tea flask in backpack walking outside

Tea on the Move: 4 Tips for Traveling with Tea

Having your favorite tea(s) on hand allows you to indulge in the enjoyment and relaxation that tea can bring, even amidst your adventures. We'll show you some of the best ways to travel with tea by taking your teaware and tea on the move with you.

When it comes to traveling or even just going out to accomplish your daily tasks, it can be tiring and stressful at times. Having your favorite tea(s) on hand allows you to indulge in the enjoyment and relaxation that tea can bring, even amidst your adventures. With the proper tools, from on-the-go tumblers to single-serving paper tea bags, you can enjoy your daily tea ritual wherever your day takes you.

We offer a full range of travel mugs and tumblers so you can bring your favorite tea with you. Enjoy a refreshing iced tea after your workout or skip the coffee line at the office and bring in your favorite hot brew. We'll show you some of the best ways to travel with tea by taking your teaware and tea on the move with you.

On the move teaware

Have you ever noticed that a lot of motels/hotels don't carry tea? And many of the ones that do only offer bagged tea with limited flavor choices. Beyond that - many of the tools needed to make a cuppa aren't available to you. To brew a cup of tea, you'll need the following:

  • A way to heat up your water
  • A cup
  • A good tea
  • Filtration

Sure, you can use whatever tea is available to you (if any), a coffee filter, a coffee maker and the cups provided to you (again, if any), but there's no for sure way to know what options will be available to you wherever you end up. It's a great idea to make yourself a tea travel kit with some of the essentials you might need. Putting together a tea travel kit is super easy and customizable to your own self, ensuring you'll have a comfortable easy-going experience no matter where you are. Consider the following options when putting together your travel kit:

Tea Tumblers

Tea tumblers are a great way to prepare a hot or iced cup of tea that will stay at your preferred temperature for multiple hours. Tumblers that have an included tea infuser such as our 25oz Tea Flask and our 16oz Glass Tea Tumblers with included travel sleeve make it especially easy for you to add your loose-leaf tea into the infuser, pour in your hot water, close the lid and go!

tea flask in backpack walking outside

Loose Leaf Paper Tea Bags

Sometimes it's best to keep it simple with a classic: paper tea bags. If you have a good airtight container to store them, it can be especially convenient to prefill a few tea bags and have them ready to simply add to your cup with your hot water. There's a bunch of great ways to reuse your tea bags after steeping your tea, such as using it to start a fire, deep cleaning your hands, or even easing bug bites or blisters!

bird egg ceramic travel mug with Whistling Kettle tea bag

Travel Mugs

When you're on the move, a travel mug will become your best friend. Find a trusted travel cup, preferably one with a silicone or rubber lid, to keep your tea warm and safe. If you're lucky, some travel mugs such as our 12oz Porcelain Travel Cup will come with an included stainless-steel infuser.

holding birds egg travel mug outside

Electric Kettle

Many motels/hotels only offer one way to heat up water: with a coffee maker. Sure, you can heat water in the coffee maker.. but then that results in tea that tastes like coffee. Plus, teas like green and white teas have specific temperature requirements in order to enjoy a smooth cuppa without any bitterness. Electric Kettles can be great for people who travel a lot for work, students going away for college, or even to bring to the office or keep by your desk. Just be sure to get a good, padded travel case, and keep it on your carry on if you're flying to keep it safe!

hand using an electric kettle

Can you travel with tea?

Traveling with loose leaf tea is easy - but some ways are better than others to ensure a smooth experience. 

Tips for traveling with tea

1. Pack easy-to-steep teas

Unless you plan on bringing an Electric Kettle with temperature control or thermometer with you on your adventures, we'd recommend staying away from teas that require specific temperatures (such as green and white teas). Keep it simple with forgiving teas that can take boiling water like black, pu-erh, oolong, rooibos, or herbal teas so you don't have to worry about bitterness.

2. Use a travel tumbler

A good quality travel tea infuser tumbler is a must when you're taking tea on the move. Many are well-insulated, so you can steep your tea before you head out for the day and enjoy yourself knowing your tea will stay hot or cold for hours. Tea tumblers are great because they can eliminate all of the tools needed to make tea besides the water, making for easy brewing and storage. For example, you can store tea inside the tumbler when it's not being used by pre-scooping your tea into the attachable infuser basket. Then, when you're ready to make your tea, all you need to find is a source of hot water. Whether you're planning a camping trip or heading to the office for the day, the preparation can save you a lot of time and space.

3. Pre-fill your own tea bags/infuser

Pre-filling your tea bags or infuser before you head out for the day can save you time and equipment while you're out and about. This is a great option when you'll be out for a few hours and want to pack light for your adventures for the day. It makes it so you can omit a tea scoop, not carry excess tea, and avoid extra baggage. Lots of coffee shops like Starbucks or Dunkin Donuts will happily give you free hot water if you ask (though some may charge for the cup) - so you can steep your tea when you're ready for a much more affordable price. Of course, it's always a great idea to support your local tea/coffee shop if you can afford it!

4. Brew it "grandpa style"

Pure, whole leaf teas such as Jasmine Pearls, Ancient Forest Yunnan, and Darjeeling Oolong can be added to your cup or tumbler without an infuser or tea bag. This method of brewing is used by many, even at home for everyday use. Our glass tea tumblers are great for this method because they come with a dual style filter - allowing you to choose if you want to use the basket as an infuser and discard the leaves OR keep the leaves in the main chamber and use the screen only to filter the leaves as you drink. To enjoy this method, add fewer tea leaves than normal (about half a tsp per 8oz). As long as you're using high quality, pure tea leaves, then you should still have a great tasting cuppa without having to worry too much about bitterness - plus it gives your tea leaves room to expand, which will give you the most flavor.

Can I bring loose leaf tea on a plane?

Yes, according to the TSA, tea (dry tea bags or loose tea leaves) can be carried on your carryon bag or checked bag. As long as they are in sealed packaging, you shouldn't have any problems with dried food products such as tea. 

Whether you want to bring your favorite teas with you or you find a tea you need to bring home with you while you're on your adventures, there's some important things to keep in mind.

How much tea can I travel with?

You can bring up to 12oz (340 grams) of tea (per person) when flying. 

Do I have to declare tea at customs?

Yes, as with all agricultural products, you must declare the product at entry. According to the USDA, “Travelers are permitted to bring without restriction any quantity of products composed solely of tea leaves (Camellia sinensis: includes black tea, green tea, oolong, dark tea, white tea, yellow tea)”.

Herbal teas/herbal infusions should also be declared at entry, as they are typically permitted but are subject to inspection depending on the ingredients. For the best results, you should keep herbal teas commercially packaged if you plan on traveling internationally with them.

If you have plans to travel internationally, it's best to keep your tea choices simple to ensure there's no issues. 

How do you take your tea on the move?

Do you have a tea travel kit? What does it look like? Which tea(s) and teaware do you bring with you on your adventures? Let us know via Instagram and be sure to tag us for a chance to be featured on our Instagram!

Use code: moveoolong for 10% off our Tea on the Move collection valid until 8/31/23!