Doesn’t everyone have a tea cupboard? The question occurred to me whilst reading my friend, Deanna’s, blog. She posted a photo of her tea cupboard that looked remarkably like my own, which looks remarkably like this one:
Though, this one is noticeably neater than my own… In any case, it made me wonder how many such cupboards exist across the U.S. Now, Britain, I can guess you will find one in every home. Here, I just don’t know.
There is a responsibility with having a tea cupboard, however, and that is the annual task of clearing it out. I’ve learned both personally (and at the tea conferences (yes, you read that correctly) I have attended over the years) that the shelf life of tea is no more than one year, and even less if exposed to sunlight. Thus the critical importance of the tea cupboard!
So now it is that time of year when it’s time to clear out the old and stock up on the new. An exciting time, really. This year, I seem to have a backlog of white teas. An entire yellow and green box full of pyramid-shaped white-tea bags; a tin of loose white with jasmine; samples of white with apricot. I thought I would enjoy their lightness – plus they’ve got the most anti-oxidents – but I keep coming back to my comfortable black teas. Irish Breakfast is my current standby. And what is this long forgotten Chinese brick tea? Too intimidating to break apart. A mostly full box of plain chamomile (Tazo), that’s entirely too weedy-tasting. (Weeds like in the garden, not weed as found in the cafes of Amsterdam). Some failed attempts of my own blends; some Stash double Earl Grey (there IS such a thing as too much Earl Grey- tastes like a mouth full of soap!); samples of some kind of green (too grassy) and some generic lemon tea bags used occasionally during a bout of sore throats.
I look forward to some new tea discoveries in my soon-to-be-restocked tea cupboard. I’ll let you know what I find…