Tea time

Posted by: kevonionia

Tea time - 12/15/09 11:31 AM

(note: I used the search feature - including advanced - and came up with nothing for tea.)

For those drinking tea out in the woods, what's your favorite type? And brand? Bagged or loose? If the latter, what type of tea ball? What do you do with the used leaves/bags? Pack out or pitch? And you drink it from what?

I've only recently gotten into tea at night (I get off work at 11p) and it is so much better, health and financial wise, than a bottle of wine or a couple of beers. But haven't hiked with hot tea yet, but most certainly will.
Posted by: Zalman

Re: Tea time - 12/15/09 11:56 AM

Big fan of tea here! awesome

Black or herbal? I like black or green tea in the afternoon (tea time), and a cup of herbal after dinner.

For black/green tea (same plant), I find the loose teas tastiest. My favorite varieties are (in ascending caffeine order):
  • Pinhead Gunpowder -- a very bitter green tea.
  • Ceylon -- From Sri Lanka. Sweet without being flowery. Great dessert tea.
  • Assam -- From India, very rich and full of "tea" flavor.
  • Lapsang Souchong -- From China (the real stuff, anyhow). Very dark, sweet, smoke flavor.

There are lots of Japanese green teas that are roasted in various ways, none of which does much for me. Darjeeling is also a popular black tea, but it's a bit too light and flowery for my taste.

Earl Grey is black tea flavored with bergamot. Ew. But Jon-Luc loves it. The one flower that I do enjoy in my black or green tea is jasmine, but I still have to be in the mood for perfume.

At home I use a little wire basket that sits in the mug, and brew each cup individually. I've found this method far too much hassle on the trail though -- particularly when it's raining and my hands are cold and I just want a cup of tea now!

So I bring tea bags hiking. I've tried all kinds of gourmet tea bags over the years, but the one that keeps hitting the spot like no other is good ol' Lipton. If you can find Lipton "yellow label", even better, but red label is delicious too. Lipton is probably a blend, but tastes mostly like an Assam to me.

As for herbal teas, personal taste will primarily dictate which herbs suit your pallete. Celestial Seasons makes an incredibly strong cup of peppermint tea. The Yogi brand ginger tea is also a major winner in my book.

In a pinch, steeped young pine needles produce a pretty refreshing hot beverage.
Posted by: frenchie

Re: Tea time - 12/15/09 12:10 PM

Lapsang Souchong, infused in part water part milk. Heresy may be, but so good. I'm a coffe drinker, so any kind of tea I ingest must have more taste and body than a "cup of hot water"!
Posted by: sarbar

Re: Tea time - 12/15/09 01:05 PM

I nearly always have tea with me on the trail. That and a couple honey packets. In most cases I just carry Celestial Seasonings herbal teas. I buy the sampler pack they sell, where you get 5 flavors in packs of 3 to 4 bags. They roll down nicely once opened and stay reasonably fresh.
Otherwise I do have fillable bags where I can add whatever loose leaf tea I want! You can find them in many stores with the tea.
Posted by: oldranger

Re: Tea time - 12/15/09 04:34 PM

At home I like to experiment with all kinds of teas, but on the trail I have a perverse preference for Constant Comment, with sugar, please. I tear up the bags, scatter the wet tea, and burn or carry out the empty bags.

Doing SAR, if I had the time, I would brew up a thermos, definitely with sugar. The victim had first dibs on the tea, if appropriate, but about 3 AM, if there was no victim, it would pull me through to the dawn..

Fillable bags sounds like a winner...
Posted by: bigb

Re: Tea time - 12/15/09 07:06 PM

Loose black assam, small handheld tea brewer, the cheap one from rei, and stolen sugar packs

If there is a fire I burn the leaves, if not I pack them out
Posted by: mike

Re: Tea time - 12/16/09 12:21 PM

I prefer loose teas.

My own preferences are Chinese green teas (white monkey) and light oolongs (ti kuan yin and similar). Some people accuse me of drinking colored water since my taste preference is for lighter teas, but the dark oolongs and blacks are just not my thing.

I tend to stay away from the Japanese green teas because they like to pulverize them. They taste fine (Gyokuro is heavenly), but cleanup can be a mess and they tend to be pricey. The Chinese teas are a bit easier to clean up since they usually are whole leaf varieties. Obviously, that is my own opinion. YTMV (taste)

For trail use, I prefer the fillable tea pouches. I use my 750ml pot for a brewing and drinking vessel.
Posted by: Jimshaw

Re: Tea time - 12/16/09 03:38 PM

Tea shocked yuck ptunia... sick
Coffee drinker here.
Actually I would accept a hot cup of Liptons best (while skiing) with sugar if someone gave it to me, but I'd throw the cup away afterwards lest it ruin my java. crazy
Posted by: oldranger

Re: Tea time - 12/16/09 07:04 PM

Unwashed infidel!
Posted by: phat

Re: Tea time - 12/16/09 09:35 PM

I love tea.

Most often with me:

- Organic Pure Peppermint (If I have hot water I usually do peppermint tea before bed)
- Yorkshire Gold
- Twinings English Breakfast

- Really darn good japanese first pick Sencha. It's hard to find good stuff and it's expensive. The best stuff I get a friend to smuggle from tokyo. it's an "11"- I can find a "8 or 9" in the japanese markets here.

(good sencha uses less fuel, since the water need only be
about 70->75C, not boiling smile

- Lapsong Souchang loose leaf
- Really good oolong "Gong Fu"

I usually brew my loose "cowboy style" while in the bush

Depending where I am and what it is, I will burn, packout, or sometimes pitch loose leaves.
Posted by: OregonMouse

Re: Tea time - 12/17/09 11:52 AM

For me (all are tea bags for convenience):

Mornings, if I have a hot beverage (I usually don't bother): Stash Moroccan Mint green tea

For the evenings:
Stash Peppermint herbal tea (grown in Oregon so I'm supporting local farmers)
Tazo Wild Sweet Orange

If I can, I let the used teabags dry out before stuffing them into the garbage sack.
Posted by: oldranger

Re: Tea time - 12/17/09 01:59 PM

One of my staples is a Costco sencha, bagged - costs about 12 cents a bag. Just looked at the box, couldn't find a number anywhere. Have you any idea where this stuff would fall on the scale you mention? I suspect it's probably not very high.....
Posted by: aimless

Re: Tea time - 12/17/09 02:38 PM

I'm not really big on tea, but I do recall being inspired by Colin Fletcher's strong attachment to tea when I was in my twenties (in the 1970s) and taking some gunpowder green tea along on a long, wet, cold backpack trip, then brewing it up at lunch time at 7800 ft on a mountain pass and transforming myself from a miserably cold hiker to a mildly euphoric one. grin
Posted by: GrumpyGord

Re: Tea time - 12/17/09 03:21 PM

It is interesting. I drink a lot of coffee every day but never while backpacking. I always drink tea. I just use Lipton tea bags. I usually make a cup of tea for supper, hang the tea bag on a branch and make another cup for breakfast. We be kon-o-soors. I remember reading that Colin Fletcher also just used Lipton tea bags.
Posted by: oldranger

Re: Tea time - 12/17/09 07:20 PM

Uhm me heap plenty big kon-o-soor, too. Lipton's is surprisingly good....
Posted by: Paul

Re: Tea time - 12/20/09 01:56 AM

I like the Good Earth Original blend in the morning sometimes - though mostly in the morning I go for a hot Emergen-C (rasberry, baby!). In the evening, I relax with a Nighty-Night or Sleepytime. Drunk from a 1/2 lier nalgene that fits right into my ski boot inners in the morning - warms the boots up before I put them on and keeps the tea warm longer.
Posted by: kevonionia

Re: Tea time - 12/25/09 03:07 AM

My wife, after hearing me going on and on about the many divergent teas and reviews given here, ordered me a tea steeper from a place in Boulder , CO. The steeper is a neat little ceramic cup -- but wayyy too heavy for taking on the trail. I've still got to get me a cheap aluminum tea ball for my Snowpeak ti mug. (That place does have something called a tuffy steeper and it might be light enough to pack.)

My present came with a couple of tins of an herbal tea, and I was torn between the "Red Rocks" and the "Roche Rouges." One night I liked the former, the next the latter. Both were made from South African red rooibos, vanilla, and almond bits.

(frenchie might know where I'm going with this). So when I got the tins out to post my rave review of the one I preferred, the Roche Rouges, I got to looking close and realized that they both were the same, with the label in English on two sides of the tin and French on the other two. I obviously had added less water to what I thought was the "Roche Rouges" cup is why it was stronger and why I preferred it tonight. What a bumpkin! blush I told my wife my mistake and I'm not sure she's going to trust bp'ing with me anymore.

Anyway, that Red Rocks (or rooibos) tea is fantastic! Most complex tea I've ever had, with hints of pipe-tobacco of all things that I never really cared for except when you can smell it in a really good Cabernet Sauvignon.

And the good thing about caffeine-free herbal teas is you can drink them late at night and they won't keep you up -- which would be a good idea when sipping them at night on the trail, too.

Never knew there was such a choice in tea. Can't wait to try them all out in the backcountry. Thanks for the suggestions and favorites.
Posted by: oldranger

Re: Tea time - 12/26/09 10:35 AM

It is always better (more alluring) when you [i][/i]dit en francais, nez paz?
Posted by: frenchie

Re: Tea time - 12/29/09 12:10 PM

laugh laugh laugh!
Posted by: bearbait

Re: Tea time - 12/30/09 08:07 PM

use to be a coffe drinker. About 15 years ago I had my first masala tea, which in the US we call Chai. because of the cost I buy it loose and in bulk and sweeten with raw honey. While on a hike I take along Tazo's organic chai in bags and sweeten with sugar. (less clean up)
I carry out the bags or burn in campfire.
I drink it in my titanium cup
Posted by: redroach

Re: Tea time - 04/20/10 04:38 PM

If it is not coffee on the trail for me then it is Gunpowder green tea. I mix it with peppermint leaves to get the equivalent of Republic of Tea's Moroccan Mint tea.

I buy the tea, peppermint and do it yourself tea bags at

Just fill with the loose tea mixture and seal with an iron.