Today marks one year on the tea lover's haven, Steepster. I have to say it is one of the more awesome discoveries of the year while also being the most cruel. I have spent a lot on tea, and my stash is nuts thanks to exposure to more high quality brands that are often small and not very well known. In that time, I have completed 423 tasting notes in that year, though admittedly a solid chunk are compiled from other records I have from tea reviews past (mostly Adagio). I am excited to see where this next year takes me.
I am also checking in about my tea pare-down goals I introduced at the end of last summer. At that time, I had 80 samples and 68 tins. The goal was 20 sample sizes and 30 full tins. I currently still have 68 full sized tins, but only have 43 samples. I take this as decent news - it means that knowing I bought a TON of tea, I was drinking it and/or rehoming the things I didn't like at the same speed as I purchased it. And more, I am drinking samples far faster than I am acquiring them. With some mindfulness, I am confident this year will show progress in reducing even more.
In the spirit of the new year, I reorganized some things. I also got my first little teapot. It has a mesh strainer inside it, is a pretty jade green color, and holds two mugs worth of tea. This has revolutionized my tea drinking as I am now able to steep loose leaf tea easily while I am dog sitting (I have been house and dog sitting for the past 3 weeks straight), and able to make a big pot and sit and do other things. Overall it cuts down time brewing.
I redid my cabinets. Right now as they stand, they house nearly all of the tins I have. It is organized in a specific way, and about 2/3 of the way full. The organizational system doesn't work as effectively if it is any more full, so I think what is inside is my real goal for knowing I have just enough.
The bottom shelf are all teas I prefer to make iced - many tins are on their sides. On the right, there are older teas I need to use up first. The pink box in the middle hold all of the tea samples I have tasted and am keeping. The left side holds the iced teas that are newer. The top shelf holds my hot teas. The ones on the right are ones that are full sized that I haven't tasted yet. The ones on the left are ones I have. The ones in the middle are my favorite teas so I can find them easily. The whole top shelf is also organized by having the newer teas in the back in their sections, and the older ones in the front.
I keep a small stash on my countertop of things I am trying to finish. There are usually a couple samples here too. Right now, I have some lavender honey I am trying to finish. Yes, I also have a small excess of honey.
I have an excess that I am trying to cut down on. This small box holds all the teas that I am not going to bother rehoming in a tin - there isn't enough to warrant it, and many are Butiki and are going out of business. These will be consumed long before they go stale. Many of these are night in light-proof packaging, also requiring that they be consumed sooner rather than later.
This is the true overstock. The large box on the left are samples. Since this picture was taken, I received my golden tips subscription so there are more now. The small Adagio box holds samples that I know I enjoy, but that aren't open yet. I really try to make sure teas not living in tins, or open samples exposed to air get priority. The box on the right contains all of the sealed, airtight teas that are waiting for tin space in the cabinet. It is a medium sized box. The giant bag in the middle is a huge amount of Blood Orange tisane from Adagio, one of my favorite iced teas, waiting for tin space.
I am feeling great about the start to this year, tea included.