by Naomi Rosen
Obviously, I've got a wicked tea habit. Between the teas that I have purchased, and the teas that I have received as samples for my business, I've got a lot of tea. About 250 different blends at the moment. I drink about 4-5 cups of tea on an average day and sorting through 250 different teas every time I am thirsty has turned into a total hassle.
Inevitably, I end up with half the teas so far in the back that I can't reach them. Those that I can reach have usually fallen out of the cabinet as soon as I touch the handle. It was time for a tea cabinet overhaul. I started by emptying the entire cabinet out and clearing old teas that I either 1) dislike or 2) had hung on to for too long. They all went into the compost pile where I am sure they will become excellent soil for my 2nd attempt at growing my own tea bush (exploits to come later). I then sorted all my teas based on variety: white, green/yellow, oolong, black, puerh, and herbals. Each had it's own basket and I was so proud of my 30 minutes worth of effort.
Back in the cabinet, all of my pots, infusers, scoops and "stuff" went on the top shelf and the middle and bottom shelves held all of my baskets. It all looked so neat and clean and I gave my self a well deserved pat on the back. Within a couple of weeks, I had a corner that was filled with bags, stacked on top of open tins, with T-sacs laying on their sides and a couple of gravity infusers. Every time I opened the cabinet, something would fall out. Just how lazy do I have to be that my teas don't make their way back to the basket?
It took me a couple of days to realize that I needed another basket! The new basket became my "everyday" basket. In there, I keep my 8 most commonly sipped teas, my tea scoop, bags, and my favorite infuser. I grab it in a somewhat groggy fog, turn on the kettle and am ready to go. So far, this system is working for me. The only down side is my spice cabinet is jealous. I don't have a 3 day weekend for a while so that one is going to have to wait! Here are a couple of suggestions...
- Label your containers clear, baskets, bins...whatever you use. It makes it faster and I went back and labeled them all since I can't see what's inside when I open the cabinet.
- For freshness reasons, don't let your collection get completely overgrown. Or drink more tea. You decide which works better for you.
- Make sure you are storing the teas in a cool, dry place. It will keep them fresher, longer.