Budget and Bulk: The Daily Lifeblood

Aug 27, 2020

I like a variety of teas. Many of which would probably be called "fancy" or "snooty" by most people - oolongs, puer, dian hong, sencha, the kind of stuff you can't really buy at a grocery store, and more than likely need to dive into more specialty orders or get them shipped to you.

I try to make a point, though, to never actually have a snob or elitist mindset when talking to people about it, because I really cannot stand that portrayal. I like allegedly "fine things", but that doesn't mean I think less of anyone else for it. If you're liking what you're drinking, I think that's pretty awesome, and it really isn't up to me to be worried about what that drink specifically is. Being a jerk about tea isn't cool, and- here's an important thing - it's not like I'm not drinking the same stuff anyway.

What's in my storage today? Well, I have a 50-bag of Twinings Irish Breakfast and ~80 bags worth of Celestial Seasonings Bengal Spice. I'm having Twinings Lady Grey right now, actually. There's a bulk bag of bancha and kukicha, and I'd like to refill on that cheap CTC as well. I have what I wouldn't call a "low-grade", but low-priced shou coming via mail soon. In terms of "fancy" teas? 2 cakes and some leftover scraps of a third one.

A good 1/3 of my storage can be found at the grocer, and the rest are cheaper daily drinkers. Unless you just have way more money or madness than I have, a tea habit is hardly sustained on well aged Kunming storage top-tier sheng and daily sipping of gyokuro. It's the stuff you can get easily, quickly, and can drink maybe not "thoughtlessly" but without a lot of investment. Yes, the expensive and interesting stuff is exciting, and I always look forward to opportunities to try something new. But the rest of the time? A cup of kukicha, a bag or two of the cheap stuff I can throw milk and sugar into. Those are what actually get me through my days.

I will probably follow this up with a couple posts about more generic tea types and why I like keeping a supply of them, but for now this is just a disoriented musing about the value of "low-value". More interesting reviews or sessions will follow.