Storage and Slurpage: A Guide to Domestic Tea Spaces

Whether one is designing and building a new mansion, retiring to a caravan**renovating, downsizing, evicting your adult children or moving into a yurt, a pivotal question is: “how much of my space needs to be reserved for tea?”

Now, I’m not talking about preparing tea. As long as your kitchen has sufficient power points to plug in your electric kettle, or you have an old fashioned one to go on the stovetop, there’s no problems there.

No, I’m talking about areas to store, and areas to consume, tea. So, I’ll use the home of Lady Devotea and I to illustrate the fact that, by dedicating as little as 10-15% of your entire home to tea, you can do rather well.

Let’s start with storage.

Our Tea Rack
Our Tea Rack

We mostly drink our own blends – if we didn’t love them, we wouldn’t make them. So, we have a simple space in the kitchen next to kettle. When we moved in, this was a plate rack, so we simply took out some pieces of dowell, and hey presto! tea rack.

The labels are about 4 years old, every time we redo the labels for cafés who stock our tea we forget to do our own!

Single Origin Tea Shelf
Single Origin Tea Shelf

But sometimes, we drink single origin teas, so at any given time we have about a dozen of these jars in another corner of the kitchen. Lady Devotea came up with an industrial look for this bit, and we think the jars do it justice. a bit like a tea shop at home.

Of course we DO have a tea shop at home, or at least, we have three racks of shelving containing enough of our tea that we can fulfil mail orders as they come in without heading to external storage, but I’m going to suggest that for most people this is unnecessary.

Some of our tea friends will look at these pictures and say “Oh yeah? Where’s the rest of it?” , and yes, it’s true there quite a bit of tea crammed into several cupboards too, but that’s the more untidy bits, so I’m going to skip those.

So, let’s talk about drinking tea.

Of course, you can drink it at the breakfast table or in front of the television, and we do. Or when working in the garden or when tapping away at a keyboard (I have a Lord Petersham half drunk in front of me right now (the tea, not the person)).


We all know, though, that there are special times to drink tea, and you need special places.

We put aside a nook in our house as a parlour.

This is where guests can enjoy tea, comestibles and scandalous gossip.

If you don’t have room for a parlour, then here’s some tips.

  • Smack yourself around the ears. OF COURSE you have room for a parlour. That’s DEFEATIST talk, that is.
  • Do you have a pool room, or family room? Why, it can become your parlour with a little effort!
  • Adult children still at home? Help one of them to become self-reliant by evicting them. Of course, invite them back once a week for tea in your new parlour, the one that used to be their bedroom.
  • Convert a shed or garage. Cars belong on the street, not clogging up your tea drinking spaces.
  • Move to a bigger house.
  • Build a tea house in your back yard.
  • Convert your cellar/basement.
  • Stop making excuses and do it. Now. I said NOW!

You see, it’s easy. We’ll have no more of that talk.

Outdoor Parlour
Outdoor Parlour

One thing to consider – if you live in a place with nice weather – is an outdoor parlour. Here’ s a photo of ours.

But what makes it an outdoor parlour, and not just a couch on a deck? It’s the little touches.

Tea Cup as a tea Light Holder in the upcycled candelabra
Tea Cup as a tea Light Holder in the upcycled candelabra

Look at the candelabra.

Lady Devotea found this at a market recently. It uses recycled teacups and saucers as tea candle holders.

They look magical when the sun’s going down and you light it up:

Another great little touch that Lady D has added is this teapot windchime using spoons.

Teapot Windchime.
Teapot Windchime.

There’s nothing really expensive or hard to find in any of these pictures. It’s just about getting the balance right.

Space spent on tea drinking is space well used: it can quickly become the heart of your home.

Too many people dedicate space to the wrong things, such as their ungrateful children, expensive vehicles or such mundanities as clothes washing or clothes storage. Refocus your thinking and get the tea areas right.

The rest of life will take care of itself.



** My American friends, for no apparent reason you call a caravan a’trailer’. Everyone else knows that a trailer is a device for carting wood, soil, treadmills you’ll never use and old couches around.


One thought on “Storage and Slurpage: A Guide to Domestic Tea Spaces

Comments are closed.