So, back in June 2014 I went through all my tea and counted it. It came back that I had 353 different teas!
I recently got a new tea shelf, so I decided it was a good time to go through every tea again, including samples and tea bags and count them all.
However, this time I decided to google spreadsheet my entire tea collection. I’m not a spreadsheet wizard, so my husband helped me with the calculations. Previously, I was using Steepster’s database to keep track, but I found it hard to search the teas I owned. I thought it would be better if I could access my tea information from my phone plus add more useful data on each tea. I especially wanted to keep track when I received the tea so I know how old the tea is. I had to go through email records to find when I purchased some teas. I discovered some teas that were too old (green teas from 2008!) and had to be tossed. It took 2 weeks to count all the teas during my spare time.
From the last tea stash count’s numbers, I figured my tea collection should be in the 400s.
It turns out, my tea stash grew a lot, more than I had estimated. By the end of January I had finished the spreadsheet and I counted 506 teas!
February came and went. Ever since I finished the spreadsheet I have been actively trying to finish teas. However, Oolong Owl had other ideas so more teas have been coming in for review, plus I ordered some and have tea of the month subscriptions still going. At the end of February I had 522 Teas!! CRAP!
A week into March, I’m currently at 511 teas, and I finished 44 teas since starting the spreadsheet.
Besides tea count, I discovered having a detailed spreadsheet provided interesting data. First off, I track how much tea I have per tea type. I have separate sheets per tea type. I might break each tea type by unflavored/flavored teas sometime, the data is already entered.
I didn’t know I had just about equal numbers of black and oolong teas! I thought I would have more oolong because it’s oolong, hoot! My white tea count being that low was a surprise, and most of it is blends. I guess it makes sense as I seem to drink down my white teas fast as they go stale fast.
Within each page of teas, I track the year the tea was produced, brand, when I got it, whether I reviewed it on Oolong Owl and extra notes on the tea. For some teas, like pu’er I track whether it’s a sample or cake. For oolongs I input steeping instructions and oxidation level. I need to do more work in going through Oolong Owl and adding links to the teas I’ve reviewed. With all current teas I try I add notes, but there’s lots of teas that I need to drink again and add notes to.
I also keep track of the teas I finished and whether I should consider purchasing. Admittedly, I really shouldn’t be purchasing teas with the amount I have!
Admittedly years back I thought “The day I need a spreadsheet to keep track of teas is the day I have way too much tea.” I wished I started tracking my teas sooner (maybe around the 100 count LOL) as it was a huge effort to type in all this data. Maybe if I started tracking my teas better in the beginning I would have less tea now. After doing this spreadsheet project, I have been much better with drinking down old teas and sorting them. I find I feel less overwhelmed when I look at my tea stash on the shelf trying to find something – now I just hit the spreadsheet and find what is in sample size or old and finish it!
And to think when I started Oolong Owl back in Jan 2013 I was at 200 teas on Steepster. Goals? Well I need to drink down more tea! I’d like to get green, herbals and oolongs (not counting aged oolong) much lower in ratio compared to pu’er.
Making this tea stash spreadsheet started the spreadsheet bug in me. I have 2 other tea related spreadsheets – one for my daily consumption and another for my spending. The daily tea consumption spreadsheet I found to be really helpful… and will be another blog post!
So tea readers, how do you keep track of your teas?
To add some cute to this post and less spreadsheetyness, here’s a tea owl with tea pots!