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10 January 2009 @ 04:54 pm
Fandom Traveling Tea Box  
I've got this idea, and I'm curious if anyone else would be interested in taking part. It's called a Traveling Tea Box. For anyone not familiar with the term, a Traveling Tea Box is basically a Round Robin for tea. It's a box of tea and tea accessories that is passed from one person to another. When you get the box, you take some of the tea to try and add some more tea to it, then mail it to the next person on the list. The last person on the list sends the box back to the coordinator, and the cycle starts again. There is usually a journal included for writing down what you liked and didn't like, what you added, which accessories and teas you tried and which you didn't, etc. The point is to try new teas/accessories and pass on your own favorites.

The down side is that these things do occasionally stop going, since people have lives and emergencies and what not.

To work as well as possible, there are usually some guidelines to follow, such as....

Don't get greedy, leave some stuff for the next person.

You don't have to spend a fortune on the stuff you add, but don't throw in 10 year old instant ice tea from the back of your pantry either.

Post to the community or let the coordinator know when you receive the box.

Forward the box to the next person in 1-2 weeks (holidays and emergencies get exceptions).

Post to the community or email the coordinator and the recipient when you send it (sending it with the internet-tracking option is often recommended or even required).

These things can get REALLY big. As in requiring huge boxes and $30+ to ship! On the one hand that can be awesome since you get to try lots of different teas and teaware, but it can also make it difficult for people to participate if money is tight for them. Two ways to deal with this would be to either limit the size of the box to an agreed upon size, or for those of us who can afford it to add a little extra money to the box or to a paypal account when we send it on so that when it gets to someone who can't afford all the postage, it's there. If we want to limit the box size, I'd be more than willing to start a second (or even third) box as soon as I was notified that the first one had gotten too big. That way the people at the back half of the list would still get a chance to participate.

So, if there's any interest in doing this I'll start an LJ community where we can decide on guidelines and get a list together. I'm willing to get the box started and coordinate it (and any subsequent boxes we might add) by starting it off with this set so that no one is stuck unable to try loose leaf tea because they don't have the right brewing equipment.

Please pimp this far and wide and send people back to this post to express an interest. If at least 5-10 people are interested, I'll go ahead and order the starter set, get the community set up, and get this thing going.

How I feel: optimisticoptimistic
liz_marcs: Anya_Magic_Box_Pleasantville_Lookliz_marcs on January 7th, 2009 06:25 pm (UTC)

I'd totally love to do this, especially since I live practically next door to a gourmet tea place and doing some kind of taste-test kind of thing-y would be awesome.

There's only one issue here: Some of us use a nom de Internet (like me) and might be hesitant to have our real names and our real addresses in a public space (that would be me again). So, whoever the coordinator is, they probably should screen the real names and addresses of the people who sign up to do this.
bubble_blunderbubble_blunder on January 7th, 2009 06:30 pm (UTC)
That makes sense. We could always screen the actual sign up post and then I can make a public post listing the usernames only of everyone who signed up and what order to go in. Then I could either print off the whole list to include in the box, or just have the receiver contact me for the next address to send it on to so only one person has any other person's real info (other than the coordinator of course).

What do you think?


Edited for a typo

Edited at 2009-01-07 06:31 pm (UTC)
liz_marcsliz_marcs on January 7th, 2009 06:48 pm (UTC)
I like the screened sign-up post, followed by the public post listing the usernames only of those who signed up and the order they go in.

As for "sending it on," I'd have the receiver contact you for the next address on the list. It has a double-benefit of not only protecting confidentiality (the person sending it on can use their "ElJay name" on the return address, although using their real name can't be avoided if they are receiving).

In addition, if the receiver contacts you for the "next on the list" name, you can better keep track of where the tea box is, who has it, and when they received it. That way, you won't completely lose it, and if you do, you know whereabouts it got lost.

I mention this as a benefit because there was a com I joined where someone was supposed to send around a stuffed animal/doll and we were supposed to take it on a "tour" or our area with pictures. The said doll was quickly lost and never heard from again.
bubble_blunderbubble_blunder on January 7th, 2009 07:07 pm (UTC)
That makes sense on numerous levels.

The other thing that I thought about after I made the post is that I think as far as the donating for postage idea goes, it would probably be better if we let people donate to a paypal account. That way if someone needs money for postage they have to contact the coordinator and email a receipt of some sort. It keeps people accountable and also helps with getting money returned to the donors if there's left over when things wind up.

Now I just hope that there are more than just the two of us interested!

Irishroseirishrose1 on January 9th, 2009 03:29 am (UTC)
I'd love to participate. It sounds like a wonderful idea and I ADORE tea!
bubble_blunderbubble_blunder on January 11th, 2009 01:02 am (UTC)
Yay! I really hope this happens. Since I posted this just before LJ went down the other day, I just re-posted it in the hopes that the lack of response is more because no one saw the post than a lack of interest. I'll let you know if we get enough people to start things up.