What to do with samples you don't love but don't hate
Since I’ve joined steepster, I’ve been blessed with a multitude of swap packages. My cupboard is literally overflowing, and I scramble to try all the tea I’ve been sent, but normal life gets in the way and I never get to them as quickly as I’d like.
One thing that I’m noticing is that I’ll get sent enough for, say, two cups. I’ll have the first cup, and although I won’t be repulsed, I don’t really like it all that much, either. It isn’t necessarily a chore to drink it, but with so much more tea in my possession that I love, I find it hard to justify finishing the sample just to reach sip down status. But it’s also often an inadequate amount to swap, because although some people are ok with only receiving enough for one serving, I really would prefer being able to send at least enough for two if I can.
So, the question: what do you do? It feels wasteful to just toss it out, but I also don’t feel like chugging tea I’ve already decided I don’t like all that much.
add them as bonus teas in swaps :) if you’re not trading specifically for that tea, most people won’t mind getting a little extra cup of something…well i wouldn’t think they would heh
That’s a good idea. Throw them as add-ins. Great great idea!! and then I’ll just leave them in my virtual cupboard until I find someone to toss them at.
Trying twice is almost always a good idea. At least with me, but I usually never make a tea the best way the first time. I just had recently (from a surprise swap and yes it can happen) a total jekyll and hyde tea – glorious cold steeped, terrible if brewed hot.
I understand if you are totally swamped with samples, but at least with me, if I am sending a tea I love to somebody (and I like best to send the teas I love) I do so hoping they give it some attention, a second chance at least, rather than just hurrying, going next-more-teas and passing it to somebody. This is just my own personal perspective, just offering a different point of view.
i agree with Sil and cteresa. both valid points
Definitely both valid points, and worth considering. It’s tough, because we have to balance our desire to be thorough with our desire to get through this vast amount of tea we’re amassing. As a general rule for myself, once I swap away tea, the recipient is free to do with it whatever they like: drink all of it, none of it, just smell it forever, paint with it—it is my hope that by trying it they will learn more about their preferences, but I wouldn’t in the least feel offended if they tried one cup and decided it wasn’t for them. Just a way to keep the pressure off, I hope.
I usually throw them in swaps as bonuses…occasionally if I really don’t like them I’ll just throw them out. But if I feel they’re decent teas just not for me I’ll definitely try to re-home them. I don’t want to waste my time drinking teas I know don’t totally thrill me. Nobody got time for that!
Usually when I run into this problem I give the teas to my mom, I collect teas and samples that just didnt work for me and once I have a nice pile she gets a surprise box…which she distributes among my sister and grandmother (who she lives closer to)
So far she hasn’t complained :P
i call this “husband tea”. he’ll drink anything if it’s tea—he’s more midline about it, where he doesn’t flip out like i do at fancypants or mindblowing stuff, but he isn’t as picky either. if it’s tea, that’s good enough for him, ho hum.
so uh, i dunno, if you’ve got someone like that in your life?…also i often coldsteep stuff, and said husband drinks cold tea with lots of simple syrup and sometimes lemon, so it doesn’t matter if it wasn’t a stupendous tea to begin with.
i do like what both Sil and cteresa say too.
So is mine. :) Give him a cup of tea he hasn’t had before, DON’T tell him to pay attention to it, ask him about it as soon as he’s finished what he thought of it, and the standard reply is that he doesn’t know. And then later when you ask him what sort he wants he might say ‘not the one I had last time [you asked me], it was too astringent,’ which is rather asking a lot of me when he can’t tell me which tea that was. Or even which day it was.
I have friends at work that are open to new experiences. I often share good but not great teas with them.