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.