A lot of tea vendors are offering sample sizes these days. This is especially good with some of the higher priced teas, rarer teas, and those requiring some degree of tryout before you can decide on a commitment (such as before buying a whole cake of raw pu-erh). You might also have received free samples from vendors promoting a new tea or a new store. Still others could have been given to you by well-meaning friends and family. Some teas will turn out to favorites while others will make your tastebuds shiver with fright!
The time has come to figure out what is best to do with those leftover tea samples, the ones that didn’t “make the grade.” Yes, the trashcan is the first option, but our list presents viable alternatives. It’s hard to think of even a tea we find horrid ending up that way. After all, tastebuds differ, so someone else could find that horrid tea to be totally delightful.
1 Hold a Tea-Tasting Party
Be careful whom you invite. You may lose a few friends and even start a family feud if they end up finding those teas as horrid as you did. But the risk is minimal. The more likely outcome is that each person attending will find one or two that suits them just fine. There may even be a bit of a tussle over who gets the ones that are well-liked by more than one member of the group. Just be sure to settle things without having your fun event descend into an episode of WWE.
2 Take Them in to Work
Believe it or not, you probably have some closet tea fanatics at your workplace. No need to ferret them out. Just leave the samples in the break room or, if there isn’t one, some inconspicuous yet easily accessible place where they can be grabbed by that tea lover on the sly. Later, they will probably come up to you and quietly let you know if they liked the tea or not. At least, that has been my experience.
3 Open Up Your Own Tea Shop
This is for those of you with a seriously large stash of tea samples on hand. Your tea shop can be as simple as an ad on Craigslist saying, “Teas for Sale, various kinds” or something like that. Then, list the teas and prices. If you are already selling things on Etsy.com or eBay.com, add the teas to your line-up (if their guidelines allow). You can also check out the local Farmers Markets, which have become more of a flea market for food products with all sorts of edibles and even some non-edibles appearing in the vendor stands.
Hope you’re able to use one of these so you don’t have to resort to that trashcan option!
See also: Tea Sampler Heaven
See more of A.C. Cargill’s articles here.
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