, I’ve got a wicked tea habit.  Between the teas I have purchased and the teas 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 teas every time I am thirsty has become a hassle.  Inevitably, I end up with half the teas too far back in the cabinet to reach and the other half ready to fall out of the cabinet as soon as I touch the handle.

Clearly, it was time for a tea cabinet overhaul.  I started by emptying the entire cabinet and clearing out teas that I either disliked or 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 second attempt at growing my own tea bush (exploits to come later).  I then sorted the remaining teas based on variety: white, green/yellow, oolong, black, and puerh – each with its own basket.  I was so proud of my 30 minutes worth of effort.  Back in the cabinet, all of my pots, infusers, scoops, and other tea “stuff” went on the top shelf, with the middle and bottom shelves holding all of my baskets.  It all looked so neat and clean that I gave myself a well-deserved pat on the back.  

Within a couple of weeks, however, I had a corner that was filled with bags stacked on top of open tins, with an assortment of random T-sacs, and a couple of gravity infusers.  Every time I opened the cabinet, something would fall out.  Just how lazy am I 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 eight 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 downside is that my spice cabinet is jealous.  I don’t have a three-day weekend for a while so that one is going to have to wait!  

Here are a few suggestions that helped me:

  • Label your containers, baskets, bins, or whatever you use very clearly.
  • For freshness, don’t let your collection get completely overgrown – exercise restraint.  Or drink more tea.  You decide which works better for you.
  • Make sure you are storing your teas in a cool, dry place.  It will keep them fresher, longer.

Anything you might like to add?  Got some great tea cabinet suggestions?