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, January 15, 2013

Tea With Rae! Passion In a Cup

I have reviewed mostly loose leaf tea. Not because tea already in a bag is not equally good as loose tea. Quite frankly, there are some not so great loose teas in the world of teas. So my bias has been without any particular reason, other than the tea brands and flavors that I drink the most of, tend to be loose.

Now for sure, there are some great teas in a bag and I thought that I would share one with you today. I love Tazo Tea! It's the tea that is served exclusively at Starbucks and I've sent many of my Twitter followers there to pick up a cup of tea based on their need for that day.

 For colds, I suggest, Tazo Refresh; a hardy mint tea. For that midday pick me up, I often suggest Earl Grey! it's a black tea infused with the aroma of bergamot and my favorite black tea.

With Earl Grey, you get a black tea high in caffeine for that mid day boost, without the strong malty flavor of a breakfast tea. The bergamot oil infused in Earl Grey is simply divine. You can read my review on Earl Grey Tea Here.

My recommendation for  the morning is Awake Tea. It's a wonderful blend of black tea that gives you that hardy jump start in the morning. It's similar to English Breakfast type teas that I drink every morning.

All of these teas mentioned above I drink and highly recommend. Let be not forget, Joy Tea! This holiday blend of black and green tea is only available doing the Holiday Season so I make sure that I stock up! Just so you know, this is not a sponsored review. I just thought that I would share one of my favorite bag teas with you this month. For the most part, these are the only Tazo teas I have tried and maybe I'll reach out to Starbucks and see if they will join my Tea With Rae Team.

While I drink mostly loose teas while at home sometimes because of my health, I don't have the energy for the formality involved in making loose tea and for sure Starbucks is my spot when I'm on the go. The bottom line Tazo has been my go to tea in a bag.

A while back one of my Twitter followers sent me 4 tins of Tazo Tea and sadly they have been sitting. I began to feel guilty. I've been trying to mix it up lately and step outside of my regular tea list, so I tried for the first time  one of the teas, Tazo Passion!

Boy was it a tropical fruit blast in a cup! This herbal infused tea of hibiscus, papaya, mango, sweet cinnamon and passion fruit essence remained me of my trips to Jamaica and made me feel like I was on a warm tropical Island and not Chicago in December.

The truth of the matter, drinking a cup of warm tea is an experience. If you just sit back and enjoy the moment, the flavor will take you to another place.

I enjoyed this tea because the blend is rich. The tart hibiscus flower makes the taste sophisticated and not fruity tutty. Hibiscus is a favorite drink, both warm and cold on many Islands. The hibiscus flower is rich in vitamin C and minerals, which is always a plus. Tazo has taken this tart flower and made a perfect blend.

For sure I recommend Tazo Passion Tea.  I didn't know what I was missing out on, stuck drinking only my favorite Tazo Teas. Now I have to try the others sitting in my Tea Cabinet.

I like Tazo because you can buy it in most grocery stores. In the bag, Tazo has filter bags, which is how we traditionally know bag teas. They also have the silken bag of full leaf tea, which is just like drinking loose left tea. The whole leaf tea is also sold in Starbucks in tins. I discovered something while working on this blog. Tazo also has loose tea! SHUT UP! For Real!!! Click Here to see all that Tazo has to offer!

It's National Hot Tea Mouth, so have a cup of hot tea. On your lunch break pick up Passion in a cup... Sit back and image that you are on a tropical Island and not at your hectic work desk. Happy Cuppa! #TeaWithRae

Post Script: Don't forget to enter the weekly raffle! I'm giving away a loose leaf tea ball from RLT Collection in honor of National Hot Tea Month. All you have to do is make a comment on one of my tea blogs about your favorite tea or why you like hot tea.

 Last weeks winner is Yansa Toussaint. Remember Lovely's, you have to let me know how to find you. So either give me your facebook or Twitter name in your comment...

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