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Tea in the office

44 Replies
K S said

Someone already mentioned a Hot Shot. If you can find one it really does work well for just about everything. It does not quite boil the water but it is hot enough. Let it cool for a moment for white and greens – just experiment. Just check to make sure your mug will fit under it. Tall ones don’t work. Get a Finum basket to hold your leaf and you are good to go my friend. Congrats on the job! – Is it for all age youth or high school?

Lala said

That was me, I use a hot shot at work. I had to buy a small teapot to drain the water into and then pour into my cup because I didn’t realize most of my travel mugs would not fit under it. Works really well, but I agree, you have to experiment with water temperature to get it right for temp sensative teas.

K S said

I had to give up my 16oz mug. The only reason I replaced the Hot Shot with a kettle was it finally limed up to the point I gave up trying to clean it.

Artp said

KS- I’ll be working with middle school and high school. But I’m big on having family-centered programming, so I’ll be doing events for all ages

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School jobs are great! As far as I know, usually in schools people welcome various cultures and life styles.
One thing I have been wondering about is, do some people worry tea drinking will give their colleagues an impression of leisure and make people think they don’t work hard enough? Like, “how come you are having such a a good time here!?”
I ask this because I’ve heard that in a lot of offices in China, gongfu style tea drinking is sort of banned by the bosses, because it’s “too much of a leisure”. And I wonder if there are ways to make tea drinkers appear harder workers than others so that it will be easier to spread office tea culture.

K S said

I faced this prejudice. I prepared my tea at my work station – maybe 3-4 mugs a day. Meanwhile the coffee drinkers took their mugs to the break room to fill up. Of course they always had to stop and talk to someone while out and about. So who was really enjoying “too much leisure”?

That’s very true! I feel exactly the same way. But I’m afraid that coffee gives people an impression of “on the go” and fast-pace, while tea is the opposite.

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Where I volunteer they have a hot water kettle. And I bring my own tea and travel mug. :)

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Well I work in an office called (unofficially so far) “The Tea Room”, so it’s pretty much the perfect office environment. It’s so relaxed and everyone’s so open minded.

We have a dedicated tea area and a wide selection of tea bags. But that’s the problem – we only have bags and a kettle.
Luckily for me, I work in the kind of office where the steepster way of life can be introduced to open arms, so I’m gonna work on bringing in loose leaf teas and various tea-making equipment.

Anyway, I guess my advice is to gradually build a home for your tea-making. If your colleagues/bosses are strict about what you bring to work, do what the others in this thread have said and get a mini kettle to store in your desk. But maybe people will welcome a tea station, and maybe you can build a bond with your colleagues that way.

Obviously, don’t be too intrusive into the culture of your new job, but as you start to get familiar with everyone, let them know you’re a big tea drinker too.
Good luck :D

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Fiddling said

I do the bulk of my tea drinking in my office, as I spend very little time at home (yay, grad school!). My favorite teas and equipment are kept at my desk including my variable temperature kettle, gravity steeper, and mug. Until recently, my tea all fit into one desk drawer, but it’s now taken over a second drawer. (Yet I still think I need more tea!) I also keep a somewhat small collection of tea bags in my office for the times when I’m in a rush or don’t feel like bothering with loose leaf.

Luckily, I have sink in the office that has pretty drinkable water which can also be used to rinse out the gravity steeper after I’ve scraped out most of the leaves into the trash. If I didn’t have sink access, I probably would stick to bagged tea in the office.

Dinosara said

Haha this has been exactly my situation for the last few years (including the grad school and the sink). If only we were in grad school at the same place, we could have tea time!

Fiddling said

Grad students, unite! I have a feeling I would never get work done if I had friends in the office to share tea with, but it sure would be fun. :)

Artp said

Do you find the gravity steeper annoying to clean? I have teavana’s and it’s a pain

Fiddling said

I enjoy watching my tea steep, which is why mostly why I use a gravity steeper. It’s also more convenient if I want to share tea with a friend or transfer the tea to a travel tumbler or water bottle (to pop in the fridge for iced tea). I have Adagio’s IngenuiTEA, which is sometimes annoying. I usually just rinse it out thoroughly after each use and wash it with soap every few days/week. My main gripe is that it stains and starts to look grimy over time, but with some elbow grease you can eventually clean it up.

I also have a mug with a built-in stainless steel infuser which is easier to clean. While the infuser is pretty roomy and fine enough for small stuff like rooibos, it can get a bit too cramped for oolongs. I may go back to this method someday, but for now I still prefer the gravity steeper.

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Ysaurella said

I use a small teapot (2 mugs capacity) including an infuser and I refill small tins with loose leaf.
We have a kettle in the kitchen at work.
It takes only 2 minutes to prepare tea as I come back in my office during the steeping time.
Then it take 5 minutes to clean everything before leaving the evening.
So I really don’t care what the coffee drinkers can think, it takes them more than 10 mn to take their coffee at the machine, go out to smoke their cigarette with their coffee and discuss.
Saying this, the productivity of a person doesn’t depend on the time spent at work but to the work really done during work :)
I won’t let my tea down during working hours :)

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Kaylee said

I stick to teabags at work. I have a pretty little green tea chest (http://www.wteashop.com/Wissotzky-Tea-Mini-Green-Tea-Chest-4-Assorted-Flavours-32-Tea-Bags_p_110.html) that I keep stocked with a nice variety of tea. We have a water “cooler” that has a hot water spout. I bought a Kati mug (http://www.teaforte.com/store/tea-accessories/cups/kati-tea-brewing-system/) so I could steep loose leaf in the office, but it’s so darn handy that I prefer to use it at home.

Plenty of people in my office keep tea in their desk drawers. However, it’s always the mainstream stuff – Bigelow, Celestial Seasonings, Lipton, etc. I’m already the crazy tea lady because my enthusiasm sometimes overflows, so it’s probably a good thing that I don’t keep loose leaf around. That said, no one has in any way suggested that drinking tea makes me a less productive worker. I agree with Ysaurella that it’s ultimately about output. Still, especially when you’re new, I suggest feeling out the office culture first.

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