When out travelling, hotels can be a bit tricky for the determined tea head.
Unless you are dedicated enough to lug around your own personal water heater in your on-the-road kit, you’re kind of at the mercy of your hosts. No hot water = No Tea, Baby. Welcome to Bummersville, population 1 thirsty individual.
Our first port of call on our homeward bound road trip was The Box Hotel in Linköping. Now this is a fine establishment, and no mistake – it’s modern, stylish, well run, has a good restaurant, and even boasts a shuffleboard lounge.
Our room was an air-conditioned oasis of cool as Sweden boiled and roasted at 33 degrees C, but I have to admit to a slight sinking feeling when I went in there for the first time and noticing the absence of a kettle.
There was free hot water available 24/7 however, down in the lobby, courtesy of a coffee machine. Sometimes, though, you just want to laze around in the privacy of your room, and the trail back to our place at the end of a long, dog-legged corridor on the second floor accessed by a slightly pedestrian lift kind of ruled that out. This in itself made the case for purchasing a travel kit Thermos flask, the perfect way to get hot water back to your room and have it still hot enough to do the deed.
I did take advantage of the restaurant’s coffee machine’s hot water dispensing feature over breakfast though. This contraption even sported a handy graphic showing a tea-bag dangling in a cup over the button one had to press. Bless.
To the side of the machine a cute little wooden box offered a range of tea bags from Lipton if I remember correctly (it was quite early after all). These were the usual kind of heavily flavoured dust you tend to encounter – Fruits of the Rain Forest and Venezuelan Cucumber, or something.
My cup though had one of my own tea filter bags in it, which in turn contained about a pinch and a bit’s worth of Emona brand Ceylon. The water came out looking slightly less than boiling, but a 2 minute infusion time nevertheless resulted in a perfectly drinkable cup.
On our day of departure that morning brew was a genuine tonic, and really set me up for another day of hectic travel and sight-seeing, as we upped sticks and headed for the charming city of Karlstad…