Need to travel, but the thought of leaving your favorite tea at home doesn’t make you happy? Don’t worry. Travelling with tea is not that difficult at all.
Why you should take your tea with you
For passionate tea drinkers, a day without tea is always a bad day. Once you get used to hundreds of delicious flavors of high quality tea, it’s difficult to survive a day without a cup of your favorite drink. Or, you may like your loose leaf tea so much that drinking tea from a nearby local supermarket may not sound appealing at all. Sometimes, tea may not be available at your destination at all. Maybe, the only kettle you have is the one you are really reluctant to use. With a bit of planning and choosing the right teas and utensils, you will be able to enjoy your favorite loose leaf tea no matter where you go.
1 Prepare your own tea bags
If you want to drink loose leaf tea anywhere you go, prepare your own tea bags. You can use either cotton tea or paper tea filters and fill them with enough tea to make one cup. Keep in mind that cleaning re-usable cotton filters could be difficult, so bring enough filers to last you throughout your travels. If you are using paper filters, sew the top with a thread or simply twist it into a knot.
2 Take your tea infuser
Tea infuser spoons and tong infusers are great for traveling, especially if you don’t want to bother with making your own tea bags. They are easy to use and suitable for almost any type of tea. On the other hand, regular strainers or tea balls may not be as convenient. To use a strainer you will either need a teapot or another mug.
3 Get a travelling tea kit
If you are an advanced tea drinker and know how to use a gaiwan, you could buy a small gong fu travelling set. They usually contain a gaiwan or a teapot with one or a few cups all packed in a small carrier bag. Keep in mind though, they are quite small and not suitable for all types of tea, especially herbal blends with smaller tea leaves. Always protect tea ware with extra bubble wrap while travelling. Alternatively, you can find a tea infuser mug travelling set that will be suitable for all types of tea.
4 Don’t take too much
If you really love tea, you may feel like taking only a few tea bags won’t be enough. However, it’s likely you won’t be drinking as much tea as at home. Bring enough tea to make one or two cups a day. To preserve freshness and flavor, all loose leaf tea should be properly stored. Taking it from one destination to another and exposing to different weather conditions may shorten their shelf life. Besides, some countries may have restrictions on how much tea you can bring with you.
5 Choose the right tea type
Some types of tea may be more suitable for traveling. If you only have a mug at hand, ball-shaped oolongs are great for mug brewing. The only thing you will need it a mug and hot water. Teas that taste better when re-steeped multiple times may not be the best choice. For example, it’s very likely you will enjoy dan cong oolong more when you brew it slowly at home. Next, avoid delicate teas if you don’t have access to spring water. Hard tap water will ruin all the flavor.
6 Carry tea in hand luggage
If you are travelling by plane, always put your tea into hand luggage or the leaves may get crushed and broken. Some teas such as rooibos and broken leaf teas may not get damaged regardless how you carry them, others, such as Red Robe Oolong or Simple Blueberry White should be handled with care. Besides, by carrying them in hand luggage they will never get lost.
7 Bring some citric acid
This may sound like a weird advice, but packing a small plastic bag with citric acid may be the best step towards drinking good tea while traveling. The best cup of tea always starts with fresh water. While it’s very likely, you will have access to an electric kettle, it’s also very likely it will be filled with scale. Scale may make your tea murky and unappealing. Bring water to a boil, add citric acid, and wait for 5-10 minutes. Then bring the same water to a boil again, empty the kettle and wash it with clean water. The kettle will be ready to use.
8 Bring a thermos bottle
If you are going on a day trip and won’t have access to a kettle, you can bring your already made tea with you. Some thermos bottles are great at preserving the temperature and can keep your tea hot even for more than 12 hours. Choose tea types that are not too delicate. Green Genmaicha tea, herbal rooibos blends, Simple Coconut black tea and Fujian Oolong are all great options to brew at home and take with you in a thermos bottle.