Category Archives: Just for Fun

Tea Tips

St. Louis’ local food magazine, Sauce, has an interesting article about brewing and enjoying iced tea ( The London Tea Room ( is featured in the article, and I must say, it’s a fun place. If you live in St. Louis, or you’re ever passing through, it’s a must-visit shop for any tea drinker.

Browse through their second list of tips and products ( Personally, the William-Sonoma 2-inch ice cube trays are going on my Christmas list.

Have any iced tea tips of your own? Or any hot tea brewing tips? We’re coming up on fall. Feel free to share.
(I apologize that my link function isn’t working right now, hence the long URLs.)

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Orphan Elephants

I had to share this National Geographic photo essay about orphan elephants in a nursery in Kenya. The captions describe the good and the ugly that comes with the business of rescuing baby elephants from poachers. Most of the photos are fun. I especially like the first one of the baby elephant wearing a custom-made raincoat.

I’d love to be able to work with animals someday. When I was in college, my first major was photojournalism. My dream was to join National Geographic, travel the world, and document everything in photos. The preliminary journalism classes scared me off, but English literature was really a better fit for me. I can’t imagine being anywhere else but home right now, waiting for little Oliver to arrive.

An interesting fact from the photo essay: orphan elephants who grow up in the nursery and are later released into the wild will come back to the nursery if they are injured and need help. They form this unique bond with the caregivers there and know that they can trust them in the future. What an amazing job!

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Honestly Sold, Still Honest

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An article from E Magazine caught my attention, “The Big Green Buyout.” Featured in the article, along with other organic brands, was Honest Tea. I’ve posted reviews of their amazing Peach Oo-la-long and Lori’s Lemon.

Summarizing the sale of Honest Tea to Coke in 2008 and trying to form an opinion of whether it has affected the integrity of Honest Tea and other small organic companies (sold to different corporate leaders, including Kashi, Odwalla, Ben & Jerry’s, Silk), the article gave me some food for thought. The thing I like about Honest Tea is that it is “honest.” The ingredients are listed on the label, and preservatives are not tolerated. Real sugar is used for the slightly sweetened flavors, and the company provides an alternative drink to those loaded with empty calories. Since selling to Coke, that hasn’t changed.

I think it’s commendable that Honest Tea’s CEO Seth Goldman has stood up to Coke about key principles in his small business and won. If a huge company like Coke is paying your salary, would you have the guts to stand up for what you believe? It’s risky, but I think it paid off in the end (and I’m sure he’s still fighting). So it’s like he “sold out,” but he’s simultaneously fighting the big bad corporate world.

You can read the article for yourself, but I think it provided a way in which small companies can expand their outreach–I know I love being able to pick up an occasional bottle of Honest Tea at the grocery store–and keep their ideals too. The way Goldman describes it, Coke needs his little company to give it some integrity (some integrity), so he can afford to stand up for his principles and keep his customers coming back.

Honest Tea also continues to manufacture glass bottles, so Coke hasn’t entirely switched it over to plastic (although, some flavors are available in plastic bottles–they probably ship easier). Glass is more environmentally friendly and you can reuse the bottles. (I really have to start my repurposed glass bottle flower vase project and post about it!)

Even after refusing to remove “no high fructose corn syrup” from his labels (and Coke backed down!), Goldman still says “I can’t imagine any situation in which I wouldn’t speak what I believe.” As a customer who seeks alternatives, I found this reassuring.

Is it possible to change the corporate food world from the inside out? What do you think?

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Cool, Minty Goodness Awaits You…

…at The Cooking Life! Michelle made an awesome black and mint iced tea that looks like it would cool the summer scorch. I know I’ll be trying it soon (but maybe with decaf). Check it out!

Mint leaves (image from

Wouldn’t you love to pick a bunch of this from your very own herb garden? I know, my expectations for a garden are fighting with my laziness, but someday… I have fond childhood memories of smelling (and trying to chew) mint leaves from our backyard. With our baby on the way, it might be worth looking into a serious garden project when he/she is old enough to walk barefoot through it with me. I’d like for our child to have the same memories and a value for homegrown food.

Speaking of growing your own food, Danielle Meitiv has a lot of garden ideas at her “barefoot blog.” If you’re interested, check it out. I subscribe and kick myself for not getting out there and starting my own! Maybe when I’ve got better balance and heat tolerance. Right now, I get a little dizzy standing in a line.
FYI, we find out this Friday if we’re having a boy or girl. I’ll be sure to post a special edition of Life of a Tea Drinker. Stay tuned!

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Peachy, Cheesy Lunch

Sound like a bad combo?

I’ve been so busy lately, and all the while thinking about my beloved tea blog! So I figured I’d write a quick post over my lunch break. And what goes better with lunch than peach tea?

Water, water, and more water. This has been my beverage of choice for days on end. When my stomach started grumbling today, I knew I needed to mix it up a little and add some flavor. Country Peach Passion by Celestial Seasonings is always in my desk drawer at work.

It’s a refreshing burst of fruity goodness that helps break up the monotony of water, or even black tea. (Blasphemy to the non-herbal drinkers out there.)

I’m pairing my peach tea today with macaroni and cheese leftovers I’ve been eating on for a few days. It’s really a treat and I should make it more often. My 90-year-old grandmom’s gourmet baked macaroni and cheese. Aren’t family recipes the best? I know, this isn’t a food blog. I’ll leave that to the experts. I will say that I had a little fun and added Herbes de Provence to her classic recipe for a little herby twist. It worked really well, especially considering it was in the oven during our power outage. (A story for another day…)

Wishing everyone a happy Friday and pleasant sipping.


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You Didn’t Think It Was Possible!

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A little Friday fun…

Check out this super fun recipe + craft at Miss Anthropist’s Kitchen! Make your own goldfish crackers! I plan on trying this, and it’s definitely going in my collection of kid-friendly recipes (along with homemade chicken nuggets).

Kids love helping in the kitchen, especially if it involves flour or Christmas cookie decorations. How much more fun would kids have making their own goldfish crackers? She also includes genious instructions for making your own mini fish cookie cutter from an empty pop can (or soda can, or Coke can–I understand there’s a dialect barrier here). She explains that the premade cookie cutter online was not worth the shipping cost (although, if you check out the other mini cookie cutter shapes in the link she provides, you might think it’s worth a splurge–mini whale and kitten?!).

Make your cutter, grab some ingredients from your pantry, and start baking your “snack that smiles back”!

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Google Knows Me!

If you’re not friends with me on Facebook, you may not realize that Google now has me in their top search results! At least, they did a few nights ago. I searched for the name of the tea and “review.”

Google search results for "Another Honest Winner" post

It’s a big win for me, considering I know how few readers I get over here. If you’re a regular, or even just stopping by, leave me a comment letting me know how you found the site. I’d be interested in hearing how the reviews are getting out there.

Thanks to everyone for taking the time to browse my ramblings. [Insert heart-warming emoticon here.]

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