2020: How much DID you spend on tea this year!?

The classic Steepster thread continues, & it looks like I beat Sil to making the thread this year!

Time to track how much you’re spending on tea each year. You can edit a comment to keep track throughout the year, or make a new comment for each month/purchase – totally up to you! A lot of people set a budget/goal for the year, or an amount they’d like to stay under per month. Some folk include teaware purchases, and others don’t.

If you’ve seen past years threads and felt awkward joining in mid year, now is a perfect time to join in – and if you’re seeing this in the future and it’s the middle of the year don’t feel like you can’t start mid way through!

So have fun, and lets track our tea spending!

2019: https://steepster.com/discuss/29706-2019-how-much-will-you-spend-on-tea-this-year

2018 – https://steepster.com/discuss/20676-2018-how-much-will-you-spend-on-tea-this-year

2017 – https://steepster.com/discuss/14961-2017-how-much-will-you-spend-on-tea-this-year

2016 – https://steepster.com/discuss/12376-2016-how-much-will-you-spend-on-tea-this-year

2015 – http://steepster.com/discuss/10160-2015-how-much-will-you-spend-on-tea-this-year

2014 – http://steepster.com/discuss/6837-how-much-did-you-spend-on-tea-in-2014

83 Replies

It’s the roaring #twenteatwenteas and it’s time to recap over five years of tea spending; which has come to a grand total of $18,025.75!! That is so crazy to think about, and frankly also a bit absurd…

Here’s the year by year breakdown:

2019 – $4791.51
2018 – $3929.54
2017 – $3805.50
2016 – $2034.13
2015 – $1998.46
2014 – $1466.61

I have literally never managed to stay under budget before, but looking at those numbers and with a tea stash that is currently OVER 800 different teas, I think it’s really time to reign myself back and keep my tea and teaware purchases to an absolute minimum.

So, I’m setting myself the HARSH goal of staying under $2500! Admittedly, this is still a lot overall – though it is pretty close to less than half of what I spent in 2019 so compared to that it’s quite the reduction. Wish me luck, folks!

January: $640.02
Pitch Black North $55.40
Local Chinese Market (Teaware) $67.00
August Uncommon $71.19
Teaware.House (Teaware) $179.00
Bitterleaf Tea (Teaware) $140.00
Bird & Blend $127.43

February: $127.11
Camellia Sinensis (Teaware) $42.00
Adagio $85.11

March: $92.00
The Necessiteas $92.00

April: $72.18
White2Tea $45.43
World Tea House $15.75
Taiwan Tea Crafts $11.00

May: $1351.09
Soocha Tea $59.00
Teaware.House (Teaware) $91.05
Bitterleaf Tea (Teaware) $225.64
Plum Deluxe $45.40
Viter Ceramics (Shibo) $220.00
Tealyra $70.00
White2Tea (Spring Teas) $374.00
ArBee Ceramics (Teapot) $101.00
Bird & Blend $110.00
Chroma Tea $55.00

June: $949.70
PudTea $50.50
Hella Tea $86.00
White2Tea $503.00
Bitterleaf Tea $178.00
Calabash Tea & Tonic $38.00
Tea Please $94.20

July: $285.44
The Tea Practitioner $55.00
Dessert By Deb (Group order) $18.00
Camellia Sinensis (Tea & Teaware) $182.00
Arthur Dove $30.44

August: $660.77
White2Tea (Tea Club) $41.83
Tea Runners (Group Order) $53.86
Retro Leaf Tea $48.00
Geek + Tea $82.00
Zadiko Tea Co. $49.00
Hojicha Co. $71.25
White2Tea $273.00
White2Tea (Tea Club) $41.83

September: 437.00
Pugs & Pigs (Teapot) $70.00
52Teas $139.00
52Teas (Advent) $75.00
Geek + Tea (Advent) $65.00
Dessert by Deb $54.00
CuppaGeek $34.00

October: $1361.00
Adagio $116.00
Bitterleaf Tea $157.50
Mariage Freres (Advent) $145.00
White2Tea $555.00
Bird & Blend (Advent) $85.31
OffBlak (Advent) $72.19
Vahdam Teas (Advent) $93.00
Bitterleaf Tea $101.00
Kuda Tea $36.00

November: $1005.33
Teaware House $178.00
West China Tea $272.00
Bee’s Soul Teez $44.00
QNTM Leaf Tea $88.00
White2Tea (Tea Club) $41.83
White2Tea $186.00
Old Ways Tea $195.50

December: $579.13
White2Tea (Tea Club) $41.83
Bitterleaf Tea $137.00
Crimson Lotus Tea $211.00
52Teas $108.30
Arthur Dove $80.00

GRAND TOTAL: $7920.87

I hope you aren’t offended by this, but I’ve started using you as a “Well, I could be” sort of thing for my darling mother who gets cranky when I buy too much tea.

I told her that I spent nearly 60 bucks this month, and that wasn’t even from my monthly allotment, and she got mad. (She’s my payee, it’s her job to keep my spending in line.) I replied with “Well, Ros spent nearly 200 dollars so far this month, so I could be like that…”It seemed to calm her down a bit, pointing out how much I could feasibly be spending!

Not sure how long this tactic will work, but I thought you should know. You are now “Ros the Tea Addict” in my house LOL!

[In all honesty, if I had 4000 dollars to spend a year on tea, I probably would. I’m a bit jelly frankly! But I treasure your input on this site and base many of my purchases on your reviews. So keep up the good work!]

Lol, not offended at all!

I’ve definitely taken up that mantle for several people I know – including a bunch at my office. Trying to break the mindset this year of “Well, it’ll make me better at my job…” since (while I do think there’s SOME truth to it) I know I mostly use it as a scapegoat.

And I’m happy the reviews are helpful!

Shanie – it seems to me like non-tea people would think spending $2.50-$3 on one grocery store box of tea a month would be too much. I can imagine if non-tea people hear an order costs $50 just for tea, it would blow their mind. haha.

tea-sipper – oh I get that. I have a friend who swears by Lipton (eww) and when he heard the size of my 52teas order, he said “You know, you can go to the store and get an entire box for 5 dollars!” and it almost started a fight when I tried to tell him “That’s not tea!” LOL!

What is a budget, really!?

So Covid-19 happened and I’m basically only ever at work drinking tea or at home drinking tea now, so May has been a little bit intense in terms of tea purchases – especially with Spring teas coming in…

yyz said

I know what you mean. I spent close to what I spent Inthe entirety of last year in the past month.

I don’t have a budget anymore – I have a shame record.

J-P said

I’m with you on the shame-record, in the distance somewhere (far far behind)… I went over the 1k mark after adding it all up this year. And I don’t even buy ‘expensive’ stuff!

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Dustin said

2018: $740

2019: $848.36

2020: 796.40

I tried to do a total buying ban for 2019 and ended up spending more than the year before. I think I need to try a different approach to my abstaining from tea purchases goal, but I’m not sure how yet.
Update: I’m thinking of making a rule where I must sip down or get rid of two teas in order to add another to my cupboard. Two steps forward, one step back sort of approach to buying. Now I have to decide if sample sizes count as one tea removed.

January: $3.99 for Traditional Medicinal’s Throat Coat, which I bought more as medicine for the sick people in my house than a tea to enjoy.

February: $39.60
I do really good at not buying tea until I travel. Went to Ireland and had to try some of their brands. $13.35 at Gurman’s and $26.25 on tea at a market.

March: $27.14 David’s teas.

April: 0

May: 0

June: 0

July: 0

August: $3? I bought a box of Celestial Seasonings Honey Chamomile at the grocery store, but don’t remember exactly how much it was.

September: $179.05
$97.80 at David’s Tea. They put two of my favorite/staples (kashmiri chai and coffee puerh) on “Last Chance” notice and it was all over from there. I hope it’s just a seasonal thing and not a gone forever situation.
$26 Necessiteas. First time trying this company.
$10 on Amazon for some weird Russian banana tea.
$45.25 Bird and Blend. 11 of it was shipping. Damn them and their delicious Baby Spice.
It seems to be in the 4th quarter that my no tea buying will fails miserably.

October: $133.50
$12 regret with Republic of Tea
$39.50 Plum Deluxe Advent
$90 Kusmi Advents, but one is a gift so that one doesn’t count in my tea tally.
$37 T2 Advent and an extra tea to reach free shipping.

November: $333.67
$143.17 at Ette Tea because I’m trying to buy happiness.
$36.18 at Davids. I had to use my about to expire tea credit and they were doing 20% most items AND I needed that skeleton gummi bear pouch with the Halloween teas I wanted to try. Only $7.60 was spent on tea, the rest on a tumbler and shipping.
$76.10 with Lupica. I don’t even care anymore.
$16.90 with Elmwood Inn. $7 of that was shipping! :(
$61.32 at Zhi. Couldn’t resist restocking some favorites when they have a black friday deal happening.

December: $76.45 is what I’m going with because gifts of tea not for me don’t count!
$34 samples with Happy Turtle
$78.75 with Adagio. Only $12 was for me and the rest was gifts.
$30.45 Fusion Teas

Courtney said


“$12 regret with Republic of Tea” and “November: $143.17 at Ette Tea because I’m trying to buy happiness.”


Dustin said

I was looking at that tin of RoT (which is fitting initials for this particular blend), trying to figure out what I could do with it besides compost and not coming up with much. I need to do something to get it out of my sight and move past the regret.
And yes, I am not even hiding the fact that I’ve thrown my tea buying ban willpower to the wind in an attempt to feel good! I just wish the tea would get here faster because it leads to more purchases when shipping takes forever. :D

“$76.10 with Lupica. I don’t even care anymore.”

Tell me about it! Caring is so 2019.

Dustin said

I don’t think there is a more true statement for 2020!

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Ariel said

In 2019 I almost managed to stick to my tea budget, thanks in part to tracking my spending here… Last year I budgeted $599 CAD for tea, teaware, and accessories, and spent $601.85. This year finances are a bit tighter and the tea + teaware collection is taking up a bit too much space, so I’m planning to focus on drinking what I have without buying too much more. Setting the budget at $250 CAD… Wish me luck!


The Russian market in my city: $5.98 for 2 fruit tisanes

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For 2019 I spent a tad more than $200 total across seven different orders. Which to be honest, is $200 more than I was aiming for. I was on a buy ban and I was doing well for the first half of the year. No new orders until around my birthday! This year, the goal is $0 spent on tea… but I know how that turns out. Also, I just feel bad not supporting tea shops at all.

Updated 12/26/20
sigh. Davidstea just had to send me a sale e-mail today and most of what I missed that I wanted before was even more on sale. Including the Birch Mug I wanted. So I bit. If it’s a super sale, I guess:
2020 spending -
Davidstea – $37.20
Teakruthi – $23.83 (because they were so kind sending samples a while ago!)
Bird & Blend – $43.61
Davids – $8.77
Bird & Blend – $54.61
Tealyra – $27.55
TOTAL: $195.57

Dustin said

Holy crap, you are doing so good!

Haha I wondered if you were talking about me when I saw your comment in my e-mail alerts, Dustin. Yeah, I think I can give myself a pat on the back this year. But… I’m a little worried about B&B’s boxing day sale coming up. haha

Dustin said

As long as they don’t still have baby spice in stock (I checked, they don’t) then I’ll be resistant to sales temptation. Best of luck willpowering through!

Yeah, I’d def have to buy if they had Baby Spice on sale (I don’t think they will though). I haven’t tried it yet!

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anutea said

For 2019, I stopped myself from buying a lot more tea and really focused on sipping down what I had but that all went off the rails in November and December when I spent a lot during the “sales”. I have so much tea that I want to focus a lot more on finishing up the older teas. Anyone have any tips on that? I have a lot and I am the only one who drinks tea at home.
Ideally, I would like to spend less than $500 this year on tea. I want to keep myself accountable so I am trying to do it on here.

Update: this budget went out the window as soon I started spending more time at home.
I have been doing well with drinking what I have though.

January 2020:
Adagio – $5.70
KK – $26.63

February 2020:
Adagio: $7.75

March 2020:
David’s tea: $25.42

April 2020:

May 2020:
Adagio: $15.00
Harney and Sons: $20
T2: $37.20
Mountain Rose: $12

April, May June, July, August, September – lots of purchases here and there.
I didn’t even bother keeping track. Who cares at this point.

Adagio Teas $10
White2Tea $30
Beautiful Taiwan Tea company – $17.75

You could try swaps or traveling tea boxes to offload tea. Sometimes folks just post tea they’d like to get rid of along with a reasonable price and see who is interested.

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I didn’t spend much on tea last year. Tea kind of just became more of a beverage than a hobby (and non enthusiasts will not understand the difference, lol), but basically it meant that I wasn’t out exploring new things and ergo not spending much.

This year I’ve kicked it off with a purchase at Verdant. Golden Fleece was always a legendary bucket list tea of mine and I can’t wait for it to arrive at my door!

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So, last year, I actually underspent. And by that I mean I didn’t just stay well under budget, but I kept spending the money I had saved for tea on other things, thereby denying myself the tea I was promised.

EDIT : I just went back and recalculated and found out that, while I rarely spent the “Tea Budget” on tea, the first half of 2019 before the tea budget was put in place was absolutely awful on my wallet, and I spent approximately $500 based on what I can find via order confirmations in my inbox. OOPS. I guess I did overspend last year!

This year, I am actually going to try to spend my monthly tea budget on tea. With the current amount set at $30 a month, that leaves a budget of $360 dollars for the year. I have the issue currently that my beginning of the month Tea Budget keeps going to pay a bill, and then my food allotments for later in the month keep going to tea. I guess technically tea is a consumable food but I know that’s just a rationalization. I’m going to have to rework the budget.

Wish me, luck guys. Luck, tea, and discipline.

52Teas: $58.25
English Tea Store: $40.91
Misc: $1.06 (teaware)

52Teas – $32.00
Staples: $44.67 (Boxed Tea and Teaware)
Adagio: $52.00 (Brigadoon Breakfast happened)
Misc: $16.63


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LuckyMe said

2018 – $346
2019 – $567

Once again I’m going to budget $500 for tea in 2020. It’s not set in stone but I think it’s a reasonable figure considering my past spending. Also, this year I’m going to try really hard not to buy any new teaware as my cupboard is already overflowing. I might even give away some of the teaware I don’t use anymore.

I’ve got about 75 teas in my collection and I’m going to try to sip down what I currently own. One tea I won’t be buying much of this year is black tea. I just don’t find myself craving it very often and intend to finish off what I have left.

Ubacat said

Your budget is about the same as mine. That’s all I can drink in a year so no point in going too overboard.

Your note about the teaware made me smile. It seems new teaware always makes it into one order each year. My teaware cabinet was completely full in 2018 until I re-organized in 2019 and found extra room! Just get rid of that old teaware you’re not using, put those little shelf dividers in and voila! Extra space to buy more!

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Leafhopper said

I’m going to try to keep my spending on tea to US$500 this year, which is about what I spent last year. Ideally it would be less, but I don’t think I have the willpower. I also want to sip down as many teas as I buy so my stash doesn’t take over my apartment.

Tealyra: $60.28 CAD


Cha Yi Tea House: $74 CAD

Tillerman Tea: US$76 (plus $23.50 CAD in customs fees, yikes!)

Lochan Tea: US$54

Camellia Sinensis: $102.01 CAD

Taiwan Tea Crafts: US$108.45

Wuyi Origin: US$114.75 (and it’s not even Black Friday yet)
Liquid Proust: US$65
What-Cha: US$55
Teavivre: US$24.10

I also bought a teapot from Taiwan Tea Crafts in February using the refund from my previous teapot purchase in 2019.

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I plan on spending $70 per order every 3 months. So that adds up to $280. I’ll round up to $300. To me that isn’t much at all.

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