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

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

TeaWithRae: Chai Anyone?

When chai tea became the trend I made my way to Starbucks to check it out. Yep! The tea lover that I am didn't want to be out of the loop. But honestly, it was an epic fail.

Over and over again I kept trying different brands of chai tea and finally, I just gave up. To me, chai tasted like someone simply mixed cloves, cinnamon and vanilla extract together and called it tea. It was way too spicy for me. So I decided that I was done with chai. But then many of my Twitter followers kept telling me how much they love chai tea. So for them and in the spirit of being fair in my Tea With Rae project, I decided to keep trying. I started to think that maybe I hadn't had the right blend of chai and that I needed to give it a try for the sake of the project.

You can count this blog as the first in my series on my chai tea adventure. The Persimmon Tea Tree Company sent me two of their chai teas when I told them that I didn't like chai. And honestly, it took me forever to taste them, but boy, wasn't I pleasantly surprised. Rooibos Chai and Rooibos Vanilla Chai were both winners!

Before I dive into these teas, let me tell you a little about chai. Chai tea has been a favorite beverage for centuries in the East, especially India, but recently has become a popular beverage in the West. The most trendy way to drink chai tea is "latte," half milk and half tea blended together. I haven't acquired the taste of milk in my tea just yet. But I'm working on it.

Chai typically begins with a black tea and then it's blended with a rich and complex mixture of spices. While there are different recipes for chai, the most common mixture is cinnamon, cardamon, cloves, pepper and ginger. It is typically served sweet (add sugar) to bring out the flavor of the spices.

But for me, there wasn't enough sugar in the world to make me like chai tea. Then along came two teas blended not with black tea but with rooibos tea which comes from the red bush in South Africa.

The Persimmon Tea Tree Company hit it out of the ball park with these rooibos/chai blends. I think they are perfect! The red tea adds balance to the mixture of spices. While I like both blends, I prefer the Vanilla Chai because it has an extra punch making the mixture of spice and sweet perfect. The Vanilla Chai is blended with cinnamon, ginger, cardamom, vanilla, cloves and orange pieces. I'm sure the orange pieces add extra sweetness to this chai blend. I have had this tea every week since I tried it a few weeks ago. And when I drink a tea more then once a week, it is definitely a winner!

Over all, I have a newfound respect for chai. It's a perfect tea for that pick me up in the middle of the day. And just like with most teas, there are a wealth of health benefits that come from both the combination of rooibos and the chai spices. Together they are loaded with antioxidants. Check out here what Persimmon Tea Tree Company has to say about the health benefits. I love that they highlight the health benefits on every page.

Now that I have conquered my fear of chai, I must explore other blends. I will keep you posted. Happy Cuppa!!

blog comments powered by Disqus
Clicky Web Analytics