Sunday, September 15, 2013

Review: One Earth By Brandi

 Reviewer ~ Lynda Hardy

I feel very honored to be able to review a new party-based company, One Earth. One Earth is based in Canada, but can offer on-line parties to clients in the United States, and it just started scheduling parties and taking direct orders from customers in July, 2013.  One Earth provides a unique line-up of products, focusing on fair trade imports that help Moroccan artisans and small business owners find a market for their goods.  While their current focus is on Morocco, and have plans to highlight other countries as well later on.

I was highly interested in exploring their offerings - while I am by no means 100% about it, I have been trying to focus my spending on small business and local concerns - and by local, I also include local businesses over giant corporations in other places as well.  For people like me, One Earth provides a way to spend according to our ideals and to host a party where we can truly be proud of the personal touch that goes into each product. 

I was introduced to this company by One Earth by Brandi, one of the founding consultants for One Earth.  Brandi herself shares my ideals and told me, "... I like the idea of being able to offer products that are hand made from other countries, and more importantly I love to be a part of a company that gives back. One Earth has a fantastic ethos behind it; they help local artisans in developing countries, which in turn make their respective communities, grow and prosper. For example the women who work in the Co-op’s are learning skills and are able to earn an income in a country where over 60% of women are illiterate. It just feels good to get up in the morning knowing I am going to do something, be part of something, which will create and inspire change."

The One Earth catalog offers a small but growing array of items from handbags to jewelry to personal care items, and everything looks lovely and is reasonably priced.  When I spoke with Brandi for this review, she hinted at new products coming this fall, and I will certainly be keeping an eye out for what they might be.  Meanwhile, because every single thing in the catalog looked delightful, I asked that she pick what I should review, and was quite pleased to receive their Infuser Tea Cup, and two generous pouches of tea - Moroccan Mint and Vanilla Roobios.  These are among the newest products, currently listed in inserts rather than the current catalog.

I adore tea - I have a ridiculous stash of teabag teas of all types, a couple teapots for loose tea (and a desire to have more), and a variety of tea infusers for both large batches of tea and individual servings.  I offer that to say that the glass tea cup with infuser is a work of art.  The glass allows the beautiful hue of brewed tea to be fully appreciated, and the glass lid not only helps keep the heat in, it can be turned upside down to provide a drip-proof place to set the used filter after infusing.

The filter itself was different from any I'd tried - it, too, is glass, with very slender slits in the base that allow it to be strained once the tea has brewed.  There is occasionally a very tiny amount of tea leaves that may work themselves through the slits, but I did not find  that to be a problem, particularly with loose tea that uses larger leaves.  Being glass, the filter is much easier to clean than mesh filters, and that alone encourages more frequent use from me.

The mug is shaped like a commercial 'go-cup' which is very helpful because it allows it to go safely into most car cup holders, and to slip on a heat cozy if desired.  The cup does have a silicon friction grip section that also helps to keep some of the heat from making it too hot to hold comfortably.

I have noticed that when I decide to have a single cup of tea, this is  the item I am pulling out to use most often, even though I have several other options - both for aesthetic and practical reasons, it makes drinking loose tea a true multi-sensory pleasure.  If you have never tried loose tea and don't want to invest in a lot of new products or cabinet space to be able to do so, I highly recommend the One Earth Infuser Tea Cup as the way to start.  If you already know how wonderful freshly infused loose tea is and are looking for a unique addition to your accessories, I highly recommend it to you as well!

Turning to the teas themselves, I was incredibly impressed.  When I first opened the ouch of Moroccan Mint - a blend of Chinese Gunpowder green tea and peppermint, the heady aroma made my eyes roll up in my head - both the green tea and mint are obviously fresh and of high quality, and it makes a brilliant cup of tea.  If you think you don't like green tea, try Moroccan Mint - it will make a convert of you.  I have been using it brewed hot, with or without sweetener, as well as iced, and it is suitable to all these methods.  By far, this is my favorite variety of green tea that I've ever tried.

The Vanilla Roobios is also a very pleasant beverage - roobios is an African herbal tea that infuses into a warm reddish amber and has a subtle, slightly sweet flavor. The addition of vanilla and calendula makes for a wonderful soothing blend that has the richness of a black tea without the caffeine.  There is something about this blend  that feels like Morocco to me - warm, a little spicy, and brightly colored.

These are only two of the six green or herbal tea blends One Earth currently offers, and in addition they also carry two blends that are a mixture of coffee, tea and chocolate  that sound insanely delicious!  The prices are extremely reasonable for the amount offered and the packaging is perfect for keeping it as fresh as possible.

For those in the local area, Brandi offers home parties she describes as 'cultural experiences' where guests can learn about Morocco at a sensory level, being exposed to its beauty, aromas, sounds and sights.  She also offers basket parties, where she will put together a basket of product samples for a party host, to take to work or other gatherings, and collect orders over a period of a few days.

For those of us not fortunate enough to be able to host a local party, Brandi also does on-line parties as a Closed event on Facebook.   She makes the process extremely easy - simply set up a time and date, and invite Facebook friends to the event.  At the time of the party, Brandi will post videos and information about the products, Morocco and One Earth, and attendees can ask questions as they like.  In addition, she will conduct contests and giveaways as well as other incentives that encourage people to order within 24 hours after the end of the event.  Hosts receive the same benefits as  they would at a home party. Because this is a new company, this would be a perfect product line to introduce to friends without needing to worry about their being tired of the 'same old thing'.

To see about setting up your own party, or just to look at some of  the many lovely products available, visit One Earth by Brandi on Facebook. To book a party, ask about any of the products, or explore becoming part of the One Earth team, Brandi can also be reached by email. I truly believe One Earth is a company firmly focused on helping small business people grow to their full potential - both on the manufacturing end and the selling end, committed to eco-friendly practices, and furthermore provides beautiful and useful products to their customers.  I look forward to watching it grow!


This post was originally posted at WAHM Review and is being cross posted here by the original author.  I received no monetary compensation for this review, however I was provided with the product for free for purposes of review.  All opinions are my own. Click here see our full disclosure policy.

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