Is there such a thing as too much free tea? Oh, please. Perish the thought. But I will say that every once in a while I am presented with so much free tea that it almost seems a bit overwhelming. Not that it’s the worst thing that’s ever happened to me, mind you.

Taylors of Harrogate Filled Tea Chests (Photo source: The English Tea Store)

Taylors of Harrogate Filled Tea Chests (Photo source: The English Tea Store)

It went something like this. In the seven-plus years that I’ve been writing about tea, it seems that the samples have come to me in cycles of ebb and flow. Up until just about a month ago, I was definitely in a distinct ebb portion of the cycle, with a stray dab of tea trickling in now and then. I even found myself having to resort to buying tea on a number of occasions, if you can imagine such a thing.

But cycles being what they are things eventually changed, the flow began to flow again and then suddenly it seemed that the floodgates had burst open. The tea fairy had arrived, you might say. Let me stress that I’m not complaining about the fact that I’ve received substantial quantities of tea from a number of merchants lately. But given that this is a sideline and that my skills with organizing my tea samples, keeping track of them and eventually reviewing the ones I like are not all they could be, it doesn’t present some minor problems.

One such problem is what to do with the tea I don’t like. I make it pretty clear to merchants right up front that nowadays I really only review tea that I like a lot. I also make it as clear as I possibly can that I’m not all that fond of flavored tea. Normally that doesn’t seem to do much to stop the flow of flavored teas, but given that there wasn’t much of it in this latest bonanza, I’m thinking that perhaps the message is getting through.

What about all that tea I don’t like? Well, for now it’s taking up valuable shelf space in my not so spacious tea cabinet. Which is where it will stay until I can find a suitable way to dispose of it. Which typically does not include tossing it in the garbage. For, as much as I might dislike certain teas I find it really hard to just throw them away. Fortunately I ran across an acquaintance lately who’s something of a novice to “good” tea but who is more than willing to sample those items I don’t care for.

Which kind of puts me in the position of being something of a tea fairy myself, and I guess I can live with that.

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