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Tea and the Long Commute

Long commutes to work and enjoying fine teas don’t always go together. Yes, some clever people out there are busy at their design boards, working hard to come up with what they think is a perfect travel tea mug that allows you to steep your loose leaf fine teas and enjoy them along the way. I, however, have another solution, a virtual secret weapon in the world of tea aficionado-dom: Hubby!

Recently, I was working on a short-term technical writing assignment about a 40-minute commute from our home. Being a spoiled rotten “tea princess,” I bemoaned in my best whiny princess voice, “How am I going to enjoy my fine teas at work?” Fortunately, hubby was within earshot (okay, so I planned it that way).

Hubby is a pretty sharp guy (I’m referring to his mental capacities in this instance, although he’s pretty sharp in other ways, too). My plaintive cries flipped the switch in his brain connected to the 25+ years experience he had in Civil Engineering. He would design street layouts that allowed developers to fit enough houses on a piece of land to make the whole thing worthwhile (considering the millions these developers had to pay out to various government officials before even being able to break ground). How do you apply this experience to helping your wife find a way to enjoy good teas in a less-than-ideal setting? The solution was rather ingenious, actually, in its very simplicity, just like his street layouts.

Every morning, hubby would fill my simple yet very useful Zojirushi travel mug with a freshly steeped and strong flavored black tea such as Borengajuli Estate or Scottish Breakfast, smoothed with a generous portion of milk and a packet of sweetener. I was able to sip from it during the drive, but mainly saved it for my morning at the office (the tea would stay quite hot in the mug). The tea would usually last until lunch time. Then, I would be on my own, but hubby had thought of that, too, making sure I had Typhoo tea bags with me so I could make a refill for my mug. The one compromise was that I had to use the artificial creamer available in the lunch room (generously supplied by the company). The taste was tolerable, but quickly forgotten once I got back home.

About a half hour before I was due home, hubby would make a fresh pot of Typhoo or PG Tips and as he heard the garage door going up, would pour out a cupful of the “golden pour” (that first cupful from a perfectly brewed pot) so I could have my first sip straight away after our hugs and kisses (of course!). Gee, this role-reversal stuff is pretty good!

For me, the assignment is done now and my tea life has returned to normal, that is, I can steep up whichever tea in my growing collection strikes my fancy whenever the mood stirs me (which is often). Hubby’s attentiveness and clever solution got me through it, though, with my tea sanity intact.

Here’s hoping that you find a similar solution for your tea needs at your location of employment. Enjoy!

You can find more great tips on living the “tea life” on A.C.’s blog, Tea Time with A.C. Cargill!

4 responses to “Tea and the Long Commute”

  1. Your husband is the best 🙂 am going to forward this post to my husband, hee!

    1. Hubby says, “Thanks!” I gave him a big hug, too. 🙂

  2. I actually bought one of these to use at work. It fits in my insulated mug quite well. We have the free bagged tea and fake creamer as well, but this allows me to bring any of my loose teas to work. I keep a little sweetener at my desk, so it’s just a matter of filling the mug with hot water while the tea and infuser sits in it, then bringing it back to the desk to steep. A few emails later, it’s ready and all I have to do is dump the leaves in the trash, sweeten, and enjoy. I’ve actually turned 4 or 5 other people at work onto making good tea this way rather than drinking the bagged junk.

    1. Thanks, Meg. I’ll check it out. Then, hubby can use that to prepare my tea for the long commute. (Don’t want him to feel left out!)

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