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

About Rae

Educated, attractive, assertive and ambitious are just a few of the words used to describe Rae Lewis-Thornton. In 1986, during a routine blood drive visit at a Washington D.C. Red Cross, Rae received news of another word that would soon be used to describe her health and future. At the tender age of 23, Rae Lewis-Thornton was diagnosed HIV Positive.

Despite her present day status of having full-blown AIDS (ACQUIRED Immune-deficiency Syndrome), Rae Lewis-Thornton leads her own unending crusade to educate and challenge young and old audiences to take control of their own bodies, futures and health. Rae uses her life as an example that AIDS is a non-discriminatory disease. She challenges the most common myths and stereotypes surrounding who and how one can become infected with the HIV virus that most often results in AIDS and death. In doing this, she incorporates her own oratory skills, personal experiences and unyielding honesty to create and disseminate her critical and deadly message of her own day by day, personal destruction by AIDS.


Featured on the cover of the December 1994 Essence magazine, as well as numerous feature stories in Ebony, Jet, Emerge, O- The Oprah Magazine, Woman's Day Magazine, Glamour, WOW, Poz, Lifelines and HIV Plus magazines, Chicago Tribune newspaper, Chicago Sun-Times newspaper, Washington Post, Dayton Daily News, to name a few. Rae has been featured on several national television documentaries, news shows, and television specials, such as Dateline, CNN, Black Entertainment Television, (BET) and the Montel Williams Show. Rae was featured on NIGHTLINE with Ted Koppel in news articles entitled, “Rae’s Story,” AIDS: The Next Wave and AIDS At Twenty Years. The Oprah Winfrey Show had her on to share her story. Rae served as a contributing editor for WBBM-TV, a CBS-owned and operated television station for an ongoing series of first person stories on living with AIDS. She received an Emmy Award for her series. 
Rae uses all forms of media to convey her message. In less than a year Rae Lewis-Thornton has made her mark in Social Media. She is the recipient of the British Academy Golden Tweet Award in Public Service for 2010 and The 2011 CBS Chicago Most Valuable Blogger in Medical, Health and Fitness. She uses Twitter effectively to continue her crusade to educate, reduce the spread of HIV, as well as to challenge stigma and shame around HIV/AIDS. She held the first HIV/AIDS Tweet-up in the US in July 2010 and is now taking her Tweet-up’s nationwide. In December 2010 Rae organized a Twitter Book Club, RLT Reads. Along with Twitter, she uses both of her Facebook pages as a daily platform to educate both on HIV/AIDS generally and her personal struggle of living and managing HIV/AIDS. 


Prior to Rae’s motivational speaking career, she was on her way to a promising political organizing career. Having served as Senator Carol Mosley Braun’s 1992 Senatorial Campaign Advance Coordinator, Illinois State Youth Coordinator for the 1988 Dukakis Presidential Campaign and National Youth Director for Jesse Jackson’s 1984 and 1988 Presidential Campaigns, Rae was forced to retire in 1993 as a result of her health. 

In 2009 Rae launched a line of bracelets, RLT Collection that she designs and make herself. Celebrities such as actress Sheryl Lee Ralph and Kim Coles, as well as, Judge Glenda Hatchett and Dionne Warwick wear RLT  Collection. 


Rae Lewis Thornton's gift is to help people get passed their pain and live a healthy balanced life. For the past 19 years she's done that through speaking, press interviews, tv, radio, print and most recently in her blog. In January 2012 she is expanding her work by giving people the opportunity to have her expertise one on one through life coaching RLT Inspiration. The areas of life coaching are confidence, balance and relationships. RLT Inspiration will utilize her life experience and her seminary training. She received a Master of Divinity degree from McCormick Theological Seminary in 2003. She was licensed as minister over 12 years ago. Rae has done her PhD studies at the Lutheran School of Theology at Chicago. Rae graduated Manga Cum Laude graduate from Northeastern Illinois University. Rae is very proud to have received the 2011 Distinguished Alumnae Award from  her alma-mater Northeastern as well as, deliver the 2011 Commencement Address. Rae  has received  literally hundreds of awards  for her work in HIV/AIDS in the last eighteen years.
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