A Tea Addict's Journal

The best tea-at-work companion

April 3, 2012 · 11 Comments

I think it is safe to say that, us being all tea addicts of some sort or another, that we have to drink tea every day. The result of no tea can be quite painful, literally, and going anything longer than maybe 36 hours without tea is not something I’d advice you do. Since I get home quite late on most days, drinking tea at home after I get back is not normally a practical solution. Since I don’t get up early enough either, the only solution to proper caffeine update during the day is to drink at work.

I know lots of you drink tea at work. Some bring in what looks like a full gongfu set, with gaiwan, water source, a tray, and some cups. Others bring in modified sets with a few elements missing, but good enough for drinking. Or, you can just grandpa it.


This is what passes for work setup for me. It actually works surprisingly well, and as long as you pick the right teas, it can yield decent results. In my cup right now is a lightly roasted Taiwanese oolong. Yesterday it was some aged tieguanyin that performs remarkably well in grandpa style. One thing I’ve been doing lately is that I drink the entirety of the cup when I am drinking the aged tieguanyin, and then right before I leave for work, I fill it up with boiling hot water and close the lid. The next day when I come in, the tea’s brewed again, with a nice brown colour, and a pleasant, sweet taste that is very typical of nice, aged oolongs. You should all try it sometime, even after a long gongfu session. It’s a great way to finish a tea.

Categories: Teas
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11 responses so far ↓

  • Boon Cek // April 4, 2012 at 2:52 am | Reply

    do you mean you soaked the old age tieguanyin over night?

  • norf // April 6, 2012 at 11:45 am | Reply

    What do you call the device which you have on the picture? The top (handle) looks like a Gaiwan, but as the top piece overlaps so it’s not like a Gaiwan. Something I have never seen.

  • Eduard // April 9, 2012 at 1:14 pm | Reply

    Do you use a thermometer at work? Do you use temperature setting teapots (sa UtiliTea)?

  • @dujoducom // April 22, 2012 at 1:56 am | Reply

    Hey, just stumbled on your blog and have been reading through old posts, very informative / interesting stuff!

    Here’s my work setup: http://instagr.am/p/Jpz7wbOvJm/

    I just upgraded from a really crappy plastic electric kettle that I’d been using for the past 4 years that was quite literally falling apart. Now I have the utilitea, which I like a lot so far. The temp control is kind of a farce since it isn’t very consistant and the scale isn’t very precise. I find myself bringing to a boil and just waiting for the water to cool down instead of trying to find the right setting.

    I also got a different strainer and a cup that is properly sized. Before the upgrade I was using a strainer with a much finer metal mesh which became a nuisance to clean due to leaves sticking on the mesh. I also had a normal sized mug which was way too big to manage a decent water:leaf ratio for higher quality tea so I ended up just drinking crap at work. Since upgrading I’ve been drinking higher quality stuff at work which has improved my day to day tea drinking considerably 🙂

    The cup / strainer combo came from chan teas (http://www.chanteas.com/products/the-basics). I’d definitely recommend it! the strainer is very sturdy and much easier to clean than the last strainer I was using. The handless cup might not jive well with people that can’t handle the heat, but I’ve found that if you don’t fill the water to the brim of the cup the top can stay cool enough to touch even while brewing at boiling.

    I tried the overnight brew with some Rou Gui and it was pretty delicious! Plus I could start drinking tea immediately upon arrival, thanks for the tip!

    • MarshalN // April 22, 2012 at 4:13 am | Reply

      Sounds about right! The temp control on such things tend to be finicky, at best, so I think letting it cool is generally the best solution if you want it to brew slightly cooler. Generally I wouldn’t even bother.

  • Von Monstro // March 11, 2014 at 3:18 pm | Reply

    It turns out I use the exact same kind of lidded mug when I grandpa my tea; The only difference is that mine has dragons painted on it. It’s funny, because I’ve had this cup for years, but I didn’t use it much except for the odd slightly-milked chai or a large serving of “truer tea” when I really needed a fix until I discovered this style of tea drinking, which I had tried before out of intuition, but I didn’t experiment with it much and didn’t get too great of results. The cup was a gift from my sister as she knew I drank a lot of tea and would find some use for it. She was very right in that assumption, and this is now one of my favorite cups.

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