You're Such A Teas

Cheap tea is like a gateway drug. It starts innocently enough with a cup of Red Rose, but the next time you're at the grocery store, you upgrade to Earl Grey. If you're feeling really bold, you might try loose-leaf. Before long, you're online, trying to choose between Oolong Rouge and six different varieties of Lapsang Souchong.

As those famously overtaxed Boston colonists knew, it's easy to go overboard with tea.

But Lisa Liberatore, the founder of Baxter Tea Co. in Gardiner, has managed to keep things under control. We had a chance to catch up with Liberatore during her visit to UMaine yesterday, and we're wild about what the Bangor native is doing with tea — and philanthropy.

First, the teas. Baxter Tea Co. carries an impressive array of black, oolong and green loose-leaf teas, as well as decaffeinated, iced and herbal varieties (and the prices are equally impressive). We're partial to Dutchess Gray, delicately spiced and accented with lemon peel and safflower petals. In true Maine fashion, Liberatore loves the Blueberry Rooibos, but her favorite changes with her mood.

One thing that doesn't change is Lisa's love for her home state. As a child, she loved the wilderness surrounding Mount Katahdin. When she learned how Gov. Percival Baxter had donated the land so that all Maine residents and visitors could enjoy it, she was inspired to give back, as well. Hence the name of her company and her commitment to donate 10 percent of the proceeds from loose tea sales to the park.

Baxter Tea Co. also does coffee and tea fundraisers for local nonprofits (imagine your fourth-grader selling something other than wrapping paper). And for all you home shopping party enthusiasts, check out the "Tea and Bling" parties Lisa is offering with Amanda Coburn of Riverside Jewelry Designs (call 888.508.8781 for details). Trust us, they're way better than Pampered Chef, and you're supporting the local economy.

If that isn't reason for a tea party, we don't know what is. Just don't throw anything off the deck.


Riverside Jewelry Designs said...

Lisa's Coffee blends are delicious, too! My husband and I are avid coffee drinkers, and her 'Simply Sinful' blend is the bees knees!

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