting your fitness journey. After all, being sore the next day is enough pain, don’t you think?

So what exactly does proper form mean? According to Jeremy Likness at bodybuilding.com, whether you’re lifting weights at the gym or doing fun body weight workouts at home, there are a two things you should always remember.

FF_CatherineFitnessBlogspot

Spinal Alignment
This is where the phrase, “keep your back straight” stems from. Your spine is what allows your body to remain upright, but it is also prone to injury. Because of this, generally, your back should be kept straight by pushing your chest out and your shoulders back. Remember when your grandmother would tell you not to slouch and would pull your shoulders back so you feel your shoulder blades squeeze together? That’s how it should feel. Oh yeah, grandma knew all about proper form.

According to Likness, keeping your back straight “minimizes stress on the spinal column, but will place tension on your lower back muscles.” This is okay, because those are the muscles you want to work and strengthen to protect your back.

Joint Alignment
Just like your spine, your joints should be aligned as well. In other words. you don’t want to look like a flailing chicken with arms or legs bent in different directions! For example, think about physical education in high school. Do you recall your P.E. teacher telling you how to do a push-up? Other than keeping your back straight, your arms should be straight. This means your shoulders should be aligned with your wrist. When you do a push up, stop at about a 90-degree angle while keeping your elbows close to your body. Keeping joints aligned, strong and being aware of your body movements can avoid injuries such as popping a bone out of place or fracturing your wrist.

Now, don’t feel discouraged! As long as you keep a proper form in mind, staying active is a good way to avoid future health woes. Besides, there will always be a possibility of injury in every day life, like spraining your ankle from those five-inch heels!

 

Feature image courtesy of girlswithmuscle.com

 

These Miniature Meals Are Completely Edible (And Completely Cute)

 

We’ve seen miniature food sculptures that completely tantalized us with all the delicious details, but disappointed us because they were actually just made out of clay. But what if I told you we no longer have to be disappointed because someone figured out a way to make super tiny food 100% edible? Don’t believe it? Well, we recently stumbled across YouTube channel Miniature Space that will shake away your disbelief completely. These tiny dishes, suitable for dolls and figurines, are actually made for humans to consume.

Remember the younger days when we had pretend tea parties with our stuffed animals? There were even play kitchens where plastic food could “sizzle” in the stove. Sure, make-believe is fun, but sometimes it’s just not as satisfying as hearing actual oil pop on the skillet. That seems to be what the creators of Miniature Space thought considering they use fully functional, doll-sized cookware with tiny stoves and real ingredients to create the perfect sized meals for figurines.

Parents should be warned that Miniature Space is actually cooking everything with a real fire so children may want to stick to their plastic stoves. But if you’re looking to relive your childhood in a unique way, how about making these mini meals?

 

For breakfast, you can have some coffee, pancakes, and eggs:

 

 

For lunch, how about french fries and fried chicken:

 

 

For dinner, start off with miso soup, then shrimp tempura and sushi:

 

 

For dessert, some sweet red bean soup to finish off:

 

If you want to know what micro meal Miniature Space has cooked up next, you can follow their YouTube channel.
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Why We Still Pay Tribute to Nujabes Five Years Later

 

For avid beat listeners near and far, February is no longer just about expressing love on Valentine’s Day. Instead, it’s grown to be a time to remember and honor two of music’s greatest sound influencers. Here in the Western hemisphere, we were given James “J Dilla” Yancey, the Detroit-born DJ who would come to change the sound of Hip Hop. Meanwhile in Tokyo, the man who would be underground’s most impactful DJ, Jun “Nujabes” Seba, would take his very first breath on the same day. Isn’t it amazing to think that two of Hip Hop’s most inspiring creatives were birthed the same day on opposite sides of the planet? However, fate proved to be a double edged sword.

nujabes_and_j_dilla___40th_birthday_poster_by_glarbinator-d75jfn7

Photo courtesy of glarbinator.deviantart.com

Today marks 5 years since we received the heart-stopping news of the fatal car crash that ended Nujabes’ life. But even if his physical presence is no longer with us, his music will continue to immortalize his name. Nujabes was known for his implementation of jazz-lamented hip hop beats, and molding each track into a ethereal sound that became a distinct “Nujabes” style.

Today we play the last installment in the “Luv(sic)” series that started out as a 3 part series between Nujabes and his good friend Shing02. After receiving news of the Nujabes’ death, Shing02 took it upon himself to finish what they started. He took to the studio to create parts 4, 5 and 6 to give closure, not only to the series, but to all listeners out there.

“Gotta finish what we started,”Shing02 said. “So I cut the tape as our records will stay on rotate.” You will be forever missed, Jun “Nujabes” Seba, but never forgotten.

 

 

Adorable Cosplay Tribute to the ‘Big Hero 6′ Oscar Win

 

This week has been all about the heart-thumping moment when Disney’s Big Hero 6 was announced the Oscar winner for Best Animated Feature. Not to mention, yesterday marked the movie’s Blu-Ray and DVD release. It’s been a great week for Disney and the celebration continues!

Not only were the Big Hero 6 directors smiling from ear to ear after the win was announced, onlookers were celebrating in front of their TV screens as well. That’s especially true for a particular cosplayer named Jin.

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Jin’s uncanny resemblance to Hiro has spread like a wildfire through the internet, and it even landed a special spotlight with Buzzfeed. Jin’s connection with the animated doppelgänger went beyond looks as Jin points out on Tumblr, “It would have meant the world to me if as a little kid, I had a character like Hiro to identify with and look up to and feel like it was okay to be me,” Jin explains. “To help me feel that being smart and even being a little weird-looking were good things. And I would have felt more like I could be brave and brilliant and inspirational too.”

To honor of the big win, Jin’s latest photoshoot plays with the idea of Hiro actually attending the Oscars. This definitely brings to life a moment we’d love to see.

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“Baymax, you’re looking sharp!”
“Sharp? I am concerned that this would be harmful to my huggable design.”
“It’s just an expression!”

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“Tadashi, this is for you”

That last one is certainly a tear-jerker. To see more of Hiro, Tadashi and Baymax cosplays be sure to check out Jin’s Tumblr.

 

How Disney’s Tsum Tsum Craze is Taking America By Storm

So what’s a Tsum Tsum and why are people so obsessed with them? Maybe it’s their round shape. Maybe it’s their reasonable price tag. Maybe it’s because these plushies come in the form of Disney characters we know and love. Whatever the reason may be, it’s pretty hard not to be obsessed.

Before we get ahead of ourselves, you may be wondering what a Disney Tsum Tsum is and where they came from. In Japanese, “tsum” means to stack. Therefore, “Disney Tsum Tsum” literally translates to “Disney Stack Stack.” Fittingly, these adorable little Tsum Tsum are stacking (sorry) America by storm.

Tsum Tsum originated from a Japanese LINE mobile app. In the game, players must connect the stacked Tsum Tsum together in a Tetris-like way. It’s simple, adorable and addictive. More importantly, the concept was full of merchandising opportunities.

Image courtesy of Fone Arena

Image courtesy of Fone Arena

Since Disney is Disney and Japan is Japan, it’s no wonder that real life Tsum Tsum plushies were first released in Japan in 2013. Proving to be a huge hit, Disney’s Tsum Tsum were soon released in America and have since become the latest craze. During a recent trip to the Disney Store, a Disney Store employee confided in us that her boyfriend had to tell her to stop buying Tsum Tsum in order to stop an oncoming addiction. Who can blame her though? Available in small, medium and large sizes, all the Tsum Tsum are stackable in real life too.

tsum 1

Photo courtesy of www.nytimes.com

tsum

Photo courtesy of disneytsumtsum.tumblr.com

 

Image courtesy of CDN Video

Image courtesy of CDN Video

LINE-Disney-Tsum-Tsum

As of now, Disney is slowly dipping into an infinite pool of gold by licensing characters from their movies into Tsum Tsum plushies. If you are fan of say Alice in Wonderland, 101 Dalmations or Cinderella, you can get a Tsum Tsum of all your favorite characters. And if you’re wondering/anticipating the inevitable Frozen Tsum Tsum collection, fear not! Frozen Tsum Tsum will be available starting March 3rd on the Disney Store website and at a store near you.

frozentsumtsum

Image courtesy of Stitch Kingdom

And let’s face it. No one is able to monetize capitalism more adorably than Disney.

 

 

Photo courtesy of games.disney.com

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