When the dedicated tea lover is out travelling and suddenly finds themselves in need of a beverage he or she runs the risk of putting themselves at the mercy of fate’s own proverbial pot-luck tea caddy of mystery, which, more often than not, will contain a low quality Earl Grey tea bag if you are extremely lucky.
Having been caught out this way more times than I care to remember, I decided that no matter how inconvenient it might be in future I was always going to have the bare essentials for a tasty and satisfying brew with me no matter what.
Yesterday I had a 4½ hour long train journey to Stockholm ahead of me, and so had to plan carefully.
On this trip I knew that I had a small teapot waiting for me at my destination. Bought at a Middle Eastern themed cookware boutique, it’s a 500ml capacity glass pot with a removable mesh infuser. Not perfect, but certainly adequate.
That only left the actual getting there to worry about. I dealt with this wee conundrum by taking a small tin containing a righteous stash of green gunpowder, complemented by a packet of my favourite Cilia paper tea filters.
There was an endless supply of hot water from an urn in the buffet car, which although not boiling was certainly hot enough to steep green tea in. It was easy enough to spoon a few teaspoons of leaf into a filter and drop it into a cup of water, although such deviant behaviour had a few of our fellow passengers gawping at this non-conformist display as though it was a radical piece of performance art being staged in a Berlin squat.
The cup in question was a paper one, again courtesy of the buffet car. Not perfect by any means, but beggars can’t be choosers after all, and it was a lot easier than the added bulk and weight of a cup brought from home.
What matters most is that with the help of this cobbled together tea making kit I endured the tea-wilderness, and arrived safe and sound, to be re-united with the teapot I haven’t seen since July last and proper water heating equipment. Within 5 minutes of stumbling through the door, I had a decent cup of tea in my hand, with the smell and memory of warm cardboard fading fast.
The jade coloured nectar worked its magic, and so refreshed I made plans for the morrow, and a day of tea and teaware hunting in the big city…