I will drink tea in a house, I will drink tea with a mouse.
I will drink tea for my morning perk, I will drink tea while at work!I am a professor at a local college and thus am just getting into my "back to work" routine. I am a fan of the whole "travel tumbler for loose leaf tea" but with my long morning commute, the tea is gone by the time I get to work leaving me nothing to sip when I need it most! I started experimenting with various ideas to brew loose leaf tea at work and came up with some winning ideas I thought I'd share. To start, my two key problems: #1 - transporting and keeping loose leaf tea fresh at work; and #2 - getting the water to a decent temperature to steep the perfect cup. Tea Transport/Freshness Solution - Keeping tea fresh is as simple as keeping it in a dark, airtight container. Joy’s Teaspoon conveniently packages their tea in an airtight tin so that much was solved! However, I enjoy a variety of teas and I really hated the idea of trying to measure out tea at my desk. WINNING IDEA: Joy's Teaspoon (and a number of other tea companies) offer Cinco and Ocho sample packs. These samples come in tins that allow for a pots worth/or two single servings of tea. Of course, I am not recommending that you order weekly (although I am sure Joy's Teaspoon would see no harm in this). However, once you order one sampler pack, you can reuse these small tins to transport the weeks teas. I enjoy taking a few minutes on a Sunday to pre-measure 5 teas and throw them in my desk on Monday morning. WINNING IDEA: If the sampler pack is not "your cup of tea", you can always do the same pre-measuring with an airtight container purchased from any number of stores (Container Store, Target, etc.), OR, in a pinch a Ziploc type bag will work as well. Of course, don't forget to take unbleached steeping bags, or an infuser of some sort! Proper Water Temperatures - The second problem is a little more challenging. How to access temperature specific water to make my tea just right? I tried the hot water button on the office water cooler; I might as well have just filled a cup and held it under my armpit. That's about how hot the water got. WINNING IDEA: A workplace cafeteria has free hot water anywhere they brew coffee. WINNING IDEA: A workplace coffee maker boils water without a mess at all and the temperature is really consistent. Ideally, the water won't have any coffee aftertaste! WINNING IDEA: A workplace microwave and a glass measuring cup can do the trick. Just keep an eye on the bubbles. Just before it bubbles should be reasonable for white and green teas. Rolling bubbles means the temp is just right for oolongs, black, herbals, rooibos, etc. WINNING IDEA: For our diehard drinkers, purchasing an electric kettle is always an option as well! You choose the temperature you want and the kettle will do the work. There are many on the market that are small, energy efficient and easy to use. We all have those "special people" (co-workers, bosses, employees, vendors, students, clients) that make us want to be whisked away Calgon style! Taking a few moments to steep, sip and breath can do a world of good for our mental health! What do you do to brew tea in the work place?