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

131 Replies
SunnyinNY said

I have definitely cut down a little on my tea buying for now….just till I get caught up trying all the stuff I already own. Then I’ll get back into the swing of overordering tea.

However, my obsession for all things teaware isn’t slowing down. I actually just ordered & received my latest tea set. I have been wanting it for almost a year. It had been out of stock on Amazon for an eternity!! Okay, not really, but it sure felt that way! And to boot the price came down a little…so I treated myself to it.

Check it out —>

And while I have an obsession for teacups & saucers & teapots, this is actually the first full matching set that I own.

tigress_al said

That is a very cute set!!

SunnyinNY said

Thank you!

I’ll bet tea tastes better in it to :P

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Very pretty. Now you will be all set to host a tea party!

SunnyinNY said

I actually had a tea party last year for my 40th birthday….but I used my plain white teapot & the cups pictured in my avatar picture. I didn’t have a full set of a matching teapot, cups, creamer & sugar bowl…till now. I’m such a dork….but I love my obsession with teaware!

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my parents give me a tea budget :O

there is an included clause that exempts basic black teas. now i’m trying to negotiate whether i can put pu’erhs or very dark oolongs in that grouping. =p

smart!! maybe you can bring them over to the tea side : P

my little brother, bless his heart and soul, turned and said the other day, “taite should be able to buy all the tea she wants. you don’t make me buy my own soda.”
if only….

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Plunkybug said

I don’t have a lot of space, or money, or a credit card (local options a plenty here). Also, I try to make sure I am out of something before I buy more. I’m in a phase where there are a few I could easily make regulars, but I am busy trying new things out so smaller amounts of the new stuff rather than bigger tins of regulars, though I have a small washi tin I got at Teavana about 4 years ago. I like that the DAVIDs bags are quite compact as opposed to Teaopias wide bottom ones (this makes storage much easier), and that I can get as low as 10g. I also like that I can return or exchange things I don’t like. This helps me a lot as I’m not stuck with something I don’t like.

I’m so with you on the lack of space/money/credit!!! If only that would stop me… ha!
David’s is great, but there are so many fantastic options around town, it’s hard to not branch out.
I’m slowly accumulating more tins, which is nice because I have so many samples that most of them end up staying in their baggies.
Oh and I am on the hunt for some cheap mini tins so I can fill those up at DTs. I feel they will keep longer and be much easier to store!

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I find I’m not doing so well with my vow to stop buying tea. I just placed an order with Den’s. I justified it because I had a $20 paypal balance, and Den’s offered free shipping, so I only paid $10 for $30 worth of tea. And it’s tea I’m pretty sure I’ll enjoy. But still — I made a purchase. GAH! Zero willpower here.

hey $10 is a great deal!! I’d say that’s a score :)

Feebs said

Nice one, Susan!

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Aiko said

Generally I don’t have a huge problem with overspending on tea (or maybe I’m just still in denial), but I do have two weaknesses that result in the accumulation of more tea (and spending of money) than I need.

The first is samplers. If a vendor is selling (reasonably priced) packs containing small amounts of many kinds of tea, I tend to really be drawn toward them, even if half the teas contained therein don’t sound particularly great to me. Just the idea of having a box arrive with lots of little pouches of new and mysterious flavors gets me all excited! Luckily this is a weakness that fades over time as there are only so many samplers to try.

My second weakness kicks in when I go to reorder a staple tea or two that I’m running out of, and the vendor I’m ordering from has a free shipping threshold. I tend to abuse that opportunity and look harder around the site for teas I haven’t tried yet or that just sound interesting, just so I can hit that threshold and get my free shipping! Agh. I am hopeless sometimes.

ohh yes, I am the same way with samples. I scoop them up like candy! Except I can’t order online because I live with people who would cut my credit cards up while I sleep if more packages came while I was away at work lol
Same with the free shipping tipping point. I’ve only purchased online once and that was for a tea I desperately wanted (and needed!! It had st. john’s wort in it)

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You all are so funny, because I can totally relate! I really enjoyed reading though all of the replies here. And, Indigobloom you are so good at starting (and responding to replies in) great discussions!

I have been avoiding this thread, because, well, I knew I would take lots of time to compose my own ‘two cents’ worth. So now that I have the time …

I totally understand the OCD thing, the-trying-to-find-a-place-to-put-all-of-this-stuff, thing, the buy-enough-so-I­-can-avoid-the-free-shipping, thing, the list goes on. Believe me, I can relate.

I like the going-through-your-old-stuff thing. I oftentimes don’t open a item or two in a purchase (I usually buy many at once to avoid the shipping charges) and then tell myself I can open it sometime later instead of buying something new. It helps, somewhat.

Another thing I have recently done is to move some of the bookmarks in my browser to make it harder to just check what’s on sale with a click of my mouse. Still, I’m always open to some deal I can’t pass up, if it just so happens to land on my doorstep, that is (as long as I can justify using it within it’s shelf life).

For me, what helps to curb—not exactly, stop—my compulsion to buy more tea is to keep track of how much green tea we have on hand (similar to what Dorothy and some of the rest of you said), since it’s what my wife and I drink the most of by far (and since its shelf life is relatively short). I also keep track of our consumption, which is fairly simple the way it happens to be set up. For example, we drink a pot of green tea a day, every single day. I am on the conservative side when it comes to how much dry tea to use per cup: two grams dry tea per serving X six cups water = 12 grams of dry tea per pot of tea. For various reasons, sometimes we use a little more. So I simply figure we use an ounce every two days (as 12 is about half of the serving of 28 grams per ounce), and that works out to about a pound a month (that’s really easy to remember). So then, I keep track of how much green tea we have on hand by making a list every now-and-then (not a spreadsheet, but that’s a good idea, too), while literally standing at the cupboard to do ‘inventory’ (we have a math person and an accountant in the house, so we’re both all about adding things up). Sometimes I also refer to an itemized list that came with an order (I keep a folder with all of that stuff), but I can usually remember.

When I did this just last week we determined that we are the proud owners of about 7-8 pounds of green tea (when I started doing this we were both thinking it would be more), and that’s even counting over half a pound of samples. So that means we’re good to go through mid-summer. Which then means I’m pretty much done buying any green tea until the 2012 spring harvest teas start to become available in the late spring. By then, ‘theoretically’ we will have gone through most of our green tea.

All that to say, when I have an itch to buy it helps me to have done ‘inventory’ so I can tell myself, “< PsychoTeaDude >, you have enough!” (my wife is almost continually reminding me, too, which is an ongoing joke in our household).

I do admit I am currently eying one tea I recently tried that happens to be on sale (sales are one of my weaknesses, too). But as others have suggested to do when we have the itch to buy, I have decided to sit on the idea for awhile, and I’m currently doing some research on it; I don’t think the tea will go away in the next couple of days if I don’t buy it now. And if anything, even if it does go away, so what? I have still have lots of good stuff right now.

And if anything, well, you can always tell yourself, There could be worse things (outright bankruptcy aside) than buying too much tea, right?!

You know I am blushing now at your compliment right!! thank you ST :)
The bookmark idea is excellent. If I ever (likely when I move out) get sucked into online ordering, I’ll try it out. For now, I have enough local tea shops that online is not necessary. Yet. ha!
The inventory thing, well I’ve tried that so many times and it never seems to work. but if you check out the thread I just started (tea rehab) you might just get sucked into another post of mine :P
Anyhow. Part of my problem is that even when I have a “fave” tea, I can only have it every so often, or else it’s a rather short lived phase!! So I try to mix it up. When I had maybe ten teas in my cupboard, it was definitely not enough variety… and so I branched out, looking for more options. That, combined with my insatiable curiousity gave me an instant tea buying addiction.
Waiting until my stash runs out just doesn’t seem to be an option, but I certainly plan on giving it my all to make it one!!! *sighs

I hear you on the need for variety.

As many have mentioned, wanting to try all of the different teas ‘out there’ is one of my problems. Once I get through my experimental phase, though, I hope to trim things down a bit.

I currently have about nine or so different unflavored green teas, and a few flavored green teas, and that’s about right for me. And we gotta have at least three or four each of white and herbal (our ‘evening’ teas). And then there’s the teas that we can only drink during the day—flavored and unflavored Indian Black/Chinese Red—and we gotta have a lots of those (wouldn’t want to get bored, now would we?). And then there’s the need to have at least a few oolongs (who knows I may have someone over that wants to drink a strip oolong, or a semi-balled oolong, or a Wuyi oolong?), then the iced teas, and a few different bagged teas for those days when you really don’t want to mess with loose-leaf, and the list goes on …

It’s amazing how many teas I feel it takes to have what I guess is best described as the complete tea shelf/cupboard/collection. It’d be nice to have only about 40-50 (or less) different quality teas to choose from, rather than my way over-overstocked 100+.

Collecting and trying a bunch of different teas is fun though, especially for those of us who like learning what new and wonderful things the world has to offer us. : – )

I’ll definitely have to check out your new thread, probably later, though, after I take care a few more things …

wow you certainly do have a large cupboard!!
It’s odd, I find myself drinking tea all the time and yet other people seem to consume their purchased “grams” so much faster than I do. Maybe because I tend to resteep mine?
and I try to match my caffeinated steeps with my water intake so as not to dehydrate. I get thirsty very quickly it seems and have gotten in trouble with too much tea that way before!

Watching your caffeinated steeps with your water intake, wow, I sometimes forget about not getting dehydrated. Thanks for reminding me! I guess I don’t drink black tea too often so that doesn’t usually come up for me. Still, its a good thing to be aware of.

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momo said

I love reading through this thread. I try to think that since I study economics I can keep myself from being sucked in by things….hahahahaha not when it involves tea! I wish I could help you but I am terrible on the financial aspect of things.

Sales, free shipping, seasonal teas, etc, all lovely little incentives to get us to buy. Oh I am such a sucker for free shipping.

I am only going to allow myself to make one purchase a month, less if possible. I have finally bought a tumbler so I can take tea on the go much easier.

I wonder if it would be fun to almost use a GDP approach to your tea collection, just using the exports minus imports part. Export = tea you drank, import = tea you bought. I am going to aim for a positive number there by the end of the year :) So far, so good!

But on the plus side, we’re all keeping companies in business, and there are far worse things to be buying in excess!

I like your GDP approach. That approach reminds me of one related way to keep things simple: try to tell yourself you can’t buy anything new until you get rid of something (even if that means consuming it). Sometimes I follow this guideline when it comes to tea and other ‘things’, but it’s not easy. Still, there is only so much room on my tea shelf (I am only allowed one shelf in our cabinet, and that’s probably a good thing). So, for example last month I targeted a few green teas to use up to make room for the new stuff. Consequently, the whole I-only-have-so-much-room-on-my-shelf thing is somewhat of an incentive—as it seems like some others have mentioned—to wait until I have room before I buy any more. But, as you say, there could be worse things to be obsessive about; I am certainly guilty of over-indulging in far worse : – }

nice idea!!!
I guess in my case, since I really just want to organize my cupboard and clear up the mess, I’m looking for a sharp reduction in my tea gdp.
So far, I’m doing ok. Hopefully I’ll be able to get rid of some sample packs soon!! I really am out of space so anything will be a victory at this point :)
Unfortunately, I can’t use the “tin” method because they are all so full that it will be eons before they are done. I think once I have parred everything down I’ll buy just one or two tins to fill up as a reward. That way it will look nice and clean and I won’t feel deprived!
as for targeting, I need my variety… no way could I stick to a specific tea or type until it was done- I am a pisces after all :P

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ditto! I bought about 1000g of two bags both 500g of tea that so taste good, got 8oz cans behind those bags a mixtures of tisanes, blacks and green teas all bought two years ago. Then to top it off,when I visited Indonesia and the Philippines during the holidays I just have to buy 4 bags of java in Indonesia and 4 bags of Barako coffee! There just 20$ equivalent! I just cant pass up the bargain. But wait there’s more! It comes with Teavana Tropica Rooibos , Darjeeling and a pound bag of Yerba Mate from Guayaki! I bought from the sale…I’m officially hooked!! Bring on the headaches!

oh offering tea for friends and making iced tea everyday is a great way to clear up clutter…for more tea. cheers!

oh I make tea for people all the time!! It does help :)
Though I’m not a big iced fan. It really loses most of the soothing flavour for me. There are a few I do like that way though!
So jealous, you’ve got some great ones Anthony :)

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Teaotic said

Funny… when I first got into tea, my tea and teaware budget got up to maybe $400 a month for a while… now I spend maybe $50/month.

I’m back in school so on a budget, if I could afford it, I’d spend probably $100/month on tea, but having sampled so much already, I sort of know what I like, so no need to go crazy…

I hear ya, I am the same way. I could spend loads more on teaware. I think at my highest I was spending $100 or so per month. Now, I’m trying for $20 (after March that is)

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