All of the flavor, none of the acidity

We ran out of beans, with 8 inches of snow outside and the mercury hovering around freezing. At times like these, we make chai. I haven’t been drinking it since I turned vegan because plant milks just don’t work as well in chai; they’re not fat enough to cut the acridity that a strong Indian black tea possesses.

Got me thinking.

If the Aeropress can strip the acidity from coffee to produce a full-bodied but smooth cupful, could it do the same for black tea? Turns out it can.

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I use the upside-down method of brewing with the Aeropress. Milk and sugar are optional. So are the cardamom and ginger, but it isn’t really chai without them. …


There’ve been a lot of discussions about how shortform works, so we thought a quick primer might help. We’re also making an update to help shortform earn on Medium.

Shortform is any story under 150 words (including title and subtitle), and it is eligible to earn money if it is metered. Like all stories on Medium, shortform earns based on reading time on its story page, not simply viewing it in a feed.

A few months ago, we made reading more frictionless on Medium by switching to a single stream of stories on profile and publication homepages, making it easier to draw readers into a story. In this new design, a shortform story was displayed entirely inline without requiring readers to visit its story page (via a “read more” link). …


A unique Medium profile and address

Your Medium profile is where readers get to know more about you, to see the face behind the name, the mind behind the words. For writers, it’s a place to showcase ideas for the millions of curious eyes and hungry minds that flock to Medium each day. Your profile should be every bit as distinct as the stories you publish in it. But it isn’t. Today, we take the first step towards changing that.

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My new Medium profile, straight out of the box

In an effort to empower individual creators, we’ve taken what we learned from developing expressive tools for publications and brought it to everyone’s Medium profile. You can now make your profile a true reflection of yourself in ways that you couldn’t before.


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Maa

I’ve always struggled with the way devi is portrayed in imagery or sculpture. She looked nothing like my mother. And my mother was everything like her.


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My faithful fox, the Bianchi Volpe 2012

The closest I come to meditating: riding this perfectly paved path, nestled between a lush grove of ancient hardwood and abandoned cliffside tracks. Feeling the steel-damped static of the road like a drunk bee trapped in my bones. The slightest whisper of a breeze caressing all of me at once, I am weightless yet connected. In control without wanting to be. My mind is quiet, asleep, hyper-aware, and at peace.

Highly recommended.


Can positive associations with the past make anything seem beautiful?

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Meaning ‘artist’ or ‘art car’. Illustration by the author.

The short answer is yes (as I quickly learned from those that read a draft of this story 🙄) But since I’m not as well-read in these matters, I had to find my own way to it. My way was fun-ner.

It all began with an itch to recreate one of my favorite t-shirts. It used to be made by Tantra, and I think I was wearing it the day I landed in New York in 2004. The shirt was pun-ny. If you speak Hindi, you’ll get it. But that bit’s not important.

What is important, and got me thinking, is that when I imagined recreating the illustration, I saw the car specifically as a Premier Padmini. Now, this was the car of my childhood. We didn’t own one, mind you. Cars were a luxury when I was growing up in Bombay, and my family certainly couldn’t afford one. But they were everywhere. Even the taxicabs were Padminis. …


Eyesores that bring joy through what they enable

The new shower hose attachment thingy I purchased at Home Depot over the weekend is one of these. It is undeniably ugly—made of cheap-looking, mismatched bits of plastic, it has to be forced over your shower faucet and restrained with a punitive metal tie to provide a makeshift handheld showerhead. My internal groan is almost audible.

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DANCO Versa 1-Spray Portable Hand Shower

But this new appendage turns showers for my 4 year-old into gleeful play instead of work for me. Not to mention saving me the trouble of tearing down a wall to install the real thing. The kid is done in about 10 minutes, beaming ear-to-ear, looking up at a relieved father-slash-disgusted-designer. …


In the past few years I’ve made several changes to be more ecologically responsible—use less, reduce, reuse, recycle. These seemingly small changes, though relatively easy in a place like New York, took a lot of effort. I want to acknowledge others like myself, battling away silently in homes and offices, and hope to lend them a hand. This list is for them, and those who want to join in, do more.

Guiding principle

Avoid stuff unless it’s absolutely essential, will be used for a long time, replaces one or more items, and can be recycled or reused. …

About

Ritwik Dey

Father, husband, vegan, Design Director at Medium. Trying to do as much with as little as possible.

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