5 of the Best Matcha Tea’s in Australia

We compared 5 of the best matcha’s available in Australia

The variety and popularity of matcha has exploded over the last 5 years. Aussies are very particular about quality so this expansion for matcha tea means big time competition and a significant increase in the quality and demand for premium ceremonial matcha tea.

In the same way that Australia has embraced our coffee culture there is a growing niche that are indulging in refined matcha. So we put five of the best to the test, using only the top ceremonial grade from the top 5 retailers in Australia. Here are the results:

  1. Happy Matcha
  2. Matcha Maiden
  3. Kenko Tea
  4. Material Matcha
  5. Mista Matcha

FIRST PLACE: Happy Matcha Tea

Happy Matcha has been around for a long time now (I think it’s around 8 years) and these guys source only the best matcha from UJI, Japan located between Kyoto and Nara. The leaves in this region seem to produce the smoothest matcha experience, combined with the traditional harvesting methods used by the local Japanese community who have been hand crafting matcha tea for decades. It’s currently on sale for $37.95 and the tea itself (ceremonial grade) is intense however it somehow manages to settle in your mouth with a creaminess that no other matcha in this list was able to match-ahh.

SECOND PLACE: Matcha Maiden

Matcha Maiden have worked very hard to produce a high quality matcha tea and in almost all respects they have succeeded. At first we thought that they had put all of their time and money into marketing and advertising, however to our surprise the matcha was really high quality, finely grounded and smooth to taste. With subtle textures we thought this matcha was worthy of second place especially when you consider the price of only $24.95.

THIRD PLACE: Kenko Tea

Kenko Matcha offer a premium ceremonial matcha tea that was easily the most intense of the 5 best. The packaging suggests a “delicate sweetness with grassy overtones” however we noticed it was very grassy with little to no sweetness. Fortunately it did whisk with a lovely creaminess that enables this matcha to come in at 3rd place. Complimented by the very reasonable $39.90 for 30 grams.

FOURTH PLACE: Material Matcha

Unbelievably good marketing and truly a fantastic matcha. After watching the video by Etienne and Morgan we made early predictions that Material Matcha would be the best. As we unveiled the matcha (MMU01) from it’s impressive packaging we went through the exact same process as the others only to notice a lack of creaminess. It was a bold, sharp flavoured matcha, which we would highly recommend if that’s all you care about. However if you want that smooth, creamy aftertaste we suggest you avoid this matcha or sample some of their other blends.

FIFTH PLACE: Mista Matcha

A 30g premium pack from Mista Matcha will set you back $39.00 which is competitively priced and to be honest we liked everything about mista matcha except for the lack of flavour. Which is kind of a big deal. The taste is smooth, it’s clean and refreshing but this also means it is very light. We noticed that for every tea spoon of Happy Matcha we would need 3-4 teaspoons of mista matcha. To the extent that we thought it was somehow grounded with a completely different type of green tea. We are only speculating that this could be the case but at the end of the day we still recommend Mista Matcha as an everyday matcha especially if you are new to matcha and you want to avoid an intense flavour experience.

Congratulations to Happy Matcha, the best ceremonial matcha tea. And an honourable mentions to T2, matcha ninja, matcha me and matcha zone who also provided a nice Matcha Tea experience.

Do you have a matcha tea (or know of one) that should be on this list? Don’t hesitate to contact us or comment below and we will give it a try.

How Water Beads Can Keep Moisture In Soil

Polymer water beads can help improve the quality of your soil. Here’s how.

Ok so what are water beads? The quick answer is they are magic and you should never question magic. But to avoid frustrating the hell out of our readers we’ll tell you how the magic works.

Water beads are made of polymer, a substance that has been carefully studied at a molecular level, which allows lab rats to identify the minute organics (synthetic organics) built up as plastics and resins, often in the shape of a ball or sphere. And to clarify this is also the makeup of “crystal soil”, “water marbles”, “polymer crystals” and “magic water beads”, they’re all the same thing.

Green thumbs need not worry because water beads can be 100% non-toxic and biodegradable. The trick is to find a supplier who clearly states these facts!

Cool, so how do water beads help with soil?

Water beads retain their moisture for a very long time. They expand up to 100 times their original size when they are left in water. The process takes up to 8 hours for the beads to fully expand and then they hold their shape and always seem to be wet like as if they’ve been delivered by an alien race. Seriously though, these things are amazing – hence the alias ‘magic water beads’.

Water is held by the microscopic synthetics and is slowly released over time. Allow us to repeat that because this is the internet where everyone skims over content barely reading a sentence in it’s entirety. Ahem.

“The water in water beads is held by the microscopic synthetics that make up ‘polymer’ and is slowly released over time.”

And that is the crux of it, these little beauties look amazing and they release H2O very slowly. Even when they’re covered in soil. And of course the fact that they’re biodegradable and non-toxic is good for mother nature.

Thanks to the guys at Water Beads Australia for their time producing this great tip. If anyone has any other interesting uses for water beads or practical feedback on their effectiveness in soil we’d love to hear from you. Especially if you’re experimenting with jumbo water beads.

5 Ways to Boost Your Car’s Resale Value

Get more money for reselling your car and you will have extra cash to spend or save at your discretion. So how do I get a better price for my car? I hear you ask. Here are our words to the wise:

1. Don’t be a tool

While it may be fun to rev up the engine and speed off in a cloud of screeching tires, it is not very kind to your car. You will go through tires much quicker than you should and your vehicle will not appreciate your macho engine games, and neither will the attractive pedestrians you were trying to impress.

2. Get broken things fixed

We get it; you have other priorities than spending piles of moolah on car repairs. But getting small problems fixed as soon as possible can save you money in the long term. For example, a little chip in the windscreen can turn into an expensive crack the size of the Grand Canyon if you leave it too long. Okay, so maybe we are exaggerating. A little. But you get the point. Just fix it.

3. Show a little tenderness

In addition to getting broken stuff sorted asap, there is also the issue of ongoing maintenance and treating your people mover with the respect the agreeable servant deserves. Doing this might mean that you need to go to a car maintenance workshop because: car noob. It’s okay. We’ve all been there. Just learn what you need to do to keep your car running smoothly and you won’t have nearly as many repair bills. Then when it comes to upgrading, you’ll have a good-looking vehicle that is oh so saleable.

4. Don’t try to sell a stinky dirty car

If you’re a smoker trying to sell your car, non-smokers will not buy if your car stinks. So, prepare the machine well. Take it to a car wash, get the insides steam cleaned and all old stains and faint odours from various Saturday night adventures will be gone. Magic!

5. Get your docs in order

No, we’re not talking about lining up medical practitioners, the topic here is proof. Find all the documents you have that relate to recent car maintenance and even the car manual (if you still have it), plus rego and any other proof you have looked after the car with utmost due diligence and you’ll be a much more trustworthy seller.

The moral of the story

If you are buying a car with the intention to resell, it pays dividends to look after it as best you can while you own it. Boosting your jalopy’s resale value may involve avoiding tool-like behaviour, investing time and money in treating it right and giving the thing a deep clean before buyers come to inspect it. By having supporting documentation to present to potential buyers, you will be a much more convincing seller, and you will find it so much easier to get a higher price for your vehicle.

Thank you to Rapid Finance for helping with this article. If you are in the market for a new car please consider Rapid Car Loans.

Wedding Planning Doesn’t Need to be Stressful

You’ve just announced your engagement. No prizes for guessing the first question on everyone’s lips. “So, when’s the big day?” Woah, woah, woah. First thing’s first; soak up the euphoria surrounding the fact that YOU JUST GOT ENGAGED! Once you’re back on solid ground, you can start thinking wedding logistics.

It’s common for couples to wait a year or even several years to tie the knot after the proposal. There are many reasons for this, be it financial, circumstantial or the idea that a wedding takes forever to plan.

You don’t need to book everything 10 years in advance.

If you fancy holding your wedding ceremony or reception at a function centre, or any popular wedding venue, you will need to jump on board that train pretty quickly in case someone else already has your date in mind. In saying that, photographers, caterers, florists and the like are hired all year through for occasions that are often – wait for it – not weddings! These companies can be hired mere weeks out from some events, so tripping over yourself to have everything locked in within the first week of being engaged is not necessary.

It pays to be organised when there’s heaps to plan, of course, but make sure you enjoy the ride while you’re at it. Appreciate that time. The congratulations, the realisation of what’s to come. Relish in it together.

Accept wedding advice, but do what’s right for you.

It seems like everyone’s an expert when it comes to getting married, and rightly so if the advice is coming from someone who has taken the plunge themselves. So, when a tip or suggestion regarding your upcoming nuptials is thrown your way, listen to what they have to say and take it on board.

There’s no obligation to implement all or any of the advice you receive, as it may be irrelevant to the vibe you’re aiming for, and that’s okay. But be polite, say thank you and appreciate that they’re only trying to help.

If you do find a particular friend or family member is forcefully imposing ideas where they’re not needed, simply thank them for their advice and explain that it’s not quite what you had in mind. This method is generally well received, though some may need a little more of a hint than others. Either way, be civil, keep the peace and things should remain stress-free.

There are no rules.

Weddings are as unique as the couple tying the knot. To become legally married there are three sections of the wedding ceremony that must be spoken. That’s it. You don’t even have to exchange rings for your marriage to be legit! The rest – including the reception – is all fluff. So why not do it your way?

Some couples love tradition and stick to the done thing on their wedding day. Others – and this is happening more and more – prefer a wedding that reflects them as a couple. A unique day to share with their nearest and dearest, whether that includes a sole witness, or all of their extended family and friends!

When it’s time to start planning your wedding, sit down with your partner in crime and work out what it is you want. Think location, time of year, size and general vibe. Decide how you want your day to play out and get planning.

All that’s left to do is enjoy!

Advice for Health Clinics

Is Your Healthcare Clinic Taking Online Bookings?

There has been a tremendous uplift in online booking functionality for healthcare and wellbeing clinics across all of Australia. Since 2013 clinicians have adopted new responsive websites with simple to use contact forms – which is great – but now we’re on the verge of 2016 and looking ahead to 2017 and beyond where all websites for local health care will be booking in patients entirely online. Let’s look at a chiropractic case study.

Chiropractor Appointments

APChiropractic is a growing clinic based in Adelaide, Australia with Chiropractors taking many of their bookings through this innovative chiropractor appointment form. Younger generations are using this type of functionality because it is quicker, easier and often less painful than sitting on hold (or in some cases talking to) admin staff.

Online Bookings Done Right

The key change for APChiropractic was the move from a simple contact form to a real-time communication point for prospective clients. Many people shy away from contact forms (including younger generations) because the turnaround time for a response is unknown. However with a real-time appointment system the user is registered immediately and notified immediately of their pending appointment.

So How Does It Work?

At the start of each day the admin staff at APChiropractic use the website CMS to update the available timeslots for the day (which we are told only takes a few minutes) and then anyone online knows instantly that the listed timeslots are actually available. Selecting one of the availabilities will trigger an email (and sms if mobile is provided) notifying the user that their request has been received and within a minute or two the status moves from pending to confirmed.

Flexibility for Different Healthcare Clinics?

The aforementioned case study is just one of many scenarios that could be tailored to a clinician’s best interests. However the reason APChiropractic is so good is that it is tailored to the customers needs, not the clinics. So yes, it does require some more attention from admin staff and it does require due-diligence to ensure that all online requests are legitimate. However, in the long run it has paid dividends, as Dr. Peter Roennfeldt (B.App.Sc.(Clin)/B.Chiro.Sc) of APChiropractic says “these systems help out patients in busy world, they save time and make our lives easier – which is the point of good technology”.

In Summary

The online representation of your healthcare business is of the utmost importance, and as mobile usage continues to soar it is essential that business owners adapt and push forward with fast paced, convenience orientated technologies. After all if you’re not investing in a better online experience for your customers, then you’re already behind.

How to be Penny-Wise and Keep Your Social Life

If you’re not paying attention, money has a sneaky way of disappearing faster than you can say “skinny latte, please”. Before you know it, you’re wondering where it all went and thinking you couldn’t possibly have spent that much. Well, my friend, you did; and it’s not hard to do!

Fortunately, there are ways to keep track of your spending so you’re not left with an empty bank account. Simple, yet effective ways – all it takes is a little consciousness.

Smart Shopping

Buying clothes is something that can easily be done on a whim because you simply have to have that dress, or it’s such a bargain. Sure, you need clothes – it’d be a bit weird if you walked around in your birthday suit – but do you need that many clothes? And shoes? And handbags? Didn’t think so.

When you do need to re-stock your wardrobe, suss out the end of season or end of financial year sales. There are plenty of bargains to be found so you’ll get a whole lot more bang for your buck.

Another fun idea is to get a bunch of friends together and have a clothing swap. It’s a win, win. You don’t have to bother figuring out what to do with your old clothes, and you’re gaining new glad rags for free!

Save Some

If you want to save money, the first step is putting some aside so you don’t spend it. You might think you have enough will-power to leave a few dollars sitting there, but trust me, if it’s in your spending account, it will be spent.

Create another account that you can put some funds across to as soon as you get paid. Even if it’s just $20 per week, it all adds up, and that old saying “out of sight, out of mind” rings all too true in this situation. Put it aside, forget about it, and soon enough you’ll have a nice little cash-pool brewing.

Dump Gym

Gym membership can cost an arm and a leg, which, if you’re not attending as much as you should, can be a huge waste of money. An idea to correct this wasteful spending blunder is to ditch the membership altogether and either pay-as-you-go for the every-so-often you make the effort, or go for the DIY approach.

Stock up on exercise videos so you can work out in your own home, go for a walk or run, take your bike for a ride, and use that skipping rope that’s been sitting in the back of your cupboard since you bought it.

Spending Cap

Saving money doesn’t mean you have to say no to going out with your friends. Sit down, work out what you can afford to spend, and you’re set. Sticking to it is the hard part, but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be the thriftiest party-animal out.

Review Your Bills

Do you really need to be spending that much on your gas, electricity and phone bills? If you do a bit of research, chances are you could come out the other side with more cash in your pocket. Little things you tend to just accept, such as paying bills without question, can often be changed for the better if you’re willing to spend the time to source the best deal possible.

Apps, Apps, Apps

Technology is getting so advanced these days, there are even apps on your phone that can help you save your pennies. From tips and tricks on how to be frugal, to saving calculators that help you achieve a particular goal – it’s all there. Have a squiz and you’re sure to find something that suits your needs.

As you can see, you don’t have to be an accountant to make your money grow. Be smart, don’t buy things you don’t need, and always keep an eye out for ways to live more economically.

If you feel you may need professional help dealing with debt, seek legal advice to consider your options.

Top Tips to Pump Up the Volume

Pump, pump.. pump it up now! 

Not everyone is graced with big, beautiful, voluminous hair, yet it’s something many of us crave. If you want to give your locks a lift, but are not sure how to go about it, follow these tips. You’ll be on your way to high hair in no time.

Tease

Never underestimate the art of hair teasing – it is one of the simplest ways to give your hair some volume. If you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t heard of this fabulous technique, you simply take a comb and a piece of your hair, back-comb the underside of your hair so it bunches up, and voila! Don’t forget the hairspray.

Change it up

When you part your hair the same way every day it can start to get comfortable in this position, sometimes looking flat and lifeless. Change your part from time to time; if you part on the side, maybe try a middle part, or if that doesn’t suit you, try the other side.

Changing your part can give your hair a whole new look, not to mention prevent it from wanting to fall the same way all the time. This will keep some volume in your hair.

Blow-dry

The key to instant volume when blow-drying your hair is to do it upside-down. You can either stand holding your hair piece by piece up into the air as you dry, or tip your head upside down and just go for it. Drying your hair away from your scalp will really help with volume, as opposed to blowing it flat against your head; this will only cause your hair to sit flat.

Volumizer

You’ll find a copious amount of volumizing products on the market in the form of hairspray, root spray, shampoo, mousse and more! Each claim to be the best of the bunch, promising their product will give you the big, bouncy mane you’ve been looking for. Unfortunately, not all of these products come through with the goods, so make sure you do your research. Look for reviews on the internet or ask friends what they swear by.

If your hair is also quite thin, there are hair thickening products available which give you the look of a fuller head of hair. Some of these products have been known to have great results.

Dry shampoo

On those days you skip washing your hair, dry shampoo is a great way to keep grease at bay while boosting your roots for a bit of volume. This is a must have when it comes to hair products.

Hair styling tools

Last but not least we have our tools. Once you’ve perfected height at the roots, it’s time for the rest of your hair to follow suit. If your hair is naturally straight, you can easily bulk up your tresses by adding curls or waves.

Hot rollers, curling irons, triple-barrel wavers and even hair straighteners are great tools for adding extra body to your hair. You can use the hair straightener like a curling wand for beautiful curls or waves – it’s up to you how extreme or subtle you want them.

Keep these tips in mind next time you want big hair. Remember, where there’s a will, there’s a way.

Choosing Between Wood and Plastic Pallets

Pros and cons of wooden and plastic pallets

Pallets are an important part of the materials handling industry and are used by many businesses to transport goods, stock items and keep their equipment safe. While wooden pallets used to be the norm, in recent years plastic pallets have also gained popularity. While both wood and plastic pallets have their advantages and disadvantages, the type of pallet to be used depends on the industry as well as factors such as cost, hygiene, environmental impact and ease of handling.

Plastic pallets are often preferred by industries that operate in closed-loop warehouse environments such as pharmaceutical, automotive, dairy and beverage industries. With a longer shelf life of about ten years, these pallets are not only reusable but also make great in-house storage solutions.

If damaged, wood pallets can be easily repaired and recycled. Many pallet suppliers offer recycled pallets or second hand pallets as a cost effective alternative for those on a budget. However, if a plastic pallet cracks or breaks repairs cannot be done as easily since the material needs to be melted down and remoulded.

Wooden pallets can be difficult to clean and can harbour bacterial and fungal growth if they become wet. Plastic pallets on the other hand are virtually maintenance free, can be hot washed, steam cleaned or chemically sterilised and keep products well ventilated and protected from chemicals and bacteria. This makes them a better choice for transporting fresh foods, pharmaceutical goods or any products that require hygienic conditions.

Wooden pallets can also get held up in quarantine when exporting goods, causing delays in delivery. When using wooden pallets as export pallets they must adhere to the ISPM15 (International Standards for Phytosanitary Measures Publication No 15), which is the guideline for regulating wooden packaging in international trade. This requires that all wooden packaging material is debarked, heat treated or fumigated and branded with the ISPM15 mark of compliance.

Plastic pallets do not require any such checks which often makes delivery quicker and easier. They are lighter than wooden pallets, saving on freight costs and making it safer and easier for manoeuvring. Splinters, protruding nails, shrinking and damaged boards are also issues that handlers face with wooden pallets, which are not present in plastic pallets.

The weight of the products to be shipped should be considered when choosing which type of pallet is more suitable. Plastic pallets are most suited to shipments which weigh less than 1,500 pounds while wooden pallets are best for heavier shipments.

When considering a pallet type that is best suited to your warehouse needs you should compare the pros and cons of both wooden and plastic pallets. Wooden pallets come in options of remanufactured, recycled, reclaimed, second hand and new wooden pallets and may be especially convenient if hygiene and ventilation are not important to your product. A consultation with a professional pallet manufacturer and seller which includes consideration of cost, lifespan and your specific warehouse needs will help you decide which pallet best meets your requirements.

 

 

Tips for Buying a Squeegee Window Cleaner

Squeegees: How to Make Your Windows Shine

There are many ways to clean your windows, whether in the home, car, or office. There are many products on the market, as well as a few home remedies that some swear by. A squeegee is one thing you should invest in when cleaning your own windows. Using a squeegee will leave you with beautiful, clear, streak-free windows when done correctly. Read on for some quick, easy hints…

Job Specifics

Before you go running to the shops to buy any old squeegee, there are a few things you need to consider as there are different types and sizes you can get depending on the job.

If you’re cleaning a small window such as your car window, a small squeegee will do just fine. However, if you’re cleaning a rather large window, make sure to use a bigger squeegee. This will save you time and there is also less change of potential streaks if you do fewer passes over the window.

The Right Tool

There are a few different materials when it comes to what your squeegee is made of. Common options include stainless steel, brass and plastic. Stainless steel squeegees are durable and should last you many years; they have quite a good reputation. Brass, while a quality material, can rust as time passes and can be rather heavy. Plastic is usually not as expensive as other options, but it also won’t generally last as long.

When it comes to the handle of your squeegee, there are a couple of choices. Rigid squeegee handles are quite commonplace, but there are also swivel handles which are ideal for round or odd shaped windows. Some squeegees come with rubber on the handle to give you a better grip.

Handle extensions are available for cleaning those out-of-reach windows. Easy to assemble, they usually have a threaded end which you simply screw into the end of your existing squeegee handle. This is also much safer than trying to balance on a ladder to reach the window.

Rubber Replacement

The most important part of any squeegee is the rubber blade that connects with your window, so it’s important to make sure it’s in tip-top condition. If you start to notice abrasions, worn corners or rounding on your rubber, it’s time to replace it. Using it while in this condition will only leave you with unsightly streaks.

To give your windows the flawless look they deserve, the rubber must be perfect. They’re generally not too expensive, so change it as often as you need to for a spotless finish.

Of course, cleaning windows isn’t everyone’s cup of tea. If you want to achieve brilliant shine, but don’t have the time to do it yourself, speak to our friends at Bax Window Cleaning Melbourne they’re always willing to offer advice and point you in the right direction even if you don’t want to use their services .

6 cost effective home security solutions

Tips to Improve Your Home Security

When you think of the words “home security”, you may be picturing heavy bars on all of the windows and a gigantic cast iron front door. Sure, the Fort Knox approach may well work, but if you don’t want to feel like you’re living in a prison, there are other, less-extreme options you can look at.

Follow these tips to help make your home less appealing to the thieving types.

Motion Sensor Lights

A great idea and not all that expensive, motion sensor lights are helpful deterrents for potential thieves. When they are startled by the sudden light, they will be left wondering if you’re home or if it’s just a sensor light – generally that doubt is enough to send them on their way. If you’re based in Melbourne we recommend speaking to home automation expects like ITA.

Fake It

So you’re away for the night catching up with friends; don’t let them know that. Fake it – pretend you are home and burglars are less likely to bother your property.

You can achieve this by setting up timers in your home so certain lights, or the TV or radio can come on at a particular time of day or night. Also, if you’re away for a longer period of time, see if your neighbor or a friend can collect your mail; nothing says “I’m not home” like a mountain of junk mail protruding from your mailbox!

Dogs and Alarms

Having a dog or installing an alarm system can be all it takes to prevent a possible break-and-enter. There are many options available when it comes to alarms so do your research to find out what type would suit your home.

Alternatively, you can save yourself some cash and just be really good at pretending! Put up a “Beware of the Dog” sign or fix a security system sticker to your window in plain view and watch the bad guys change their minds. The impending consequences, for some, just aren’t worth it.

Doors

Changing the locks is a wise decision when you buy a home, as you will never know just how many people had a copy of those keys; starting a fresh is the safest option.

Adding a peephole to your door helps you see who is on the other side before opening your home up to them; a security screen door is also a great idea.

Windows

A lot of people feel safe in their neighborhood and don’t always bother to lock their windows. A burglar wants an easy entry point, and an unlocked window (or door) is as easy as it gets!

window-repair

Adding security screens will make it harder to break in, but even so, make sure to lock your windows when they are not in use – even when you are home – as this creates a good habit. Also, you want your windows to be in good condition – glass is fragile enough without encouraging thieves with a cracked or chipped window. Mobile car service and professional window cleaning companies also provide window scratch removal and glass repair services that can help with this predicament.

Many thanks to Bax Window Cleaning Melbourne for their 1st hand advice on this matter.

Prevent Window Shopping

If you have uncovered windows, think about what you can see from outside. Your computer, your television and probably a few other valuables are in plain sight – which means anyone wanting to get their hands on some pricey goods will know exactly where to go “shopping”.

Of course, common sense prevails, but it doesn’t hurt to throw a few other preventative measures into the mix. Sit down and work out the best plan of attack for your home security and put it into action.

Looking for more information on home security systems? Check out this review: https://www.reviews.com/home-security-systems/