One of the very first YouTube videos I created was a declaration of my self-imposed Tea Buying Ban. It’s actually a painfully awkward and un-charismatic video, but the stop-motion display of my tea collection at the time was kind of fun. I ended up breaking the tea buying ban a few months later because what can I say? Adagio Teas are irresistible.
I have since entered every tea that has been purchased or that has sat neglected in my kitchen cupboards into a spreadsheet so meticulously created by the Oolong Owl. She shares a link to her spreadsheet template here if you’re interested in tracking and analyzing your own collection. Here is what I learned about my tea collection:
I currently have 210 different types of tea in my collection.
Interestingly, when I first compiled all of my teas into the spreadsheet back in July, I had 196 teas in my collection, not including the 46 I had polished off by then. And now at the end of the year, I have 210 teas in my collection, not including the 83 I have finished. So strange that a tea collection could grow on a tea buying ban!
Black tea accounts for nearly half of my collection
My tea collection is really, really old. I mean, not all of it, but a fair portion of it is. And I know tea has an expiration date, but the frugal accountant in me is really reluctant to pitch stale teas even though the tea drinker in me is weeping because her old bag of rooibos now tastes like lip gloss. This is part of the reason why there is so much black tea in my collection. When I first started down the tea rabbit hole, the only tea I was familiar with was black tea. I was too scared to try anything else. Now that I have a little more experience with other types of tea, I don’t reach for black tea as often as I would have in the past, so it just stays in the collection collecting metaphorical dust. Or real dust. Whatever.
Unsurprisingly, Pu’er tea makes up a pretty insignificant amount of my collection. None of the Pu’er in my collection is unflavored/unscented either. Don’t judge me too harshly!
Adagio Teas makes up 1/3 of my collection
If you have read my blog for any amount of time, you have probably noticed that I write about Adagio Teas most often. I discovered Adagio Teas back in 2014, and they have been my go-to brand ever since. I think they are a great brand to explore, especially if you are just embarking on your tea journey, and you want to experience better quality tea compared to what the grocery store carries. Their flavored blends and fandom teas are quite imaginative and tasty as well.
Both Teabox Tea and DAVIDsTEA are two more brands that make up the most of my collection and then I have a handful of samples from brands like Crafted Leaf Teas, Golden Tips Tea, Tea Vivre, Harney & Sons.
Unsurprisingly, most of the tea in my collection is a blend or is a flavored tea
Again, I started to drink fun flavored and blended teas back in 2014, when I discovered Adagio Teas. I continue to drink fun flavored and blended teas now because it is what I’m most comfortable with! Plus, they are damn delicious. Drink Hot Cinnamon Spice from Harney & Sons and tell me I’m wrong!
I reached for herbal teas the most in 2019
And that doesn’t surprise me at all. I am a nursing mom (yes…still), so I was really mindful of my caffeine intake this year. Plus, I became really, really obsessed with rooibos tea this year, which is weird because I used to hate it. Black tea and green tea were next in line because this mama still needed a little energy boost in the mornings!
It will be interesting to see how my collection shifts in 2020. I really want the new year to be one of intentional tea drinking and exploration. I want to try new brands. I want to shift out of my comfort zone of flavored teas and try quality single-origin teas. I want to experiment with different brewing methods. And I want to take the plunge and experience Pu’er tea.
Do you have a tea collection, and what do you think it says about you? What types of tea do you reach for the most, and do you have any favorite brands?