November 29   Tea

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So, dear reader, I have a problem. I like to buy tea. Not drink tea, mind, just buy it. And this little oddity is fine when you live alone. You rarely have to even acknowledge it. A friend may come to visit and you can pull out All The Teas, and they can feel a little bit special as they get to select from The Range. And that’s the end of it.

But when you live with someone else, eventually they Notice. And then, once they’ve noticed, they start to take notes. And then, after a while, They Ask Questions. Questions like, “how on earth can you need MORE tea?” and “don’t you already have that kind?” and finally … “BUT YOU DON’T EVEN DRINK TEA!!!” this one is more a loud statement than a question and is usually made as said person is juggling packets and packets of tea as they tumble out of the pantry whilst he tries to put away your new acquisition.

Because. You see, dear reader, I would *like* to be the kind of person who drinks tea. There. I said it. That other version of me? The one who cooks delicious gourmet soufflés in her ramekins and always offers to bring a dish to dinner and never ever has a dirty cup waiting in the sink and always remembers her third cousin twice removed’s wedding anniversary and doesn’t need prompting for the 63rd item on her to do list to get done? She drinks tea. And has a perfect complexion and figure. And you like her more than me.

And it might be because she drinks tea.

Or it might be because she calmly sits on her window seat on a Sunday afternoon sipping said tea out of a fine bone china tea cup whilst thumbing through Vogue and glancing out to her perfectly manicured garden.


One of my 2013 New Year’s Resolutions is going to revolve around this issue. I think I should either rediscover my love for *drinking* tea, find a perfect way to store the 30 different boxes of tea I own or admit once and for all that I don’t actually drink tea, gift what I have and move on with my life. There. There it is, my first NYR for 2013.



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  • By significance on 29 November 2012 at 1:17 pm

    “Or it might be because she calmly sits on her window seat on a Sunday afternoon sipping said tea out of a fine bone china tea cup whilst thumbing through Vogue and glancing out to her perfectly manicured garden.”

    I dunno, she sounds pretty dull to me. And I like, tea.

  • By Alisa on 29 November 2012 at 2:09 pm

    She’s not dull. She’s the more perfect version of me. She’s sitting there enjoying her tea cause she’s already done all the stuff I’m running around juggling.

    I like tea too. I just don’t seem to choose to drink it

  • By Ben Payne on 29 November 2012 at 5:12 pm

    I’m with B. Why is she reading Vogue?

    That said, I like tea. And although I sway between being a tea-drinker and coffee-drinker, I think tea gives me greater equilibrium.

    Plus, lots of cool flavours…

  • By Tansy Rayner Roberts on 29 November 2012 at 5:28 pm

    I don’t know that anyone is crying out to spend time with that “perfect” version of you, A.

    Great post, very funny and familiar. I have weaned myself out of buying boxes and boxes of tea I never drink, and restraining myself to just a couple of interesting varieties based on what my regular friends actually drink – though the occasional box of T2 with exciting names on the teabags does make me happy to offer up to said fancy tea drinking friends.

    I drink tea by the bucketloads, but only plain and strong and milky, and I always get the same kind of teabags (Dilmah extra strong) for myself & Finchy.

    I sympathise very much with your aspirational tea-purchasing, and I think that C should count himself lucky that this part of your personality is expressed through tea and not any of the far more expensive habits you could develop in the search of aesthetic perfection. $500 handbags, anyone?

    (Btw my friend’s mother in law has the best tea box, a beautiful wooden thing like a small writing desk, full of little cubbies for different teabag varieties)

  • By Katharine on 29 November 2012 at 5:33 pm

    I’ve recently become obsessed with tea. I want the twinings tea chest. I spent over $100 at and I would at adiago if they shipped to Australia :(

    Australian Afternoon tea is my favourite currently.

  • By Joris M on 29 November 2012 at 6:03 pm

    I feel your pain, and even liking having a pot of tea does not help against the ease at which more tea is bought.

    One thing that does help is go full tea snob -perhaps tea nerd works better in context- only buy loose tea. Single origin non flavoured to limit choices even more, and a preference for first flush Darjeeling for example even helps throwing out older examples.

    The slight drawback of that approach that it does lead the way to the $500 handbags of tea.

  • By AlisaK on 29 November 2012 at 7:07 pm

    She’s reading Vogue cause she is completely caught up with everything else she has to do, including all her reading.
    She’s taking a mindless break from life on a Sunday afternoon.

    I like tea too. I just don’t choose to drink it much.

    So many cool flavours and names for flavours. And all in pretty boxes in my pantry.

  • By AlisaK on 29 November 2012 at 8:17 pm

    OMG! I want the twinings tea chest too!

    *goes to check out*

  • By Helen Merrick on 29 November 2012 at 8:37 pm

    you are all terrible enablers you tea-drinking people you!!

    I already can’t stand that Alternate tea-drinking Alisa reading Vogue!
    Here – I will lend you one of my only food/drink intolerances – I cannot handle tannin, therefore i can’t drink tea, past one or two sips. Herbal I can manage, except cammomile, which lets face it, is something to run the lawnmower over rather than something you would choose to drink :-)

    You want to be the really serene, have it all, done it all woman, you would be drinking your own, freshly plucked, home grown herbal tea (and maybe white tea – its a pretty bush apparently – diggers sell it). So it is always fresh, best quality, and if you don’t drink it, it keeps the birds and bees and butterflies happy and makes your garden look and smell nice. And doesn’t clutter up the cupboard. win!

  • By Katharine on 30 November 2012 at 7:05 am

    I apologise if you feel the need to buy anything at teapigs :D I had to get the matchi traditionally kit, and the 12 samples kit. The site is really helpful in saying whether or not the tea can be shipped to Australia or not! Unlike Adiago that simply says no tea can be – lies!
    Adiago has the cutest fandom based sets.

    I think twinings tea chest is cheapest via their UK store when out dollar is good, but I’m trying to wait for Peters of Kensington site to have a sale on it.

  • By significance on 30 November 2012 at 1:14 pm

    I’ve gone over to leaf tea myself in the past 6 months, which has me spending $80 at a time at T2. I get through it all, though, and enjoy pushing freshly brewed leaf tea to my work colleagues as well.

    I feel a bit of a philistine in going mostly for the flavoured teas. I do love the Aussie Wattle, though, and the Magagascar Vanilla has a lovely scent to start the morning with.

  • By AlisaK on 30 November 2012 at 5:54 pm

    I so want a tea chest. I might have to go looking for one :)

    Perhaps I need to instil that one in for one out rule for boxes of tea. And actually find ones I enjoy drinking. Thing is, I don’t seem to buy black tea and then it’s black tea that I might go looking for! I get seduced by the hints and infusions of flavours. Much like the yarn colour names!

    I tend to drink more tea when I live with people who drink a lot of tea but I tend not to opt to make it for myself.

    Next time the tea boxes fall out of the pantry, I’ll say “hey at least it’s not a $500 handbag!”

  • By AlisaK on 30 November 2012 at 5:54 pm

    Nearly all my teas are leaf tea!! And then I can’t get past the clean up factor of teapots etc of tea leaves!

    But T2 is so sexy, I can’t help myself!

  • By AlisaK on 30 November 2012 at 6:37 pm

    OMG How lovely is all that tea!! *resists urge to order ALL of it!*

  • By AlisaK on 30 November 2012 at 6:37 pm

    Full tea snob. Uhuh. This will require I stock up first on tea?! Cool. Thanks. :)

  • By AlisaK on 30 November 2012 at 6:40 pm

    Alternate tea drinking Vogue reading Alisa is awesome. She remembers your birthday and your fave wine and she’s up to date on EVERYTHING.

    Yes, I quite agree on the freshly plucked herbal tea. You know Alternate Alisa totally does that. In her gorgeous and abundant veggie garden. Behind the infinity pool.

  • By Ju on 2 December 2012 at 12:39 pm

    I have more tea than I can drink and not enough regular visitors to foist it on… but I do actually drink my tea, in my little pots. Though less this year because my tea cups have been in Kununurra this whole time and for some reason I’m steadfastly determined not to buy more and retrieve them… I think it is habit based, I drink a lot more tea that isn’t caffeinated, and then it becomes part of my hydration intentions as well. I love herbal flavours and floral flavours in tisanes. But I love the Madagascan Vanilla and French Earl Grey black teas *so much*. And, now after trying a bunch of teas I have a much better idea of the ones I’m really and actually going to keep buying and enjoying… I wish you luck with poking at this – a one in one out might be a start, but maybe also looking at a morning pot before work, or taking a pot to work and a couple of varieties and having a pot during the day?

  • By Alisa on 2 December 2012 at 5:51 pm

    I think that’s what I should do – try all of what I have with the purpose of deciding what I like, and don’t and then cull from there and then stick to the likes.

    Course first I have to replace the chocolate eating with herbal tea drinking :)

  • By Ju on 4 December 2012 at 9:22 am

    Well there’s that – I loved seeing your ‘today’s tea’ on your last post!! I shall be looking for it now :)

    Also, I found that if I eat dark chocolate I eat a lot less of it and whatever craving I had is met sooner and easier without overdoing anything. (However, I still love double coated tim tams).

    I am glad that the herbal tea drinking took, I really like the flavour more and more, and there’s no tannin either, plus yay for hydration :D

  • By AlisaK on 4 December 2012 at 7:53 pm

    Yay. Katharine also mentioned the new note about tea so that should hopefully keep me honest. Drinking herbal tea will help with my hydration too so should be good!

    Yes. Dark chocolate is a great trick!

  • By Champagne and Socks » A Tea Realisation on 22 January 2014 at 1:55 am

    […] time readers may recall a confession I made some time ago about my tea buying – not drinking, mind – obsession. It did not improve after that post. In fact, I might […]

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