For 60 days, I monitored the top 7 Email Automation vendors to learn how well they manage the mailer reputation of their systems.
Come along as I spend $340 of my own money to monitor 3,735 IP addresses and rank the vendors. Discover Pardot and MailChimp‘s tricks for staying off email spam lists, Eloqua’s surprising spot in the rankings (not at the top!) and learn whether Adobe’s Marketo is actually The Worst™ at avoiding blocklists. Oh, and HubSpot, Act-On and Campaign Monitor are also here.
Dear Reader (hi Mom!), I admit that I’m a fan of Jerusalem Artichokes. They are the roots of a type of sunflower. Here in Toronto, they’re pretty expensive and rare to find in grocery stores. I don’t eat them often.
When I saw a drink made with them I jumped at the chance to try it out.
This drink smells like an old twig. The flavour is a bit like burdock and dry fall leaves. At the same time, the mouthfeel is smooth like water and the flavour itself is too weak to leave any sort of impression. Strangely, this drink would’ve been better if it had a stronger flavour and a thicker texture. This drink is just bad. The only good thing about it is that it doesn’t leave a lingering taste.
This drink must’ve been made as a herbal supplement. One sunchoke out of five. ❎🟥🟥🟥🟥
This strange milk beer is lightly fizzy and has a crisp passionfruit smell. It tastes like passionfruit, with a milky mouthfeel that’s a little bit thicker than water. The milk-powder that’s part of this drink gives it a semi-opaque look.
I liked the flavour. But after getting a quick second opinion, my mystery Co-Taster said that it is cloyingly sweet.
This Milk-Beer drink has 20 grams of sugar for every 100ml of drink. This is double the sugar in a Sprite and in Coke (according to Coca-Cola’s Canadian site).
For that reason, I’ll give it 3 passionfruits out of 5.
Hey, did you know that this is what a passionfruit flower looks like? I had my mind blown when I saw these growing on a trellis at the local botanical gardens.
Yeo’s Chrysanthemum Tea Drink
It’s a steamy night in August. I open this handsome cold can with a satisfying psssssssttttt. I take a whiff.
It has a faintly sweet, oily smell. A bit like a homemade compote.
Taking a long sip, this chrysanthemum tea is very sweet and flat. (So what went “psssssstttt”???) . Yeo boasts that this drink “brings you delicious refreshment” but it tastes only mildly floral – like grass jelly drink, with notes of old paper, a dusty herbalist’s shop. The proprietor will be with you in just a moment.
Mouthfeel is light. No lingering taste or claginess – even though it tastes like it’s loaded with sugar.
Verdict: one upright flower out of five 🌹🥀🥀🥀🥀. This drink really proves that chrysanthemums should be looked at and not sucked on:
Yanwee Sweet Drink
I look at the plump strawberry on the label. I open the unique tab on top and think “Hey, I’m in for a sweet strawberry treat”. I think: “Hey, things are pretty swell and looking better all th… hm…. ugh….” I take a sniff of the top and something ain’t right.
This drink has a granny-smelling, slightly strawberry aroma. “Granny” in my world is cheap musky perfume, old carpets, low-quality paper. You see, dear reader, I have Soviet grannies and those 3 things are key pillars of how their home smells.
Taking a gulp of Yanwee, you’re punched in the mouth with sweetness. It envelops your mouth. It is a bright sweetness, like a Japanese Ramune drink. It is a muted taste that’s equal parts milky and strawberry.
The aftertaste that’s left is sweet and like a slightly musty strawberry flavour. Notes of old bubblegum. Like somebody dissolved a strawberry flavoured lollipop in some milk and tried to gaslight you, swearing that this is an actual pop drink that a serious company produced.
Perhaps I shouldn’t have been surprised. There are 3 kinds of sugar listed in the ingredients: white sugar, high fructose corn syrup and “edible glucose”. Also listed is “Lactobacillus casei“, which is used in yoghurt fermentation – but I got no hint of fermented acidic flavours.
This drink is so sweet it is just terrible. Dear reader, sometimes I wonder how far you need to push a man to make him want to drink something like Yanwee Sweet Drink. To think that this drink is enjoyable. And this darkness makes me shudder.
1 fetid strawberry out of 5 fetid strawberries: 🍓
Binggrae Korean Banana Milk
My negative experience with Yanwee put me on an interesting trail. “Flavoured milks” are apparently a big category in Asia. In Korea, banana milk is particularly popular ( our Mystery Friend of the Blog says “the Korean youtubers drink it all the time”).
Setting out to try banana milk, I got a juice-box of the top brand – Binggrae.
Taking out the little straw – big toddler grin on my face – it’s been a while since I drank one of these!
Taking a sip, and it tastes like milk with banana flavouring. I’d say that the milk flavour is a bit more dominant than the banana flavour. The banana tastes very artificial. It is a sweet drink but not cloying.
The texture is light and watery. Which makes sense because the top 2 ingredients are milk and water.
The drink leaves a light banana aftertaste and smell.
The box has a happy little cartoon illustration of singer Jimin, from Korean pop group BTS. Let’s just say that BTS, Jimin’s voice and his look are not my cup of tea. So I will be drinking my milkybox while listening to this banger from Korean group Monsta-X instead:
I’m going to conclude this review by giving two 🍌🍌 out of five bananas to this drink. If you want to properly walk off the cliff of artificial banana flavour, you’re better off with a caribbean drink called “Chubby” – available at every self-respecting convenience store in Toronto. It’s going to be terrible. It’s going to be beautiful. Your mouth will never forgive you.
Joying Shaddock Flavour Drink
After tasting some of the nastier drinks in this batch, I suspected that this drink would taste good. Because I tried a drink from the same company a month earlier when visiting Montreal.
This one is “Shaddock” flavoured. The exotic shaddock fruit on the label looked like a strange pear. Boy are we in for a treat!!!!
Pomelo is quite the noble citrus fruit. The three ancestral (sometimes characterized as “original” or “fundamental”) species in the genus Citrus associated with modern Citrus cultivars are the mandarin orange, pomelo, and citron. Almost all of the common commercially important citrus fruits (sweet oranges, lemons, grapefruit, limes, and so on) are hybrids involving these three species with each other, their main progenies, and other wild Citrus species within the last few thousand years.
My exotic Shaddock romp was turning into a barrel of lies.
Well, on to the tasting: opening the bottle, the drink smells like pomelo. It tastes like the yellow variety of pomelo.
It is very sweet, as sweet as a Coke. This drink leaves an unpleasant, bitter aftertaste that lingers. That bitterness is part of the fun flavour profile of an actual pomelo, but it definitely doesn’t work in a drink. The drink is also acidic and leaves your throat feeling dry.
On the positive side, the unique flask-type bottle that this drink comes in feels perfect in the hand. If you like reusing pop bottles then definitely get this one.
This drink gets 3 pomelos out of 5.
What I learned from writing this post
The “Jacob Eats” series is my excuse for impulse-buying weird stuff to eat. “HEY IT’S FOR THE BLOG, OKAY!?!?“, I sputter. Eyes wild. Little hands clutching way too many bottles at the H-Mart.
I was expecting to find an unexpectedly tasty one among these strange drinks, but I didn’t. They were all pretty awful to some degree. Which, I guess, is to be expected from the drinks that I would never ordinarily get.
With a fridge full of refreshing-looking drinks, I would find myself craving one. But these are for the blog. I have to take pictures of them, and then to sit down and write about the flavour notes (baaaa-na-na). Often, I would avoid having a cold drink when I really wanted it because it was too much work.
It was enlightening to realize that you can’t really mix real-life with your blog. Either you’re drinking at your leisure, or you’re sitting down to drink them all and write about them. There is no in-between.
In a small way I started to understand how difficult it is for Youtubers to show “their real life”. Your life becomes fake and performative. Or, you know, you rent a completely different apartment to create a facsimile of “your life” just to show on camera:
There was a subset of fans who were “apartment truthers” – the theory was, the apartment that Dan and Phil recorded in was not the same apartment they actually lived in. People were drawing up schematics of their floor plan, meticulously comparing shots from Instagram posts to shots in videos, and overall being INCREDIBLY invasive about the whole thing. But the most insane part? THEY WERE RIGHT. Dan and Phil addressed the theory five months ago (@10:33), stating that they did it because of privacy concerns, and also because they wanted a separation between their home life and work life.
“Fuben-Eki” is a Japanese acronym that stands for “Further benefits of a kind of inconvenience”.
It is a design concept that introduces inconvenience into processes, where the inconvenience would actually be beneficial (forcing you to improve hand-eye coordination, to slow down and notice something, or to improve your memory skills).
Here is a freely accessible video from Japan’s NHK show “Design Talks Plus” about different applications of this unusual concept:
In their latest bid to tear the USA apart, evil American oligarchs have decided to make the existence of transgender people the question du jour. (I presume the actual question they’re asking is “should we permit them to exist, or should we start building mobile gas shower units now?”)
Today I’m going to wade into this morass by eating everyone’s favourite genderfluid snack: Chick Boy.
Toronto is unique in that you can find almost any cuisine in this city. One of the more unusual (and tastiest!) cuisines you can try is Tibetan.
Below is a set of Tibetan restaurants that are all located near each other. I used to live nearby, and remember that Himalayan Kitchen was good. But that was many years ago so take a look at current reviews. Things to try: momos (either fried or steamed large dumplings), blood sausage (very spicy, you might also know this dish as “black pudding”), tripe (also very spicy).