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Stuck my nose in a bin of this at my favorite herb & health food place and it just smelled too good not to try. (I’m all for cheap luxury!) The dry mix looks like meadow-gold potpourri with a wonderful peachy-apricot whiffle.

The apricot-itude disappears a little once it’s steeped about 3 minutes. Yellowy as it is, it turns surprisingly dark red—there’s the hibiscus in action—but the other ingredients cut the tartness down to just a hint. (Which is good; I’m generally not a hibiscus fan.)

Hey, for a mere $1.50 an ounce locally, it made for a nice springy “vacation” from a cold, dreary day.

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Somebody asked me once when I became a tea junkie; I think it dates back to college when I needed caffeine for a 7 a.m. class but chose not to do coffee. My favorite teapot is a medium-sized Brown Betty given to me by my Mema; the painted flowers are chipping off, but the size and feel is perfect. I rejoice when I get a morning to brew a pot of loose tea starting with a kettle; not a bag and a hot pot.

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Southwest Missouri

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