Tasting teas and keeping a cap on your tea cupboard
I’m have a burning question – how do you taste teas and keep your tea cupboard from overflowing?
I love variety. I also love tasting and reviewing a lot of teas. However, most teas come packaged in 4oz. + sizes. Even in a house drinking several pots of tea each day, we can’t keep the teas from piling up!
Is this something that you just live with? Do you stick to just a few teas and wait until they’re consumed before buying more?
Well, I don’t know how to tell you to keep a cap on the tea cupboard, because I am not able to do that either… I have about 20 two pound capacity tins that I used to store my tea blends that I sold that I now utilize as storage for the teas that I purchase. With the exception of a couple of the tins that are being used for teas that I still have in stock, all of those are filled with 1, 2 or 4 ounce pouches and tins of tea. I also have a large, free-standing tea cabinet that houses more tea. I have an antique tea cart that is covered in packages of tea. I also have two shelves in the kitchen that are filled with tea. And still the tea comes pouring in!
Generally, when I purchase teas, I look for the smallest size available. If samples are available for purchase, I go with those instead. I consider myself a taster, so for the most part I am perfectly happy having tasted one or two cups of tea and that be the last that I’ve tried of it. I might absolutely love a tea, but there are thousands of teas out there that I haven’t tried yet, so I don’t get hung up on it. It is a very rare occasion when I actually repurchase a tea that I’ve tried previously. There are a few teas like this out there, but, not many.
I LOVE options and drink as my mood dictates. This means I need a tea for all the millions of different moods I know I have plus another million for the different moods I have yet to discover. Thus, I have all but given up on the possibility of limiting my cupboard. However, to help manage things I do swaps, giveaways, and lots of gifts. Still, even doing that means I still have a lot of tea. Fortunately, with proper storing procedures I know I can and have kept teas for a long time. So one day I will finish off old teas and replace them with newer ones and let the cycle continue. Funny thing though my stock pile increases a lot faster than it decreases. I love this problem. :-)
Simple. Unload on Steepster.
Like LiberTEAS, I generally purchase samplers. It ends up being more expensive, but I get to try a variety of teas. I’m happy with two to three cups servings as well. If it’s a good everyday tea, then I’ll purchase a tin for when company is over.
Give aways, tea exchanges, traveling tea box and bringing it into work are great ways to unload tea. Oh, I also try to introduce my friends to tea.
I’m probably not the person to ask about keeping my cupboard under control because I have 100+ different teas in varying quantities and am almost overflowing my tea cabinet at home! 0_o
I usually stick to a few teas for a while, exploring the different variations of taste and brewing methods. That way I can “enjoy” them more and do not have to feel too bad about my economy if I buy a more expensive tea.
What keeps piling up, however, is different tea ware. I have a habit of buying different tea sets, single cups or tea pots, whenever I see a good piece of work. And I am not really able to drink a tea set, nor do I have the heart to throw it away either. I do hold nice tea parties though.
Thanks everyone for their responses so far. We should start a tea packrat support group! Judging by the responses, I’m not the only one with tons of tea hanging out.
I love variety but sometimes I get addicted to just one tea. At home, I have a few staple teas that we drink every day and regularly repurchase. I like having a change but it feels like a big commitment to buy a large size of tea. I hope more retailers start providing sampler sizes.
i give tea away to friends it’s it’s OK tea but not for me….i also have WAY too much tea so i have no idea how to stop overflow
I try and limit my buying, but I somehow still have a cupboard with 90 different kinds of tea in it! Granted, some are very small quantities, but it still makes me a little crazy and makes me feel like a horrible consumer monster! I try and temper it with being generous with my teas when I do swaps, and whenever someone in my daily life expresses an interest in a tea, I give them some. But, it really is something I struggle with. I don’t have a good solution! I would ideally like my cupboard to have around 20 teas that are in a sizable amount, and around 20 teas that are little samples. It would give me lots of variety but be a reasonable amount to use up whist perfectly fresh. It’s good to have something to work on, right ? :)
I limit my cupboard to 15 teas at a time. Usually I buy 25g (.8 oz) of tea new and drink that within a month or less. Then I have 3 tins which hold teas that belong in my permanent collection.
So I don’t get to taste new tea unless it dips below 15. Right now I have 12 teas in my cupboard, but I plan on buying a lot more after I get some fat Christmas cards. :)
I may be the worst offender here. Because of our cupping methodology, I have literally hundreds of packets in my home storage room at all times. And this is on top of our warehouse.
For the teas that I do not like, I actually use them to cook with. The simplest way to use them is to make a rub for some chicken, or to steam/poach some fish in a tea bouillon.
You can use a ton of tea this way, and it makes dinner quite delicious!
Cooking with tea – what a great idea! Is this for all types of tea, or do you find certain types work better?
I would have never thought of using tea to cook with. I’m going to have to look this up now.
There’s a whole 10-page discussion thread full of ideas for cooking with tea here:
lots of matcha or earl grey based desserts and probably a good number of lapsang-souchong based savories, but I’m sure there are other ideas too (and tons more around the net!)
Haha… for teas I don’t like, I usually use them in my art! I use the teas to stain paper and fabric. It also works well to stain homework for the kids when they want to give it that old, parchment look for a special assignment.