Tidy White Teas...and Other Teas, Too!
Harney & Sons makes over 300 types of tea, and we know our customers like trying new flavors and drinking more than one type of tea. But when the tins and boxes start to take over your pantry like a kudzu vine, it’s time for a little organization. Or a lot.
The internationally famed Marie Kondo, known for her KonMari Method™, refers to getting organized as a “tidying festival.” She doesn’t specifically advocate minimalism, unless that’s your thing. She’s about getting rid of clutter and keeping what “sparks joy.” We like to think that tea is one of those things that sparks joy… so let’s talk about having a tea tidying festival, some simple ways you can accomplish that, and some reminders of what not to do.
Start with a Clutter Intervention
There’s a reason “cut through the clutter” is a saying. Before you can begin organizing your tea, you need to get rid of those things that are no longer necessary. This is true if your tea is living alongside other pantry roommates; if you’re planning to give your tea its own dedicated space, what you do with the contents of your pantry is your business!
Expired items. We’ve all got them. Check those cans for expiration dates and throw out what’s exceeded their shelf life. Consolidate open boxes of spaghetti, or make spaghetti for dinner tonight. If you have pantry items that are unopened and still good, but you don’t need them, consider filling a bag or box and taking them to a food pantry. Food is certainly something people need right now. Look at getting rid of non-food items as well that are just taking up space. Goodwill would be happy to take your collection of unicorn mugs.
Wide Open Spaces
Now that you’ve made space, it’s time to decide how to get organized. There’s no wrong way. Do what makes sense to you. You can organize by:
- Type of tea. Black teas together, green teas together, decaf teas together, etc.
- Breakfast teas. Afternoon teas. Evening teas.
- By tin color.
- Teas you drink with your cat. Teas you drink with your dog.
You get the idea. How many types of tea you have and how much space you have will also play a role in how you choose to organize your teas. But with less clutter, you should have more space to work with.
Tins v. Teabags
Storing tea in tins is obviously a different animal than individually wrapped tea bags. Our tins are the perfect way to store loose leaf tea and sachets, so while you may be tempted to put them all in plastic bags to save space, hold onto your ziploc. There are best, just ok and definitely not ok practices for storing tea, which you can read about in our Does Tea Go Stale? blog post. It’s a great companion read to go along with this article.
If you have individually wrapped tea bags, there are many options to purchase online at places like Amazon and The Container Store, from smaller units made to fit teabags to larger containers. Harney also carries small tea bag sized boxes and larger tea chests, a lovely way to store and display your teas. You can find them along with other items on our Tea Chests and Sampler Sets page.
Please note we are talking about storing individually wrapped tea bags. If you purchase tea bags that are loose in a container, keep them in the container. It’s the best way to make sure your tea stays at the highest quality possible. Individually wrapped tea bags are protected from harmful elements.
About those tins…
They’re So Pretty!
If you have the space, consider bringing those Harney tins out and making them part of your decor. You can line them up on a shelf. Place them on a small bookcase. Arrange them on a tea cart. Create a tea corner on your counter. Stack them in a pyramid. Put them in a basket. Get creative.
To cut down on the number of tins, consider purchasing our bulk bags and refilling your existing tins with your favorite blends. We recommend keeping the same type of tea in the original tins and not mixing and matching. Unless you want your Earl Grey to taste like Hot Cinnamon Spice. And if you do, then you can buy both kinds of tea in loose leaf and make your own concoction. But that’s a topic for another day.
Steep Back and Enjoy
However you choose to organize your tea collection, when you’re finished step back and take it in. There’s something extremely satisfying about turning chaos into calm. Fix a cuppa and pat yourself on the back. Today, the tea cabinet. Tomorrow, the garage!
Do you have tips on how you’ve organized your teas? Share them with us in the comments below.