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Eli picked this for me at the grocery store. I was really leery of it at first. “Spice” is iffy for me (depending largely on how much cinnamon is involved), and I am not usually fond of fruity tea. So it sat untouched for a while.

Then, very late one night, I was all keyed up and wanted a nice cup of something relaxing and caffeine-free, to help me chill the heck out and go to sleep. My cupboard at the time did not have much in the way of herbal teas—and the others were ones I already knew I didn’t like a lot, or had flavors too zippy to be relaxing.

So I tried Mandarin Orange Spice. And I loved it. My concerns were unfounded. It wasn’t annoyingly fruity—it’s even made me willing to try other citrusy teas in the future. The spices were not overbearing—I’m not even sure if there’s any cinnamon. It was very nicely balanced between the fruit and the spice, and had a cheerful, uplifting flavor.

Unfortunately, “cheerful” and “uplifting” don’t really help me wind down and sleep—or maybe sleep was just not going to happen that night. But this was a lovely friendly tea to sip while I sat up reading until dawn.

Since then it’s been one of my favorites to drink in the afternoon/evening, just not right before bed.

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If I won the lottery today, I would go to Lapland to raise reindeer and live in a yurt full of cats.

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