Quite a few of you have the same problem – how to deal with teas that are really inferior, so that you don’t want to drink them every day. However, you have too much of it, so you have to get rid of it, somehow, especially if you paid for the privilege.
These teas are often acquired with the best of intentions – you bought it thinking it might be good, and end up being a disappointment. You bought it as an impulse (say, while you were traveling) and when you got home, it is no longer so good. Sometimes you got the tea because you used to like it, but your tastes changed. Or, you got it from some other means – a gift, an accidental find, etc. Either way, now you’re stuck with this tea that isn’t really quite that good.
I have a lot of these teas, as I’m sure a lot of you do too. Giving them away, or selling them, seems wrong, because they’re not particularly attractive. After all, you don’t really want to give bad tea to people, especially if they’re newcomers. The only tea I happily give away is cooked puerh, since I almost never drink teas of that genre, and I know there are others out there who will appreciate it way more than I do. The rest of the time, however, whether it is bad black tea, bad young puerh, or bad oolong, I’m stuck with it.
One way for me to get rid of such teas these days is to drink it at work, where I’m condemned to drink such things grandpa style, for lack of proper implements (or time) to do it right. I could probably bring a tea set to work, but since I just started less than a month ago, bringing such things, even in Asia, might be a little off. So these days, I’m drinking some terrible, terrible work tea – a box of very run of the mill Assam, an old can of cooked puerh from Mengku that I had stashed away for no reason, and some 4 years old baozhong that I’ve been aging myself. The baozhong is probably the most interesting of these teas, seeing as it was purchased fresh in 2007 and now approaching five years old in the same bag. When I opened it it smelled distinctly like a slightly aged oolong – a little of that slightly plummy, sour fragrance, but when I brewed it, grandpa style anyway, it was still mostly like a duller green baozhong. It clearly needs some more time.
I suppose this is a good thing, in the sense that I’m drinking some of these leftover teas that I’ll never otherwise touch and which will forever linger in tea purgatory until I fish them out for some reason. Now, they’re being consumed in a willy-nilly manner at work, purely for the caffeine effect and not much else. I do need to find a more permanent solution to the work-tea problem though, because otherwise I’m going to be stuck with bad tea for a long time, and then my good teas will be in tea purgatory.