Travel with tea. Enjoy great tea easily, whether you’re an overnighter, away for the week or at work for the day. Here are some of the best ways to travel with tea.
Do you dread the idea of not having your favorite loose leaf tea when you’re away from home? There’s nothing more comforting than a cup of tea. Especially when it’s your favorite tea which can be even more comforting when you’re away from home. I will show you some of the best and easiest ways to travel with tea by taking your tea and teaware on the go.
1. Best Travel with Tea Infuser Mugs
I use this mug I bought from Tea Forte. It has a stainless steel infusing basket that sits inside and a lid that keeps the tea warm. The inverted lid can then be used to set the basket on to catch any drippings after the tea is finished steeping.
You can bring your favorite tea leaves to work and keep them stored in an airtight tin and use the hot water from the office coffee machine for steeping.
The other option is to bring an electric kettle if you’re going to be in one place for awhile. I like the Bonavita or the Cuisinart model because they both have a variable temperature and elegant design. Bonavita does make less expensive models that you wouldn’t mind leaving at work.
Another infuser mug I love is this steeping mug from Capital Teas simply because of the blue and white ocean themed octopus design. It’s the same type of mug as the one I have from Tea Forte. Did I mention it’s blue and white?!
2. Best Travel with Tea Tumblers
A quality traveler tumbler is a must-have. Most are well insulated making them perfect for hot or iced tea.
Things I look for in a good tea tumbler:
- Double walled stainless steel to keep hot or cold for hours.
- A good seal that does not leak.
- A screw-on lid to survive accidental dropping or tossing in backpacks.
- A stainless steel removable infuser.
- Easy to take apart and clean.
My daughter bought me a travel tea tumbler from Teavana which has a built-in stainless steel infuser…it is seriously the best thing ever. I bring this whenever I travel. I can even store tea inside the tumbler in a sealed bag while it’s not being used. I highly recommend investing in a quality tea tumbler if you don’t have one already. This keeps my tea piping hot for hours.
But of course, now that Teavana is no longer, I started to look for a replacement tea tumbler to recommend to my readers. As you know I love The Tea Spot and I came across their Mountain Tea Tumbler from their Steepware collection that I absolutely love. It checks off all of my ‘must haves’ for a superb tea tumbler.
The stainless steel basket infuser is actually larger than the one from Teavana, so it’s perfect for infusing larger whole leaf teas. Another plus to the infusing basket is that it’s large enough to add fruit pieces to flavor your tea or simply flavor water for a cold refreshing drink.
I much prefer the stainless steel lined tumblers and the stainless steel infuser baskets. They’re more durable and easier to keep clean. I’m not really a fan of the plastic infuser baskets, they’re harder to clean and stain too easily.
Food grade stainless steel, glass, and porcelain are always my first choices for any food or beverage because they are chemically inert. There’s no need to worry about noxious chemicals leaching into your beverage.
3. Best Travel with Tea Gong Fu Set
Taking a teapot, cups, and leaves can be somewhat of a hassle when you’re on the go. Especially if you like to brew your tea gong fu style.
In general, gong fu style brewing uses more tea leaves than water with considerably short brewing times. The process is repeated several times over to extract the varying flavors released from the same tea leaves.
This is a style of brewing that uses a small teapot of some sort. It could be a Gaiwan (guy wan) or Yixing (ee shing) teapot.
A Gaiwan is usually made from porcelain while a Yixing is unglazed made from red or purple clay. This is purposeful. The clay absorbs the tea flavor over time and continues to add to the complexity of the brewed tea. This is why it is recommended to dedicate the Yixing to one type of tea.
MoriMa Tea sells this delightful portable porcelain gong fu style tea brewing set all wrapped together in a travel convenient pouch. If you must have your tea gong fu style while traveling, I highly recommend this tea set.
4. Best Travel with Tea Sachets
For me personally, I don’t mind the hassle of bringing my own tea but I definitely want to keep things simple. Bringing bagged tea is the simplest solution and if you choose that route you have two options.
1. Buy a good quality bagged tea. I recommend several online retailers that carry quality bagged tea.
Buying quality loose leaf tea packed in sachets and placing them in a travel tin are the easiest way to make tea on the road.
2. You can also make your own bagged tea from your favorite loose leaf tea.
If you want to make your own sachets, the best ones I’ve found are made by Bstean. I like these because they are large and easily hold a healthy teaspoon of loose leaf tea with room for the leaves to expand.
They come in two sizes and are made of unbleached natural paper. The drawstring design is better than the fold over flap style.
5. Best Portable Travel with Tea Set
Zen Lifestyle makes clean simple design teaware. Their portable teaware is great to use on short trips. They have two different sizes. The smaller one is for individual and the larger set is for two.
Their Mobile Moon Tea Set is designed for traveling with a companion tea drinker. It makes a nice little carrier for picnics. The teapot is made of borosilicate glass with two double-walled glass cups and a traveling case.
Their other product is portable borosilicate glass travel tea set. It comes with a 7.7-ounce teapot, a stainless steel infuser, and a double-walled cup all packaged in a trendy little tote bag.
If you’re looking for a stylish product for tea on the go, Zen Lifestyle makes beautiful products.
6. Best Practices When Traveling with Tea
- Only pack teas that are easy going and simple to steep like black teas or robust oolongs that can take boiling water.
- Choose pre-packaged or pre-fill your own sachets of premium loose tea.
- Pack teas that use boiling point water since most hot water available in hotels and cafés is boiling point temperature.
- Think twice before bringing teas requiring lower temperatures or pack a thermometer.
- Or just leave the more delicate teas at home.
- Learn to live with premade teas on the go. (I know, know).
7. Airline Travel with Tea
- In general, don’t worry.
- I’ve never had any problems with tea sachets in bags placed in my carry-on.
- You shouldn’t have problems with dried food products as long as they are in the sealed packaging.
- Customs officials don’t really care unless the stated value of declared goods is particularly high or it’s an agricultural product. Dried and processed tea is not a live agricultural product.
- Just to be safe I would perhaps store the tea in a tea canister or tea bag instead of loosely in a ziplock sandwich bag, making it look like something else entirely. Until you smell it of course!
We recently flew to Georgia for my nephew’s wedding and my daughter made fun of me for packing my favorite black dragon pearl tea. But then who wanted a cup of black dragon pearl tea? Yep, uh-huh.
8. Best Way To Tea On The Go – Take Your Chances
Maybe you couldn’t be bothered and have decided to just take your chances. Truthfully, if you’re traveling to a tea drinking country, chances are you may find some excellent teas to try. Explore and drink whatever tea is available where you’re going.
I have a friend that travels from England to the United States and always brings her own tea. It’s in the form of tea bags, which most Brits drink. But it is still so much better than the majority of black bagged tea available here in the states.
On the flip side, when we traveled to Italy I knew the chances of getting good tea were pretty slim. I was very excited when we came upon a specialty tea café in the Piazza Navona in Rome, but unfortunately, it was closed for renovations. As was the Trevi Fountain, an omen telling me I must return.
Instead, I discovered some excellent espresso, cappuccino, and red wine. My point is a short time without your favorite tea won’t kill you and it may just open a world of new beverage discoveries.
Thanks for Reading
How do you travel with your tea? What teaware do you find easiest to use on the go? Share your trials and tips for traveling with tea in the comments below.
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