Moving house can often lead you to see your possessions in a new light.

Especially when you have packed in a hurry, without making much effort to thin your piles of stuff before beginning. And are then distanced from that stuff for half a year.

Because who the hell brings tea (from the new world, at that) to England?

Us, apparently.

Amber just posted round two of her Tea Stash Challenge, which reminded me how overwhelmed and somewhat incredulous I feel every time I look at the shelf containing all our tea.

Tea Shelf

It doesn’t look too bad, until you unpack it all onto the kitchen counter:

Photo 1

There are multiples of different types of tea, thanks to my old work-desk stash making its way back home, some tea gifts, and impulse purchases of various lemon/ginger-type blends bought on a whim when I’ve felt sick. There are random bags and samples I’ve picked up along the way. There are tins from at least two tea shops that have gone out of business.

The small green tins down the right side are all leftover wedding favours (we gifted tiny tins of mint tea, to tie in with our Moroccan honeymoon) from nearly five (!) years ago, and the large tupperware on the left is Moroccan mint tea, bought on said honeymoon.

Does tea even last that long?

Honourable mentions go to two tins of drinking chocolate, a box of spiced cider sachets, and a couple orphan packs of Starbucks VIA coffee; also on the shelf, but not pictured, since they’re not tea.

Of course, the tea that actually gets used is the box of standard PG Tips, going through a pot or two a day. Runner-up is the loose or bagged Rooibos, for when I’m feeling overcaffeinated.

I would never describe myself as a “tea fiend,” but I clearly have some sort of tea hoarding issue.

It’s obviously time to start introducing some variety into my daily cuppa, or bin the lot and reclaim a shelf.

Are you a tea fiend and/or unintentional hoarder? Do share!

Show me Your Tea Stash at Strocel.com

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10 thoughts on “Tea-mendous

  1. Harriet

    Loving these tea posts! LOL. The dribs and drabs / tea remnants are always a bit mystifying and amusing. I love good old-fashioned orange pekoe, and I’m obsessed with rooibas especially CHOCOLATE MINT (from David’s Teas… sigh).
    Harriet´s last blog post ..The Love List

  2. Chris Simmons

    We used to be bad, but I blame that on having a sister-in-law that worked at a great tea shop and gave us a ton of freebies. Why yes, we do have 9 types of flavoured rooibos, why do you ask?

  3. wyn

    awesome. tea does have a “shelf life” and won’t taste as good (possibly mouldy?) after a certain amount of time. i’m also guilty of hoarding and have to force myself to drink the older stuff too. you’ve inspired my next post … and possibly wedding favours, too!

    Jen Watkiss Reply:

    @Wyn good to know. I’ll make a point of sampling a few soon, and if they taste “off” I know I can just toss them.

    Also, we did the tea favours from Adagio teas. I don’t remember how much they cost, but you do get to choose a tea variety, then they do a custom label with your names & wedding date on each tin.

  4. Courtney

    And here’s me thinking your stash doesn’t even look so bad. I tend to rotate between a few favourites (ginger peach rooibos, jasmine green, or vanilla cream) but my current favourite is the Cookie Dough white tea from David’s Tea. We got several stores this winter and every type I’ve tried has been great.

    Tell me about PG Tips. Is it a black tea? Similar to Red Rose?
    Courtney´s last blog post ..NOTW : vintage roses

    Jen Watkiss Reply:

    @Courtney PG Tips is a basic black tea. I think it’s an orange pekoe, and it’s similar to Tetley or Red Rose.

  5. gillian

    That is not tea hoarding. To me, that’s barely a collection. I, I have an entire cupboard and then a portion of my counter devoted to teas and tea-making supplies. Hundreds of dollars of loose-leaf bought at various specialty shops. Dozens of tins and bags. And I drink most of it; very little has ever gotten “old” and been thrown out, though I do go through it at least once per year. I’m not a hoarder, since I actually consume mine; I’m a connoisseur. Though most of my black tea is bags of Tetley because my morning caffeine needs to be easy.

    Jen Watkiss Reply:

    Clearly I am in good shape when compared to “tea people.” It just feels strange to me, since I don’t consider myself a “tea person,” rather just a person who enjoys a cup of tea most days. Just like I drink coffee daily, but am not a connoisseur, and don’t have any fancy setup or snobbery over bean brand. And I don’t have a stash of different coffee varieties that are sitting on a shelf, waiting for… who knows what, exactly.

    My tea stash seems out of step with my attitude & actions towards tea. And if we’re going for the reality-show definition of “hoarder” as someone who keeps cluttery things around for no good reason, going off and taking up space, my neglected tea stash definitely seems like it qualifies.

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