My Etsy message box is often a complicated place.
We receive requests for more information on teas, requests for specific teas, hatemail from both sides of the spectrum, weird I-can’t-quite-understand-them spam messages, spam messages that I wish I didn’t understand, and… occasionally we get requests for donations. Sometimes this is for a cause, sometimes it is for a review, sometimes it is a case where on our end it will be marketing and on their end it will be niftiness to give their attendees or readers.
One of the requests we received did not just end up spawning a tea, it ended up giving us an idea for a whole new line of teas.
We were contacted for a charitable donation by Frugal Fashionista Clothing Swap. The organizer sent the most informative message I had received to that point regarding her reasons, her organization, and what it was about us that had caught her eye.
The charity she was donating the proceeds of their auction to was RAINN. Mister Tea and I were both pretty floored. To avoid going into gory details, I will just say that both he and I have this kind of nastiness in our backgrounds, and it resonated in a deep and important way.
While we were talking about what we could do and the automatic yes that we had both decided on due to the information she had given us… we went from “Yes,” to, “Yes, and oh, how do you feel about a tea being created for this?”
In the end we blended our first ChariTea for the event she had asked about, and the tea will always be a vehicle for donations to RAINN. Every time we sell a batch of this tea, we set aside $5 for our periodic donation to RAINN.
This tea increased the frequency of something I had never expected to do, as Desert Sage. People can tell, from the way we write about the teas, the way we describe things, the way we speak about life… that we have these experiences in our back history. Sometimes the contact I receive is for understanding and counsel. Either just a fellow-in-post-hell-life and “Hey, can we talk a bit?” or as a person who seems to have come through the forging in a functional way and “Can you help me figure this out?” It makes me glad that I have done some relatively in-depth study of the conditions that are the likely after-effects of this sort of trauma. I do not have a degree, but I wanted the information from the medical and psychiatric sides to help me shape my own recovery.
The actual blending of “I Will Survive” was more complicated than you might expect. I wanted to come up with a tea that was tasty, had some medicinal effects for the common symptoms survivors endure, and had symbolism in the history of the ingredients we used that would be appropriate to the cause.
After discussing it, we decided to start with the lightest of the black teas we have access to, so that even the most delicate tastes would blend with it well, and still come through. We already knew that we would be working with flowers as a sizable part of the ingredients for the tea, so we wanted to make sure you would still be able to taste them.
We added Calendula and Rose Petals for their taste, but the reasons for choosing those flowers went far deeper than their beauty and their taste. We chose them because these flowers are survivors, themselves.
Calendula, once planted, is almost impossible to get rid of. Depending on who is talking about the plant and in what environment, it is sometimes classified as a weed. Once it has seeded, it will return over and over again. I know that I have never had to plant it more than once, any place I have lived, since I started making sure we had a garden. You can pull it, you can spray it, you can burn it, you can… and it will return. Calendula also has healing properties, and as you heal, your body becomes more capable of dealing with stress and anxiety.
Roses grow just about everywhere. I do not think there is a state or a country that I have ever lived in that I did not see them decorating yards, or public buildings, or medians, or… Mister Tea has waxed poetic about seeing them in Kuwait, and the effect on the desert when they were in bloom. Roses are a reminder that life has multiple facets. Beauty has thorns. Experience creates scars. But those thorns, those scars, do not detract from beauty, rather they enhance it. Rose also has medicinal qualities, having a long history of use for easing anxiety and depression.
Lastly, we added something to tie it all together. Vanilla, beyond being the perfect flavour to complete the tea, is also really good for you. Similar to chocolate, it improves almost every system in the body, to one extent or another, to help with across-the-board health.
The request that led to this tea, and the process of creating it was a catharsis for both me and Mister Tea. We hope that you enjoy it as much as we do.
And now, for the basics:
Organic Ingredients: Keemun Black Tea, Calendula, Rose, Vanilla
Batch Weight: 1.5 ounces (approximately 25-30 cups of tea)
Options: Loose (Bag, Jar, Tin), Single Serving Sachets, Latch-Tin
As an additional note, we came across a wonderful shop who has created something that donates to the same cause. Storied Threads has a patch that also donates to RAINN: http://shop.storiedthreads.com/Cosplay-is-not-Consent-Patch-Donation-to-RAINN-Cosplay-RAINN-Patch.htm
**I am not a doctor. The FDA (and a myriad of other agencies) have not decided that any of this is fact. While we draw on science as well, for the most part, even when there is research indicating the efficacy of herbs, they have not been formalized as treatment methodologies. Thus this information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease from a medical standpoint.
***I am not a psychologist or psychiatrist. No mood tea that I formulate is directly intended to replace any psychiatric medication. If you are taking any form of psychiatric medication, you should consult both me and your doctor before drinking one of our SereniTeas. The side effects and contraindications for practically all psychiatric meds are long and complicated, and I really prefer to look into them before suggesting a tea.