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, August 25, 2011

Ice Tea Sleep The Summer Away? For Real!

It's been hotter than a cat on a hot tin roof this summer and most people have been sipping on ice tea and lemonade to quench their thirst.

 I on the other hand have been sick and spent a good deal of my summer recovering in my air conditioned apartment sipping on hot tea. I'm sad to say there has been no ice tea in my tea cup this summer. I was even asked by one of my tea partners Boston Tea Company, do I even drink ice tea? I do but I can never seem to get it right when I make it at home. 

My intent this summer was to play Einstein and experiment with different recipes using loose teas and blog about my discoveries; But that never happened. My health took center stage and some days my hand hurt to bad from the periphery neuropathy to even pour water from my tea kettle; Sadly my tea ideas slept the summer away.

So now Labor Day is approaching, Indian Summer is around the corner, leaves will turn beautiful shades and most of us we will savor the last of warmth that Mother nature has to give.  But soon enough, we will be turning to hot beverages to keep us warm, soothe our itching throats and relax us for the chilly evening, curled in a book or watching our favorite tv shows. Ice tea will be traded in for warmth and I will be right there with lots of wonderful tea selections.

 Starting in September I will be back with regular Tea With Rae Blogs; And I have lots of new suggestions for you. But just to refresh your memory in the past 8 months since I launched the Tea With Rae Project and we began this journey together we have 13 partners and more on the horizon.

 And what's so cool, every single one of them have teas that I love. The thing is, the tea world is huge and I want you to have as much exposure as possible to the best teas the world has to offer.

 See ya in September with my first tea review!

CONTEST:  If you can guess the two teas I drink most mornings you will win a Beautiful Tea Bracelet from me... You can check out my Tea Bracelets Here... They are also 30% off with my bracelets. The coupon code at check out is Celebrate

The FIRST person to name the two teas that I drink in the morning in the comment section wins...  You have to name both of them... Don't have to name the tea company, but you have to name the type of tea I drink most morning.. I typically alternate. Only one try per person!

 Here is a list of Tea With Rae Partners that you can follow on Twitter and Facebook.. Im following them all!

 Boston Tea Company; Teavana; The Republic of Tea; ESP Emporium; California Tea House; The Persimmon Tea Tree  Company; Sweet Simplicitea; London Tea Room; The Necessi Teas; Naive Tea; Tea Gschwender; Libre Tea; Two Leaves and a Bud; Yeh Collection; The Peninsula Hotel-Chicago
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