Thoughts on a Nearly Empty Tea Cabinet

Tea Sampler Flavored Black Teas (ETS image)
Tea Sampler Flavored Black Teas (ETS image)

Every now and then I run across a site where a tea person is sharing photos of their stash. The people who take these photos seem to have the most impressive tea cabinets because, after all, what would be the point of sharing photos of a box or two of tea bags? It’s a popular enough thing to do that a thread at one well-known tea forum currently has 256 entries.

I am duly impressed by these bounteous displays of tea goodness. But I have to admit that I recently approached a milestone that most of these people would probably find shocking. As the title of this article suggests, my tea cabinet is nearly empty. At the risk of further shocking the delicate sensibilities of tea lovers who might be reading this I’ll say that I don’t mind this and I find it kind of a welcome change.

While you’re trying to calm your palpitating heart, I’ll offer up a word of explanation. As a tea person who writes on the topic here and at my own site I tend to get a lot of tea passed my way. That’s in a downturn right now, but I don’t necessarily mind that either. Because, as I’ve noted before, much of the tea I’m sent is not tea that I really want to drink.

But I find myself unable to actually throw away tea, unless it’s truly the equivalent of ditch water. In the past I knew a few people who had enough of an interest in tea that I could pass along the items I didn’t care for. But lately I find that I don’t know too many such people.

For a while my tea cabinet looked rather impressive and would have probably been a good subject for one of those photos. But I was less than impressed because there were usually only one or two things in there that I actually wanted to drink – my everyday teas.

Over time, however, I managed to get things down to the point that I currently have a container of good black tea that I drink regularly and a green tea of similar quality. Aside from that there’s a tiny smidgen of two so-so teas that’s so small that it’s hardly worth mentioning and some sencha tea bags that the verdict is still out on.

Which is okay by me. I’m not necessarily averse to having one of those photogenic tea cabinets again, but I’d only be interested if it was brimming over with tea I actually was excited about.

See more of William I. Lengeman’s articles here.

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3 thoughts on “Thoughts on a Nearly Empty Tea Cabinet

  1. Pingback: On Spring, Spring Cleaning, and Tea | Tea Blog

  2. Once I recovered from hyperventilating for you, your final sentence calmed my nerves and is exactly how I feel: “but I’d only be interested if it was brimming over with tea I actually was excited about.” I too, have oodles of free tea that was given to me, that I don’t actually hate, but it isn’t something I reach for on a daily basis. The teas I know I will never drink, I take in to work for giveaways. I keep some lemon green tea around for when I have sore throats, but that’s usually the only time I drink it. The teas I drink on a more normal basis are the ones I keep “out” and use. I received such a wonderful stash of tea over the holidays, that I’m set for a few months so there is no chance my tea “cabinet” (more like a shelf in the pantry) will be empty for some time. Lucky me!

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