Saturday, March 28, 2009

Create Your Own "Stimulant Package" at the Office

Hello TEA Friends,

These days, many companies, including the one I work for, are looking at ways to cut costs. One of the more insignificant perks on the chopping block is the familiar and taken-for-granted coffee station. You know, the standard commercial pots and generic prepackaged coffee and tea bags that have been around since we moved to an industrialized nation (and, sadly, often tasted like they had been around that long, too).

Faced with a challenge, many folks are getting creative and resourceful in filling this now unmet need for caffeine. In the office I work in, some of our java brethren launched a "coffee club" last year, just before the official plug-pulling of the company-sponsored supplies. Each week someone was responsible for bringing in a new package of grounds - the only condition: it had to be better than the generic fare that was already there. Few found this difficult to meet.

Borrowing from this great idea, my friend, co-worker and fellow tea enthusiast, Christine D. , suggested we start our own club, but, with (how anti-climatic!) tea. Knowing we'd seen others with the recognizable string-and-paper- tab dangling from their cups, we figured there were at least a few like us who might want to start an exchange.

One office e-mail later, we had almost a dozen members the first day, and one third are gents. Cost of entry is a box of your favorite tea. Of course, being practical and a friend to Facilities, we have to stick to teabags, but we take comfort in knowing over 90 per cent of England's tea drinkers use them daily. If it's good enough for our friends across the pond, it's certainly sufficient for us to take back to our cubes.

We've had a great variety brought in, including herbal, fruity, green and black teas. It's interesting to see the different personalities and what tea they bring: one member brought in Tazo"Passion" and another brought in Tazo "Calm" (I'll let you decide who you want to sit near in the next staff meeting).

We continue to grow in numbers and we're finding with with the variety of tea and enthusiam we bring to the table, we're a pretty good team. As we all know, there's no "I" in team, but there is "tea".

If your office hasn't started a stimulant package yet, we highly recommend it. And, when you do, we'd love to hear about it.


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