Camping and tea


Completely off the Topic of Tea

Camping and tea

Postby Dresden » Jan 14th, '10, 18:05

Anyone out there avid campers as well as tea drinkers?

For some reason I find great comfort in preparing a nice hot cup of tea next to a crackling fire.

What are your thoughts on campfire tea?
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Re: Camping and tea

Postby TomVerlain » Jan 14th, '10, 19:11

Who needs the real outdoors when you can have a cup of lapsang souchong ?

When I make it at work, people say it smells like a campfire ...
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Re: Camping and tea

Postby Ebtoulson » Jan 15th, '10, 00:57

I used to be a huge camping fanatic (before I came to college) but I never brewed tea on an outing. Most of my trips were canoeing and hiking trips which I probably wouldn't bring tea on, but a standard camping trip where there is only a few miles hike in would definitely leave some room for some tea. I'd have to say if I was drinking tea around a fire, a filling genmai sounds really inviting or maybe even a roasted oolong. What did you brew it in?
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Re: Camping and tea

Postby debunix » Jan 15th, '10, 01:26

Have never taken tea camping before, but I'm now drinking a lot more of it and would definitely do so next time I go. A tea ball and a small packet of a sturdy rolled ti kuan yin would be small and light and perfect for even backpacking.
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Re: Camping and tea

Postby tenuki » Jan 15th, '10, 04:42

I drink tea all the time while camping, sailing, cross country skiing or anything else outdoor. It is truly one of my greatest pleasures in life. I've tried every method there is and the best I've found by far is to just go grandpa style.

You need:
  • thermos of boiling hot water - I prefer stainless lined thermos, glass always breaks on me.
  • Favorite camping mug - mine is a beat up old REI plastic insulated one.
  • good tea leaves

How you do this:
  1. throw some leaves in mug
  2. pour hot water on them
  3. drink when you feel like it, just let the leaves sit in there and filter them with your lip when you drink to keep them in.
  4. repeat 2 and 3 over and over

You need to use less leaves than if you were doing gong fu in a gaiwan or pot, depends a lot on the tea of course. Some teas only need a couple of leaves to produce a fine brew again and again this way. Feel free to add leaves or remove them in the middle of brewing to adjust. The idea is for the tea to taste good always without ever paying attention to how long they are sitting or how hot the water is, etc. Instead of a thermos I actually have a jetboil stove, but the process is essentially the same with the additional capability to make more boiling hot water quickly.

Simple is best. Try this a couple times and you may rarely ever gong fu again even at home.

My cross country ski backpack has this equipment in it at all times along with a couple teas. Favorites for this style are:

Good Gaoshan
Roasted Dong Ding
Yentcha (DHP or RG)

To give you an idea of what kind of teas work well with this approach - right now in my backpack I have FLT 303 roasted Dong Ding (higher grade counterpart to the highly popular traditional roast DD from last year), Old grumpys alishan from 2008 (yes I still have some. heheh), a 7 cups yentcha (2008 Tie Luo Han), and a flavorful Nangang/Shiding Baozhong which really holds up well to this kind of brewing. Generally I go with higher quality oolongs, as they work really well with grandpa style.
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Re: Camping and tea

Postby Ebtoulson » Jan 15th, '10, 15:13

thanks for the post tenuki...I've seen this 'grandpa style' before but have always been a skeptic of the flavor. I'll have to try this next time I go camping.
nice stove btw...I'm still stuck with my old whisper lite

edit: saw a typo and it was driving me crazy
Last edited by Ebtoulson on Jan 16th, '10, 14:13, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Camping and tea

Postby Dresden » Jan 15th, '10, 15:15

Yup... As tenuki said, grampa style is the way to go. I usually boil in my trail pot and brew in my snow peak titanium backpacking cup
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Re: Camping and tea

Postby tenuki » Jan 15th, '10, 15:20

One trick to grandpa style I didn't mention: Don't drink all the tea before you refill. I usually refill when the cup is about 1/3 full. This helps even out the taste, as when it's getting time to refill there will be some very strong tea in the bottom. Also if you are using boiling water it helps cool it so you can drink almost immediately. If the tea i'm sipping starts to get too strong I add water, or maybe dump a little bit out to get it around half full and then add water. It's the easy way to drink tea, but there is a sort of haphazard art to it as well. :)
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Re: Camping and tea

Postby Maitre_Tea » Jan 16th, '10, 01:39

Some teas don't work as well (at least for my taste) brewed "grandpa style," such as high roasted TGY
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Re: Camping and tea

Postby Dreamer » Jan 16th, '10, 13:39

tenuki wrote:I drink tea all the time while camping, sailing, cross country skiing or anything else outdoor. It is truly one of my greatest pleasures in life. I've tried every method there is and the best I've found by far is to just go grandpa style.


Awesome post, tenuki! Sometimes I think we get so caught up in the modern technicalities of tea with thermometers, timers, scales, and measuring cups, that we loose the basic essence of the experience...hot water and tea leaves. Thanks so much!

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Re: Camping and tea

Postby skilfautdire » Jan 18th, '10, 21:00

Each year I do several canoe trips, from 3 to 7 days each. Tea is part of the luggage, so to speak, and no other drink. I drink tea each morning before moving on. A preferred tea for that is TGY. After breakfast I simply boil some water in a small cooking pot, wait a bit to cool somewhat, and put some leaves in. Once steeped, I pour into a cup. On lazy mornings there might be a second cup with the same leaves. I do not throw the spent leaves around in the bushes but carry them in a small garbage box for organic waste.

campingCup1.jpg
A cup of TGY by the lake...
campingCup1.jpg (64.65 KiB) Viewed 1796 times

killarney.jpg
... while admiring the scenery
killarney.jpg (46.57 KiB) Viewed 1796 times
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Re: Camping and tea

Postby Ebtoulson » Jan 19th, '10, 00:54

I'm really wanting to go on a camping trip now...
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Re: Camping and tea

Postby Skippyandjif » Jan 23rd, '10, 22:17

This is slightly off the topic, but how might one make tea during a picnic, where there's no campfire, as opposed to a camping or skiing trip? (I'm planning a cherry-blossom viewing party for the spring and was hoping to have a tea party under the cherry trees.)
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Re: Camping and tea

Postby Ebtoulson » Jan 23rd, '10, 23:36

I don't know about everyone else but most of my cooking on camping trips is done on a small stove, not a camp fire. I use a rather old stove but theres a large variety out there. Here is a bigger list of stoves listed on amazon.You may be interested in something like a jetboil (but it may be a little pricey for what your wanting it for ~$70) if your only using it for liquids. I don't personally have any experience with a jetboil but from tenuki's post it sounds like a good stove.

How much water are you looking to heat?
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Re: Camping and tea

Postby skilfautdire » Jan 25th, '10, 07:17

As Ebtoulson wrote, a portable stove works great. When out there I do not make campfires for cooking. In fact, I do not make much campfires, only occasionally and small ones at that. So I also have a MSR stove, although the Dragonfly type. Be warned: these stoves make a lot of noise. You do not typically use it for a long time though. Takes about 3 minutes to boil a liter of water. Alternatively, if you're spending the whole day picniking it might be possible to start some 'sun tea' early in the day.
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