drinks

Drinkage – The Republic of Tea (& How to Get Your OWN Free Tea!)

My Twitter friend @RealityJulie mailed me three sample canisters of tea from her family owned business, The Republic of Tea. I was expecting the kind of boxes of tea you might find in the local grocery store. But this is the good stuff (high end, quality teas).

I was particularly intrigued by the SuperFruit Pomegranate and Get Probiotic. And of course, what insomniac doesn’t love a good basic tea like chamomile lemon? I like a big mug of tea, and one circular bag of the Pomegranate was enough to make a “dense” brew. The Get Probiotic is a good tea that also contains Bacilus coagulans, good bacteria for digestion.

You can explore their website by clicking here. I was surprised that I had never heard of this company before and that they have such a vast selection. I’m going to be checking out the SuperHerb teas and a few others the next time I’m at a Whole Foods location. Though any of these can be purchased online. (Click here to be directed to information about this tea on the Whole Foods website.)

Oh and if you want to try this out for yourself, or know someone who is a tea drinker, go to their website and in the lower right corner, click on Request a Catalogue. They’ll send you a free tea sample with EVERY catalog! (I checked with Julie and she said as each new catalog is mailed out, you get a single tea sample. Usually the sample is something new they’re offering like watermelon mint.)

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Photos by Terry Aley

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Sugar Snaps

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Sumatra Coffee

I was musing on Twitter that to me, all coffee tastes the same. It doesn’t matter if I get Folgers, decaffeinated, McDonald’s premium roast, Dunkin’ Donuts, grind my own beans, you name it, when it’s in my cup, it’s all the same.

Because of this, I usually grab the most economical (cheap) brand of coffee. I’m not a huge coffee fan. I mainly drink it during my work day when I’m desperate for a power nap but the show must go on. I often dump scalding hot coffee into a glass full of ice, then add an inch or two of coconut milk to the glass. I’m not a big fan of straight coffee.

After I mentioned this on Twitter, someone recommended Sumatra coffee. I made a mental note. After checking out a few grocery store coffee sections, I found something that said SUMATRA on the package, and it happened to be Starbucks. I think it was around $10.

One thing I really love about coffee is the aroma. I would say I love the aroma of coffee, but tolerate the flavor. When I opened the bag, I would describe the smell as coffee mixed with some tea. I would call it a weaker than usual aroma. Sometimes the smell of coffee just smacks you in the face, and I like it. I was kind of put off by the mildness of the aroma at first and thought, this is a bad sign.

I whipped up my usual coffee concoction and took a swig. Something different was happening. The coffee flavor, for a lack of a better description, attaches to your taste buds and holds on for dear life. So rather than tasting coffee for a second or so, the flavor holds. There is less of a burnt bitterness, which reveals a better flavor. A flavor that sticks itself to your taste buds for about 4 times as long as regular coffee.

This means you have an overall more flavorful experience. I started reading through reviews of this coffee online and a lot of people love it. If you like a bold, flavorful coffee, this is one I recommend grabbing for a taste at your local coffee shop for sure. And I think I may have found a coffee I actually like. More research will be necessary to confirm.

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IZZE Sparkling Grapefruit

IZZE Sparkling Grapefruit is one of my favorite beverages. I actually gave up drinking soda maybe two years ago. My favorite at the time was Diet Dr. Pepper. And I would drink it like water all day long. At one point I swear I felt my internal organs being burned as the DDP was being absorbed into my system. After Googling artificial sweeteners, I decided I was going to quit cold turkey. I went through a withdrawal. (And I’m not even joking.) The first night I couldn’t even sleep. I thought at one point after staring at the ceiling for hours that I wasn’t sure I was even going to survive this. Probably three days later I started to get back to normal. As a substitute for those sodas, I started looking around for healthier options. Esp. ones that didn’t lead to a state of chemical dependency. One of my staples became natural flavored sparkling water. So I spend a lot of time in the water aisle of grocery stores.

A few weeks ago I randomly grabbed a bottle of IZZE grapefruit on a whim. Just to mix things up. After reading the ingredients, I thought it was probably just “ok.” Looked a little too healthy. (Juice obviously can cause you to gain weight if you drink it in excess.) But wow, this stuff is delicious. It doesn’t really taste like standard grapefruit because it has apple, grape and orange juice. It’s surprisingly sweet (but not too sweet). And if I didn’t know better, I would think this has added sugar. But the label clearly says “No Added Sugar.” I almost think they added this label to confirm it to disbelievers, rather than promote it as a healthier option. Because I would guess many people would take a swig and think “Deliciously sweet, must be full of corn syrup.”

So what we have here people is the elusive unicorn. It tastes as good or better than soda. And the ingredients are solid. You may not want this for every meal, but I think most people would enjoy this a few times a week. It’s now something I grab every time I’m in the grocery store. I mentioned this on Twitter and someone recommended that I also try the Sparkling Blackberry. I ended up liking the blackberry, but I love the grapefruit so much I can’t even think of anything else. With the blackberry, there’s a distinct aftertaste (in a good way) that sends you into the mulberry/blackberry zone. I’m not a huge blackberry fan, but I still thought it was good.

I believe these are around a dollar a bottle, and they also come in four-packs. I also like that “red radish juice” is on the ingredient list. Even though I can’t taste it, I like knowing it’s there. It’s so unusual.

You can check out their website here. This isn’t a product promotion, it’s just something I personally love to drink.

Photos by Terry Aley

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Juice Bottles Meet Animation Toys

Takes a lot of effort to sell to kids these days. Though I remember buying breakfast cereal I hated as a child, just to get the glow in the dark toy.

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Drinkage – Refreshing Chaparritas – Hecho En Mexico

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Small White Cake Surrounded by 10 White Cupcakes – Topped With Nik-L-Nip Wax Soda Bottles

And a monster eyeball octo-cake of questionable photo quality. Hey you can only do so much with poor lighting and an old iPhone!

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Assorted Coffee Drinkage – Rockstar vs. Starbucks

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Go Girl Peach Tea Energy Drink

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Drinkage – Peace Tea

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