Friday, April 22, 2011

Tea in the office

 When I meet a fellow tea drinker, I always ask how they enjoy their tea at work. Many people sigh, and say they stick with bagged tea, and some will use strainers or fillable tea bags. I try to stick with methods that give the tea ample room to expand. I have a handy little teapot, as well as a mug with a porcelain strainer. My favorite vessel was a beautiful 8oz glass cup with its own strainer. But it was not a great pick for the office. Yesterday I had a few videotapes on my desk a little too close to my elbow. I accidentally hit one causing a domino effect down my desk, knocking the poor unsuspecting glass off the side. A huge shatter followed. I should have been smarter than this; bringing a delicate glass cup to work is not the best idea. But using it made me very happy. 
my late great glass cup
Finding a nice sturdy teapot or cup with a strainer is a good option for the office. Especially if you can keep it away from your elbow. My pot is a Bee House, and I've had it for years. Unlike my little glass cup that is now a fond memory.
 If your office has a coffeemaker with a hot water spout, you are in luck. But all you really need is access to a microwave (and a vessel that is microwave safe). My office has a water cooler with a hot water spout, which is great. I do need to put the hot water in the microwave for black teas, because it is still not hot enough. But zapping the water for a minute does the trick. If you are not afraid of wiping down a teapot, loose tea with a little pot is definitely the way to go! And if you are like me, any cold tea at the end of the day goes directly to my plants. If your office allows small appliances at your desk, you could also get an electric kettle.

the offending tapes!

I have a large array of loose tea to choose from, as well as a few bagged options when I have to run into a long meeting. I like having a choice of teas during the day. It keeps me awake and focused. It also keeps me away from spending too much on a paper cup with brown liquid.

For more on strainers vs. fillable bags, Black Dragon Tea Bar has an interesting post here.

For all of you that drink tea at work, what methods do you use?


  1. I have had tea in office jobs, but I only got into serious loose tea drinking later, and I have been self-employed ever since this interest truly blossomed, and there I've been able to work from home and coffee shops, both of which are places where it's easy for me to brew loose-leaf tea.

    I think the hardest thing for me at most offices would be the composting: I like to compost my tea, and this can be hard to do at most offices without bringing it home.

    I imagine that using a permanent tea filter would make things very easy: my favorite is the finum basket infuser, which sits easily inside a mug.

  2. I write from home and I steep my tea in a medium ceramic pot with strainer or a small gaiwan.