I don't quite remember when I fell in love with tea but I do remember the most special moments of me drinking tea. I was eighteen years old and I went to live with my biological mother for four months. I had just met her months earlier and it was awkward for both of us. She and her ex-husband lived a very quiet life in Boulder, Colorado. He was a professor at one of the universities and she was a housewife. After years of drug addiction and being in and out of jail, she deserved the break. I was homeless so she and her husband agreed to let me come live with them. Each evening my mother and I would find a spot in the living room with a cup of tea and a book.

Now, years later, I'm a self proclaimed tea expert. I start each day with a wonderful English Breakfast tea to get me going. As the day progresses, who knows what wonderful tea I will crown queen. But for sure, I have at least three cups of tea a day. And yes, when I can, I have tea everyday at about 3:00 P. M. I love to invite my friends over for tea and cupcakes and so far everyone thinks it’s a delightful experience. I am always in search of the best blend of tea. Yes, I’m a tea snob, I prefer loose tea but I do like some bags also. I have learned not to judge a book by it’s cover. Some bags can be quite nice. And yes again, any Diva knows, what you drink your tea out of is very important.

Tea for me is a way of life. It's wellness for the mind body and spirit. Here, I will explore every expect of tea possible, with a high concentration on wellness. I will review the best teas, the best places to have tea, the best ways to brew tea, the best tea accessories, what tea goes best with what foods, and the list goes on and on. I plan to share my passion for tea with you. And I've been told, nothing I do is ever boring so be prepared to go on this tea journey with me.

RLT Collection Tea Ball Frosted Clear Beads!

Mint Medley by The Persimmon Tree Tea Company

About This Tea:

Until recently I had never drank Peppermint Tea made with loose leaves. And Honestly, I will probably never go back. The freshness of loose Peppermint Tea cannot be denied. When I open the can of Mint Medley, From The Persimmon Tree Tea Company, I feel as if I stepped into a garden of peppermint leaves. It is a perfect blend of organic peppermint and spearmint leaves grown in the US.

Mint Medley has become a favorite and I find myself reaching for this tea tin almost everyday. It is great for on-going nausea. The health benefits and endless. It relieves muscle aches, headaches, migraines, stress. And now that it feels like someone is sitting on my chest and I have a mean cough, I'm sure it will help to relieve some of this congestion in my chest. Mint Medley has been in my tea cup more than any tea as of late. It has really helped with my winter cough, congestion related to this bout of pneumonia. You can read my full review on The Persimmon Tree Tea Company Mint Teas.

RLT Collection AIDS Awareness Tea Ball!

Welcome to my world of books! As an pre-teen books changed my world. I fell in love with the writers of the Harlem Renaissance period and the more I read the more I wanted to read. The fiction of this period was powerful and empowering all at the same time. It spoke to my own degradation and gave me hope for a better tomorrow. It gave me purpose for my own life and the courage to fight the good fight and never surrender.

I love to read! Inside a book I escape into someone else's life. There is something wonderful about turning to the next page of a wonderful story. Something intoxicating about the smell of the book and the story it brings to life. Reading brings me joy, and these days with my health in the balance, I find solace in my books.

I spent hours in my bedroom sequestered with the door closed reading the classics from the Harlem Renaissance, Hughes, Larsen, Hurston, Wright and Baldwin. Books became my escape and my salvation. The fiction of this period was powerful and empowering all at the same time. It gave me purpose for my own life and the courage to fight the good fight and never surrender.

Reading is the one thing that the pain of my life could never take away from me. It was the thing that helped to make it better. And even today, living with AIDS, books continue to be the safest place for me. It’s the one thing that belongs to me that AIDS cannot take away from me.The RLTReads book club will be books that I choose. It’s me sharing a part of me with you that has nothing to do with AIDS. It’s actually in spite of AIDS.

The RLTReads book club will be books that I choose. It’s me sharing a part of me with you that has nothing to do with AIDS. It’s actually in spite of AIDS. I have read hundreds of books from many different genres and I will pick the best of my reads over the years. I warn you, it will not be exclusively white or black, male or female, fiction or non fiction, it will be all of them.

I’m so excited and I’m grateful to everyone who wants to be a part of this venture. We already have 110 Book Club Members. You can email me @ RLTReads@raelewisthornton.com. The Twitter hashtag is #RLTReads. We can make this book club as wonderful as we want to make it. Who says that Oprah has to have the only ownership to a wonderful book club?

This Month We are Reading In My Fathers House by E Lynn Harris

Read along and join our discussion July 19th at 7 pm CST

For more Tea with Rae "Vlogs" Click here to visit her youtube channel

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Tea With Rae: Green Ginger Tea With Power!

I've been drinking a lot of ginger tea these days because of my ongoing stomach issues. Nausea, diarrhea, bloating, loss of appetite, it's just been a big fat mess that seems to have no ending. And as I've indicated, ginger tea clearly has health benefits when it comes to the digestive track.

When I received my first group of tea to review from The Republic of Tea, I was happy that they had included a ginger tea. But honestly, my face fell straight to the floor when I saw that it was a green tea blend; green tea being my least favorite of all teas. But I know that many of my tea readers LOVE green tea and since we are on this tea journey together, I bit the bullet and eventually sat down with Organic Turmeric Ginger in my tea cup.
I've said before that ginger is too strong for my taste buds. I need a ginger tea that is blended in some way. This particular tea fits the category. It is a perfect mix of turmeric, cinnamon, and honey flavoring, blended with green tea, lending it a spicy Chai-like flavor. The strong spices work perfectly with the earthy taste of green tea, while at the same time, the natural sweetness that comes from ginger makes it a perfect blend of sweet and spicy.

The combination of green tea, turmeric, and ginger in this particular tea has some of the most amazing health benefits in just one tea cup. First, the power of green tea has had more visibility than any other tea. Specifically, green tea contains EECG a powerful anti-oxidant that slows down growth of cancer cells. It also lowers bad cholesterol (LDL) and prevents blood clots, which is important in preventing strokes and heart attacks. EECG is twice as strong as resveratrol, a substance found in red wine that also helps to prevent heart disease. So have a cup of green tea with your dinner instead of red wine.

Additionally, the turmeric plant adds to the power of green. This plant, with a host of health benefits from lowing cholesterol to fighting cancer, is grown in South Asia and is typically used in Indian, Persian and Southeast Asian meals. The power of ginger as an anti-nausea remedy has helped to reduce the sick feeling in my stomach. When you drink ginger tea the digestive juices are secreted which relax the muscles of the intestines and also reduces the acid in the stomach. It is often used as a natural remedy to reduce nausea for pregnant woman. There are also claims that ginger is an anti-inflammatory, and ladies it can help reduce menstrual cramps. The combined health benefits render this tea with a whole lot of power. And when you pair that power with it's sweet and spicy taste, you have one outstanding tea.
The benefits of this tea are just as wonderful as the packaging. It is no secret that loose tea hands down is better than bag tea. Loose teas tend to be fresher, but they also retain their natural oil and flavors. While The Republic of Tea does have loose teas, they have created a convenient package that maintains the quality of loose tea as much as possible.
Their round tea bags are made with unbleached paper. It is free of chemicals and no chlorine-containing compounds are used in the paper. They are also free of glue, gluten-free and kosher certified. But the most important thing is that The Tea of Republic actually cuts their whole leaf teas to fit into the tea bags retaining the flavor of a loose tea. They also package their teas in an airtight tin as are most loose teas to also help retain it's freshness.
I love The Republic of Tea. On those days when I have no energy to go through the process of preparing loose teas, I can just throw a bag of their tea in a cup of hot water and enjoy the same quality of tea as if it were loose tea. I also travel with their tea. Often hotels in smaller towns and rural areas have plenty of hot water, but are short on tea choices. The tea snob that I am, I always come prepared! 
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