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How do you stop the compulsion to buy buy BUY more tea?!

130 Replies
jessilee24 said

Yup, Teavana’s ridiculously ‘Heavenly’ Sale totally blew my non-existent tea budget for the next year+ at least! My problem was that I ended up going back to get more of the $18.00 teas that i ended up liking while they were 75% off. That’s too good to pass up, right? I have made a vow that I will NOT set foot in there until I finish off a few tins AND order my next teas from Art of Tea since I’ve been wanting to try them for a while now… Anyone have any recommendations for where to buy some plain 1lb. tins? I’m thinking of making my own cute mod podge tea tins… you know, so I can save $$$ to buy more tea. :)

it would have for me to, if I hadn’t seen all the reviews… most of the sale teas are apparently terrible. Good thing I resisted! bad tea experiences suck!!

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Feebs said

Make a list of your TOP teas – those that you can’t live without. I live in a house of 5 people at the moment, and have entrusted the housemates with the task of cycling out all my teas so I can keep a more streamlined and selective collection. It is SO HARD. I work in a tea-shop and have an extremely hard time restraining myself. I absolutely HAVE to keep a grand yunnan in my stores, a quality organic chai, a milky oolong, pi lo chun, white monkey jasmine and a vanilla/ginger/orange/cinnamon scented keemun. AND A NICE CLASSIC B.O.P FOR THOSE DIFFICULT MORNINGS.

My recent purchase, however naughty, was our new bamboo leaf tea. TASTES LIKE A SPARKLING CLEAR LIQUID EDAMAME. Super sweet-pea-ish. COULD NOT RESIST.

OK, you’ve got me. What is this bamboo leaf tea you speak of? Does your shop have a website?

oh no, now I want some to! :P

Feebs said

Yeah it’s T2’s newest. www.t2tea.com I think we’ve had it for about a week now?

Note: I of course have read the discussion guidelines and generally prefer not to talk about teas from the company I work for – it’s lame and defeats the purpose of an honest and constructively critical grading forum; but I got excited about this one and forgot myself xx

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OK, so, this topic is still on my mind.

It comes up for me when, for example, I see a new sale, and when I brew up a tea I really like—knowing I can get more of it for a great price—and wonder if I will regret not getting more once it’s gone (as with a few Teavana teas that we have been enjoying, which are still available for a great price).

I have a philosophical perspective on my own struggle which may or may not help, here, based on my own experiences and belief system. So if you would like, simply choose not to read any further. No worries. : – )

Oftentimes, my desire to buy more of anything that I already have lots of is about a fear of not having enough. This may sound obvious, or trite: “But, of course! When we need more, it’s natural to feel we have to get more, and ASAP!” (This may even go all the way back to our cave-man/cave-woman existence when things really were hard to come by. Then again, things were probably as hard or as easy to come by then as now). So, the question is, what exactly is the difference between need and want? And to that question, add, when do I need to get it by? How I answer both of those questions is based on two profoundly different ways of looking out at the world: scarcity vs. abundance. Scarcity (I don’t have enough, and I will never have enough) is a worldview that is based in fear, whereas abundance (there is plenty in the world, and when I need whatever I need, I will be able to get it) is a worldview based in trust, or belief (or you can replace either of those words with the word, ‘love’; I prefer the word, ‘trust’).

Until fairly recently, I have been living out of a place of scarcity (I didn’t even realize it until, ten years ago, now, I heard it explained by Anthony Robbins on his Personal Power tapes). Today, I choose to live out of a place of abundance. It’s not a matter of right or wrong, or of one worldview being more accurate than another, it’s simply a decision to look out at the world from one of two perspectives: I see the glass as half-full, or, I see the glass as half-empty. Both are valid perspectives of looking at our proverbial glass of water, as with the world (this was also explained to me by someone else in a way that made complete sense to me, as I am attempting to do now). Once I believe that both are valid, then I have a choice: I can look out at the world by thinking, feeling, and believing that I need to grab as much as I can, whenever I can, and then hoard it and guard it out of fear it may be taken from me (scarcity), OR, I can let it go and trust that there is enough in the world such that I will have it when I need it (abundance). After realizing I actually had a choice, I then made one: I am going to believe in a world of abundance.

So, how does this apply to tea for me? My fear is not that I believe the ‘tea’ will go away (I believe there will always be tea), it’s that the ‘deal’ will go away (good tea I can afford), and it won’t ever come back (which for that particular deal, is often-times the case). To help with this I have recently told myself, “OK, so imagine loosing all of your tea (in a fire, or some natural disaster, for instance). Make sure you’re really imagining it’s all gone. OK? Good. Now sit with that for a moment.” Lots of squirming and feeling very uncomfortable.“Keep breathing. I know it’s hard. Now, having faced the fear, is it really all that bad?” And my honest response was, “No! I don’t know how I know, but I know I’ll be able to get more.” (that’s a heck of a lot of “know’s”!) Furthermore, doing this has helped me to realize that getting the tea is part of the fun (as opposed to simply having it). And finally I realized after all of this, what really matters is not the tea itself (or the tins, or the colorful labels, or the teacups, tea pots, or whatever) it’s the experiences of looking for, buying and receiving in the mail (mostly, for me), making a new label and or cleaning out a new container for, brewing up (hopefully with friends) and then enjoying all the riches tea has been waiting to bestow upon me. Those things can NEVER be taken from me. And death aside (tea in the afterlife, anyone?), the skills and knowledge I have acquired in the meantime ensure that the prospects for more wonderful experiences with tea can NEVER be taken from me, either.

So, in the end, it’s all good, isn’t it!? : – )

Ninavampi said

Loved reading this! : )

I’m glad you enjoyed reading it! : )

You put so much thought into it SimpliciTea!
I totally see where you are coming from, and I think I’ve finally managed to swing around to the place of abundance. Except for when I know a particular tea is going out of stock… or there are fifty to try and I want them ALL. Not that I want more tea, I just want to know what they all taste like!

Feebs said

Thanks for posting this. Sounds like your swing to trusting in the universe has been really positive for you. You’ve really got me thinking ^^

Indigobloom: I understand you on the desire to buy a tea before it’s gone; I just placed an order for more tea yesterday, partly—and admittedly—out of just such a fear. But, before I bought it I did a number of things: 1) I sat on it for awhile before I made a decision to buy, 2) I did some research on it’s shelf life (I wanted to make sure I could/would drink it before it goes bad), 3) I Asked myself why I wanted to buy it. As it turns out they put out a coupon code while I was waiting, so that helped some with the price (I had a very subtle but undeniable desire to wait at least one more day before buying; funny, huh?). Consequently, I found out through my ‘research’ I could easily drink it before it went bad. We had recently tasted it and already knew we liked it, so it was not what I would judge to be a risky venture (as some of my tea purchases have been). And I have very little of this particular class of tea, so it fills a niche in my cabinet, so-to-speak. And, the final kicker—and how it got my attention in the first place—was that it was available for a great price.

Still, in the end, all of those things were not enough for me to make the decision to buy it. So, again, why buy it? Based on all of the above, I acknowledged that I could afford this tea (and in a world of easily obtainable credit, how do we really define, ‘afford’, anyway?) and that I WANTED to be able to enjoy its gifts on a regular basis; so, I bought it. And, well, denying myself things just for the sake of denial is actually not the way I want to go from here on out in my life, anyway (I have a tendency to deny myself things simply to prove to myself I can say, “No,” to my immediate desires; it turns out this was not an impulse buy). The trade off is that it means I’ll have to buy a little less tea during the year; but that’s OK because it fits in with my, ‘less is more’, philosophy anyway (which I mention below).

I hear you on wanting to taste all of those wonderful teas. I am the same way; but the way I see it, there are only so many hours in a day, and therefore, only so many teas I can try and enjoy (based on my understanding that there are tens of thousands of different teas). A kind of corollary on the abundance philosophy is the ‘less is more’ approach. For me, oftentimes, the more I have, the less I appreciate what I have. Sure, I would love to be able to try them all; yet, from a theoretical standpoint, I think the collective enjoyment of my experiencing them all would actually be less than the collective enjoyment gained by experiencing a much smaller number of teas (it may not sound logical on the surface, but, based on other life experiences of mine, I think it would be true for tea, too). Now, based on recent purchases my actions don’t quite match up with that particular viewpoint at the moment; still, it is an overall goal for me: to remember ‘less is more’ and to honor that commitment to myself in both my words and actions—-that is what I call, having integrity (which I don’t feel I have at the moment, at least not around my tea ‘acquisitions’).

Feebs: I’m glad you enjoyed reading the post and that the concept of abundance vs scarcity got you thinking. I really like how you paraphrased much of what I said above: “trusting in the Universe,” for that is the exact phrase I often use! I see myself as one tiny little speck (a meaningful one, though) contained within that larger whole. So, to trust in myself is to trust in the Universe, and to trust in the Universe is to trust in myself.

Putting all of this stuff into practice is not going to be easy, though (I have a cabinet full of tea, and tea sitting all around my computer desk, still waiting to be put away, as a testament to that!). That’s why wrestling with all of the why’s are so important to me (and a reason why I write, and post, my thoughts on these topics). If I have at least some clue as to why I do what I do, and why I want what I want, then I can at least trust that I can stand by my commitments—in this case, to believe in a Universe of abundance, and to remember that less is more. Strangely enough, the deeper I go into these kinds of things the more I find myself coming back to one very simple question; something that, if ignored, gnaws at my very soul. It is the faintest of whisperings of the most primal of riddles, that which—having sat in circle after circle of both men and women, bearing their soul in a place of honesty and trust—I hear a deep yearning to be answered; it is probably the hardest and most important question I will EVER grapple with, the answer only to be found in the most still and quiet place of my being:

What do I want?

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I just bought some more for Asha and Verdant…
I feel better when I give my old Teavana tea to my coworkers…:)

me to, I do it all the time! but only the ones who appreciate :)

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DukeGus said

I was never able to spend much on tea being a University student, I bought like 50gr of tea every 2-4 months. Ok I love top top quality so it was very small amount of kinda expensive tea.

Now that I graduated and unemployment is like 30% at my age here in Greece, I spend even less. I too want to try all the tea in China but I guess I have to put food first :)

*So get fired and you’ll stop spending on tea at once :p

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I have the same problem. I think the trick is to only buy samples unless you know for sure you really like the tea.

I SO agree. Trouble is, most of my fave shops don’t offer samples. Grrrr!

There are some online shops that will offer free shipping on samples, I guess hoping you will like it and buy more. I know Chicago tea garden does they have some good options.

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Slurp said

Easy. I run out of money. :-)

LOL yes but in the mean time I have no savings! :P

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jessilee24 said

I haven’t bought any new tea in 2 weeks… Could I be on the road to recovery? :o) I sold some sealed teas I wasn’t crazy about on eBay and it’s taking every ounce of self control not to turn around and buy more… Plus I just got a coupon offer!

wow that’s big!! stay strong :)

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Speaking of compulsion… I just ordered some Adagio teas yesterday because I am out of a few (which totally shouldn’t count, because some are just necessities, not luxuries, in my opinion…) but I thought I got paid TOMORROW and it turns out it was deposited TODAY and my first thought (okay, actually my second because I thought of bills/rent first!) was…. OOOH WHAT TEA DO I WANT TO TRY NOW!?!? It’s definitely an addiction!!!!!

Anybody want to help me with my decision? I am contemplating between either 52Teas or DavidsTeas………………..

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I just discovered this thread through a post on the Life in Teacup blog; what do you think of the idea that there is “unity in addictions”? That is, the idea that complusive shopping is a lot like other addictive behaviors (drug abuse, video game addiction, etc.), and that it can be overcome in some of the same ways that these other behaviors can be, through a holistic approach that gets you into a healthy state and creates healthy ways of coping with stress or negative emotions?

I’m thinking of blogging about this soon and I’d be curious to get some input and perspectives on this idea.

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