My mother used to swoon at the idea of her first few sips of coffee--and credited her enthusiasm for her beloved beverage for getting her up and at 'em before dawn every morning. I've never been a coffee drinker, but now, I think, I understand the obsession. When I'm taking my first few sips of Marie Belle Chocolate Rose tea when I get up in the morning, my body shudders at the excitement of how wonderful it's going to be to be sipping it again at 4 o'clock. Likewise at 4pm, when I'm settling back in after all the various school/camp pick-ups, and I take my first sip of afternoon tea, I flush at the thought of how it's going to feel to be sipping it again, the next morning, at 7am. A friend once pointed out that the thing about childhood is that the years fly by but the days go on forever. This chocolate rose tea is one reason to savor all those slow days. And when our beloved family pet had to be put to sleep, and I had to go hold her paw in her final moments, and I was so grief-stricken that I walked down the wrong avenue to get to the subway, which of course wasn't where it should have been because I walked down the wrong avenue, and I found myself standing in front of the Madison Avenue Marie Belle shop I realized that the only thing I could do was to go stock up on more of her tea. Friends have winced at the thought of combining chocolate and tea, but are always won over when I pour them a cup. Adding milk makes it extra perfect, of course. I could (and probably will) rave about other very specific brands and flavors of loose tea (stay tuned), but this one deserves to be first--and not just because it's in the prettiest tin.