Sunday, January 11, 2009

Hooray for The Kiva!

Over Christmas break, Brian & I travelled back to Oregon for a little family time. While we were there, I spent one afternoon wandering around town with an old friend. She wanted to go into a little grocery store downtown, so I followed her. A few steps inside the door, I ran into their bulk herbs, which was perfect, because I had wanted to pick up a few spices while we were in town. (You'd think that a large city like Boston would have one store where one could get a decent selection of herbs and spices in bulk, but I haven't found it yet.) After packaging up a few tablespoons of turmeric, dried thyme, and dried parsley, I scanned the labels to see if there was anything else I wanted. And lo! My eyes travelled to the display beside the herbs and spices. There was a whole rack of bulk tea!

Now, you know I like buying loose tea because it's more compact and less expensive than bagged tea. But even still, usually when you buy bulk tea, you have to buy one or two ounces. Here, you could measure it out in tablespoons! I began pulling jars off the shelf and smelling them. Some were classic blends by unrecognized companies. However, they also had a good collection of Republic of Tea blends. This was quite exciting, as I've wanted to try Republic of Tea teas, but could never shell out $7 for a tin.

So, I stocked up. (Some might say I went overboard, but I think stocking up is a better description. I was limiting myself from taking a sample of each!)

In all, I decided on eight teas based on their smell or their interestingness:

Lapsang Souchong (I know this is a classic, but I haven't tried it yet.)
Twig (this one scored high on interestingness)
Black Currant
Cinnamon Plum
Wild Blueberry
Gogi Raspberry Green

The last three are teas by Republic of Tea. I've tried the Cinnamon Plum and the Gogi Raspberry so far. (The Cinnamon Plum was great, but I didn't care so much for the Gogi Raspberry - it reminded me of raspberry Emergen-C.)

And take a guess at how much all these samples cost me.

$4.78! All right - I guess that's kind of a lot if you look at how much tea I got. At $25-$30 per pound, it's probably not the way to go if I want just one kind. But getting to try two or three cups of each kind for 60c each is awesome!

My old favorite place to buy tea in town has now gone out of business, but it appears that I now have a new reason to go back to town. Other than the relatives, of course!


Aly sun said...

How fun. What store is this? I had no idea that I could get bulk tea in this area. Glad you had a nice visit and went home with such nice souvenirs. ;)

sufferingsummer said...

oh no what tea shop closed? Lapsang is Colin's absolute favorite. I always just call it campfire tea:)
looks like you got a deal if you ask me. If you went out to try any of these cups in a shop you'd spend 3x that on a cup!

Sarah said...

Nice job with the new camera!

Melanie said...

The store I found the bulk tea at is The Kiva in downtown Eugene. The store that closed (and that I continue to learn had a more awesome tea selection than I ever knew was Savoure).

teal! said...

lapsang souchong is awesome! if you like smokiness in your tea, which i do....

there's a hippie-ish co-op in central square, you might try there for bulk spices. not sure where else, though....

Trespasser said...

While it's sad that Savoure has closed, you can still order several of their teas over the internet. The Marco Polo and several others are made by a company in Paris called Mariage Freres and you can order them online.

Tea Time With Melody said...

Hi, thanks for stopping by and leaving a comment. We are excited because it was a few thousand dollars we saved! I like your tea selection, as I am an avid tea lover. Tea parties the whole nine yards. lol

Grace said...

Hi Melanie! I'm not sure if you remember me. I used to be Grace Dixon. I found your blog from Alysun's and am looking forward to to seeing all that's going on with you! I love tea too!!

Steph said...

Wahoo!! Congrats! I love being able to purchase very small amounts of tea!