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The Tea Exchange

August 8, 2011

Perhaps you, like me, sometimes accumulate too many varieties of tea in your cabinet? You can’t resist trying this one from a special store and that one from a different city, and pretty soon the boxes and canisters have overflowed onto the counter from their storage baskets and bins. Well, I have a solution that is both practical and friendly: a tea exchange.

What this means is that when I find myself with several new flavors of tea, I mail a “sampler” packet to my tea-loving friends. When they end up with different teas to share, they send some to me. It works out great. You can try new flavors without the fear of getting stuck with 49 more bags of something you hate, you can clear out some space in your kitchen cabinets, you can share a tasty, healthy, and easy-to-mail treat with people you love, and you benefit from your friends’ different tastes and exposure to stores you may not have near you.

I usually put the loose tea bags in snack-size zip-top baggies, with some sort of little label identifying the brand, flavor, and caffeine content. (The labels in the photo above are from the Paper Dozen shop on Etsy.) If the tea bags come in their own individual packets, I just throw those in as is. Of course you can also take as many bags as you want to keep out of your box or canister, and then send the remainder inside the original container to your friend. Add notes where necessary to tell where you found it or how you like it best, and slide everything into one of those cushioned bubble-pack envelope mailers (or a box if you’re sending original containers). The teas as so lightweight, they usually doesn’t cost much to mail. And if your friends are anything like me, they will be happy to find the surprise in their mailbox and excited to try some new flavors in a non-committal way!

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AGG August 8, 2011 at 3:22 pm

Great idea! I hate to toss out teas that I don’t enjoy, and never thought that it may be someone else’s ‘cup of tea’. I frequently try colds that will help with sore throats, etc, and, once my sore throat is gone, they just sit there. I usually don’t store my teas together because I don’t want the flavors to mix, but adding them to snack size bags is a very good solution.

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