Monday, October 24, 2011

In Which I Organize My Vintage Tea Stash

A few days ago, I attempted to be ruthless with my (admittedly ridiculously) large stash of tea.  Much of it should probably be consider 'vintage." But unlike wine or Beatles memorabilia, vintage tea is likely not so good. 

Note I said "attempted" up there.  I did discard quite a bit, but there was much I chose to keep.  What I did do was switch the tea from higgledy-piggledy stacks in a 2-shelf cabinet into more orderly single file line-ups in a 3-shelf cabinet.

Here's a picture of the 2-shelf tea cabinet as it was in 2006 (and yes, it looked much the same in 2011!) when I used for an Illustration Friday project:

and here is the tea, a bit more organized:

Doesn't look much different and what's the big deal? Why write a post about this?  

Well, tea is a big deal to me. It's an important part of my daily life, my self-care. Tea is good for me in many ways, both for the physical health benefits, and for the emotional/spiritual benefits of ritual. Sitting down with a nice hot cup of tea is soothing and de-stressing. The motions of tea-making (especially when loose leaf tea and a tea pot are involved) can be calming, almost meditative.

So to have my tea cabinet in order is a big deal.  Most of the tea I kept was Republic of Tea in their nice little cannisters.  My hope is that the tight-fitting lids have kept the tea fresher than the tea in bags in cardboard boxes, most of which I discarded.

And I've decided to make an effort to use that old vintage tea. Now that I can actually see what I have, I'm choosing a Tea of the Day to have for at least one of my several cups. 

Sometimes the Tea of the Day becomes the Tea of Several Days.  I have been enjoying this one very, very much:

So I think this is worthy of a  post  because organizing my tea stash gave me a message about organizing what is most important to my life- when those parts of my life are in order, they are fulfilling in ways that make easier to deal with and let go of the things that aren't really important.

(In the interests of full clutter disclosure, I must note that I still have a great deal of tea in my basement pantry and on the counter in my kitchen, though all those are much newer teas of which I partake with regularity and which have less likelihood of becoming vintage.)


Blogger Kristin said...

both pictures look better organized then my tea on the counter, tea in the drawer, tea on the racks-yet-to-be-hung. I applaud your organization. and i think i will have a cup of tea.

5:27 PM, October 24, 2011  

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