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, July 14, 2011

Tea With Rae: Guest Blogger-I'm A Tea Snob!

Before Rae I just thought of tea as something you drink in the winter or when you’re sick. It wasn’t really a big part of my life. Well, now I have a confession; My name is Kindra and thanks to Rae Lewis-Thornton, I’M A TEA SNOB!!

I’ve been known to turn my nose up at a tea bag and give it a serious side eye. Before Rae I didn’t even know what loose tea was, never mind knowing how you prepared it. Didn’t even know what it meant to steep tea. Huh? You mean I don’t just put a tea bag in my mug and leave it until I finish drinking it? The water shouldn’t be boiling hot for every kind of tea I drink? I was doing tea a serious injustice.

 Rae has introduced me to tea and it has changed me. I now drink tea as a moment for myself and relax and enjoy time with myself.  I have developed a new interest in tea. I’ve learned about the different types of tea green, white, red, and black, I never paid attention to different teas before.

Loose tea is so beautiful, and the smell of good quality tea is a treat in itself. When you’re drinking good tea, there are so many different layers of flavor. I used to drown my tea with sugar, but I’ve learned that less is definitely more when it comes to tea and sugar. Sometimes when I’m at work I yearn for the moment when I can get home and try a different tea. Sometimes I catch myself saying things like “This tea is giving me life”, hold up haven’t I heard Rae say that?

 When I go into stores now, I look for new mugs and tea cups that I can purchase, something that is beautiful and represents me. I have the heart shape teacups that Rae featured in her Tea With Rae: Valentine Shop Guide blog, definitely Diva Approved, hold up doesn’t Rae say that?

I’ve begun sharing my new found love of tea with others, inviting my mom and sister over for loose tea and to show off my cute heart shaped tea cups. As much as Rae talks about her tea and cupcakes I had to try these two together…she didn’t steer me wrong, I give this combination a definite “POW!”, wait doesn’t Rae say that?

My interest in tea is completely due to Rae, but she has influenced my life so much more than just through tea. When I have my cup of tea I think about her and how she doesn’t let AIDS take the small pleasures away from her. I am so thankful for her.

She gives so much of herself to everyone. She has helped to make me a stronger and wiser woman. Black tea is her favorite, I’m not surprised because it’s the strongest of the teas and she is the STRONGEST woman I know.

Post Script: Kindra can be found on Twitter @Kindada81

Rae is hopeful that she will be back blogging regularly on Monday, July 18th...  While their has been some progress in her health, full recovery may take a while. Please keep her in your prayers.  Tea With Rae And Tea Snob T-Shirts are Coming Soon..
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