Dexter said

Spreadsheet Help

Looking for help from all the amazingly organized Steepsterites who have/keep a spreadsheet of their tea stash.
I started to create one the other day and then couldn’t decide how I wanted to organize it, what info I wanted on it, and if I would really use it. I have a gazillion questions, but will start with a few and see where the conversation goes.
What order do you have the teas listed in? By company, by type, something else?
Do you have a column for ingredients or flavors? for example I started just saying straight black or flavored green, but then thought about things like Florance – do you have somewhere that you say it’s a chocolate hazelnut?
How often do you look at it? Is it JUST a backup of your virtual cupboard? Do you look through it to find what to drink? Do you use it to plan future purchases? How does it make your life easier?
How do you handle if you have the same tea that you bought/obtained at different times? If you have a sample that friend A sent you and you have some that you bought (or you’ve bought original sample and then restocked), is it two entries? or just a note next to the original entry?
What do you do with tea that you’ve finished? Do you leave it “in order” and just mark it as to buy/not rebuy? Do you move it to the bottom of the list or separate page?
I’m starting in the middle of journey – what do I do with all the teas that I’ve tried but no longer have? DO I really need to enter all them in with info on if to rebuy or not?

Sorry, I told you I was confused. This is just some of the questions I have. Really any info you can share would be greatly appreciated. :))

65 Replies
Sil select said

lol…just a “few” questions :P

Mine’s pretty simple – tea name; type of tea; company; month arrived; quantity; rating; reorder (yes/no)

i really just keep a spreadsheet so i have a fast way to see what my oldest teas are and which teas i’ve flagged for reorder in the future…it’s also my “back up” as to what teas i’ve tried should steepster ever disappear.

In terms of once the tea is gone – i just set the quantity to zero and then if i order it again, i change that entry again with the quantity i picked up/month arrived. Then the spreadsheet doesn’t get out of control, and all i have to do is filter the “zero’s” out if i want a sense of what’s in my cupboard. Filter’s are your friend! If i picked up the same tea in a different month – the entry has the oldest month, and then i just change the name of the tea to reflect the other stuff, eg (Laoshan Black July -where the entry might say Feb…when Feb gets to zero, i change the month to july..)

It makes things easier when i’m trying to find things like how i felt about a particular tea that i’ve had in the past, or if i want to see when i last purchased from company X….or if i just want to find inspiration as to what tea to drink. I’ve also got a column there for whether i’ve shared a tea via the BBB Box, but that’s only because it goes around and around and…

i don’t add samples to my spreadsheet – unless it’s something i want to get in the future. Samples are only in my steepster cupboard so i know how many teas in total. The way i see it, I write people’s names on the bag when they send me tea, so i don’t need it for that…and unless a sample is really great – chances are i won’t want it again..

Dexter said

Thanks for the help. Basically what I learned from this is that I am making it harder than it needs to be because I don’t understand all the functions available to me. “Filters are my friend” – ok, let me work on that one.
If you don’t add samples, then I am for sure not going back and adding my “history” to the sheet.
“Quantity” – oh that one scares me. I wasn’t even thinking about quantity – I’m quite sure that I like living in denial about how much tea I have. Do you change the quantity every time you drink it or is it at 25g (the amount bought) until you change it to zero?
This project actually scares me a lot, but hoping that it might keep me busy enough that I’m not browsing sites for stuff to buy. :))

Sil select said

Just label the columns and then you can filter by each of your column headers. It’s not complicated :) just means that if you want to only see black teas you can or sort by newest to oldest or vice versa….or just see your mandala teas or whatever… Saves you time.

I generally only change the quantity every so often when I go and clean up my cupboard…since it’s a guess anyway. That way I know generally how much I have. Helps for ordering before I run out as well lol

Cavocorax said

Huh…. I think I overcomplicated mine as well by copy/pasting teas that are done over to a “Sipdown” page. I already have a column that auto-totals and tells me the # I have in stock, so as long as I clear that out, that’s really all I need. I guess I know what I’m doing today – putting it all back on one sheet so I don’t have multiple lines for teas I buy more than once!

And here’s a screenshot of my page, with some scribbled on explanations of what some of those random numbers are. (http://oi59.tinypic.com/2utn5o0.jpg) I do rely a lot on filters though! And maybe my columns will give you some ideas?

I have a separate page where all list all the teas I ordered or swapped for and am expecting. I find it easier to manage my spreadsheet if I enter them in when I make the ordr, instead of doing it all when they arrive (and I’m too excited to drink them). I also have another page where I’ve been tracking the total number of teas in my cupboard vs the estimated weight in oz, to get an idea of how much my cupboard has grown/shrunk.

Dexter said

OMG!!! Filter changes everything. That is awesome advice Sil – now to go home and work out how to do it on Google doc – but on Excel it’s amazing.
Cavo – will take a look at your doc tonight and gain inspiration. Thanks for your input. Hopefully we can all help each other. :))

Ubacat said

Calc from Libreoffice is a free speadsheet program too. I’ve used it a bit and it does most of what Excel does.

Cavocorax, love your screenshot of your spreadsheet. Very organized.

Dexter said

Yay!!! Figured out the filter thing in google doc!!! Easy once you choose a range of cels – why can’t they just say that?
Now I need to seriously think about what columns I really need. I like Sil’s quantity – then change to zero idea. I like Cavo’s sheet, really nicely organized. Like the cupboard count idea – I wouldn’t separate out incoming (but that’s just me) I think I am going to enter everything including samples and in the quantity line if it’s in sipdown range 2-3 cups will change grams to an “s” (sample or sipdown or something) then will be easy to sort out anything that I only have a little of (yes I know you could sort amount lowest to highest, but this would be a visual reminder that it’s only a sample.
You guys have been great. Have so good ideas to get me started, but I’m sure I’m going to keep playing with it until I get it just how I want it.

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Ubacat said

I just started keeping a spreadsheet a few months ago. I found that my tea notes on Steepster were just not letting me know when to re-order or what to reorder. It’s still a work in progress. Yes, filters are great for sorting info that Sil is using. Some of my columns are: Company, Name, Type, Date Rec, Quantity, My rating, Swap with (I did add samples but I like Sil’s method better), Buy again?, Reorder?, In Steepster Cupboard?. I have quite a few teas not put in the Steepster cupboard only because it meant setting them up which I didn’t get done. I also have my own review on my spreadsheet as a quick note so I don’t have to look on Steepster all the time. My column for re-ordering is great. When a tea is getting low, I sometimes put a note in “order soon”. I think adding a column of notes is good too just in case there’s a perfect steep time and temp for that tea that’s not on the package or something amazing about it you want to remember.

Cavocorax said

Oh! I love the idea of a re-order column! That’s much simpler than my filtering teas by rating and seeing what to buy that way (or filtering by X Company when I find out about a sale!) That way you’re not going miss out on a favourite. :)

Dexter said

LOL I’m not sure I will ever be allowed to order more tea so a re-order column….. :((

Ubacat said

I want to make sure I don’t run out of my favourites. Nothing worse than seeing it on the list and finding out it’s all gone in your cupboard!

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OMGsrsly said

Mine basically looks like Cavo’s, except I don’t really care about flavoured VS non and it’s in a different order. :) Mine is also in google docs. I have a separate page I keep for teas I’ve finished. Each instance of a tea gets a line, but only one instance of a tea gets a number for counting (ie: I have 2 samples and 1 purchased amount of one tea, so there are 3 lines and only 1 has a number that’s counted for my total.).

I have a “Buy?” column that I list a Y/N/M in, for yes, no, maybe. I have a rating column. I put notes in it, especially when I finish the tea and move it into the “done” list. Because how else will I know whether I really liked it or not? Essentially it’s a condensed flavour note “bitter, fruity but not ‘berry’, best with milk” etc.

I also have a page where I keep a list of the teas I’ve sent people. So I can filter that my “Name” and then “Company” or “Tea Name” to see if I’ve sent someone something. I’m kinda bad about updating that one though.

It just occurred to me that I could colour the teas I really really love, so they’re easier to find. Hmm. And then do an if-function to count the coloured rows so I have an idea of the size of my ideal cupboard. Maybe this weekend if I don’t have anything planned… the spreadsheet needs updating anyways. :)

Dexter said

Like the idea of coloring the teas you really love, but I think I’m going to add a “rate” column and not add a Steepster number but more of an impression – love, like, ok, dislike, hate – something like that – then when I’m looking for something comforting to drink – sort by LOVE and find my favorites… dunno, that’s just my thought right now. I might just use numbers 1-5 but simple….

OMGsrsly said

Yeah, my rating column is not like Steepster’s. :)

Ubacat said

I was rating like Steepster but was finding it wasn’t working for me. I needed something more simple too…Think I will change them.

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Reki275 said

So, thanks to seeing this thread, I got my butt down to finally taking inventory of my tea stash using some of the tips I read here. Wow, what an eye-opener! I have way too much tea. Over 100 different kinds! scuttles over to Hiatus thread

OMGsrsly said

100? Oh I dream of 100. :) I have 247, a huge ttb, and tea incoming. Oops?

Dexter said

LOL I too am only dreaming of 100. Take some advice and stop before you end up at 300 like I am.
I’m hoping that this project will be a wake up call for me to realize how much I actually have.

OMGsrsly said

And 5 more teas just came in, so make that 252. :)

Ubacat said

I started out small last year and already my cupboard is bursting. I know I have WAY too many teas so I figure I’ve got to be good until at least Christmas or after Christmas when all the sales are back on again.

Dexter said

(The best sales last year were on Black Friday/Cyber Monday at the end of November….just sayin’)

Ubacat said

Well, that’s almost to Christmas. I’m hoping to buy from Butiki and Whispering Pines then. They’ve been on my wishlist for awhile.

Dexter said

LOL well there will be more for Boxing Day and New Years – it’s very dangerous that time of year – but the best discounts IMHO were on BF/CM

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Dexter said

Am I the only one who has so many teas that I’m seriously thinking about adding a “where” column? As in: where in my house it’s stored…..

boychik said

No, you are not. I have a squirrel syndrome: I hide and forget!

OMGsrsly said

Ahaha. :D I only have two places for teas. A cupboard and a cart. The cart contains samples and large tins (from my mom, MF, DF…) and the cupboard contains everything else. I guess I’m fortunate I live alone, so I can designate more cupboard space to tea and tea ware and less to food and other dishes…

Ubacat said

I haven’t done that yet ; but when the last two orders came in, I had no room in my tea cabinet. That’s when I knew I had a problem. lol

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Dexter said

Reworked what I had started the other day. Made some adjustments based on the awesome advice here. I left a column for amount, but haven’t entered any in yet.
Comparing actual cupboard to Steepster and then entering teas into the spread sheet. I’ve been working on this for most of the evening, I have tea all over the house and I only have 156 (about half) entered into the spreadsheet. This is going to take forever, BUT I haven’t bought any tea this week. :))

Ubacat said

Yay! Are you entering samples? I don’t think I will for the future but will keep a separate sheet for samples I really loved.

Cavocorax said

I enter my samples because I want the record of them afterwards, even though it inflates my numbers. I’m starting to realize that maybe I don’t need to add them to my steepster cupboard though!

And Dexter – it’s pretty satisfying when you’ve got it all set up! :D I like to go mine every few months and do inventory – see if anything has been missed etc. Yep. That’s my idea of a good time! haha

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Dexter said

AAAHHHHH!!!!!!! NNNNOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!

I’ve just spent two days, entering all my teas into my new spread sheet. I was really careful, comparing actual tea to Steepster cupboard, then entering it on my sheet.
I just finished doing that and my Steepster cupboard is showing 302 and my spreadsheet is showing 303!!!! AAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!

Sil select said

soooo i’m laughing just a little bit atm

Do you have titles in the first row of the spreadsheet? That’d make it 303.

Sil select said

good point blodeuyn – she better have titles for her columns, so she can filter grinning

Dexter said

No, I’ve left lines, etc. I have a column that I’ve put a “1” in and then asked it to total. That way I can have more than one line for the same tea (if bought separately) but is only “counted” once. I think there is a tea NOT in my Steepster cupboard.

Sil select said

poor…poor dexter. sounds like you’re lamost under 300 so i can send you surprise tea sometime!

D:

Dexter said

LOL No Thank You!!! I still have tea inbound, and I have tea here that’s not entered. I’m already up to 306/307 – with a few more yet….

Sil select said

your box is just going to keep growing…

Dexter said

LOL that’s fine as long as it’s in your house, I don’t have to count it. Maybe next month when I’m feeling deprived with no new teas. :))

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Dexter said

I knew this quantity thing was a BAD IDEA!! I was really happy living in denial – but no more it’s right there in front of my face. OMG – no kidding around. I HAVE to stop!!!!

Cavocorax said

LOL. Yeah, I hear you! I think I’m at 188 oz which is a lot of tea. I even did the math on that and with 6 cups a day, that should last me about a year! So…. reasons to not buy tea? Yep.

Dexter said

188 oz – oh my friend – I don’t even have to do the math to know that I have WAY more than that (like more than double that). What is wrong with me? LOL

boychik said

Dexter, you should sell them. im sure 1/3 of them you are not crazy about. right?
unfortunately for me, im only good at acquiring stuff.

Dexter said

You know what’s really sad boychik is that I haven’t even tried probably 2/3 of them. LOL I don’t even know which I like and which I don’t….

Sil select said

Baby steps….set little goals…unless you don’t like that sort of thing…but for me it worked -just became a game, and now I’m down from 300+ to under 100….though it took a while.

Ubacat said

Did your count include samples? It might not be as bad as you think.

Dexter said

LOL Oh no it’s really as bad as I think – actually that’s the problem, I didn’t think it was THIS bad. I have about 10 itty bitty tiny samples that aren’t included, but everything else is. I got more tea in the mail today, I’m currently showing 313 teas, but that’s not the scarey bit. The scarey bit is the weight, I weighed everything thing and I have almost 14kg of tea. SHHHHHhhhhh I don’t even like saying it out loud….

Start a TTB.

Dexter said

TTB’s come back with more tea than you send out (at least that’s been my experience. :))
What I might do is offer mystery packs and just ask ppl to pay for shipping – haven’t really thought about it yet, but if I still have a mountain in a few months, that might be the plan…

I know a lot of people who will get tea stocking stuffers this year. Just saying…

Dexter said

This is true – I keep leaving samples lying around work too, but no one really seems that interested… Talk the cat into drinking tea?

Mandy said

Hey I mean that only what? 20 cups a day for the next year, as long as you don’t resteep anything, haha

Dexter said

LOL yeah something like that. 33.3g/day = 1kg/month so that would be 14 months. I don’t think I drink 33g a day….
All I’m saying is this happens quickly. This site really enables this to happen. LOL don’t let your cupboard explode out of control. ;))

Mandy said

Ooh I bet! My cupboard wants to explode out of control, and I’m all I want all the teas, and my bank account is all woman you ain’t got no money. And then I hang my head and cry as all the sales pass me by. I still have a box full of various unopened teas that I haven’t tried yet, and I have ~150 teas right now and I try to convince myself that acquiring that much tea in less than 4 months isn’t ok.

Dexter said

LOL – oh Mandy, that was so me a year ago. I can totally relate to what you are saying. I didn’t heed the warning – others were saying – Dex there will be other sales, Dex that tea will still be available next month etc.
Obviously you have to find your own comfort zone, but now that I’m here – 150 sounds like the perfect number of teas. I would LOVE to be hovering between 125 and 150. I have no idea how I’m going to get there, but that’s the plan.
If you have a box that you haven’t tried yet, then start there. Work your way through those, try and be happy exploring the NEW teas that are already in your house.
Watch for changing tastes. I think you are already experiencing a little of that based on your last tasting note. If you buy a bunch of teas now, but don’t even try them for 3 months, your tastes can change in that time period.
LOL trust me, I’ve been there. I wish you all the best, and I’m not telling you what to do, just offering friendly advice. :))

Ubacat said

Dexter I know what you mean. Things can balloon right out of control. I get so excited hearing about a new tea and I feel I MUST have it. Then when I go to order, it just makes sense to get enough for free shipping, right? I know when I couldn’t fit my teas in the cabinet on my last orders, I was overboard. And yet there’s still loads of teas out there I want to try. I’ll probably be buying your mystery pack when and if you decide to do them. Now that I’m only drinking one or two cups a day of the caffeinated tea, I’m going through it much slower too, but it makes me appreciate each tea much more.

Dexter said

Yep cupboard explosion – I haven’t been able to put all my tea in a “cupboard” in well over a year…
I’m going to just take baby steps toward a solution. For the first time in MONTHS, I have ZERO tea incoming.
I’m not sure what I would do if I needed to curb my caffeine intake… hope you can find lots of caffeine free options to help you with that.
The free shipping thing is also one of my HUGE issues. Really I only need/want two teas, but it doesn’t make sense to pay lots for shipping – might as well buy more and then free ship. It’s crazy but I TOTALLY GET it. :)

Ubacat said

You’re not alone. I’m looking at my spreadsheet. I had way over 200 but I knew I had a lot of samples in there. So I moved all the samples into a separate sheet and looked at what I have. It’s 167 but I never updated from my last orders. My whole list needs going over anyway because some teas were finished off. I might have to do mystery packs too. lol

Yeah, that free shipping gets me everytime. Now one of my favourite sellers is the Ebay seller that offers free shipping when only getting one item. I don’t feel the need to order a hugh amount with them since I know I can buy more later.

Sil select said

i’m super LUCKY to have friends here in the area to make joint purchases with…it’s the only reason i’m able to place small orders instead of striving to get to free shipping thresholds..

Dexter said

Would it be creepy if I stood on the street with tea samples begging people to be my local tea buddy?

Sil select said

just don’t make it a corner…then you might be ok :)

Dexter said

Right…. ;))

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lolainred said

And now I’ve started a spreadsheet. Man I love spreadsheets…

My number of teas is NOWHERE NEAR you guys, but I am hoping to keep it that way. I get very easily overwhelmed and am such a collector. So I have to keep my collecting tendencies under wraps so I don’t end up buried under a mountain of tea, weeping because I can’t reach my kettle.

Uniquity said

I’ve been trying to bring my number down for years. I made a lot of headway by drinking teas and disposing of contaminated samples but now I’m at a point where I’ve got a hefty amount of tea I love (say, half my cupboard) and another chunk that is old or less beloved or not the right thing for now or or or…

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