It’s summer again, and we’re off on our hols!
Naturally enough, in between dodging sudden downpours, tick infestation, adder bites, sunburn, and keeping an eye on our foolish feline (it ain’t officially summer until he’s been plucked out of a tree with the aid of a ladder), I’ll be doing my utmost to neck far more than my usual amount of tea.
As utterly gorgeous as Sweden is, once out of the three large metropolitan areas you are entering a tea wilderness. If you intend to never be without a decent beverage by your side when away from home base, then the only solution is to take all the tea you can reasonably expect to drink (plus a safety margin of about 10% extra) along with you for the ride.
So, this year’s summer travel-stash consists of…
- Da Hong Pao, 50 grams
- Tie Guan Yin, 150 grams
- Silver Needle, about 70 grams
- Loose leaf shou Pu-erh, about 195 grams
- A 100 gram Haiwan shou Pu-erh brick
- A 100 gram Haiwan sheng Pu-erh brick
- About 270 grams of a 2011 Man Nong Shou Pu-erh cake
- Roughly 120 grams of a Huang Pian sheng Pu-erh brick
- 175 grams of a Nan Nuo sheng Pu-erh brick
- About 250 grams of Emona Brand Ceylon
The teaware side of things consists of…
- My travel gaiwan set
- My Kamjove pot, and the red rose Mun Shou pattern teacup I bought at roughly the same time
- My electronic tea scale, accurate to 0.1 of a gram. With the improved portion control this brings, hopefully I’ll avoid the panic encountered in other years when staring into a near empty tea caddy with a week’s holiday left
- My ever trusty tea pick, as well as my seldom used tea knife that in a previous existence was fooled into believing its purpose in life was to cut up fish
- 250 medium sized paper tea filter bags
- 2 microfibre kitchen towels
No doubt some might wince at the sight of tea kept in plastic, but given that our itinerary involves a trek through a forest and over a cliff concerns about saving weight had to trump issues with the short term storage of the leaves.
That list doesn’t include all the assorted kettles, burners, teapots, jugs, and cups I have squirrelled away at various locations, as they are considered to be a permanent fixture of that particular abode, and not of the on-the-road kit.
With a bit of faffing about I managed to Tetris all of that lot plus my laptop into a small aircraft cabin friendly suitcase and a medium sized backpacking rucksack. There was even enough room left over for for a few, nonessential luxuries such as a change of clothes.
So, if I’ve done my sums correctly, I should be able to have a morning, afternoon, and evening session for the whole duration of our time away.
I’m ready for the off.
Now it’s all down to that pesky cat…