Dexter said

When to stop trying all the teas and just replace favorites?

This community is amazing when it comes to offering advice to new users who are just getting started. There have been a few thread lately about where to buy from and how to sample everything etc. Hoping you guys can help me with the next step.
I’m feeling like I need to start transitioning into the next phase. I’ve tried a ton of teas, I’ve narrowed down my interests and likes. My cupboard is trending downward towards a reasonable number of teas.
My question is – when do you decide that you’ve found your “perfect” tea and stop searching for it.
I LOVE/ADORE and drink tons of Chinese black teas. I currently have 57 Chinese Black teas in stock. Including 8 JinJunMei and 10 Yunnan All Gold Buds (various names but that’s what they are). Do I need 57 black teas in my cupboard – no I don’t. Do I need 8 JinJunMei in my cupboard – no I don’t. But what happens is – everytime I try a new vendor, I toss a sample of Yunnan Gold and JinJunMei into my basket (am I the only one who does this?). I keep thinking there is a better one out there….
When is it time to stop exploring and just buy your favorites? How do you guys balance trying new ones and replacing old favorites?
I’m starting to get interested in exploring more pu’erh – I can’t be exploring blacks and pu’erh at the same time and keep my cupboard under 400.
Am I a lost cause or can I be helped?

68 Replies
Sil select said

you can be helped! lol i’ve been trending towards finding my favourite, or my 3 favourite of X tea…and then either rotating them or carrying all 3 in my cupboard…generally though it’s more of a rotation since they’re from different companies. I still add samples of, say “keemuns” to my shopping carts, but always samples and i drink them against whichever happens to be in my cupboard to see which i like better.

Dexter said

I really like the suggestion of having 3 of each in cupboard if the one you sip down IS THE BEST then replace it – if not then try a new one and keep comparing until you are happy that you have the top 3 or if more than 3 excellent ones rotate them in. :))

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SarsyPie said

I really want to say something helpful, but… I got nothin’. I’m a notorious tea tryer-outer, even though I know what my faves are. If I would quit spending money on the stuff I like or that is just new/different, I could afford to buy the more expensive stuff that I love.

I’m a lost cause. Join me.

MzPriss said

What the Sarsy said.

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Maybe for every one tea you allow yourself to buy you must first get rid of two teas?

Personally, I have 2 teas that I drink every day. My Premium Taiwanese Assam and a really high end gyokuro. I have about another 10 teas that I rotate through regularly and one sample box subscription. Trying new teas is great but if you have teas you LOVE, how much are the new teas really adding? How much better is a new Yunnan Gold really going to be than the one you currently love, especially given that you have tried so many? Of course I may change my mind when I am no longer bombarded with free samples.

Dexter said

I really appreciate these words of wisdom. You are absolutely right – I haven’t found a “blow me away” Yunnan Gold for awhile now. Other than the “must try all of them” satisfaction – 95% of the new samples really aren’t any better than what I already have. Thank you for pointing this out to me. :))

For years, I went crazy with teas. It might even be that I taste so many new teas so regularly but at the end of the day I just want to drink my favorites. Of course there are differences between the same types of teas but do those differences add substantially to your quality of life?

I’m a big collector, particularly of music. I often collect every pressing of a particular album. I find though that its more the thrill of the chase that’s exciting rather than actually owning each pressing.

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Lala said

I have already gotten to this point and started just replacing favorites. I got to the point were I was not only bored with my tea but I was also feeling overwhelmed and stressed with trying new teas. Don’t get me wrong, I still loved tea all along the way, but it started to feel like a big job.

So I just narrowed down my cupboard. I still try new teas if they intrigue me, but I really only stock my favorites now. I don’t even feel the need or the pull to buy from new companies anymore. If I read an interesting review I will search out the tea and possibly buy it, but for the most part I am happy where my cupboard is.

Dexter said

This is what I was hoping for – that it would just happen – that I would get bored of sampling and just naturally start to buy only the favorites – that doesn’t seem to be happening fast enough for my cupboard or wallet. You give me hope that it will happen eventually. :))

Lala said

You can start by giving away a giant box of your teas. That’s what I did. Ha ha !! :)

Sil select said

that doesn’t mean send them all to me dex! even if i probably would love most of them heh

Dexter said

I don’t think I’m emotionally ready yet to do a full scale purge. I already took a smallish box to work and left it in the staff room for people to take – but it was mostly crap that no one here would want. I’ve passed on a bunch more that were good teas but not to my tastes – and I know I have more that I probably won’t drink but I’m not ready to give them up yet. So Sil you are safe…for now. :))

Cavocorax said

+1

I was getting a little overwhelmed too, and I stopped buying tea pretty much completely for a few months, and just learned to appreciate what I have. I think that eventually the excitement of GOTTA TRY THEM ALL just fades and you just go back to what you’re really happy with.

(Until everyone starts buzzing about some new tea company that you feel you need to try and then the samples start coming back in)

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Ubacat said

Dexter, I’ve been wondering about that myself. I’ll be watching this discussion because I need help too. Perhaps I just haven’t found enough favourite teas to keep me happy for life. :-)

Dexter said

I don’t think I’ve found the ones I want to drink forever – certainly I expect my tastes to continue to evolve – but I think I’ve tried enough that I shouldn’t have to try every one I see. LOL I might be a lost cause…

Ubacat said

Give it time. I think with my obsession it will play out eventually. Right now it’s only a year into finding all these online companies and everything is still new. My tastes are changing too so it’s hard to settle on a tea or teas. I don’t do a lot of swaps as it sometimes overloads the tea cabinet with samples. However, when I don’t have something new to try out, I have Steepster withdrawal. I just want to try out something new only to leave a review. Sad, isn’t it? LOL

Dexter said

LOL you do understand that a lot of people log the teas everytime they drink them…. You don’t have to wait for a new tea to write a review. I love reading the “reviews” that are more about peoples lives and how they are feeling and why they are drinking a certain tea today…. If you are suffering Steepster withdrawal just drop in and say “hi”.

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Dustin said

I’m struggling with that too. I end up putting myself on a tea buying ban which works for a while until it doesn’t. After I have been holding myself back, I tend to go big when I fall off that wagon. I’m on the ban again and I’d like to set sipdown goals to reach before I buy again, but I haven’t decided what they are.

I think a solution (at least for keeping my collection manageable) is to figure out which teas I REALLY love and restrick the number of keepers. Maybe 10 flavored blacks, 3 unflavored, 5 flavored greens, ten decaf ect. (who am I kidding, the numbers would be way higher than that) But I also need an amount allowed for new tea to try. In my head I think this could work, but we’ll see how it holds up against reality.

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yyz said

I have this problem too. Seeing as I’ve bought a lot of aliexpress teas and sometimes stores shut down, some of my ‘favourites’ become available and I’ve also found within groups of types of teas there is enough variety that I would ideally always like more than one. For example I have some jin jun mei’s that taste more like a desert tea that and others that are tart and malty and make great all day teas. I like them both. I have only a few teas that I’ve restocked repeatedly and there is only one class of tea where I have a decided favourite ( green teas: Rizhao Xueqing preferable pre-minqian if obtainable.).

Ubacat said

Is Aliexpress the only place that sells the Rizhao tea? I haven’t found it anywhere else. I love it too.

yyz said

Teatrekker had it briefly last year but as of now they don’t seem to ship to Canada. http://www.teatrekker.com/rizhao-xueqing. I have seen Laoshan on eBay but not rizhao. I’ve seen it on Amazon before but it was quite expensive. You could try contacting larger companies directly. I ordered from this one through an Ali dealer but it was sent directly from the company so they be willing to deal with you directly. http://www.rzlvcha.cn/page-contact.html. The other option is to see whether the seller you bought from before is willing to deal with you privately through PayPal. You can also buy through taobao and find an agent who accepts PayPal.

Ubacat said

Wow, that website is all Chinese. I guess I’ll just have to take my chances and order from Aliexpress again when I want that tea. For now I don’t need it because that’s what I ordered from in January and that was where my card got compromised.

yyz said

I view the site through google translate. I’m probably doing a Ali order this week, I’ll keep my fingers crossed that things go smoothly:-)

Ubacat said

I hope so too. It might have just been a fluke for me.

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OMGsrsly said

I have a few teas that I really like, and will try to keep stocked, but I think as far as everything else, I’ll be happy with samples. If there’s a type of tea I really like, then I’ll try to keep a favourite stocked and rotate through others. For instance, I LOVE assams. I have lots of assams in my cupboard. And they’re all different and I like them all. Would I be happy with just 1? Probably not. Do I really need large quantities of 11 assams? No. No, I don’t.

OMGsrsly said

Oh goodness I lied. I have way more than 11 assams. Mostly in 50g+ packages. I blame my mother.

yyz said

I understand. At one point I thought I had my must have Assam, but they stopped producing orthodox yea so now I am back to experimentation, but I would always want at least two or three or more. They have diverse characters:-)

OMGsrsly said

Haha. :D And my mom knows that I like all sorts of Assams, so she keeps buying them for me as gifts. No duplications yet, though!

Dexter said

:)) I don’t have anyone in real life adding to my situation – so I guess I’m lucky there.

OMGsrsly said

The main problem is her minimum size seems to be 100g!!

yyz said

Maybe you should put together Assam samplers from the excess and swap them or sell them here! I have that problem with the Indian grocer CTC. It’s usually really good but I don’t need a pound of it ( the Kenyan one is worse. They sell it by the Kilo):-)

OMGsrsly said

LOL. Thankfully I can divest a bunch by sending out samples to people. But I’m really bad at mailing – still haven’t sent out my holiday cards…

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Nicole said

I toss any samples of Yunnans and other Chinese blacks in my cart whenever I order from somewhere that has them. What I have been tending to do is keep a couple kinds that are less nommy at work so I drink those down when I’m not thinking about them. The less nommy ones I generally don’t replace.

When ordering again, I usually order only on sales, even if I am totally out of something I love because I know I will always have others I love on hand until the next sale comes along. I have been trying to keep in mind what I don’t think I can live without and only replace those when I do order more.

But as for Trying All The Teas!, well, that kind of still has to be done, IMO. You never know when something seriously awesome might be out there. As long as it is sample sized. :)

So I guess I need to join the ranks of the lost causes. :)

Dexter said

I drink blacks at work all the time too. For me it’s not so much about the really good ones vs the not so good ones – I need work teas that will stand up to crazy steep times. They quite often end up steeping on my desk for 2-10 minutes. I get interrupted or they get neglected. I need some in my cupboard that are GOOD at various steep times….

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Kayla select said

I’ve only been seriously into tea for a year or so. I marveled (and still do) at the members of this site that would speak of such large tea collections and thought, “surely I could never have that much tea that I would need a special place to store them or anything like that!” I was wrong. I myself am already wondering (while hovering at about 40 different teas), at what point do I stop and just have what I love? Knowing myself, I fear that day will never come and I will just keep finding more teas that I must have in my stash. I do like Nicole’s strategy of only buying tea during sales. However, it seems you can always find a sale on some tea site ;)

Nicole said

Do not subscribe to the sales thread here unless you want to buy. :)

Dexter said

But I might miss a sale from a favorite company that hardly ever has sales…… (I know – lost cause)

Dexter said

Kayla – I think you are already ahead of me if you are questioning these issues at 40 teas – I didn’t even panic about it until I hit 350ish…. I might need self control advice from you. :))

Kayla select said

Dexter – It must be the college student budget and small apartment must have kept my self control in check :)

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