Feb 27, 2008 at 1:42 pm #1227531
What is the best way to transport Tea Leaves? Loose or in bags. I need help planning for a long distance trip. I am very weight conscious but just HAVE to have tea!
What do you guys do?Feb 27, 2008 at 2:12 pm #1422289
@alohatinkLocale: In the Middle of No Where!
I do the tea bags, because I find it easier and I do not have to carry a tea ball.
Of course you have the added trash weight of the used bags… so I think it may work out to be about the same in weight?Feb 27, 2008 at 2:55 pm #1422295
Tea – a topic close to my heart.
I am a real tea fanatic, and I don't mess around. When camping, if I don't have my tea, (just like any day) then it is not even worth living. I mean, having a perfect cup of earl grey on a still, cool morning in the woods is one of life's true pleasures. Who's with me!?
That said, I have tried every way to drink my tea, and my favourite method I have ever found is to use a filter straw – like the ones that they sell for drinking yerba mate. It is often called a bombilla. (see http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mate_(beverage))
why? it means you can bring loose tea of any quantity and drink it in any container at any temperature with zero waste. ( you can even use it for an ultralight solution to coffee – if that's your cup of tea…)
Tea bags are fine – but they produce bulk and waste (if you are having open fires then go ahead) and more importantly, offer poorer quality leaves (!)and they allow no versatility.
Tea straws can be bought that are plastic (not heavy metal as is traditional) and can handle boiling water. You may find them at a tea shop or online.
On the same note, if you like sweeteners, you may want to discover Stevia. It is like 300 times sweeter than sugar, has zero calories and can be very conveniently brought in a powder state in a tiny zip-lock for a fraction of the weight of sugar with all the sweetness you want in your tea (or oatmeal or whatever).
OK. That's my rant. Hope that helps.
Enjoy!Feb 27, 2008 at 2:55 pm #1422296
@verberLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
I have not done a weight comparison… but I would bet the tea bags will be lighter than the container holding loose tea + a tea ball assuming a regular resupply.
If you are willing to pay an even higher weight penalty for a air tight container, the loose tea would have a taste edge and you avoid waste. For many people (including me) the taste difference isn't worth it, especially since everything seems to taste better in the back country.
Besides weight, another advantage of the tea bags is that it can be useful for cleanup. If you make tea after cooking in a pot, the boiling can sterilizes, the tea's tannic acid will help cut the grease left over, the tea-bag itself as a fragile sponge.
–markFeb 27, 2008 at 3:07 pm #1422298
@cbertLocale: N. California
i like the tea straw idea – gonna have to try it
i'd think for a night or two, bags be easiest way to go, but the longer the trip, the more the loose tea would be betterFeb 27, 2008 at 5:31 pm #1422314
Thanks Rob for the straw idea! With loose tea and a fresh resupply, my thru hike this year will go much better! I MUST have my tea in the back woods. it makes everything normal.
Plus, if I go with loose tea then I can save weight with a water tight bag like the ones they sell on this site.
Any other ideas?Feb 27, 2008 at 6:34 pm #1422315
Cary, that's very funny – I didn't catch that the first time.
Mat, my only other suggestion is that you go with an alcohol stove, if you don't already. The Cat stove is the greatest thing – it is cheap, super UL, and easy. And best of all, SILENT!
Also- you only bring the amount of fuel you need. If you already do that- just disregard. But it is worth the small effort to figure it out if you don't know already – but make sure you use a windscreen.
Cheers!Feb 27, 2008 at 6:48 pm #1422317
Yeah… windscreen… learned that one the hard way.
Strike, poof, fizzle,… Strike, poof, fizzle,… grabbed a rock! Strike, poof, fizzle,… Strike, poof, fizzle,…
Oh grab the jerky already!
Yeah… Then I discovered the Caldera Cone! Whew.Mar 1, 2008 at 7:25 am #1422618
here is an article I wrote some time ago on the subject of tea….Mar 1, 2008 at 8:10 am #1422620
AMar 4, 2008 at 8:30 pm #1423039
My favorite is Darjeeling with dried Jasmine blossoms. Think I'll go brew a cupa right now.Mar 9, 2008 at 4:35 pm #1423621
At home we often have a cup of Artisan Tea after dinner. These bloom beautifully and this particular one is Green Tea with Jasmine flowers.
On the trail I often take the mini Dragon's Tears (Jasmine tea).Mar 9, 2008 at 5:58 pm #1423633
Wow! I think that is way too pretty to drink! But hey! I'll try anything once.
;)Mar 9, 2008 at 7:40 pm #1423642
On the Earl for me with skim milk and half a teaspoon of sugar please. Actually the Lipton orange pekoe is my favorite. But I never take it on the trail 'cause tea with creamer is just awful.Mar 9, 2008 at 8:14 pm #1423643
@umnakLocale: Southeast Alaska
We switched to tea a couple of years ago for long distances (kayaking) to save volume associated with coffee and all of its accouterments. Now its all tea, all the time. We started with the tea ball in a larger container (making tea for two) and have now settled on loose tea in our own mugs. The tea leaves stay in the bottom of the mug with the right tea; that is long leaf. We store the tea in two freezer bags: Persian and English Breakfast. A level spork full will provide enough for breakfast — two mugs using the same leaves. Our 25 day supply doesn't fill a pint baggie. The same holds for hiking. This is a photograph from this weekend. Or, look here if it does not load. http://www.flickr.com/photos/umnak
I just finished reading Shackleton's narrative of the farthest south trip where they ran out of tea on the return to the coast and dug around in the inbound camps to find the leaves they used on that part of the trip. They found the tea," invigorating".Mar 9, 2008 at 10:42 pm #1423662
I can almost smell the jasmine, just looking at your photo. Beautiful!Mar 10, 2008 at 3:25 am #1423682
@back2basicsLocale: Southeast USA
I bought this thing at the local tea/herb shop. It's a small hoop with a cloth sock on it. Put tea leaves in there, rest on edge of mug and let steep. After second cup (why only enjoy it once?), invert sock portion and sling toward the ground. Use a few ounces of water from platypus to rinse remaining leaves from cloth and squeeze out excess water. Toss in mesh pocket on backpack to dry.
Sometimes when I know work will take me on the road and away from home for extended periods, I'll take along my Jetboil PCS/Java Press. Works just as well for tea as it does coffee.Mar 10, 2008 at 12:14 pm #1423732
Us real ultra light backpackers don't got to carry no stinkin' tea-hoop-cloth-sock thingee. We just shuck a boot an' peel off a SmartWool. Adds a certain wilderness essense you just can't match any other way.Mar 11, 2008 at 1:51 am #1423838
If'n youall is wearin' Smartwools, you ain't no rootin tootin ULWer.
We don't wear no stinkin' socks, and we strain our tea thru the holes in our shoes.Mar 11, 2008 at 10:19 am #1423884
these work really well…Mar 11, 2008 at 2:24 pm #1423928
by the way _ those tea straws come in plastic instead of the heavy metal kind.
and darjeelling with jasmine – now you're talkin!
I don't know about straining with a sock, even in direst conditions I just won't strain at all – just be careful and let the teeth do the work!Mar 18, 2008 at 12:08 pm #1424768
@bjamesdLocale: South Coast of BC
My answer to this question a couple of years ago was that the long-leaf green tea I drink strains nicely in the pour spout of my Titan kettle.
I just heat the water, brew the tea, and then pour into a cup. The spout on the Titan allows the liquid through but very few leaves. (Pour slowly.)
This is why we need a wiki! I think that some posters (not me) probably grow tired of posting the same answers to similar questions and "rotate out".
How does everyone feel about disposing of tea leaves only in the forest? This is one of the only items I'm willing to leave in the bush, since they are only leaves and they've theoretically had most of the volatile odorifics leached out of them. Is this right, or will green tea leaves still draw animals by virtue of smelling "different"?Mar 18, 2008 at 9:13 pm #1424824
Don't know if it's unecologically sound but I always rip open the used tea bag and grind the tea leaves into the duff.May 14, 2008 at 5:11 pm #1433300
…May 20, 2008 at 8:36 pm #1434193
Serious mountain tea!
I just boil and strain with whatever I can find (pot lid usually) since I'm carrying a separate cup.
I'm a potter/ceramics teacher; I've been carrying my favorite ceramic teabowls in the backcountry for some time. EXtra weight, so what…What's life without your favorite rituals?
Another option: anyone ever try powdered green tea (Japanese tea ceremony style). Just add powder, stir vigorously, ahhhhhh…..
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