|my old tea traveller gear...remember Nokia?|
So, I was sent down a road of nostalgia when I read a recent blogpost by LattéTeaDah called Three Good Reasons to BYOTea, but it's likely not for the reason you might think.
If you're going to be known for something, travelling with my tea is as good a thing as any. It's resourceful, it's practical, and best of all it includes a flask of steaming tea. So when Xavier referred to me in the comments of the above-mentioned post as someone who's 'always ready' with his tea, I was undoubtedly honoured.
However, the actual reason I got nostalgic is that in my earlier life as a musician I was once on a tour that went through both St Louis and Kansas City. I'd spent quite a bit of time in the former, but I was thrilled to finally see a part of the country where my dad had spent some of his formative years. Tea was the last thing on my mind on that tour, but now I'm really curious what one might find in the way of shops selling loose-leaf tea.
Would I trust that I could show up and find something, though? Not on your life. Kansas City is great for barbeque. For tea? Not so much.
So that's where the travelling with my tea comes in. Years ago, I wrote a piece for Leafboxtea (thefolk who bring you Tea Trade these days) called Tips for traveling with Tea. Check it out. You might like some of the ideas.
Which reminds me...I really should revisit the topic. How has my tea gear changed? I do have a bit of sad news to report. Several months ago, I had to retire the trusty orange flask (pictured above) that'd seen me on so many journeys. It was leaking like a sieve, and once that starts happening...well, a flask that actually holds liquid is sort of the whole point, right?
I considered some sort of ceremony. Then I thought, 'You really are a daffy one, aren't you Lahikmajoe? A send off for your trusty orange flask?' I refrained from any such nonsense. It was a constant companion for quite a number of years. Like any respectable train traveller, I'd purchased sandwich boxes and canvas bags in the identical colour.
Now? I have a nice selection of orange accessories that went with the retired flask, and a beautiful, brand new, stainless steel one. As beautiful and practical as the new flask is, it's horribly mismatched. Oh well. I'm not ready to jettison the orange accessories yet. Please...not just yet.