Thank You For The Sun, The One That Shines On Everyone…

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This is a continuation of what I wrote about last week, and the story gets that much brighter.  And the sun surely had a hand in that…

Maybe it took some life changes, and a late May day for one of the most beautiful displays of sun and serenity that I can recall.   Until recently, we’ve been lacking in days like this.  Lack is never good.  It implies, well lack and missing something.   The sun is vital to our lives, for many reasons.

Happiness seems to be number one.

The sun makes people more motivated to do things, whether it’s doing nothing or something life changing.  Sometimes those two things aren’t mutually exclusive.

A good night’s rest after anything is welcome, and I don’t do it enough.  I imagine the same goes for many of you.  When it becomes 6-7 hours, it just only feels like ‘enough’, but barely.

Maybe it was the anticipation of trying a new tea, taking some new pictures in a different setting than I’m accustomed to, and giving the gift that keeps on giving.

This gift was a souvenir from my dear friends who visited Sunny California months back, and I held on to this tea, because I was waiting for the right moment.

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And what better way to share the Angels in the Mist from Point Loma Tea, then with my friends who brought it to me…

Here’s their catalog (which is available for purchase online), more about them, and their contact information.

You know packaging and presentation goes a long way.  First impressions can be misleading and deceiving, but they’re still first impressions.   And I was impressed.

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We didn’t realize that the packing carried more than one tea.  Which makes this all the more exciting. More for later!   This blend of oranges, apples, hibiscus, and rose just projects all the good things about Spring and Summer.  It’s a simple, yet powerful blend of all the good in the world.

And it tastes good too!

The brewing process was seamless, and since I had some of my favorite animal friends with me, this was the perfect cup for it.

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The vanilla tea cookies were also a gift, and paired just right with our tea.  The dichotomy of the flavors of my sweets versus the other sweets in the tea may throw some off a bit, but I love it.  It’s sunny out, the days are getting longer, and you only live, well you know.  All those sayings…

Just as I take my time writing this, I took my time appreciating, savoring, and photographing this tea.  You can see the photogenic colors from onset of steeping.  I love this tea so much.

And I love when I’m introduced to a new tea company, that I had never known existed.  If it wasn’t for my friends, who knows if I would ever found out about, and be introduced to something so exquisite.  It makes me think how many teas are out there that I have yet to discover, and may never discover.

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That’s what makes this journey so wonderful.  While we have all these major brands, who have earned their reputation and earned their place in grocery and retail aisles, positions of prominence, and on the minds of many; I’m always about something new, something local, and something inspiring.

I’m feeling inspired, and I can’t wait to see what’s next.

Happy Spring into Summer!

Peace Be With You,

Ideen

 

Add To Wishlist

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With all the writing that I do, it’s hard to not sound repetitive.  I’ve only recently started looking back at stories from the last year, and I’m proud that many of them have a different slant on teas, similar teas, and just life in general.  While I do see similarities, every story is different, and every story feels significant and feels real.

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Harney & Sons continues to be one of the standard bearers for tea, and it’s highly sought after by many of my friends and peers, that it’s the one tea they prefer, and some they only sip exclusively.

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They’re doing something right.  That’s an understatement by the way.  All their teas are available for purchase here, and here is my Harney history lesson.

Speaking of exclusive, I first had the sense that Harney & Sons teas had this stigma of being unapproachable and only available to the elite and high society types.   My presumptions were false.  However, over 10 years ago I worked in a typical corporate environment where their teas were served at parties, luncheons, and other events, where I thought this tea was out of my league.

Don’t ever thing something is out of your league.

But I would grab the leftover bags, and of course the free food when everyone left, (hey free food is free food), and when I would have their teas, I thought I had struck gold.  It’s gold alright.

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And free tea is free tea, but this is worth paying a little extra for.  While most teas are $2-$4, to only have to pay $6 for the Green Tea Coconut tin 20 pack of sachet’s, is a bargain.  That is more than welcoming, more than inviting, and feels like home.

This tea takes us back to February, where the weather was different, and the teas are all going to be hot.  They’re still going to be hot, here and there, as the weather gets nicer.

Everything about this is great.  I was on a mini vacation, and while I was isolated, I really wasn’t. I had the company of some amazing dogs, beautiful nature, and a selection of teas where you throw in that kid in a candy store analogy.  Just a little healthier of course.

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Green tea, coconut, vanilla, ginger, and lemongrass is a memorable melange, where my words are not going to be enough.  When I opened up the tin, the immediate sensation and feeling of all the goodness hit me.  I knew the steeping and brewing process was going to be just as special.

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Perhaps it’s because I was away from home, yet I was in a home where I felt comfortable and at ease, that this might be more romantic then if this were somewhere else.  A tea like this deserves all the romanticizing in the world, yet doesn’t need me or anyone else to do so.  This is a masterpiece.

I’m glad I had this, where I did.  The three dogs I shared this time with (no I didn’t give them any tea), made this all the more memorable and my heart feels so big right now.  The pups did it, this tea did it, and something just made my spirit so big.

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This was 3 months ago and I remember it like it was well, I don’t know.   It’s beautiful.

I’m glad I decided to write this today.  It’s Be Kind To Animals Week, and I’m so happy and grateful that some caricatures of animals are on display with this incredible tea.

Where do we go from here?  I almost want time to stand still or I would love to go back to this story.  I’m glad I have this written out, and I have this memory that will last with me forever.

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This is a tea for now, and for….

Blessings to you..

Ideen

The Far Side of the…

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When I go back in my history of writing, I’m surprised to see that I’ve only made two posts ever about Harney & Sons.   The two posts I’m alluding to can be found here.

Dear friends of mine, whose opinion I value when it comes to tea, always rave about Harney & Sons.   And they don’t really talk about many other brands.

Someone close to me told me that they exclusively only order tea online from them, and they always throw in free samples.  No, not just the baby sized free samples.  We’re talking above and beyond, and in sometimes half dozen quantities.

Here’s more about them and more about the Harney Family themselves.

A company that carries so much prestige and has such an aura about it, doesn’t need to do anything.  Their teas sell themselves.   To go the extra mile, when the tea is already incredible, is not only smart business, but a goodwill gesture where one isn’t necessary.

The act of love and kindness for no reason, is the best reason of all.

With that I bring us to their Paris Tea, and it’s incredible.  This has to be done sooner versus otherwise, as we’re moving into sunnier skies, warmer climates, and that will segue into a different tea drinking experience in the coming months.

However, first things first.   This goes back to February when the days were short, layers were worn, and many a nights turned early, and one would find comfort in the simple things at home.  Well that can happen at any time of year, but the winter may bring hibernation and a time to reflect and prepare for rejuvenation.

I had myself a little getaway.  I got to be in a different part of the state.  I spent time with some dogs I’ve known a long time (and a new friend too), and I got to be one with the universe.  Which means a lot of alone time, which is good in certain doses, in small doses, and not be done too much, or it could become a part of the norm.

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When it comes to tea drinking, I would love to share it with friends  I’ve made many a mention about how good company can make any tea taste that much better.   With the Paris Tea it was as if I was with my friends who lived at the house (even though they were away) were with me and of course my animal friends always liven up the day with their cute, cuddly, and sometimes boisterous ways.

You may have noticed that I’ve barely mentioned how the tea actually tastes, and how marvelous it goes down.  I’m painting a picture, of what I’m not entirely sure.  But that’s my story.  It took little time for that strong black tea color to shine through.  The tea combined with oolong, vanilla, caramel, lemon, and bergamot is out of this world.

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I went to Paris once, but was too young to remember much.  I’m sure I had some tea, but not like this.  This is something out of a picturesque scene with beautiful people sitting around enjoying one another, eating yummy pastry, and having a cup of tea that would be part of their daily routine and feel like home.

Here back home, it feels more like a special occasion which I would like to partake in as much as possible, if not everyday.   Yet it my lose it’s shine or not feel as special.  Maybe, but who cares.  Great tea is great tea, where this goes way past the levels of great, and belongs in its own category.

Word of mouth is an easy thing to fall into.   The consensus is how good Harney & Sons tea is.  The Paris Tea is a reminder of their greatness.   I highly recommend getting some wherever you can, and who knows what amazing samples will come from that.

Which is going to lead to more from this incredible company much sooner than later.  How this is only my third post is beyond me but all that’s about to change.

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Have a good one, and peace be with you….

Ideen

 

 

Simple, Tranquil, Peaceful

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You know there’s the simple joy of heating up that tea kettle, seeing all that steam, and hearing it whistle.   You pour the hot water into a cup, with a bag, loose tea, or however you do your tea already in place; and then you sip.   That’s simple, it’s joyful, and it’s one of those things I never want to take for granted.

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Then there’s the simplicity and happiness in adding a few extra ingredients, to take tea to another level of all those wonderful things I’ve alluded too.  And while winter is winding down, and the temperatures start to rise, there’s still time to appreciate a cozy drink in a pleasant, safe, and just as cozy environment.  Of course I’ve talking about a latte.

This was a suggestion from a dear friend to try, sip, and relax with this latte, over the course of a day of doing nothing, or as some might say, professional chilling.  That’s an official term by the way.

I take no credit for this beverage.  My friend did all the work, even though she suggested we try it together.  I knew I would not be involved in the prepping.  It’s just one of those things.  I’ll leave it to the experts, and I’ll do my best to write about it.

The Chamomile Lavender Latte is immediate peace, immediate harmony, and immediate (fill in the blank).   I’ve mentioned in the past how lavender is such a calming scent, that the affects are immediate, and are more than a placebo.  When it hits your nose, your lips, your tongue, and all other parts, the feelings are transforming.

Life has become too hectic in many instances.  And we allowed this.  But as I say that, we can also allow ourselves all the easy going experiences available to as well.   Life is meant to be enjoyed, to be awesome, and to be extraordinary, not ordinary.

This late is extraordinary.  And while you see the ingredients used, of course you can use your own creativity.

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Yes, that’s lavender.  This is what puts the latte over the top, when it’s already pretty great to begin with.

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What I didn’t realize at the time is my friend used syrup over honey.  That’s a pleasant change, as I’ve grown accustomed to using honey (if I am to ever use anything) in my tea.  So this makes me even happier.

Non-dairy milk, and in this instance coconut almond was milk, is also a positive attribute, that I think using regular milk may not bring.   You see where the Chamomile tea is from, and I’ve had this tea on its own, and it’s fantastic.  But to see if mixed in with all these simple, and fantastic ingredients is a testament to the tea, and to all the components.

The whole does equal the sum of all parts.

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But the lavender flowers are the true highlight.   I mean look how gorgeous that is?  I look at these photos with such a heightened feeling of nostalgia and happiness, that I knew existed.

There’s those moments at the time where you know you will look back with such fondness that it will be forever etched in your mind, and within your spirit.   I felt this at the time, but then I feel it even more as I write this.  I can’t explain why, and some things don’t need that explanation.  It just feels good, it feels abundant, and all feels right.

We took our time sipping this.  And even when there might have been a rush to go to the next thing, is there really a rush?

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Those lavender flowers were almost too pretty to take in.  But I took them in, we took them in, and yes there’s multiple meanings to take in.

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This was incredible.  I’m grateful this is was my first experience with such a different take on tea, chai, or blend of so many wonders of nature, and the universe.  This was tremendous.

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This moment will never be forgotten.

Here’s to many more…

Ideen

 

Won’t You Be My…

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Happy Valentine’s Day.  This is a day with a mixture of emotions for people.  It shouldn’t be, but our manufactured societal pressures have placed more emphasis on this day than there really should be.  It’s one of those holidays that time doesn’t stop for.  The majority of us still go to the workplace and to the classroom like it were any other day. And if we treat this like any other day, than it will be over before you know it.  Actually it’ll be over no matter what.  That’s how days and times work.

Nevertheless, after the previous weeks post, I wanted to see if I had a little more holiday spirit in me.

Well it’s a different holiday than what I’m used to but I should appreciate the fact that my regular scheduled blog falls on this most polarizing of holidays.  I might as well make the most of it.  And chances are, I may not get this opportunity again.

And if you or I focus on love, in not just the romantic sense, but love of all, then it makes this and just about any other day that much better.  And you don’t need a specific day to show that love and embrace for what makes you feel good.

Do you know what makes me feel good? Well it’s not only tea, but it’s the love of all things natural.  I love animals, I love nature, I love plants, flowers, trees being out doors, and most of all our universe. This encompasses so many things, if not everything.  I’m grateful to present to you two more teas from a one of my favorite go-to’s Baltimore Coffee and Tea Company.   And even more specifically, Eastern Shore Tea Company.

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The truly one thing about tea shopping is there will always be teas to fit a certain season, mood, place of healing, and love.

For the love of tea I went with two of the most apropos tea for the occasion.  But as you will see, with this tea, just like so many others, these are meant to be sipped all year round, not just in Mid-February.

First is the Chocolate Strawberry.  It’s simple, Black Tea with those two flavors added. What I noticed right away is how quick the effectiveness of the steeping came through. The color transformed into a chocolate brown cup at a higher pace than what I’m expected or what I’m accustomed too.  I would take that as a testament to the quality of the bags. Either that or I’m losing my marbles.  Well the latter is happening anyways, but it was entertaining to see regardless.

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At first I was hoping for more flavor than what I expected.  But I’m drinking this with the understanding that this is a dessert wine.  And if was too heavy on the chocolate and strawberry, would the whole tea be undermined?  Absolutely.  I’ve had teas rich in flavors t that could have benefited from a dialing back.  And then there’s others that weren’t flavorful enough, that could have used just a little more.  I’m leaning towards this wishing this just had a hint more.

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It was good but still I feel like that pop was missing.  But look what you see here.  Yes I really got goofy here and purchased specialty dipped chocolate strawberries.  This was strictly for show but figured one wouldn’t hurt.

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What I also figured is the tea and the chocolate strawberries flavors’ would bounce off one another, as well as intensify the other.  That’s exactly what happened.  One particular bite from the strawberry and a sip took this experience somewhere I didn’t imagine.  For that alone I would try this tea again.  But I wouldn’t rank it close to any of my favorites.

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Next up is the Cupid’s Arrow, after someone we may know.

This surprised the heck out of me, and in a good way.  I didn’t think it was going to be anything out-of-this-world to be quite honest.  The back tea with flavors of cherry, vanilla, and almond have all the recipes of turning into something legendary or a complete bust.  This falls on the former.  I wonder if its my slight trepidation of embracing this ‘holiday’.  That’s possible, but good tea is good tea.  And this wasn’t it. This was actually phenomenal.

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I made myself a second and third helping of this one.  You can taste these flavors a bit more distinctly without aid from from a sweet treat or other type of food.

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As you might be able to tell the color is not as strong or as overpowering as the previous selection.  It’s not like any of that matters.  It’s just an observation.  But this was something fun.  Maybe because those flavors feel more like winter and more like a year round tea than the aforementioned Chocolate Strawberry.

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However, as I said earlier most teas can be had year round.  There’s no rules to this.  It’s tea, it’s supposed to be fun.  Tea Is Fun is not the just the name of a blog but it’s how it’s supposed to be.

Most suppliers give around 20 bags per container for a reason.  We will try them again and again with what makes us feel good and feel inspired.  The Cupid’s Arrow is an inspiring one.  I felt so good after sipping this one in particular.  I felt healed.  And maybe that’s all in my head but this tea had  little more power than it really had any right to be.  Maybe it did.  Who am I to judge?   The cupcakes had nothing to do with any taste enhancing, like it did earlier, by the way.  But they look cool don’t they?

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And who are we to judge how one celebrates a certain day.    I spent more money on myself and this blog than I’ve had in years to commemorate Valentine’s Day.  But it was gift to me, to my audience, and to the universe.  It was my way of celebrating what I love; nature, animals, and of course tea.

These gifts I bought can be used more than once. These two new teas will last be a while, as well as my new drinking mugs, as well as those orchids.  Which are already outside and have been watered.

The sweets won’t last, but not because of me.  Someone else can have those.  But I’m going to hold on to the tea.  And maybe even those  new animal friends.

And those are just some of the things I love.  And I’m glad I can present tea in a spiritual way that combines many other things that make me feel love.  And this is not just one day a year, not a weekly post either, but as much as humanly possible.  And that’s the same love I will feel on this day, the next one,  and so many more.

Like I said last week, if you’re looking for a different kind of gift for a loved one, I think tea is a fantastic alternative.  And at only $5.00 per bags, it’s a fantastic deal.  And they’re ribbon bags too!  Beautiful.

This experience as beautiful.  And if you want to experience these and their massive array of teas click here.

Here’s my written history of the Eastern Shore Tea Company.

More love of tea and all else that is possible, next time.

 

Love,

Ideen

 

 

 

My Little Yogi

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This weather is something else.  It’ll be in the 80’s this week here in Baltimore.  I love it. I’ll take this on a regular basis.  However, there this coziness with autumn.  The changing of the colors, the festival season picking up, and more of our friends home means even more fun things to do.  It’s also a sign that it’s only going to get colder.  That makes some excited.  That makes me well, want some hot tea.

Yogi Tea has been one of those brands that exudes positive vibes.  And that’s not just from their teas alone.   From their positives quotes on each tea, promoting well-being, wellness, and yoga poses, the goodness emanates from all over.

Speaking of goodness, I’m grateful to have friends from all over that also share the love of tea, and especially Yogi.

I was at some dear friends’ house this past weekend for an inspiring night of doing nothing and loads of professional chilling (that’s a term we may have coined by the way), which meant loads of good food, maybe some vino, a comfortable couch or recliner, and a cup of tea for the ages.

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When you’re in a house with pals, that term, ‘mi casa es su casa’, might be taken too far and too literally.  In this instance, I had the green light to grab a tea from the tea cabinet. It was narrowed down to a couple.  But not even blog related, I hadn’t had a Yogi Tea in quite some time.

This would be my first (and won’t be the last) time having the Cinnamon Vanilla Healthy Skin.

If you hadn’t told me this was going to make my skin clearer, I wouldn’t have known any difference.  This is not a knock on the tea.  I find this more of a bonus.

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This was one of the most enjoyable cups I’ve had in a long time.   Facing facts, most teas I come across are good to masterful.  This is closer to the latter.  I just had a sense while I was steeping that this was going to be special.  How about that color?  It’s got a tint that screams cinnamon and other enjoyable flavors.  It screams fall and it screams friendship.

I hadn’t heard of a single herb in the tea’s description but now they’ll be ingredients I’ll look for when it comes to my tea.  I’ll seek them out in other products that rejuvenate and rebuild my skin, and who know what else?

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Cinnamon, cardamomom, cocoa shells, and vanilla bean make this one of the most eclectic and genuine blends you’re ever going to have.

It also helps being in a place of peace and around some of your favorite friends.  That enhances just about any experience.  It’ll make even the most mediocre of teas, foods, and anything else for that matter a lot more pleasurable.  That’s how life works.

It was a snack party so the tea went with some of our favorite finger foods.  But this was also treasured alone.  And whenever an animal friend joins the party, it’s definitely the best party ever.  For more on this lavish spread, click here.

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For more on where to find Yogi Teas in your area, click here, or shop online!

And here’s my two previous discussions on this amazing company.

More Yogi reviews to come!

Thanks so much,

Ideen

 

 

 

 

 

Thank You Celestial Seasonings

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Three weeks ago I mentioned how Celestial Seasonings sent me a care package of teas revolving around the holidays and winter season.

It was in response to this selection in this post where I said I wasn’t thrilled with it.

Well the last three weeks of recaps showed that one tea was just an aberration. As these teas have all been good-to-great.  And the reviews for those teas can be found here, there, and, everywhere.

Like I stated previously,  Celestial did not pay me or instruct me to automatically praise their teas to the atmosphere.  All views are my own and fortunately I will say they’ve been palatable and exquisite.

This brings us to the Cranberry Vanilla Wonderland.  I saved this one because the others were more in line with a holiday theme which has sadly concluded for 2015.

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Funny how things work out, it does finally feel like winter now in the Baltimore/Washington area.  All it took was for me to write about an apropos named tea and the weather got cold.  Yeah that’s it.

When I first opened the box, the cranberry smell was intoxicating.  Shortly thereafter I got a whiff of the hibiscus and roobios.   I’m guessing those are easier to figure out from experience.  But the cranberry really overpowered everything else.

During the brewing process, the color changed rapidly.  As soon as I poured the boiled water into my cup, it was magic.  And the fragrances were off-the-charts.

I love cranberry.  I especially love it in dry format and this tasted more like drinking it in a heated juice form.  If you think that’s a weird description, well it is. I had my reservations after the first couple of sips but I was won over not soon thereafter.

I enjoyed a little fruit with my tea, as it only seems fit.

I wouldn’t call it my favorite.  But I really like this for the cold and would gladly make it an iced tea during the warmer months ahead.  I don’t want to think too far ahead but it’s something to look forward to.    Brewing methods for this, as well as other teas can be found in at the bottom of each choice.

What is a Juniper Berry?   I got nothing.  And even after researching it, I still don’t have anything.  But it’s listed as an ingredient.   It’s something I will want to delve into again.

I think what frustrates me is I see so many amazing spices and the like listed, and I can’t detect them.   I shouldn’t try this hard but the orange peel, chamomile, and (at times) the vanilla was hard to come by for me. Thankfully, the cinnamon meshed well with the berry. All the more reason I need to brew this again.  A follow-up may be forthcoming, if not then I’ll prepare it in iced-tea form for the Spring as promised.  And I’ll write about it then.   This is compelling.

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I don’t want this to be the end.  I could write about Celestial Seasonings forever.   I am so grateful they sent me this package with a personalized note.  It validates much of what I’m doing.  And I can only hope I will write about them again.  And soon.

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The fact they got in touch with me personally speaks volumes.  I have that much more affection and an affinity for their brand.  It will lead me to purchase more of their teas that I may not have otherwise wanted to or gave a second thought to. Now I’ll be scoping them out at my friendly, neighborhood store habitually.

I will remember this string of teas and posts very fondly.  I intend to sustain these good vibrations as we continue into the new year.

Thank You Kindly,

Ideen