​Brew Your Tea Outside

Collecting tea ware is fun and somewhat addicting, but you don’t need to buy everything. Have you ever thought about brewing tea outside? A thermos will add volumes to your tea brewing experience. For my family, this is a constantly used piece of brew equipment because it makes brewing tea outside easier. Thermos shape and size is up to you. People have preferences about this but I don't think it matters too much. Most insulated water carriers will do the job. My main recommendation is to get a brand new one and dedicate it to hot water for making either tea, coffee, or both. The new ones seem to hold the head a bit better and new means there won't be any residual flavors from coffee or soup left behind. Of course you can boil your water on the spot, which is great. But this is quicker and easier when you are just on a day trip, and if you are lucky enough to be making tea whilst camping, take the thermos for sure. This way, when water comes to a boil, you can quickly capture it for later use, possibly saving fuel and labor.

You can use a thermos to put certain types of brewed tea in if you want to go an even more convenient route. This is not recommended for all teas. Just black, and cooked puer. It’s not as good for oolongs or green. The trapped oxygen in the thermos does something to the teas, especially medium to low oxidized tea that detracts from the flavor. We are also often bringing a variety of teas, maybe a Mango Honeybush or a Starry Night for the kids and some adults that don’t want caffeine. The parents are usually drinking a range of oolongs or puers when outdoors, so the thermos or two full of pure hot water gives us the greatest range of brew flexibility. Another benefit of just using the thermos for hot water is that it stays clean and a rinse and dry in between uses is generally sufficient for cleaning.

Taking tea ware outdoors is a huge responsibility. I have lost a favorite piece in the past and it felt like I lost a family member. The piece was a clay hand spun tea tray with holes drilled into the lid and it was made by a dear friend. He made the piece while under the tutelage of a great pottery master in Taiwan, so the master had worked with his student to produce this amazing clay vessel, but if only I had it wrapped well. Why do we need painful experiences to learn some lessons? The point is that nowadays I wrap all of my tea ware in layers of cloth and transport them in a felt padded bag. I also do not travel with my favorite pieces, rather I travel with my favorite travel pieces, well wrapped, of course.

Brewing tea outside is pretty fun. I hope that this is helpful in getting you started on your next outdoor brew adventure.