Libre Tea Glass ‘N Poly Mug

Libre Tea’s Glass’N Poly Mug

Libre Tea 

Reviewed by: Nicole

 

Note:  Libre Tea graciously supplied me with one Libre Glass n’ Poly Large for review.  No other compensation was received.  The review in this post is honest and my own.

 

Gift Guide Age Recommendation:­  10+

 

Review

My love affair with tea started the summer between 8th grade and 9th grade.  I remember my first cup of Earl Grey.  It was hot outside and I was sitting on a patio at my favorite restaurant with my dad.  The owner, with whom we were friends, came by with a box of teas they had just gotten in from England.  He offered me a cup.  I accepted.  I’ve had many, many cups of tea and many varieties since then.  But, I remember the porcelain cup and the conversation.

 

When I got to sample the Libre Glass n’ Poly I was immediately excited.  My son, who is two, has destroyed almost every tea infuser I had.  He’s been able to reach the drawers in my kitchen for quite a while and has a thing for anything ball shaped.  The idea of brewing my tea IN my cup, being able to reuse the leaves for a second cup, and having easy clean up was exciting.

 

According to Libre’s website, you can use their mugs 3 ways.  You can read the How-To and watch a video on their Website.

 

My usual cup of tea is a dark tea with a limited steep time.  Typically a nice Earl Grey or a cup of Black Caramel.  Their directions are simple:

 

Fill the mug with hot water, attach strainer, add tea, close lid, invert and steep.

Libre Tea Brewing

Then you remove the lid and strainer combo to have a cup of tea.

Libre Tea to Dump

You can discard the leaves or reuse them for another cup.

Libre Tea Components

The mug works great!  I’ve taken it with me to yoga, while driving around town running errands, and at my desk working on blog posts.  Best of all, my son has shown ZERO interest in destroying my new favorite tea mug.

Who would like this gift?

This would be a great gift for any tea drinker:  your child’s favorite teacher, that co-worker who makes showing up on snowy days not quite as bad, your yoga teacher, your high school or college age student on-the-go, etc.   The size would work for a stocking stuffer.  For Mom, Dad, or any close relative, I would recommend this item be paired with some nice loose leaf teas… some of those “blooming teas” would be amazing with this since you can watch them bloom through the clear mug.

 Where to Buy

You can purchase a Large for $29, an Original for $24, or a Mug for $29 by visiting Libre.

 

Turtle Moon Health Herbal Teas

Turtle Moon Herbal Tea

 

Drinking herbal teas can be very relaxing and enjoyable

 

Review:  By Nicole

 

I really like drinking tea.  I have enjoyed black teas, flavored black teas and green teas for years.  It is only recently, however, that I have started to understand and appreciate herbal teas.

 

I have enjoyed several cups of their Autumn Blend and Winter Blend teas.  There is a nice earthiness and warmth that I have enjoyed greatly.  These are not zingy teas like peppermint.  But, sitting back in a wing back chair reading a good book with these teas is quite relaxing.  I preferred my cup with a bit of stevia or honey.  But, I tend to like my teas a little sweet; you may prefer these teas solo.   I cannot attest to the medicinal statements about these teas, but I have had an easier transition to winter this year.  I’m not sure if that is because of the teas or the fact that we actually had a fall season this year.  Regardless, I am enjoying the addition of these teas to my repertoire.  Turtle Moon Health recommends you consume 4-5 cups a week of their tea blends.  I have found this to be a very easy task (after my son is asleep, that is).

 

On their website, you will find a blend for every season (Spring Blend, Summer Blend, Autumn Blend, and Winter Blend).  You will also find that they have a Calming Blend, Restorative Blend, Women’s Tonic Blend, Pregnancy Blend, Lactation Blend and a Lactation/Colic Blend.

 

I recommend these teas for any tea drinker in your life.  The Restorative Blend would make a nice gift to someone who has been struggling with an illness.  Any new mom, or mom to be, would enjoy their blends devoted to pregnancy, lactation and women’s needs.  A bag of Winter Blend may be just what your hubby, wife, relative or co-worker needs to get thru the rough months ahead.  The bag is a bit too big for a stocking stuffer.  Paired with a nice new mug and some natural sweetener, these teas would be a welcome addition to anyone’s tea collection.

 

Where to Buy

 

Priced at $15.00 for a 4 ounce bag, you can purchase a wide variety of herbal teas at their Website:     Turtle Moon

 

Plus, they are offering fans of Make Life Special $2.00 off their first order now thru  December 31st!  Just mention Make Life Special when you place your order to receive your discount.

 

 

For More Information

 

Please check out the Turtle Moon Facebook     &  Turtle Moon Twitter   !!

Reviewed by: Nicole

 

Note:     Turtle Moon supplied me with one 4 ounce bag of Autumn Blend Herbal Tea and one 4 ounce bag of Winter Blend Herbal Tea for review.  No other compensation was received.  The review in this post is honest and my own.

Libre Glass ‘n Polly Travel Mug

Libre Glass ‘n Polly Travel Mug

 

Gift Guide Age Recommendation:­  14+

 

Watch our Make Life Special YouTube Video Review and see how to use the Libre Tea Mug:  Libre Tea Mug

Review

I love to drink tea.  And, I’m a mom on the go.  This usually poses a problem for me.  Most of my teas are loose leaf.  You can’t just toss in a scoop of tea, pour water over it and go.  Until now, that is.  Libre mugs take the need for an infuser out of the tea making process.   Libre’s tea mug has a built in filter so you can enjoy loose teas without getting leaves in your mouth.  I love it!   Another wonderful benefit of the Libre travel mug is that it has a glass interior, for fresh taste, and a durable polycarbonate exterior for ‘on the go’ practicality.  The double layer also means that the outside is safe to touch (great if little hands are around).  The stainless steel tea filter is surrounded by a BPA free polypropylene as is the lid interior.  Given all the bad press (and side effects) caused by BPA, it’s nice to not have to worry.  Oh!  And, having read the Teatulia interview, I love that this mug is clear!  I can enjoy watching the agony of the leaves as my tea steeps!  It really is quite relaxing…

 

The Libre mug can be used two ways.  You can steep tea in the glass and drink through the filter mouth piece.  This is fantastic for herbal blends where steeping for a long period of time doesn’t make it too strong or mess up the flavor.  You can also put the loose tea on top of the filter then pour water over it into the tea glass.  After you screw on the lid you can flip the Libre mug upside down to let the tea infuse into the hot water.  When you are done steeping the tea, flip the mug right side up and unscrew the filter piece.  The lid will then screw into the mug sans filter (and loose tea).

 

 

Libre’s Travel Mug, Tea Glass or Large Glass would be a wonderful gift for the student, commuter, busy executive, mom on the go, traveler or tea enthusiast in your life.  You might even want to buy one for yourself!

 

Where to Buy

 

If there isn’t a local retailer near you, you can always buy online thru their Libre Tea  Store  or Amazon

 

Reviewed by: Nicole

 

Note:  On the Horizon Communications supplied me with one Libre Glass ‘n Poly Mug for review.  No other compensation was received.  The review in this post is honest and my own.

Enjoying Tea in Recipe Form

Linda Appel Lipsius, CEO and Co-founder of Teatulia, was kind enough to let me reprint some of their recipes for you all to enjoy.

The first recipe I wanted to share is Teatulia’s  Earl of Bengal Cookies recipe.  Linda spoke of these in our interview.  Click here to read the interview:   A Visit in Vickie’s Kitchen with Linda Appel Lipsius   I plan on making these cookies…..soon.  They sound delicious!  Linda says she loves to bake these during the holiday season.

Earl of Bengal Cookies
 
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Cookies,Dessert
Ingredients
  • 9 tea bags of Teatulia Earl of Bengal Tea
  • 2 Cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup confectioner's sugar
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla
  • 1 teaspoon water
  • 1 cup unsalted butter, softened and cut into pieces
Instructions
  1. Grind the tea from the tea bags into a fine powder ( using a mortar and pestle works best).
  2. Pulse together all dry ingredients in a food processor and then add the vanilla, water and butter.
  3. Pulse together until the dough is formed. Divide the dough in half.
  4. Place each half on a sheet of plastic wrap and roll into a 12 inch log, about 2 inches in diameter. Chill both wrapped logs for 30 minutes.
  5. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Unwrap dough logs ( one at a time to keep cold and hard) and slice into disks about ⅓ inch thick.
  6. Place cookies on parchment or foil lined baking sheet about an inch apart.
  7. Bake until edges are brown. ( 10 to 12 minutes)
  8. Let cool for a moment and then trasfer to wire racks. Enjoy!

 

Next, I want to introduce you to Teatulia’s spin on a Mint Julep – Teatulia’s Green Tea Mint Julep.  I am a Southerner at heart.  I love the Kentucky Derby.  I love wearing a big fancy hat.  And, I love a Mint Julep.  Teatulia’s version sounds amazing and I have decided that, while watching the Derby on TV this year, I will be enjoying this wonderful drink!

Green Tea Mint Julep
 
Here is Teatulia's spin on the classic Mint Julep! Enjoy!
Author:
Recipe type: Drink
Serves: 1
Ingredients
  • 2 ounces Teatulia green tea
  • 1.5 ounces Stranahans Colorado whisky
  • Half a lemon, squeezed
  • 1.5 ounces simple syrup
  • Mint
Instructions
  1. To make the drink, start with a sugar rimmed cocktail glass.
  2. Muddle the mint, lemon juice and sugar in the glass.
  3. Then, add crushed ice, and pour the tea and the whiskey over the ice.
  4. Garnish with mint and lemon.
  5. Drink!

 

Lastly, I want to share their Green Tea Poached Salmon recipe.  Salmon is my favorite fish to eat,  I think this would go well with some lightly roasted asparagus.

 

Green Tea Poached Salmon
 
Author:
Recipe type: Main Dish
Serves: 2
Ingredients
  • 4 bags Teatulia Green Tea
  • 2 half pound salmon steaks
  • 2 cups boiling water
  • 5 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon salt/pepper
  • ½ lemon
Instructions
  1. Steep tea in water for 2 to 5 minutes, remove tea bags and add garlic, ginger and sesame oil to the tea.
  2. In skillet, heat oil and once hot, add salmon steaks. If salmon still has skin, place skin side up and sear other side. Sear for 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. Turn salmon over and add tea mixture.
  4. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and poach for 6 to 9 minutes.
  5. Salmon should flake easily with a fork.
  6. Once plated, squeeze lemon over salmon and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Enjoy!

So, there ya’ have it.  3 recipes involving tea.  Who says tea is just for sipping?  For more Teatulia recipes, please visit their Website:  Teatulia Tea.

Interview with Linda Appel Lipsius: Teatulia Tea

 

A Visit in Vickie’s Kitchen with Linda Appel Lipsius:

Musings on Great Tea, Social Responsibility and Daily Life

 

 

I recently had the opportunity to have a chat with Linda Appel Lipsius, Co-founder and CEO of Teatulia.  Linda, whose laugh is heartfelt and contagious, was a delight to interview.  She’s the mother of two amazing cute kiddos and is proud of the work being done at Teatulia.  Her philosophy is, “if you can do it better, then you may as well.”  And, they are.  Her company recently took home the “Focus on the Future” award at the 8th annual Naturally Boulder Autumn Awards Party.  After sampling several varieties of Teatulia tea, I think that the taste of Teatulia tea, their business model, and Linda herself are all equally impressive.  I hope that you, my dear reader, enjoy the following interview as much as I did.

VW:  I wanted to talk just a few minutes about how you got into the tea business.  I read that it involved a chance meeting your husband had at a coffee shop.

LAL:  I am always surprised at all the stuff I put out there on the internet.  Yeah, my husband met this lovely man, Anis Ahmed, at a coffee shop in New York.  My husband has a habit of talking to strangers – to his benefit though.  So, my husband met Anis at a coffee shop and we became friends.  And a bit later, Anis was staying at our place while we were in LA.  We knew that he and his family had started a tea garden and he was interested in bringing the tea to the States.  My background is in consumer products, and we were getting out of our previous business.  So, I offered to help him and do a market analysis.  I was not a tea drinker, at the time, and didn’t really know much about the market. So, I started out just helping a friend.

 

VW:  I think it is amazing in life when things like that just happen.  Now that you are a tea drinker, how do you make the process special?

 

LAL:  I think, for me, it is the whole experience.  I usually use Teatulia’s pyramid bagged teas.  So, the process is fairly simple.  I like the taste and the beauty.  It’s actually called the agony of the leaves – the twisting of the leaves as they unfurl in the water.  It definitely does make you take a moment.  I find that it is a very different experience than having a cup of coffee.

 

VW:  I read that you like to watch your tea steep in a glass cup.  What is it about the steeping process that you like to watch?

 

LAL:  Oh, I think the glass cup is very important.  The agony of the leaves is so cool to watch.  We, half-jokingly, try to ban porcelain cups, just because you can’t experience the tea in the same way.  We do use porcelain cups, but I think glass cups are best for tea.  In a glass vessel you can really see the tea grow; it’s beautiful.  It really is a multi-sense experience.    But, it is only with tea.  The herbs don’t act the same way.  Our lemongrass herbal doesn’t do the same pretty dance in your cup that our black breakfast tea does.

 

VW:  You mentioned coffee.  I typically start my day with two cups of coffee and that is all the coffee I will have for the day.  Do you start your day with tea?  Do you end your day with tea?  Or, do you drink tea all day long? 

 

LAL:  You ask that at an interesting time in my life.  I am now ready to leave coffee entirely.  I used to have two cups of coffee in the morning and then tea the rest of the day.  But, here the last few months, I have really discovered tea in a new way.  I love our black tea and have begun drinking the white tea a lot more.  You know, I keep evolving.  I had a cup of coffee today while at a photo shoot.  But, I think if you speak with me next week I will be a tea all day person.

 

VW:  I noticed that you have Black, White, Green and Herbal varieties of tea for sale at Teatulia.  They all look amazing.  For any of my readers who are not familiar with the differences, what are your recommendations for steeping different types of tea? 

 

LAL:  The recommendations are based both on temperature and steep time.

  • Black teas are the heartiest, most robust and are fully oxidized.  When you prepare a cup of black tea, you can use water that is at a full boil.  Our black teas are best when steeped 3-5 minutes.
  • For our white and green teas, you want water just off the boil.  I think steeping them anywhere from 1-3 minutes is best.  Any longer and the tea will start to burn and become very tannic.
  • Herbals are very forgiving.  You can use boiling water, you can steep them for 10 minutes, you can steep them for 1 minute.  You can really do whatever suits your tastes on the herbals.

 

VW:  Here at Make Life Special, I love to encourage people to get together over food and drink for conversation and connection.  I know that tea can be used hot, iced, in cocktails and even in cookies.  What is your favorite way to use tea to bring your friends and family closer together?

 

LAL:  I think all of the ways you mentioned are nice.  I think tea is so new to so many people.  I like introducing them to tea, having them taste it and watching that big “ah ha” moment.  We do a news letter where we tell people different ways to steep.  Cold brewed iced tea is very exciting and interesting.  I think that sharing all the different ways to use tea create dialogue and gets people excited.

Perhaps my favorite way of making tea time special is pulling out a beautiful tea pot when I have people over to my house.  I think that creating ceremony is important.  You get everyone to slow down and enjoy the time a bit more.

Also, over the holidays I like to do cookies using all of our teas.  Earl of Bengal cookies, Ginger Green cookies and lemongrass cookies with a shortbread recipe base are all very good.  I love to make up a big batch of those and package them up to share with my friends.

 

VW: I understand social responsibility is a top priority for you.  Please tell my readers a bit about Teatulia’s approach.

 

LAL: So, the garden was started by my business partner, Anis Ahmed, and his family specifically to be a social enterprise and provide jobs.  That was the entire reason for building this garden.  It turned out that the tea was exquisite.  That was a happy accident.  The northern part of Bangladesh is the poorest part of the entire country.  There is a vicious cycle of unemployment, poverty and starvation based on the seasons.  So, they went in and built this garden from scratch and provided jobs.  During the high season, the tea season, up to 2,ooo people in the area are employed.  It sounds neat in and of itself that we are providing jobs.  But, if you know and understand the tea industry, and how most tea plantations are structured, you realize that this is revolutionary.

Most tea plantations were set up a while ago under different circumstances, like colonialism.  These plantations are work camps – that is literally what they are called. The people are only educated up to a certain point and the people that work there are not living in their home community.  As a result, the workers are often alienated.  Our situation is completely different.  The people who work the garden go home at night.  When they leave work, they go home to their families and their community.

The second thing that we do is a cattle lending program.  Our tea farm is 2,000 acres – which makes it one of the largest tea gardens in the world.  To support this amount of organic farming, we need a lot of organic fertilizer.  The Ahmed family decided that they didn’t want to go into the dairy business just to get the amount of fertilizer that they needed.  They decided to use this need for fertilizer and offer it as a benefit for the community.  Teatulia loans cows to women in the community and the women repay those loans with cow dung.  That is what the farm needs and that is how they pay down their loan.  All the while they are keeping the cows, the milk and any calves produced by the cow.  It is a tremendous aggressive asset.  Once the loan is repaid, the women own the cow outright.  Some of them have sold the cow and bought land.  Some have bought additional cows.  Most of them are now sending their children to university with the money.

My favorite story though is the rock star of the cattle cooperative.  Her name is Fahima Begum and she has about six cows.  Her husband actually quit his job and works for her now.  In that part of the world that is unheard of.  She’s been so successful that she was able to buy a solar panel for her home.  Now she can cook at night and the kids can study at night.  It’s tremendous.

 

VW:  So, is it only women who work in the tea garden? 

 

LAL:  Yes, it’s exclusively women.  The pluckers—when you pick tea you pluck it from the plant—are all women.  And, it is only women who are in the cattle cooperative.  Oh, and here is another of my favorite stories, we were over in Bangladesh last April and they have started a literacy program for the pluckers.  So, we sat in on one of the classes.  They are teaching twenty, thirty, even fifty year old women how to count to ten and sign their name.  We asked one of the ladies, who completed the course, “What has this done for you?”  She said “Now that I can sign my name and count to ten, I know that I will not get cheated at the market anymore.”  These are basic, basic skills that are very life-changing.

 

VW:  It sounds like a lot of wonderful things are being accomplished through Teatulia.  Even under the best circumstances, everyone has their stressful days.  How do you unplug and de-stress? 

 

LAL:  I hold my children.  That is all I want to do.

 

VW:  I’d like to pose a scenario to you:  a good friend of yours is a novice tea drinker.  You’ve heard that her job has been stressful lately and want to gift her all the tools for a perfect cup of tea.  What would you give her?  And, what tea would you include? 

 

LAL:  I’d give her some Teatulia white tea and some of our lemongrass tea.  I’d also give her a glass Bodum cup so she could enjoy watching the agony of the tea.  Oh, and I would make sure she had something sweet, of course.

 

VW:  I love to travel and see new places.  I’m certain that you travel a lot with your line of work.  What are some of your favorite places to visit? 

 

LAL:  This summer we were in Spain for a month.   I’d never traveled anywhere for that length of time.  That was a blast.  My favorite place though would have to be South Africa.  I went there a few years ago and it was just mind-blowingly beautiful.  I lived in London for quite a few years and I still love London.  I also still love New York.

 

VW:  It has been a great pleasure getting to know more about you and Teatulia.  Is there anything else you would like to add?

 

LAL:  I think that tea, in general, is such an unbelievably rich and complex world.  Having not been a tea drinker before joining Teatulia, I’ve had so much fun learning about it.  I have found that tea has really enriched my life.

 

 


Interested in purchasing some Teatulia tea?  Here is a link to their online Store.  http://www.teatulia.com/tea-store.htm

 

Amazon has a selection of their teas available for bulk purchase and their “Subscribe & Save.”  Also, for those of you who are Amazon Prime members, several items are Prime eligible!  Here is a link to their Selection.

 

If you are a brick & mortar store lover, here is a link to their Store Locator.

 

Note:  I want to thank Linda Appel Lipsius for this interview.  I have enjoyed the samples of Teatulia Tea we received for our Holiday Gift Guide Review.  No compensation was received.

Make Life Special
2 Cypress Rd Litchfield, IL 62056 US
Phone: 217-556-8297 Website: http://www.makelifespecial.com