While my work mainly keeps me in the great city of Chicago, I occasionally find myself on business trips throughout the country for a week or two at a time. As I strive to maintain a consistent gong fu brewing practice, I’ve found it necessary to keep tea’s solace with me from state to state. Prepared at a moment’s notice, I’ve had the pleasure of sharing gong fu experiences with others whom I’ve connected with, and this gift of human connection keeps me mindful of the tea-wares and teas I take with me! Allow me to share a few staples you won’t find me without!
Gong Fu Story
The Gong Fu Story has been central to containing all of my tea-ware, teas, and the GorillaPod I use for virtual tea sessions. Inspired by photography bags and enabling customization through various inserts, this backpack holds a tea tray, multiple giawans, kysus, cups, you name it! As I head out on trips, I kept function and form the priority when choosing what will accompany me. It also has side pockets to hold thermos bottles!
Tried and true, 150 mL is the size for you! Er…for me at least! I like to bring 1-2 150 mL white porcelain gaiwans. They’re perfect for easily viewing the leaves, liquor color, and can quickly be used to share with friends or new acquaintances while on the road! Packing multiple brewing vessels also allows for comparative tastings, which I LOVE diving into!
I’ll bring along 4 glass tea cups as it’s a good start for sharing while being light and sturdy for travel. In addition, I’ll add a couple ceramic or stone cups for variation and flexibility in pairing tea. the teacups in the photo above are pretty standard for me to bring along.
Gong Dao Bei
I haven’t traveled without a fairness pitcher, though It’ll be the first thing to go if I find I need more space for tea! I have a durable yet thin pitcher I bring and it allows me to stack infusions when necessary.
Regardless of the length of time, I pack teas that are resilient to high temperatures and ones I consider daily drinkers. You’ll frequently see me with yancha, white teas, or dark teas while I’m on the road. While I usually have access to filtered water while traveling, the first few days may leave me with the local tap water system. I hesitate to bring Japanese green teas for this reason and will purchase specific water if presenting them outside of tea sessions. Coin compressed tea material is great since they have just the right amount to toss and brew.
So there you have it! What did you think of my list and the situations I plan for? What do you consider when traveling with tea? I’d love to hear your thoughts!