Thursday, April 14, 2016

Toyomi Travel Cooker For Tea Brewing

Readers would know that I normally bring a bit of tea with me when I travel.  I would pack some pu erh, oolong as well as a few pu erh teabags in my luggage when I go overseas.  Yes, I even packed extra tea when I go visit the tea markets in Guangzhou.  I could share some of my tea (from my Hong Kong or Malaysian trips) with my tea drinking groups there and gather their thoughts on a particular tea or on the storage of the tea.  Not a very serious session, but done in great fun.  Most of the times when I am overseas and having tea with the various tea drinking groups, I had noticed a 'loyalty to their country tea' stance in these discussions.   Let me explain, my friends would think that tea stored in their country is best.  My Malaysian friends would say their storage of tea in Malaysia is best as the climate there is hot and humid 365 days a year and good for tea.  My Hong Kong tea buddies would argue their country is best as their short 2 months of cooler winter allow the tea to rest before the cycle of tea aging starts again in Spring.  What do you think?  I believe pu erh tea will age in any home anywhere but the aging process will be faster or slower depending on the climate where the tea is stored.  Taste and aroma will be different for a similar cake if stored in different countries and to me, that is an adventure for me; to try these tea, to make new friends and drink even more tea.  

I had made a couple of trips to North America recently and I noticed brewing Chinese tea in Canadian and American hotels can be a challenge.  I would like to qualify that I only stayed in the touristy hotels from Best Western, Hilton, Hyatt, Travelodge to Super 8s and while these hotel rooms are great…..super comfy and great location,  I can, however, only get hot water for my Chinese tea, from the coffee dispenser machine in the room.  Most of the hotel rooms I had stayed do not have a kettle but instead have a nice fancy coffee machine in the room.  You would have guessed that the hot water dispensed from such machines had a coffee aroma scent in the water.  

This Toyomi travel cooker may be a solution for my Chinese tea brewing when I am overseas.  I had contemplated bringing a travel kettle but I settled for this cooker as I could not only get boiling water for my tea, I can heat up canned soups or even cook up some instant noodles as a late supper.  Notice the cooker is packed within the pot.  The handle of the pot can be 'swung' for better portability.  The dual voltage switch is useful especially in America.  

I will be using this travel cooker when I take a short vacation in June visiting Amsterdam and Germany (Cologne, Frankfurt and Munich).  If you want to have a tea session with me, let me know and I will pack more tea for our meet up.  


Cwyn said...

Looks like it will need an adapter plug for use in the US.

I think people become accustomed to certain flavors, such as humidity flavors and do not notice them. I have had friends from humid countries send me their dry stored tea, but it still has humidity flavor from my perspective in a drier climate. Here if we have some crackers that get a humid taste on a summer day, we would not eat them, it is an offensive taste. I like humid puerh, but I taste even the smallest amount that friends elsewhere do not notice.

wilson said...

Cwyn, thanks for visiting and giving a very astute comment on storage of tea. Yes, pu erh tea stored in Kunming will be 'drier' than tea stored in Singapore/Malaysia, and in turn the Malaysian stored tea may be 'drier' than tea stored in Hong Kong/ Guangzhou. This 'humidity flavor' as you have pointed out is interesting and a few tea collectors in your part of the world try to add humidity to their tea by building tea pumidors or tea cupboards to store their tea. Comparing tea to crackers is interesting but I would suggest comparing tea to dried foodstuffs like beans, grains or dried herbs and spices which would be a fairer comparison. I remember watching a Japanese documentary on fermented food and a professor said that people in various countries sometimes ferment certain food for preservation and will control the degree of 'rot' that is acceptable for consumption.