Saturday, July 1, 2017

Tea Setup

One of the best parts about this move and moving in with my roommate is discovering a new option for storing my tea and other hot drink stuff. She is a primarily coffee girl who loves tea, I am a primarily tea girl who now also loves coffee, so we balance. She had this amazing cart that I just knew would make an amazing drink station!

Behold! I feel so grown up.

Now, it has taken this over a year to get this awesome. The cart and the way it is organized was one of the first things we set up in the new place, before we even had a couch for our living room. We always envisioned having shelving to display teaware and coffee items, but only had one smaller bookshelf that didn't really "go" with the color of the cart. In a stroke of luck, earlier this spring, some people were moving out of their apartment and put these two heavy duty bookshelves by our dumpster! My roommate and I ran out in the beginning of a hail storm to get the first one and when we saw the movers with the second, we directed them straight to our place. Given the age of my building and how most of my furniture is hand me downs, the old school shelves fit right in!

We still use the little kitchen cart, mostly to store my steeper on so it doesn't mess up the wood of the other cart if it drips, and our honey stash. I LOVE lavender honey and rose honey!

We use the lower shelves as a hodgepodge. I store the teas I am reaching for most often to ice, as I am trying to mostly whittle my collection down to near nothing before I rebuild with less old teas. I also store coffee filters, empty tea canisters of teas I plan to replenish in the fall (hello chai!), and we store coffee, the occasional coffee travel mug, and random teapots that don't really "fit" on our more nicely curated shelves.

We have a Chinese themed shelf, with a lot of red tones, and a brown/black coffee shelf with our most loved coffee preparing devices. A red stovetop espresso maker was in use at the time of this picture, but it usually lives here.

The top of the cart includes my mug of the day, the tea I am brewing, cups, Keurig, kettle, sugar, and the teas I am working on at the moment to finish. The cups are adorable, but really are so small I never personally use them. I have used them when we have guests who all want tea at once.

The bottom of the rack holds 95% of the tea in these baskets. The upper right hand basket holds scales mostly, and a few teabag teas I save to use at school. The middle top shelf are my absolute favorite teas, most of which I am working on finishing because they are getting old, and the companies no longer exist. The teas on the upper and lower left have not been tasted yet. The teas on the bottom right are teas I have tried before and enjoy, the basket in the middle contains tea I have designated as iced.

Ultimately, I would like to reduce the tea to one row, so I can keep extra containers and such on the bottom, and just have higher tea turnover.

These are my favorite shelves. A blue/purple focus, and a green/yellow/aqua focus. These items are a combination of mine and my roommate's. Temporarily, there are also green and yellow tea tins that will ultimately go live in my bedroom once I drink all the tea inside!

These shelves are the remainder of the bunch. Leftover tea tins, tea brewing supplies, my roommate's stash of teabags, as most of the tea she drinks is in teabag form, and our handful of cookbooks.

Overall, I love our setup. I love the teaware being decor, I love having a dedicated brewing space, and storage that for the first time ever actually works for me! The kitchen cart was from IKEA back in the day. They have a similar cart, but it is not the exact same. The new version is a bit slimmer and shorter. That being said, if my roomie moved out tomorrow, the first thing I would do is go buy it! It looks great, fits baskets super well, and is a great size!


  1. I think this is wonderful! -Vanessa

  2. Ahhhh, thank you for making this post, Leah! What a lovely little setup you guys have! I love it :) Do you usually stay in the kitchen to drink tea, or do you take it to another room? Also, lavender honey and rose honey sound delightful. Where do you buy special honeys like those?

    Our tea collection has also gotten a little smaller in the past year. Instead of being displayed on the counter, I've moved it into 2 cabinet shelves. My husband thinks it's easier to find teas that way (although I'm usually the one making them for us, ha.) And I stopped buying tea on such a regular basis. Most new teas- if there are any- are herbal ones for specific health reasons. Not quite as exciting, but I have my fingers crossed that they actually work.

    Since it's hot here now, iced tea is back. I'm making raspberry lemonade (zhena's gypsy tea), root beer iced tea (stash), and half and half black tea / lemonade (Celestial Seasonings). The half and half iced tea is my favorite. Have you tried it?

    Happy tea drinking! :)

    PS: Quote of the day: "To drink tea is to forget the noise of the world." (Seen on Pinterest)

  3. This is the dining room, adjacent to the kitchen. We tend to eat dinner in here, and on weekends if roomie is around we will eat breakfast and drink some coffee here, but otherwise unless it is after dinner tea when we have a guest, I drink it in the living room. I found my flavored honeys at places that stock organic products. There is a farmer's market that has some, our semi local Whole Foods, etc. I have also steeped honey myself by putting lavender buds in a teabag I could seal off and letting it sit in the honey for a couple weeks, and it does work!

    I have not tried any of those teas, but like you, I am trying to pare down a lot. I want less overall tea but to be able to buy it more frequently for freshness. I am making iced tea right now with a citrus hibiscus, and I have a pitcher of rose black, both cold steeped. My favorite iced tea is cold steeped.

    If you don't mind me asking, what health teas are you drinking? I also get curious about tea as a health remedy. So far, I find that raspberry leaf can help alleviate menstrual cramping, and valerian does help me stay asleep when I am having restless nights (though it does not help with initial falling asleep for me).

    Thank you for the quote, it is so true!

    1. I like that honey idea + the idea of rose black tea as a cold tea.

      About the health teas, I'm not at home right now so I'm trying to remember them... raspberry leaf for sure + some other "herbs for women" blends, sometimes kava for relaxation, valerian + other "bedtime" herbs. I also tried making reishi tea (boiling the mushrooms for a long time. not very tasty :/) and sometimes I'll steep a piece of ginger, drink the tea, eat the ginger. That's all I can think of at the moment but if I get home and realize I forgot a good one, I'll leave you another comment. :)

    2. I also use raspberry leaf, both loose and bagged depending on what mood I am in. I have had kava before, but disliked the one I had with stevia in it (stevia tastes like sucking on a penny to me), but now I take relaxation supplements so I would avoid that. I am definitely coming around to ginger - I used to think I didn't like it at all, until realizing how necessary it is in Indian food and chai...and I am slowly coming around.

      An expensive but delicious tisane that is supposedly very healthy is saffron tea. I put a few threads, maybe three, in my mug and then fill it up with hot water and let it steep. It has this heavenly herbal but sweet floral flavor, and it is accented so well with a bit of honey. Also, because the strands are so small (I often crumble them before putting them in), I don't mind drinking them down!

      I have had turmeric tea, and like the idea of the health benefits, but it is too savory for me and it stains my mug bright yellow!

    3. Nice! Going to add the saffron idea to my "try this" list. :)