Thursday, December 10, 2015

Tea and Storage and Problem Avoidance

I am drinking a delicious chocolate honeybush tea while I type this. If you have never tried a chocolate tea, you probably doubt me, but trust me, it is true. Chocolate tea is surprisingly good. I first had it as a sample from Lupicia Teas, but it looks like that particular tea is no longer available. My current drink is from a sampler sent by The Whistling Kettle. My sister gave me a subscription to their tea tasting club for my birthday, and I have really enjoyed it. Their packaging is not as beautiful as Lupicia's, but the tea is quite good.

A mess of tea
My subscription is coming to an end, and that is probably a good thing, because it has led to a serious tea storage problem. In addition to the samples, I have some nice Darjeeling that Mr. Snarky brought back from London for me, a couple of other larger packets that were also gifts, and then my usual tea (Taylor's of Harrogate English Breakfast- I just store it in an old Harrod's tea tin from an earlier trip Mr. Snarky made to London). I also have my favorite herbal tea, a Stash Lemon Ginger, and some other odds and ends.

As you can see, the storage situation is quite grim.

However, the tea sampler club has shown me that I enjoy having some different teas on hand, and that it is even fun to try a different black tea in the morning. I don't think I'll ever be won over to a chai or a flavored tea for my morning tea, but tomorrow's morning tea is likely to be a Scottish Breakfast from the sample club. The differences between it and my usual English Breakfast are subtle, but definitely there.

(Aside: my actual all time favorite tea is a Welsh brand a former colleague used to bring me. He was Welsh and loved rugby, but his wife wouldn't let him splurge on the expensive cable package required at the time to get rugby in the US. Mr. Snarky and I had splurged on this channel, and he was quite envious. This was back in the day of the VCR, so I'd record games and bring them to him. He repaid me with tea. I think the brand was Glengettie, but they seem to have changed their package design so I can't be sure. I may have to buy some and find out- my Googling in an attempt to figure it out shows me that I can now buy Glengettie tea from Amazon.)

So, I have a bit of a problem. I'd like to have a wide selection of teas, but my current storage system is not really up to the task.

My response to this problem to date has been to ignore it. Every so often, all the little tea packets come raining down out of the cupboard and I have to organize things a bit so that I can get them back in there. Otherwise, I just move my tea everytime I want to get one of the kids' plastic plates out, and I dig around for ages looking for the tea sample I want. It is a mess.

I know the solution to my mess. I need to get everything out of that cupboard, and possibly also one or two other cupboards where extra stuff has been allowed to accumulate. I need to sort through all of this stuff and make some hard decisions and throw some things out. (There would also be some easy "throw this out" decisions in there, too.) Then I need to devise an organizational scheme where everything has a home and do the regular maintenance to keep that system in place.

That sounds like a lot of effort and it involves doing some things I don't really enjoy, so I'm ignoring the problem instead.

Apologies for taking a turn towards navel-gazing on such a fluffy post, but I think this is what I've been doing with respect to growing my business, too. I know that the contract that is providing the majority of my income will end eventually, and I know what I need to do to solve that problem, at least in broad terms. Now I need to do the work of figuring out and then executing a specific plan. That sounds like a lot of effort and it involves doing some things I don't really enjoy, so I've been ignoring the problem instead.

But no more. I made figuring out the plan my top goal for December, and I have been working on it. A plan for the consulting/training side of my business is starting to coalesce. A plan for the books side of the business won't be far behind. I'm going to make this goal.

Next year, comes the harder part, though. That's when I have to execute my plans! Good thing I have a lot of tea to help get me through.


  1. A bit random but I put all my looseleaf tea in Bonne Maman jam jars. They stack nicely, are free after you eat the delicious jam, and are easily replaceable if the seal breaks or if you end up sending someone home with tea.

  2. I keep my 10 varieties of tea in a Large Sterilite Storage Basket (from Target, but I'm sure you can find it other places). It's housed in my pantry closet, rather than the kitchen cupboards. It's easy to grab the whole container out, and I know I get to buy more tea when I use one up. Those baskets transformed my pantry situation. They have tabs you can pull out so they can stack nicely.

    So my recommendation is to get a basket/something to contain them all in one place. Things raining down on you in the morning isn't a great start to your day.

  3. We have a small pantry that gets organized about once a year. But it's in the back entry area that right now is the dogs' only indoor space, and the space is quite small. I'm trying to figure out a temporary configuration that lets me have easy access to regularly used items without disturbing the dogs, but also keeps the kitchen from being even more cluttered than it currently is.

    I'll have to try Glengettie; my favorite has long been Typhoo, which I can now buy in specialty stores here (I'll have to check Amazon for it). For many years, I could only get it by having my friends in England send it to me, or by traveling to England myself, which rarely happens.

  4. We got a wire rack system for our spices that attaches to a wall or the side of a door. The had bigger ones that would hold teas. There must be a mechanical solution.

  5. Calee8:52 AM

    We have a big brown basket that holds the extra tea in the cupboard I call a pantry and one of those pretty wooden boxes with the regular teas (out of their containers, in tea bag slots) that goes with the mugs. But man, do I need to clean out the tea shelf...

  6. Hmmm... the message I'm getting is that I need a pantry! We don't really have one- what serves as our pantry is a combination of the cupboards near our stove and our garage.

    But, yes, there is a solution to the issue. It probably involves throwing out a bunch of old kids' drink cups and the like, consolidating all of the plastic stuff in one place, and then buying some sort of organizer.

    (I also just seriously thought: "I could store my tea in the garage" but then I remembered that since our house is still not all back sorted out after the renovations, we can't even store our car in the garage right now.)

    1. We have a pantry because a past owner moved the washer and dryer outside (they are now on the covered patio, and it's wonderful for a host of reasons) and reconfigured that space to add a half bathroom and some storage space.

      I assume it was the same previous owner who updated the kitchen and bathrooms. We are definitely glad they did that.


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