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You are probably wondering… why it is almost the end of January and Tea Escapade is just now sharing information about National Hot Tea Month.  Through inadvertence, I missed the press release in my email box and hope to rectify this mishap for such a great cause. Tea Escapade is always excited to share information about the tea industries efforts to improve the community, the environment, and the lives of people around the world.  Be on the look out for more…

Now that you know that January is National Hot Tea Month let me share with you how Celestial Seasonings put a new spin on the event.  As a leading tea retailer, Celestial Seasonings invites people to help preserve the earth’s tropical forests by participating in a new Facebook quiz, entitled PossibiliTEAS. Through the campaign, which kicked off National Hot Tea Month, Celestial Seasonings will donate one dollar on behalf of each participant, totaling up to $50,000, to Conservation International’s “Protect an Acre” program.

“At Celestial Seasonings we continue our 40-year commitment to social and environmental responsibility through our support of Conservation International’s ‘Protect an Acre’ program,” said Peter Burns, General Manager of Celestial Seasonings. “Our entertaining and insightful PossibiliTEAS Facebook quiz utilizes the inspiring art from our new, smoother-tasting green tea line to teach tea drinkers a little about themselves, while they support a great cause.”

The PossibiliTEAS Facebook application features thought-provoking questions, the answers of which align people with one of nine symbolic Asian characters found on boxes of Celestial Seasonings new green tea. Participants are provided with inspiration and guidance based on the given character and its associated meaning. For instance, the Dragon featured on Authentic Green Tea represents “awakening” while the Butterfly featured on Raspberry Gardens Green Tea symbolizes “joy.” The quiz is available at Celestial Seasonings Facebook fan page:  www.facebook.com/CelestialSeasonings where the first 15,000 participants will receive a sample of Celestial Seasonings Authentic Green Tea.

Celestial Seasonings donation of up to $50,000 will support Conservation International’s “Protect an Acre” program, which helps slow climate change and preserves tropical forests around the world. Just $15 protects one acre of tropical forest, so when participants enlist the support of 14 of their Facebook friends, together they will protect one acre of tropical forest. Building upon a strong foundation of science, partnership and field demonstration, Conservation International empowers societies to responsibly and sustainably care for nature for the well-being of humanity.

Even though National Hot Tea Month ends January 31st, the Conservation International’s “Protect an Acre” program doesn’t.  For more information about Celestial Seasonings commitment to the environment, visit: www.celestialseasonings.com.

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Cherry VanillaIt’s Saturday, early evening, and of course I should be studying, but I decided to take a much needed tea break. Although who needs a break after an hour or two of studying – I’m just not focused. Evidenced by the fact that since I started studying, I made a light dinner and commenced to eat, cleaned the kitchen, talked on the telephone and took a peak at all my status updates on Facebook and LinkedIn. Pathetic! If it were my kids, I’d be fussing at them for not being focused! Oh yeah, amazingly, I found the time to write a tea review… ChocoLatte Red Tea – Cherry Vanilla.

Composition: Dark roasted cacao, Organic rooibos, Cinnamon, Licorice, Chicory, Cardamom, Ginger, Cloves, Vanilla and Natural cherry flavor.

Dry Visual: Because the tea came prepackaged in a tea bag, I was unable to get a clear view of tea.  Nevertheless, what I could see were flecks of red and brown.

Dry Aroma: Cherry Vanilla has a very pungent aroma. There is the spicy smell of cinnamon and cardamom. The sweet smell of cacao. However the entire batch was overpowered by the smell of chicory and licorice.

Flavor:  The flavor of ChocoLatte Red Tea – Cherry Vanilla is quite distinct.  There was a significant difference in the flavor profile based upon infusion time. When steeped at the lower end of the spectrum (3 mins) the flavors blended well – not one stood out more than the other and the presence of rooibos was evident. Although the brew was somewhat weak. When steeped on the higher end of the spectrum (5 mins) the licorice and chicory became bold. The flavor absolutely mimicked the dry aroma with the chicory and licorice (black licorice) dominating the brew from start to finish. The cherry and chocolate flavors made a subtle presentation while cinnamon sweetened the cup. I was only able to detect the vanilla as an aftertaste.

Not an ounce of astringency was detected. However, I chose to add Sugar-In- The Raw to my cup when steeped for 5 minutes. I was surprised and amazed by how well the sweetener abated the licorice and chicory. I found the cocoa to stand up and present itself quite nicely.

Liquor: A rich, dark, reddish brown.

Brewing Time: According to the directions, the recommended steeping time is 3 – 5 minutes. I used both.

Manufacturer: Kalahari Red Tea

Caffeine: No.

If you have had the pleasure of enjoying a cup of ChocoLatte Red Tea – Cherry Vanilla, please stop by and share your experience. Until then… Happy Tea Drinking!

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earl greenAs my statistics class ended and I start anew with Managerial Economics, I find myself seeking a moment of reprieve. Mentally, I am exhausted, but must push on. With only five (5) classes left to finish my MBA – I am determined to stay focused. Which is increasingly difficult to do amidst the myriad of social networking sites like Twitter, Facebook, Stumble Upon, etc. Therefore,  I am resigned to find solace in a hot, soothing cup of tea. Today’s choice… Organic Earl Green

Composition:  Organic Darjeeling green tea and bergamot oil.

Dry Visual: Dark brown thinly twisted leaves with hints of dark and light green leaves – some stems are present.  Thank you Mighty Leaf Tea for the photograph.

Dry Aroma: The pungent, lemony smell of bergamot dominates.

Flavor:  First things first, I was quite surprised by this blend.  I have never had the pleasure of enjoying a cup of Earl Green Tea before now. Perhaps this blend is not new to you, but I was quite intrigued. As with most Earl Grey’s and as the dry aroma would suggest, the taste of bergamot is the dominate flavor throughout the entire cup.  A lover of bergamot, I found this to be extremely pleasing. What I found different, yet actually enjoyed was the distinct difference between Organic Earl Green and the traditional Earl Grey made with black tea – the more subtle tea taste.  I found this blend to be free of the vegetal flavor commonly found in green tea AND free of the astringency typically found in black tea. I have discovered, it seems, the best of both worlds.

There was no need for the addition of a sweetener and thus none was added.  However, Organic Earl Green is robust and definitely could stand its ground against any sweetener you may desire to add. The flavor was consistent from start to finish.

Liquor: An amber hue.

Brewing Time: The recommended steeping time for Organic Earl Green is 2 – 3 minutes in boiling water.  I steeped for 3 minutes as recommended for the first infusion, however, I prefer water temperature at pre-boil. The second infusion I steeped for 4 minutes. One world of caution, stay true to the steeping instructions – steeping for too long does not produce a good cup of tea. I speak from experience.

Manufacturer: Mighty Leaf Tea

Caffeine: Yes.

If you have had an opportunity to try Organic Earl Green, please stop by and share your experience. Until then… Happy Tea Drinking!

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