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Backcountry Kitchen The Backcountry Kitchen forum is for the discussion of food and cooking gear related topics for backpacking trips (e.g. menus, recipes, stoves, fuel...).


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  #1  
Old 06-06-2011, 12:34 AM
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Reality Reality is offline
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Tea

For those who drink tea (Camellia sinensis or otherwise herbal) while in the wilderness, please share the kind that you use and any pertinent particulars about how you make it.

Reality

P.S. Please use other threads to post about other drinks (e.g. coffee).
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  #2  
Old 06-06-2011, 03:39 AM
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Ralph Ralph is offline
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Much as I like coffee, tea seems more thirst-quenching and is a classic beverage for the northern woods. My favorite is Lapsang Souchong, a smoked black tea though I also like Earl Grey, Constant Comment (orange-spice black tea) and various Celestial Seasonings herbal blends.

I carry a light stainless steel mesh tea ball for the loose black teas. The C-S blends come in bags so I just use those. One of the appeals for outdoor use is the ease of preparation, just pour boiling water over the bag or ball and let steep for 5 minutes. No fancy gear required.
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Old 06-06-2011, 08:07 AM
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AaronMB AaronMB is offline
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Although I 'need' my coffee in the morning, I often enjoy other hot beverages in the afternoon or evening, tea being a favorite.

My preference is the sweet and spicy-"ness" of Good Earth tea, but I also like Constant Comment and Earl Grey. For a change, I sometimes enjoy the mellowness of some Green and/or Rice teas, one of the latter being "Genmai-cha" by Yamamotoyama - it's quite different, but good.
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Old 06-06-2011, 10:04 AM
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big_load big_load is offline
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I often bring some iced tea mix (unflavored, unsweetened) that I can drink hot or cold. It doesn't have the rich flavor of loose tea, but I like the convenience. Sometimes I add it to electrolyte mix for a little extra kick at lunch. It also works wonders on less-than-ideal water.
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Old 06-06-2011, 11:56 AM
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Grannyhiker Grannyhiker is offline
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Tea is so much lighter than coffee! Plus I prefer my coffee with half milk, and all of the many forms of dried milk I've tried taste horrible when heated. I normally have a cold breakfast and just drink water so I don't have to fire up the stove in the mornings or wash anything but a spoon (saves time and fuss). If it's a layover day or an unusually cold and nasty morning, though, a cup of tea at breakfast tastes great.

I really like Stash and Tazo teas, my favorites being Stash Moroccan Mint, a blend of green tea and mint, (for mornings) and (for evenings) herbal Peppermint and Tazo's Wild Sweet Orange. Real tea is somewhat of a diuretic, which is why I drink herbal tea in the evening.

Even my Canadian friend, a confirmed tea drinker, uses tea bags when backpacking--they are so much more convenient! Taking along a few extra to offer guests in camp is a nice touch and doesn't even register on my scale!
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Old 06-06-2011, 12:22 PM
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Haclil Haclil is offline
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Since camomile is one of our wild herbs, I'll relate to Reality's query on that level.

The experts say that there are two basic ways of making tea. If it's dried leaves your brewing--well, we all know pretty much how to brew tea that way.

However, if you're brewing wild herbs, freshly picked, there's a special method. This is based on the presence of oils or other volatiles in fresh herbs. These will be to a large extent lost in the vapors if you boil the herbs or pour boiling water on them.

The trick is to heat water to the point where small bubbles begin to collect around the edges and just under the surface of the water. You then pour into a cup, add the herbs, and wait until the herbs have sunk. Then the tea is at it's richest and is ready to drink.
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Old 06-06-2011, 02:49 PM
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GGervin GGervin is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Reality
For those who drink tea (Camellia sinensis or otherwise herbal)...

You got me on that one. I had to look it up to see if Camellia sinensis was an herbal tea or black. At first, I thought the topic was limited to herbals.

So now that I know, I'll share I take both black teas and herbal teas on my trips. Like Ralph, I love Lapsang Souchong, but can seldom find it in teabags, so an Irish breakfast tea in the morning, and a decaf English breakfast tea at night.

I carry herbal teas for their effects. I carry Licorice tea as a decongestant (but not so good if you have blood pressure issues), and Chamomile. I've sometimes carried a fruit tea (peach, mango, or maybe blueberry) if I want a tea for dessert.

I've tried planning for loose teas, but haven't found anything convenient enough yet, so I stick with bagged tea in the wilderness. The bags do keep cleanup simple. I carry a little sugar and some Milkman dried milk to add in place of cream.
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Old 06-06-2011, 04:17 PM
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Reality Reality is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GGervin
At first, I thought the topic was limited to herbals.
Although it's been popular to classify (or consider) "herbal" tea as something other than regular tea (Camellia sinensis), both by definition are herbs (herbal).

That aside, one does have to ponder the way that I wrote it - it's somewhat of a mind-twister (especially when coupled with contemporary term usage).

I enjoy green tea. I'm going to do more experimenting by whipping up some fresh (yet mild) flavorings (peel, spice,...) to toss in. I'll likely use a slight nip of stevia leaf too.

I have more Lemon Balm than I'll ever need, perhaps a pinch of that will be nice. I also have some nettles out back. [Hmmm]

Lately I've been enjoying iced green tea. I'd love some of that in the wild.

Reality
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  #9  
Old 06-06-2011, 11:01 PM
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pianodirt pianodirt is offline
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I too love Lapsang Souchong, a smoked black tea. Smells and tastes like a campfire! Though not quite the same, Russian Caravan can sometimes be found in tea bags. The latter is a blend of teas and isn't quite as heavy on the smoke flavor.

Thanks, Haclil, for the detailed description of brewing fresh herbs.
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  #10  
Old 06-09-2011, 09:52 AM
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grampa grampa is offline
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I carry loose black tea leaves in a baggie, put some in the mug and add hot water. Used tea leaves contribute to the forest floor biomass. English breakfast types are great, Lapsang Souchong very nice indeed.

For "herbal" tea in the evening, I usually go with spruce or pine needles - seems appropriate to the setting!

I don't use teabags or tea balls because they are extra weight both before and after. Tea leaves sink to the bottom of the mug while brewing, and can be used for telling fortunes after:

"The leaves say you are soon to have sore feet and an aching back!"

Last edited by grampa : 06-09-2011 at 09:58 AM.
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