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

Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Christmas Guide 2012! Dessert Teas to Compliment Your Holiday Dinner!

I know that cake looks good don't it? But you're thinking right about now, that you have eaten a ton and you don't really want to put on the extra pounds. Don't fret, have your desert in a Tea Cup!

Yep! There are some wonderful teas out there that will give you the same comfort as a piece of cake after you are done stuffing yourself with the meal course. Or you can forgo a large portion of desert and pair it with a delightful tea.

Here's my recommendations for desert teas to serve at your holiday dinner. At the top of my list is, Earl Grey! This is my favorite black tea hands down. Earl Grey is a British concept. They took a high quality black tea and added the flavor of bergamot oil. Now the French took it a step further and added lavender, which actually boost the bergamot flavor. Read my archive on Earl Grey Here! The Lavender Earl Grey I LOVE is from The London Tea Room. Try booth of these teas with a splash of cream or milk and it will boost the flavor even more. Black tea has caffeine so it will give you a boost.

Now if you want something that taste just like a dessert, at the top of my list is Teavana CoCoCarameal Sea Salt! I swear you will think this is cake or some decadent dessert. It's an herbal tea so there is no caffeine. It's made with sweet caramel, decadent chocolate, a hint of cream and a light sprinkling of sea salt. When I tell you this is delicious, I mean it. I checked today and they are having a sale on this particular tea.  Click Teavana

Next up, is also from Teavana and one of my favorite Oolong teas, Toasted Nut Brûlée.  This tea has less caffeine than a black tea because it has a different fermenting process. Click Here to watch my video about Tea groups from my archives.

Now I know you hear a lot about green tea and weight lost. But actually Oolong does a better job at boasting the Metabolism. This tea is made with roasted almonds, hazelnut, warm coconut, cinnamon and caramel. LOVE IT! Click Teavana

I would not dare forget chocolate! I tried this particular Talbott Tea for the first time a month ago at the World of Chocolate. I also met the owner Shane and he was a hoot. Chocolate Almond Allure is the perfect blend of black tea with chocolate (cacao nibs) and almonds to enhance the flavor, cause what chocolate without nuts. Click Here For Talbott Teas

So you don't want to drink your cake. You want a tea with the right amount of sweetness but with a edgy spice. I recommend Rooibos Vanilla Chai by the Premission Tree Company. This tea is the perfect blend of Masala Chai Spices, Red Rooibos and a hint of Vanilla. You don't like the the flavor of vanilla, no worries they have a regular Chai Rooibos. 

You should also follow them on Twitter because they are always tweeting special deals. Right now they have a 15% off coupon when you sign up for their emails. They also have great gift sets and oh yeah, their Mint Medley is my FAV peppermint tea.  Click Here for Persimmon Tree Tea

Now Sweet Simpllici Teas have a Chocolate Chip Chai!  Yes, Chi and Chocolate! But my favorite from Sweet Simpllici is their Berry Sleepy Herbal Tea. No it won't put you to sleep, but it sure will relax you from the madness that began early on Christmas morning. It's the perfect blend of hibiscus, roasted chicory root, boysenberries, lemon verbena leaf, cranberries, blackberry leaf and chamomile. Click Here For Sweet Simpllici 

Shut Up! See you can have dessert in a tea cup.
You just have to be willing to venture out. Now trying teas is trail and error. But you will never know, if you don't try. Do something different this year, introduce your guest to the wonder of tea. Yes!!! Tea With Rae is Back!! Weekly Reviews!!

You don't know how to brew loose tea, don't worry I've thought of everything. Watch my Video on how to brew Tea HERE!

Post Script: All of these are loose teas so you will need something to brew them with. First up for a simple cup of tea are tea balls. Now don't be confused, I'm recommending my hand made tea ball infuser Click Here

Buttttt okkkk... You can also use tea bags... They are great for the disposal of loose tea after infused. Yes I'm fancy, but honestly I use them too. Click Here. These are from Teavana, but any will do.

Also for the tea lover in your life this Teavana 12 Holiday Gift Set is perfect and it's on SALE! Click Here!

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