Monday, February 18, 2013

Setting a 2013 Tea Budget

Normally I don't set a hard budget to control any of my habits, I try to keep a eye on it from time to time.  But a tiny alarm bell tinkled in my head when I ended up buying $400 worth of chocolates in a single day. But when you are constantly handing out multiple bars to people who need cheering up, even a supply such as this can last only a few weeks. I'm aware my chocolate budget is now heartily eating into my tea budget.  

Fiscal prudence is a virtuous habit which can be forced upon you sometimes by painful necessity.  Fortunately I'm saving to fulfill a fantasy.  While in Hawaii- I noticed parcels of ocean front land in Puna for sale which I could buy if I was more modest in my current lifestyle.  All discretionary spending is now on review.  So I'm about the business if officially setting my tea budget this morning which should include all tea, tea wares, and shipping.

I thought of a pleasing round number like $1000 which I could easily spare because I don't own a smart phone. While many of my friends are a slave to their monthly iphone payments (~$85/month or $1020/year), I have a burner phone which costs me $10 every three months.  When you think of lump annual sums, they appear more formidable. 

This year, my tea budget has to accommodate:
  • a tetsubin kettle
  • decent non-exploding non-leaking electric kettle for work
  • a nice yixing teapot for myself
  • teapots for various friends
  • gift tea for friends
While limitations in theory force a more careful use of one's resources, a person unused to such discipline could crack else where.   Starting next week, instead of handing out multiple chocolate bars, I'll just have to share chunks of a single bar. A twinge of regret already forms in my mind and friends might be confused at this new policy of stinginess. 


  1. Anonymous11:47 PM

    $400 on chocolate in a day? Wow. This reinforces to me how poor I am by Bay Area standards compared to many of you.
    I like reading those lists magazines and newspapers occasionally put out, "10 ways to save money/change your lifestyle" type things--I always chuckle and think to myself, "Been doing all of those for years."

    1. I find money spent on gift chocolate has been some of the best uses for my disposable income. The world could do with more chocolate sugar mammas.

    2. Your benevolent chocolate hand-out certainly pepped-up our autumn.

    3. Anonymous10:41 AM

      Can't argue with that. What are your general feelings about Michel Cluizel?

    4. I've had a few Cluizel bars long ago but they have not made any impression on me enough to repeat it.

    5. Anonymous8:31 PM

      I sort of agree. The "Mangaro" is nice though. Definitely not in the same league as Amano or Madegasse in my opinion, but of course, is one of those things that probably gets more attention overall because they're French and have a history, fancy packaging..etc..same with Vosges..I got one as a present and just remember thinking, "This is $7? Are you joking? This is several leagues below other bars I have tasted in that price range. WTF."

      P.S. Speaking of impressions, about the '96 Xiaguan I so heartily recommended awhile back that you were not impressed by..having tried to expand my sheng palate as much as fast as possible since then and bought a few cakes, I would definitely downgrade the overall experience from great to good. Still, nice lasting energy! But LBZ on the other hand..that is like..psychotic energy..but in the best possible way..he he..

  2. I think that's a fair list of tea "needs". :-)

  3. Oh and Amano Dos Rios: very good, but to me the Morobe is more sublime.