A Mini-Mini-Break

Last weekend Teaist Junior was having a birthday party to celebrate her putting her teenage years behind her.

Given her new status as a 20-something, having her decidedly un-cool mum and dad hanging around all evening was a non-starter. Thankfully we happen to have a jolly nice hotel quite literally just around the corner, 300 metres away to be precise, and as luck would have it Mrs. Teaist had a sizeable voucher to cash in, courtesy of all the action that Hotels.com have recently had thanks to us.

And so it came to pass that she booked us into accommodation but a short stroll from our front door. Things got even better when I discovered that our room boasted a kettle. That could of course mean only one thing, mes braves – my travelling teaware kit was coming out to play, even though the amount of “travelling” involved would be ridiculously small.

Once again I was fated to cross teaspoons with a water heating device that could best be described as “idiosyncratic“. This time the hardware in question was a small, 500 ml OBH Nordica kettle. The on-off switch was labelled “RESET” for reasons I was never fully able to grasp, but it heated up water just fine. After a pleasant meal in the hotel’s restaurant we retreated to our comfortable room on the fifth floor to kick back and relax. I was packing 8 grams of 2010 Yunnan Colorful Wu Liang Shou which I dropped into my away kit’s Kamjove pot while the little kettle did its thing.

shou pu-erh at hotel

It soon came up to the boil, and after a quick rinse and an initial 10 second infusion the session was up and running. All things considered, this has to be one of the strangest tea sessions I’ve ever had. Sat there steeping and sipping I had those old familiar “on-the-road” feelings I tend to get when enjoying tea while out travelling, but then I looked out of our room’s window and saw our apartment building. Most peculiar.

Well, after a goodly number of rounds the events of the day finally caught up with us. All that pre-party activity had left me just as tired out as the leaves in my pot had clearly become.

They ended up in the bathroom bin, whilst I retreated to the ridiculously extravagant comfort of a hotel bed. With no feline overlord to head-butt me awake at an unspeakably early hour I slept until the luxurious time (for me, at least) of 7 am! Naturally enough, once I was fully awake, tea was on my mind.

And which tea would that be, pray tell..?“, asked the rational part of my brain.

Ah, that would be the one we never brought with us…“, answered the other, slightly less organised bit.

Even though I’d planned meticulously for the evening session, I’d completely overlooked the possibility that I might want an early morning, pre-breakfast cup or four. Oops.

What a dilemma. Would it be considered “cheating” if I popped home for some leaves? Could I even be bothered? Probably yes, and definitely no.

Still, all was not lost! Sat next to our fabulous wee kettle was a pair of psychedelically patterned mugs as well as tea bags from an outfit known as Walters Bay. I set my half litre chum off on another boiling run, and prepared myself for a close encounter of the tea-bag kind.

I gave the bag a 2 minute long steep. There now follows a Northern Teaist mini-review…

English breakfast tea bag

Walters Bay English Breakfast tea bags. Above average. Not bad at all. You’ve had worse.

After a sumptuous breakfast that would have brought forth appreciative noises from a Venetian Prince, we checked out, and a few minutes later we were back at home. To celebrate our 16 hour long getaway I got my own kettle on, and got busy with some GABA Oolong. Between pots I washed, dried, and safely stashed my tea-travel kit.

You know it’s been a truly relaxing event when just one night away feels like an entire long weekend. If we needed to, I’d do it again like a shot.

Just with some early morning leaves, though…

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