Thursday, August 2, 2018

Tips For Taking Your Tea To The Beach!

I love having tea on the beach. Feeling the warm sun, listening to the crashing waves, looking for technicolor shells, all while sipping tea to enhance the experience. It's the middle of summer, and there is still plenty of time to head to the beach! I recently posted my tips for taking your tea outside, but I thought it would be helpful to have a new post specifically for the beach. Some of the tips I gave in the original post are relevant, but you certainly can't lug a huge tea kit to the beach. So read on, and get ready for your next beach tea session!

Choosing The Teaware + Tea
I like to pack light when I go to the beach, since there are so many other things to carry (particularly when you've got kids to entertain). I'll usually select the smallest teaware I have, and also the lightest. A small shibo or little teapot and gongfu cups do fine. A travel gaiwan is a great idea too, as it's already created to be compact. They often come in their own carrying case as well. I usually pre-measure the tea and put it right in the brewing vessel I'm bringing to save even more space. I like to bring a tea that will go for many infusions, so I don't need to bring more than one. That will also help with packing water, as you'll just need one temperature. I do enjoy all sorts of teas on the beach, although I find raw puerh and green oolongs to be the most refreshing for my palate, and they last all afternoon. Japanese green teas are also a perfect pairing for the briny sea air.

Travel Gaiwan Set

Packing It All Up
There are many ways to pack up the teaware, but honestly a padded lunchbox is the way to go! It's easy to find (you may already have a few if you bring lunch to work, or if you have kids) and will keep out the sand and water. The padding is key, too. I love this lunchbox for the Harry Potter theme. This one is inexpensive, and has different compartments to keep your teaware from clinking together.
I'm tempted to get this narrower one, as it's great to put in a beach bag and is well padded. There are lots of options to choose from! I also always save the bubble wrap I get with packages so I can use it to wrap up my teaware before putting it in the insulated lunch bag. You can also wrap in tea towels, but that gets a bit bulky. The bubble wrap is thin and light, which is important for beach packing. Just make sure to immediately put it back in the lunch bag when you unwrap your things, so it doesn't blow away!

I also love using my Take Flight Tea Case which is used for taking tea on the go, and I find that I can fit a small gaiwan and cups in the pockets meant for tea tins. It's very compact and portable!

You'll need to plan ahead for bringing hot water to the beach. I like to heat my water and put it in a well insulated tumbler. I'm particularly fond of zojirushi tumblers as they are slim and will keep the water hot for hours. I bring mine to the beach and it keeps the water hot all day long. Note, these tumblers will also keep tea cold! I like to cold brew tea the night before a beach outing and pour it into the tumbler (ice if desired but not necessary) before we leave. The tumbler will keep it nice and cold on its own, or you can slip it into a insulated lunch bag. Or include it in your cooler if you're already bringing one!

I like to set my teaware right into the sand to get the full beach experience, but it also guarantees a gritty cuppa. It doesn't matter how careful you are, those tiny grains of sand will end up in your tea. Just be relaxed about it, and go with the flow! That's part of having tea at the beach. A little extra salt may even enhance your sips, especially if there is a bit of astringency to the tea.  If you would like to limit the sand in your tea, take a small plastic placemat to put underneath a bamboo runner or any other fabric you may use as a chaxi. This will create a barrier against the sand. It's not foolproof (especially on a windy day), but it will help.

Using Your Surroundings
Remember, you're on the beach! Take advantage of your amazing surroundings. Go ahead and put that teaware directly on the sand if you're ok with it. I like to set up in an area where the tide has receded just enough that the sand is flat and slightly damp. Just make sure there isn't a risk of having that teaware washed out to sea. I also look for large pieces of driftwood or rock to use as a tea tray (if you keep your eyes open you'll be surprised at what you find). Shells and seaweed will also enhance your beach chaxi. Keep it simple and use what you find. If there is a boardwalk, try a few steeps there with the sea in the background.

Having tea on the beach is such a pleasure, and is definitely easy to accomplish. It is a full sensory experience with the rolling waves, beautiful tea, briny air, and warm sunshine. Take advantage of these last weeks of summer and get your tea to the beach!

No comments:

Post a Comment