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How many staples do you carry in your cupboard?

So I’ve been looking through my stash and realized that not only do I have WAY too much tea, I also have SO many staples. It’s funny though, they aren’t always precise. For instance, a good roasty oolong and a nice and deep green oolong, as well as milky oolong, are must haves in my cupboard. However, I’ve noticed that while I always need to have some solid black teas around, preferably with some malt… those can be Assam, Ponmundi, Ceylon, or come from virtually anywhere in that region. I consider this to be different than my favourites list, as essentials are more consistent whereas faves fade in and out. However, if a fave stays as such for a considerable period, it can make my essentials list!
I do have my phases of course, with my tastes flitting from one type of tea to another, but these below seem to be my consistent go tos.
Anyhow, here are my essentials, at this moment that is. The list only grows longer by the week :)

Updated List:
Roasty Oolong
Big Red Robe
Green Oolong
Milky Oolong
Generic toasty green. I rarely indulge but every now and then I must have it!
Dragonwell with a sweet finish
Morrocan Mint
Generic White
Whisky White
Strawberry White… which is now discontinued from David’s Tea! nooooo :(
Strong Black tea, atleast two varieties
Chai tea
Lapsang Souchong (not as much any more, must have been a phase)
Pu’erh, both cooked and uncooked though I am very picky
Two or three flavoured rooibos’
Three or four other herbals for night time drinking
Two sick teas (Ginger Pu’erh and Throat soother at the moment!)
Plain Mate
Two flavoured mates
For some reason I don’t favour them anymore. I drink them for a change, but I haven’t craved for eons!
Some sort of lemon and blueberry tea
Angel Falls from The Kiosque

So after perusing at this list, I realized why I have so many samples. Now that I know more or less what I like in a tea, it’s mainly, to find fillers for the above list!! Either new categories, or to fill in those that are empty.
There was a time I had Genmaicha on this list, but not so much the last few months. That is my only exception.

I’m curious, what are your essentials? and do they vary from your faves?

89 Replies
Azzrian said

I have the exact same philosophy and problem as you. I have so many samples to find THE teas to keep in my Permanent stash. I also work it the way you do – weedle it down to those I MUST have always and enjoy the others while I have them but let them fade away.
So for me, although it is always a work in progress:
Several Oolongs of various types
Vanilla Mint
Strawberry Teas – especially Strawberry Zabaglione
Kangaita White Needle
(totally jealous you have whisky white)
I really want and need to get some Almond Cookie from Joy’s Teaspoon for my stash – only had the sample.
A few black teas – Cream Earl Grey, Yorkshire Tea, and several others.
Some Honeybush, rooibos, and decaf teas – a variety usually decadent as that is mostly what I crave at night. :)
I don’t have a favorite pu-erh yet but want to find it.
I have not tried mate yet.
I make my own “sick” tea that works wonderfully.
And I am in search for a good lemon tea.
The problem is even in making this list I am so new and still rotating my favorites as I discover another. There is SO much to try and its such an adventure both exciting and sometimes stressful because I want to be organized lol
I think yes sometimes my essentials do vary from my favorites.
Its sort of like stocking up for armageddon lol you know what you will wish you had and what you will “need” … I can “get by” until my next fun sample comes in to see if I can find a better speciality flavor but I would be very unhappy if I did not have my sustenance!
Edit Oh and I would love a great yellow to keep in my stash – I love the one I have but it is the only one I have tried so I need to discover more! :)

Omg yes, I feel like such a newb sometimes that I get lost in it all!!
Discovering new teas to love, and little pockets of all the different kinds is such a thrill… I want to learn about them all, but at the same time I do hope that the possibilities are never exhausted.
I don’t think I’ve ever had a yellow tea though, they are harder to come by in my parts. Unless I just don’t know I’ve had one haha
As for the Whisky White, I purchased the tin over a year ago now. It’s started to fade already. I’m torn between drinking it down before it gets too stale and keeping it around forever :(
As for the organized part… ooh boy. I’ll get there someday. Probably when I have my own place! and a massive cupboard…
If there was an apocalypse, oh dear I hate to think of it. Maybe I should keep my teas in a suitcase instead?? ha!

Azzrian said

Haha I know right! A separate stash for JUST in case! :)
Something that would brew easily at a boiling temp because it may be hard to get water exactly right – with water purification tablets which every emergency bag should have anyway and oh a handy little thermometer like used for grilling – YUP thats it!
Now I also love a good ice wine tea! I want to experiment more with those as well. So far the best I have had (I have only had two) was from Design a Tea.
Well if you ever find another whiskey white please let me know! :)

Which Whisky White are you gals talking about? It looks like Davids has it for order… thought it kind of looked interesting.

yep that’s the one… I didn’t know it was back on the website! last time I looked it was gone

Azzrian said

HOLY! Ugggg payday GET HERE!!!! Tomorrow can’t come fast enough!

Yeah, isn’t Whiskey White meant to be permanent online now?

I’m not sure!! I used to hang around the store over lunch… but I’ve been busy the last few weeks so don’t know the buzz!

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yes, a thermometer and a box of tea sachets!! water purifiers… maybe some tin cups- light enough to carry.
Oooh yes, I considered adding my icewine tea but I haven’t had it long enough and only tried two so don’t really know enough just yet.
If I ever find another one(whisky white)… oh you can be sure I’ll share :)
These Design a Teas look like so much fun! ahh I can’t get sucked in. I won’t! lol

Azzrian said

LOL you can get two free samples from them – that you design yourself – and two of their mixtures! I don’t recall if I paid any shipping but I don’t think so. If so it was not much at all or I would not have done it!
I made two and liked one of my mixes – the other one was not very good lol but that was my fault. I tried their ice wine – it was very good – I have not tired the other sample from their premix yet. Go for it but JUST the samples for now! :)

Azzrian said

LOL you can get two free samples from them – that you design yourself – and two of their mixtures! I don’t recall if I paid any shipping but I don’t think so. If so it was not much at all or I would not have done it!
I made two and liked one of my mixes – the other one was not very good lol but that was my fault. I tried their ice wine – it was very good – I have not tired the other sample from their premix yet. Go for it but JUST the samples for now! :)
Shipping is 1 dollar but you get a 2 dollar coupon for your next order.

Ohhhh soooo tempting!! but no, I must at the very least organize my stash first!! I’ve done it before when it was smaller. I can do it again, right?? errrrr…
yeah, I am such a procrastinator!
Okay, in one months time, I will place that order :)

Azzrian said

I think it is a bit easier to organize my stash because its probably not as large as some BUT I use baskets for everything – some are big baskets some small – like my pu-erh basket is smaller. ANyway if I want to organize a little I do ONE basket at a time. I wish I had a cabinet – maybe someday.

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I’ve done the baskets. Slowly, I am moving over to tins. The transition is quite messy!
Once that is done I’ll just keep a sample basket, and it will be sooo much easier to manage!!!

I keep all of my teas in tins or jars with labels and all samples stay in their packaging and go into a box , it is much easier to manage that way!

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I am glad you started this thread! I don’t have time right now to post my own list (If I do it will be loooooong), but I wanted to at least let you both know I’ve enjoyed following your conversation. I plan to show my wife your ‘lists’, as she teases me about how many different teas I have (and feel I have to have). It is amazing how many different situations that can come up in life that call for just the right kind of tea. And who wants to be stuck needing a Castelon Estate second flush organic fair-trade green Darjeeling, grown at over 1000 meters, but not having it? : p

Azzrian said

That CRACKED me UP! I am supposed to be watching a movie NOT on here – I AM AN ADDICT!

I love making my lists SimpliciTea, it helps me feel more organized, even though I’m really not! :P
and I agree, there is a tea for most every situation!! mmmm Darjeeling…

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Missy said

I don’t have a complete staple list yet. There are just too many things to try right now.

I do however organize all my teas. My finance’s co-worker gave him a label maker doo dad. Now I’ve talked him into magnetic tape, so I can happily print out little labels for my 44 tins!

I have one small cupboard for a small tin of each tea down stairs. Upstairs I have my “over flow” shelf. Basically any thing that won’t all fit into one tin gets another tin and lives here.

Currently I’m trying to twist Dylan’s arm to get me a cabinet up here so I can have a much more massive supply! Perhaps if I make cookies….

Angrboda said

Magnetic tape! That’s brilliant! I want that too! runs off to research

Missy said


ohmygoodness, I want magnetic tape!!! I need it, I need it now! haha
Good luck getting your cabinet :)

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Azzrian said

I want a cabinet SO badly. I asked hubby to make me one but he said he needs a few thousand dollars worth of tools to do it. LOL Okay back to movie.

I want one tooooo! we are renovating our kitchen in a few months, maybe I will get lucky :P
but then I also want to move out… hmmm. Oh well, as long as I have my tea it doesn’t matter much how it’s stored!

Azzrian said

We are hoping to reno ours as well in a few months! I am trying to figure out how to best display my tea pots and cups, etc AND tea in the kitchen and still have room for regular kitchen stuff lol – we have a small home.

Ours is not too tiny but the kitchen arrangement is very awkward. All this unused space…
but keeping a place to show off my wares, oh yes that would be a dream! :)

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None, I keep the staples in my desk with the stapler. You people are silly ;)

Heh, what can I say… what’s the point if you can’t get a little silly over tea! :P

My first thought was totally, “Staples? How is this related to tea? Oh…wait…”

hehe mine to Mercuryhime! :P

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Scott B said

Assam/Irish Breakfast
one or two greens -Dragonwell/Jasmine/Moroccan Mint
Masala Chai
Lapsang Souchong in the summer
Anything else is just whatever strikes me.
Looking for a good Rooibush for nighttime drinking-hoping to find one here.

Lapsang only in the summer? because it reminds you of campfires? Mmmm

Scott B said

I was introduced to Lapsang as a summer drink that went well with grilling outdoors and the summer heat-which I think it does. I suppose I could drink it year round-but summer only does give me something to look forward to. That, and I have been overbuying my holiday teas the last couple years-haven’t had room for it until late Spring.

Hmmm, I shall have to try it that way! have you had it iced? I imagine that would go best with a bbq outdoors…
Welcome to the club, I constantly overbuy. More because I want to try them all though!

Scott B said

I wanted to try it iced last summer, but I don’t think I did. I was thinking of icing it and mixing in sugar and soymilk/cream to see if it tastes anything like Thai Iced Tea.

Unless I REALLY don’t like it, I try to finish every tea I buy. 250 grams of Sencha Claus took me through St. Patrick’s Day though-ugh.

Oh my, I’ve never had 250g of anything!! I’d get tired of it so fast… or else it’d go stale before I drank half the supply!
I loooove Thai Iced tea!

We’ve been trying to come up with the perfect thai tea replacement (since Teavana discontinued their Thai Tea, don’t buy the Chai Yen if you want it to taste like thai tea). Right now we have a very tasty blend with 2 parts Vanilla Black (Serendipitea’s Colonille), 2 parts Rooibos Almond Vanilla (The Tea Spot’s Red Rocks), and 1 part Coconut Black (Serendipitea’s Burrough’s Brew). Very, very tasty. Maybe not a perfect thai tea, but a definite replacement for Teavana’s discontinued blend.

Scott B said

Well, I needed a staple green because I get tired of most of them. 250 was too much though-and it did lose flavor the last month. Won’t do that again. I’m trying some new green teas that I hope can become staples.

Thanks for the tip, Dylan. I have no idea what tea is traditionally used for Thai iced tea-I just know that my local Thai restaurant used something that was strong and smoky.

Oh, and if I can recommend a nighttime rooibos…

The Vanilla Rooibos from MarketSpice(.com) has chamomile in it, which I haven’t seen anywhere else. Our daughter loves it (and if we can get her to drink something with chamomile, I feel that it will greatly prolong our sanity).

Scott B said

Thanks for the Rooibus recommendation, I’ll put it on my shopping list.

Blake said

Heh, I love that you keep Lapsang on hand for the summer. When I first tried Lapsang Souchong my first thought was “This reminds of warm summer nights, I wish I would have had this for the winter!”

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Angrboda said

Oh, my Standard Panel. :) The top shelf of Tea Corner.

I actually keep mine listed in my Steepster bio these days, partly to remind myself of what’s in it and partly because I think a person’s standard stock gives a fairly good impression of their preferences.

I try to limit the size of it, and something has to be REALLY GOOD to be included. Not just ‘one of each type I can think of’.

This is what it looks like at present. As you can see there are some things that I haven’t actually found yet and few are really set in stone when it comes to brand.

-Lapsang Souchong, any brand really, but preferably AC Perchs.
-Blackberry flavoured black or similar, any brand.
-Late Summer Blend, AC Perchs
-Raspberry Oolong, AC Perchs OR Red Fruits Oolong, Le Palais des Thes
-Caramel, Kusmi OR Toffee, Le Palais des Thes
-Something orange flavoured, black or pu-erh, any brand.
-Tan Yang Te Ji, Teaspring OR Bai Lin Gongfu, Teavivre
-A good Keemun, any brand.
-The Perfect Vanilla Black if and when she ever finds it…

Missy said

Let me know if you ever settle on the perfect vanilla black. I have Colonille from SerendipiTea. I enjoy it. It’s mellow and smooth but some days I wish for more vanilla.

Angrboda said

The closest I’ve come is the Vanilla Nilgiri that Chi of Tea used to have. Keyword, ‘used to’. After that I’m very much enjoying the vanilla Assam from 52teas, but that’s not in constant supply and I’ve given up shopping at 52teas anyway. (Nothing wrong wtih the company, but I got too many extra import fees for tax and customs. Three out of the four most recent orders I got that on, so it has stopped being an acceptable risk)

that’s a good idea, keeping it in one’s bio. I have a feeling that I’d not update it often enough though!
I was never one for vanilla in my teas… but maybe if I found the perfect one that would change :)

Missy said

Thanks for the information Angrboda. The search must continue. :D

another thing…like you Angroboda, for something specific to reach essential status, it needs to be in my 90’s rating range. Otherwise, it’s not worthy!

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Dinosara said

I stole Angrboda’s “Standard Panel” terminology for mine, and I created a pinboard on Pinterest of them so I would remember. I know, it’s ridiculous. It was a long while before I actually could start narrowing down on “must have” teas and what I always want to have in my cupboard. The sad thing is that I have so much other tea that I don’t actually have a bunch of my standard panel teas in my cupboard right now.

My list is a mix of specific teas and general categories. Some of my general categories have a specific tea that fills them so well that I doubt anything will ever displace them (e.g., my chocolate tea).
Paris, Tower of London, Florence, Royal Wedding, Boston – Harney
Coquelicot Gourmand, Noel a Pekin, 7 Parfums, Macaron Mangue Jasmin – Dammann Freres
Gardens of Anxi, Golden Earl – Verdant
Milk Oolong – American Tea Room
Lychee, Passion Fruit Oolongs – Naivetea
Coconut Pouchong – Golden Moon
Rosy Earl Grey – Teas Etc
Chocolate Almond Allure – Talbott
Organic Chocolate “O” – the Tea Spot
Earl Green – Empire Tea Services

General (“currently” means my current favorite, not necessarily what is currently filling it in my cabinet!)
Jasmine Pearl (currently Harney)
Lychee Black (currently Harney)
Passion Fruit Black (currently thepuriTea)
Mango Black (currently thepuriTea)
Earl Grey Cream (currently The Tea Spot)
Rose Black (currently Harney)
Black Currant Black (currently Harney)
Earl Grey (currently Todd & Holland Double Bergamot)
Gongfu Black (currently Teavivire Bai Lin Gongfu)
Tieguanyin (currently Verdant)
Almond Black (still looking!)

Whew, I guess that’s it. It’s a lot of teas, but it’s far less than what I have right now. :P

Dinosara said

It’s interesting to go back and look at this thread from 7 months ago on a similar topic… http://steepster.com/discuss/1863-cupboard-question

My tastes haven’t changed all that much, but there are quite a few more must haves as my tea journey progresses.

bahhh that list isn’t so long!! I have a feeling mine will eventually be even longer.
Dinosara, I was looking for that thread! but the search feature was bugging out on me. In fact, I had hoped to compare that thread with this one. It seems my list has tripled :/

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