I stared in open-mouthed disbelief – Mrs. Teaist was wide awake at 6:45 am. On a Sunday.
My clear surprise could only mean one thing. “You’ve forgotten, haven’t you?”, she asked.
I was still too stunned to talk, so she continued. “Breakfast. At mother’s?!”.
“That’s today?”, I replied.
Relatives were in town, making a quick early morning re-fuelling stop before heading up North, and so we’d decided to all have breakfast together at my mother-in-law’s place. I’d filed the what and the why away correctly, but evidently had not done so with the when.
This sudden revelation threw my early morning tea routine into disarray. I’d just started heating water for my first-of-the-day pre-breakfast pot of Bai Mu Dan, but now those plans were out the window.
Knowing that it would be a full on hearty breakfast of scrambled eggs, sausages, bacon, and toast, I thought it best if I stuck to a good all-rounder for situations such as this – Emona brand Ceylon tea.
Needing to be out of the door PDQ I hastily threw together a collection of bits and pieces that I hoped would do the business – the Chinese lidded mug I normally use for “Great Uncle Style” brewing minus its filter insert, my “Cha Cult” medium stainless steel filter, and a small tin that originally contained matcha, but is the perfect size to hold enough tea for three rounds Western style, or thereabouts.
As luck would have it, everything fit together perfectly – tin in filter, and filter in mug.
In normal use you would utilise the filter’s own black plastic lid atop it during brewing to retain heat and aroma, and then once the tea was ready take it off, turn it upside down, and use it as a drip tray for the filter to stand on.
The filter lid didn’t fit into this neat little setup, so I left it at home. The mug’s own ceramic lid fits the filter perfectly, and I borrowed a little saucer type thingy as a stand-in drip tray.
The volume of the mug is quite close to that of my old faithful Ikea Upphetta French press, so I chose similar brewing parameters to those I use when I steep shou Pu-erh in that particular vessel – 4 teaspoons of leaf, boiling water, but just 90 seconds of steeping time rather than the darker tea’s 4 minutes in order to avoid a bitter brew. Perfect.
Over the course of the meal I had two such mugs, and just as I had hoped the tea worked perfectly with the food, taken as always sans milk and sugar.
Just a few words about the Cha Cult filter – I received it as a birthday present a few years ago, and have nothing but good things to say about it. While I was writing this post I thought I’d do a status check on the item over at the Cha Cult website, and although it appears as though they are no longer making this particular model, a quick spot of Googling did show several on-line retailers still selling them.
It has to be said – this setup worked so well that I think I’ll make it my default kit for events close to home where weight and bulk aren’t of prime concern, and as long as all I’m aiming for is nothing more taxing than ultra-casual Western style infusion. The light weight and the compact body of the Kamjove pot will mean that it will still be my first choice for multi-day trips further afield.
This arrangement will get another outing pretty soon. In a few days we’ll be back at my m-i-l’s for her birthday do. Think I’ll wheel out the Wu Yi Bai Rui for that one.