Tropical Tuesday


The weather has been breaking and the teas that are coming into my life could not be more appropriate.

For this one we go back to a company that has provided some creative and inspiring flavors, The Spice & Tea Exchange.   And it’s going to be a good one.

I’m grateful that this blog has reached my friends, including ones who don’t find tea to be the most fascinating of subjects.   I had some pals recently travel to the Dallas/Ft. Worth area and they thought to get me a specialty tea.  And how about it, they found themselves at their Forth Worth location.   It’s funny how life works out.

To my pleasant surprise, I was presented with their White Tropical Tea.  This is something to behold.  A lot of pictures are in this post and it may not be enough to capture this brilliance of this flavor.  Oh my goodness I’m in love.

TropicalTeaOpenPineapples, peaches, and passion fruit.  Ah you can’t make that alliteration up ladies and gentlemen.  I’m in heaven.  As soon as I saw the packet I knew I was in for something special.  Upon opening I was spot on.  


The aromas of the aforementioned fruits blindsided me, and in the best way possible.   I hope you can see the pineapple and peach pieces within the white tea. This is the equivalent of art.    I would love to see the process of how this comes together.  I’m getting goose bumps thinking about it as I write this.


You know when it looks this good, and smells this good, it’s almost a recipe for disappointment.  Thankfully, the tea tasted and moved me in all areas.


As customary with all brewing parties from the Spice & Tea Exchange, the Tovolo Tea Infuser is the backbone.

Never was there any doubt I was going to love this.  The brewing and steeping process always builds anticipation and excitement, maybe even for teas I’ve had on a regular basis. There’s just something about the journey.

Four minutes was the suggested steeping time and it’s as if the infuser knew that, because it plopped down in my cup as soon as the timer stopped.  Yes I have a countdown clock. It’s just as exciting as it sounds.


In all seriousness, the color and the flavor matched if not exceeded what I hope to get and what I saw pre-brew. This was perfection. I can’t find any flaws and why should I?  This is a tea that has so many strengths.  I think it would be perfect heated or chilled, especially as we approach the warmer months.

Speaking of which, I had a little fun and paired my cup with some coconut chips and strips. I did no research to find a potential marriage of the food and beverage, but figure and island and summer theme would suffice.

I received a card with my sample pack.  The owners wanted a mention and they’re going to get one.  Thanks so much Mr. Jerry McBrayer and Mrs. Nancy McBrayer for being the long distance new friend to this blog.  If i ever get the opportunity to visit, I’ll come by and say hello.

I find the location above these sample packs so charming.  I’ve been to a few myself but mainly locally.  And adding on to that, I see this chain is expanding rapidly.  I don’t remember this many locations even a year ago.  It’s good to see. This store is going to grow at an unstoppable and exponential rate. There is no ceiling.

For more on The Spice & Tea Exchange, to contact them, or to purchase their products, you can click here.

Here is a link to find my previous reviews of their teas.

I can’t wait to try another from this wonderful company.  As the weather gets exciting and the skies are beauteous, I believe that will be happening.

Stay awesome,


Sweet Lemon


Bigelow Tea really came through in a big way when they didn’t have to.

Two weeks ago I gave a negative review of their Lemon Lift Black Tea and they responded immediately to my post.

A fruitful and spirited discussion with Kathy, the Consumer Service Supervisor, ensued.   I was grateful that my post was read and responded to in kind.   The conversation was fantastic.  And they promised to send me a couple of teas and I just knew I had to review one of them.

Lemon Lift was sent to me, maybe for another review.  I will get to that again. But they went above and beyond to send me the I Love Lemon.  This is going to be the dichotomy of two weeks ago.  It’s a complete reversal of fortunes if you will.

The benefits of lemon are unlimited.  And this tea is an all encompassing melange of all that and then some.  I’ve had some minor health issues recently and tea has always been my vice, in this situation, or previously.  It could be the change in season, my sometimes questionable eating habits, or a lack of rest.  But a comforting tea, herbal or caffeinated, at least has been a temporary relief.

How about the clearness in my cup.  No residue or foam to be found.  This is intriguing per my previous post.

I Love Lemon is more than just a temporary relief.  It won me over instantly.   I’ll be honest here.  I’ve had this tea on more than one occasion.  Sadly I think it’s just been a cup in my repertoire like any other.  The more tea you have.  The more you might forget about some of the brands that hit a nerve.  Maybe I’ve just taken some of these for granted.


Lemongrass and other lemon-like flavors merge together harmoniously.  And that lingering finish is permeating.  It’s on my tongue now and doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon.   I don’t want it to.

The tannin level for me is high.  Just as the feeling may persist after a glass of wine, it resonates here.  This is fantastic.

Is it because Bigelow sent me a package that I’m fawning over this?  That’s a possibility. But good tea is good tea.  It’s one of the better ones I’ve had and reminds me why they’re such a great company.    My respect for them has grown exponentially.

Since their is a bitter taste to the tea, a more fruity and sweet treat is meant to join my cup.  So how about a raspberry danish?   This was the polarity and contrast I was looking for.  Maybe I wasn’t looking for it.  But it’s a winner.


The positive energy that exuded from the letter and complimentary teas speaks volumes. I’m grateful for the opportunity.  I’m also grateful that they thought this much of me to send me a care package.    The letter I received is too good to share.  It’s one of those things I rather keep to myself and within the universe.

Bigelow Tea, until we chat again, thank you.



The Perfect Pairing


Just in time for Spring, I really needed this one.  This most incredible pairing of tea and sweet treats was a gift from somewhere beyond.

I found myself strolling in the beautiful and enchanting town of Havre de Grace, with some intent of a tea sipping and corresponding review.  Those reviews will I had come eventually and will be posted in time.  What I’m about to talk about is a cosmic and genuine experience that I will attempt to put into words.


A chance visit to Les Petits Bisous not only re-introduced me to delicious macarons but also the most amazing tea from Simpson & Vail.

I had a few moments of hesitation.  I wasn’t sure I even wanted to talk into the shoppe. Have you ever had that battle with yourself?  It’s like a tennis match with the universe. There’s nothing to be afraid of.  The unknown is a good thing.  I think a lot of this has to do with getting out of my comfort zone.   Alright, enough of the dramatics.


Wanda could not have been nicer.  Before I could even ask what the store had available, I saw this iconic display of tea and other wonders.  I mentioned I had a blog and she allowed me to take pictures.  I’m grateful for that.

So to return the favor, I was all aboard getting some macarons and a tea to pair it with. Her suggestions were an organic lemon & white chocolate, Belgian chocolate with peppermint, among others.  Beautiful right?


For the tea, Lavender Lace was recommended without a second thought.  I took a sniff of the samples on display and I was floored.  The lavender and spearmint hit the nose like a ton of bricks. I was floored. I was blown away.  I was sold.

Wanda recommended I freeze the macarons if I wasn’t going to have them that day.  But 3-4 days is when they should be eaten.  Sage advice.

The experience brewing this was a joy.  After the charming visit to the shoppe, the energy is going to resonate.  I wanted this to be great.  I know it would be.  And thankfully it exceeded all my expectations. Wanda will never steer you wrong.

Upon opening the canister, I was reminded how beautiful this loose tea was. This is fine craftsmanship.    The ingredients are shown below but the pictures should tell the story.


The cup itself was a gem.  It rejuvenated me.  And this is a tea that contains no caffeine. I’ve been feeling blah all week and this was what I needed.  It’s an upper when necessary and at the same time, a cup to end the evening with. The lavender, cinnamon, and spearmint notes shined through during steeping as well as sipping.  The consistency throughout was remarkable.

This was life transforming.  This was a multiple step operation.  If I never set foot into Les Petits Bisous; this post may never happen, these macarons may never be nibbled on, and it may take another not-so-probable sequence of events for this to transpire.

Life is so fascinating like that.

For more on Simpson & Vail and to purchase their teas, click here.

And for more on Les Petits Bisous, go all the way over here!

This will be revisited again.  I  feel enlightened and a better person after this one.

Stay healthy,


Life Gave Me Lemon


I was hoping to piggyback off of my inspiring experience with a previous cup from Bigelow tea.  That post can be found here.  Unfortunately, I will not be using dramatic terms or be able to expound on how awesome this tea was.


Instead I will explain to you how mediocre the Lemon Lift truly was.  I was flabbergasted.   There’s a big word.


You would think that tea and lemon are the one of those quintessential combinations. Lemon is on my short list of things I will add to a black tea just to add a little pizzazz or to enhance an otherwise unimaginative black tea.   No lemon or any other addition was going to save this cup, sour or sweet.


Before I was trying all these fancy brands and loose-leaf teas, there was always Bigelow. I’ve been a stalwart for as long as I’ve been enjoying a brewed cup or kettle with family and friends.   But this is a major disappointment.


If you look closely, you see a residue or foam at the top of the cup while brewing. I can attribute this to one of many things.  It could be the temperature, the kettle that contained the water, the way it was heated, or the water itself.    I’ve seen it happen before with stronger and higher quality teas.


I think the issue is the tea itself.   This is not a revelation even though I’m writing it as such.  I think this is either a bad package or maybe the shelf-life isn’t as long.  Teas, like anything else, do have an expiration date.   I believe this was way past its sell-by date.  It’s more of an indictment of the tea than anything else I mentioned in the previous paragraph.

Now I’ve had this tea before and it tasted just fine. I know my palate has changed but have my expectations of what a tea should taste like gone up?  Maybe, but I really just want a tea to taste good and sooth the soul. This was pedestrian effort that was good enough to drink but I didn’t want a second helping.   The foam at the top was the most I’ve seen in any of my cups in a while.


I was hoping the lemon would even at the very least, complement my sushi.  That didn’t happen. It was an ambitious undertaking on my part. This tea had no hope whatsoever. But I’m always in search of a silver lining.

This in no way will to discourage me from having a tea of theirs again.  I will give the Lemon Lift another chance.  It easily could have been a bad bag or box.

However, speaking of revelations, I read the comments below and this might be a harder package to find in stores versus others.  And you know their teas are everywhere from convenience stores, to grocery stores, to gas stations, and everything in between.   This may need to be investigated.

But as you can see, a plethora of their selections are available online for purchase.  And they got a ton of new things I would love to try.  Hopefully I’ll get to some in the near future.

Stay healthy,