A Tea Addict's Journal

The road warrior

April 9, 2009 · 5 Comments

Tea Nerd is having a nice little series on teaware combinations that are very useful for those who don’t really know what they want yet. For those of us who are experienced drinkers, I have one for you.

The Road Warrior

It’s quite simple. You need a water heating device, you need a pot, and you need a cup. A cup can be had anywhere. A pot is harder, although gaiwan may do (gaiwan’s disadvantage is that they tend to be easier to break than pots). Water heating device is really only feasible when you’re traveling by car, as I am right now. If you are flying, good luck.

The basic requirements is that the cup needs to be big enough to hold the tea from the pot so that it all pours out. More importantly, however, is that both the pot and the water heating device need to pour well — well enough so they don’t drip. If they drip, you’re in trouble, because you’ll get water everywhere and you will be very unhappy.

Also, the tea in question should be chosen carefully. I almost always bring aged oolong on the road. They are easy to brew, and hard to mess up. Longer brew times do not kill the tea. If you bring things like young puerh, green, or black on the road, I would suggest forgetting the whole pot/gaiwan thing, and just go with tea in a mug. It’s much easier to do and harder to mess up.

Although, really, I shouldn’t be spending time in a hotel room on a sunny afternoon here in coastal Maine. I should be going to look at the beautiful ocean instead. So maybe it’s not such a good idea at the end of the day to have tea around the room, but it really beats teabags.

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5 responses so far ↓

  • Anonymous // April 9, 2009 at 6:08 pm | Reply

    Haha, thanks for the mention, though I’m guessing very few of your readers will find it useful. 🙂

    Your point about needing solid pours is a good one, I wouldn’t have thought of it. In the past I’ve sacrificed a hotel washcloth to use as a mat before, but it probably caused more spills (not very stable or flat) than it cleaned up.

    Thanks for the tips, and have fun in Maine!


  • Heatwaves // April 10, 2009 at 3:24 am | Reply

    What type of electric tea kettle is that in the background of the photo?  I have a similar one that I love from Adagio, but your’s looks more “high tech”.

  • Anonymous // April 10, 2009 at 9:53 am | Reply


    This is certainly an underrated way to brew tea among seasoned tea heads. While I do love the ritual and art of brewing with a full gong fu set, I do sometimes get lost in the love of teaware and pass over the experience of a great tea with a story to tell.

    At my work place I have an ever present pink and white imitation hagiyaki cup and a small yixing pot that changes with the tea I am brewing. When I brew with this simple set, I often am reminded why I drink tea in the first place as I sit and escape from chaos for a bit. Sometimes the tea even tastes better since I am giving it, and not necessarily the ware, my attention.

    Great post, thanks!

  • Anonymous // April 10, 2009 at 11:44 pm | Reply

    Man, I love Mad Max.

  • MarshalN // April 11, 2009 at 3:59 pm | Reply

    That’s a Braun WK600 kettle, been using it for 5+ years now and is still going strong. Reading the online reviews, some people seem to have problem with this thing. I don’t know how they broke it, since it’s been pretty reliable all through — although I think it’s now out of production.

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