For a while I just accepted that I wouldn't have good tea when I traveled. I drank good tea in my RV, or at Samovar, but would drink nothing but water when I was on the road.
I slowly began to experiment with ways to have tea on the go, and now I really have a whole system down for efficiently carrying and brewing tea on the go.
The easiest thing to do is cold-brewed matcha. Breakaway Matcha offers extremely high quality matcha in single-serve packets. All you do is drop one in a nearly-full water bottle, shake it for fifteen seconds, and enjoy. This is always my go-to for my anti-jetlag strategy. As soon as I wake up, I shake up a bottle of matcha.
My friend Eric from Breakaway Matcha agreed to do a special deal for my readers-- 25 packets of matcha for $44 shipped. Matcha is very much a you-get-what-you-pay-for product, and Breakaway is the very best.
Most tea bags are filled with really bad tea in small quantities, in bags that are too small to let the leaves expand. I suspect this is why many people in America think they don't like tea. I never order tea if it comes in a bag like that.
The best bags I've found are Rishi Tea bags. The tea is very high quality, and usually organic. The bags are huge and have a decent amount of tea in them. I like the Jade Cloud.
The service staff on every flight I've been on will give you hot water, so you can easily brew one of these bags. I usually ask for two cups of hot water and immediately start the second cup brewing as I drink the first.
Gong Fu Tea Set
I bought a really cool little tea set on the streets of Shanghai near Yuyuan. I found a very similar one here on ebay. It consists of a gaiwan with lid, a "fairness pitcher", and six small cups. I bought the set on a lark, and then wondered if maybe I bought it because it was cool, not because it's useful.
But, sure enough, I use it all the time. I got invited to a pot luck New Year's celebration, and was able to make tea for a bunch of people. I visited my family and brewed tea there. I had a four hour layover in LA and I made myself some nice tea in the lounge.
If you want to be able to boil water yourself, you can get this immersion boiler. Don't worry about the bad ratings, but do understand that you MUST unplug it before pulling it out of hot water, or it will self-destruct as a safety measure.
If you have this little set, you can bring looseleaf tea (it's really best for oolongs), or these great little tuocha from Rishi.
Maybe you're not as obsessed with tea as I am, but I find the small amount of caffeine, coupled with all of the other healthy things in tea, to really be a nice boost to productivity. The matcha in particular is great for regulating your sleep schedule as you travel.
Photo is some great Taiwanese oolong in an airport lounge with my little traveling set!
We enjoy loose leaf tea while traveling using a small glass teapot that we found at a Chinese tea shop in Las Vegas. The teapot holds enough tea for two small cups and has a stainless steel spiral filter at the spout for filtering the tea leaves. Images can be found by searching for small glass teapot. It only weighs a few ounces. We are sipping tea in our Rialta as I write this. J&J
The matcha looks fantastic, but the shipping rates are horrible. The options to Switzerland are $39.50 to $110.20.
I have a similar procedure for coffee I've been experimenting with:
1. Buy an Aeropress
2. Bring a manual coffee grinder
3. Get high quality, locally roasted beans.
4. Find access to hot water (if settled down in a place for a length of time, just buy a tea kettle).
Bad coffee seriously hampers my productivity, so having a high quality source of caffeine at all times helps to streamline my work process.
I'd recommend this for any traveler who needs high-quality coffee, but doesn't have easy access to it while on the road.
This is exactly what I do, though I roast my own beans at home. I use a Mini Hario Coffee Mill Slim Grinder http://www.amazon.com/dp/B001804CLY/
Ever tried Numi tea? It is bagged, but does seem better than most bagged tea, and it is widely available (but, it's an Oakland company, and I've looked in Bay Area Whole Foods).
Do you have any thoughts on the long-term healthiness of regular caffeine use?
As far as I understand, caffeine does not contain any calories, so it doesn't have any "energy" of it's own. So any energy that I feel and use when I take caffeine is energy that my body would have decided to use for something else in the absence of the caffeine...like maybe long-term maintenance of bodily organs?
I don't know, just something I've been wondering about.
Well, plenty of studies show that people who drink coffee live longer, just don't drink a bucket a day. I think the same for tea, but I'm not sure.
Do you have a link to one of those studies?
Here are two articles, each with links, I *think* webmd is reputable, and I mostly trust Robb Wolf's site (well, I trust him, and I think he keeps an eye on what goes out in his name). http://www.webmd.com/food-recipes/features/coffee-new-health-food and http://robbwolf.com/2012/09/12/hey-perky-lets-talk-coffee/
For most of my life I operated without a daily routine. I would have an idea of what needed to be done every day, and how I should be living my life, but there was little consistency between my days. Around a year ago I started working on building a daily routine, and I've been surprised to find that I like it more than running free. I prefer it because I can focus my decision-making on important things, rather than minutiae, and I can optimize my routine as I go, rather than starting from scratch every day.
I generally wake up between nine and eleven in the morning, usually pretty close to ten. I don't set an alarm because I've noticed that being well slept is one of the biggest influences on daily performance. Waking up an hour earlier by alarm can reduce my ability to focus by half. Not worth it.
As soon as I wake up, I set a timer for five minutes and I meditate. I've only been doing this for a month, and haven't noticed any benefits yet, but I expect it to be a long term investment, not a short term one. The five minutes goes by fast.
Immediately after meditating, I weigh in on my withings scale, brush my teeth, and put water on for tea. Usually I drink Samovar's Green Ecstasy, but I've been drinking Breakaway Matcha's 99 and 100 recently, and I'll occasionally drink a Taiwanese Oolong. I drink tea early because the blend of caffeine, theanine, and whatever else is in tea, helps me focus. I can actually feel the difference when I don't have tea. The effect wears off after a couple hours, but it's a nice way to jump start work early.
This week I want to tell you a little about our Samovar Organic Ryokucha green tea, our take on the classic genmaicha. Samovar Ryokucha is not a pure green tea, but a savory blend of our organic Japanese green tea delicately tossed with toasted rice kernels and our finest organicmatcha, a powdered Japanese green tea. The result is something completely new: the rice adds a satisfying depth to balance the bright flavors of the green tea; the matcha dissolves completely into the brew creating creating a vibrant green color and a milky smooth infusion.
I often drink our Ryokucha as a part of my morning ritual. It has just enough caffeine to give me a morning boost and I love waking to the smell of grassy fields on a hot summer day. It's the perfect complement to a breakfast bagel with lox, or stop by the Samovar Tea Lounge and order a pot to go along with our Tea Soup with Salmon.
I'm also excited to introduce you to the new Samovar Vivid Brewpot. One of the pleasures of drinking tea is taking the time to slow down and be present, watching as the tea tranforms, with leaves unfurling and a brilliant color spreading throughout the pot. It's a simple thing. And a beautiful thing. This unique teapot lets you watch the whole show, and a steel mesh filter in the lid strains the leaves when you are ready to serve.
Now's a great time to try our Ryokucha--or to restock! This week only you can order both products from our online shop at a special price.Enter Coupon Code: VIVIDRYOKU and receive 10% off through this Tuesday, September 25, 2012.