Tag: Bike Commute

Gear Guide! How To Make Loose Leaf Tea On The Go!

I’m not a big coffee drinker. Yeah, yeah. Coffee goes with camping I know, but I’ve never really enjoyed it. Sometimes it works for me, but most of the time I skip it. I do however enjoy a nice cup of tea. Even better if there’s some honey in it. If’n you’re a fan of tea though, you have probably graduated to loose leaf teas. None of that paper bag Lipton shit, or even the Tazo teas. I want my green tea leaves to open up and bloom damnit!

Here’s the problem though. When you’re camping or on the road, loose leaf tea is not the most convenient. Coffee might be easier to make on the trail. Although, I’ve camped with some guys that make an art of their cowboy coffee too. Up until now I’ve been slummin’ it with the tea while camping. I’ve been using the tea bags because they are easy to pack and easy to clean up. I don’t have to worry about crushing an infuser or where to carry the tea.

That has all changed. I’ve found a game changer for mobile tea. It’s called the Tovolo TeaGo. One piece of gear that can handle all of the issues of making some loose leaf tea on the go. I don’t get anything for this. I’m just passin’ it along.

Here’s how it works. It’s made up of 2 pieces. The outer piece is a tube with a metal infuser at one end. This holds your tea when it’s in your cup. It has a plastic cover for the infuser for when you’re traveling. The inner piece is an airtight container to store your loose leaf tea. It holds about 3 cups worth. If you reuse your tea a few times you could easily get 10 cups out the container.

When you are ready to make your tea, you remove the inner piece and the bottom cover. Unscrew the cap and pour in the desired amount to tea to the outer piece. Then you reinsert the inner piece. This acts like a plunger and keeps the tea down towards the bottom. Then you set the entire piece in your mug, clipping on the tab to your mug to keep it in place. Steep for the desired time and you are good to go! When you are done, just replace the bottom cover and throw it back in your bag or backpack. Pretty simple and very clean.

I’ve used this quite a few times now and I have to say that I’m pretty happy with it. It does make enjoying a good cup of tea while outside much easier. One thing I noticed is that a tea that “blooms” might be a little constricted in the infuser due to it’s size. I think you could put less and steep longer to avoid that issue. I’ve been using a chai tea which does not “bloom” and I’ve had no issues with it.

I hope this is useful info to someone out there. If you’ve got some other ideas on how to carry your tea please leave a comment. In the meantime, get out there and drink some #teaoutside!


Box Dog Bikes Pelican

Well it’s finally here and assembled. The Box Dog Bikes Pelican! This frame replaced the Kogswell as my go to road bike. It’s also a 650b frame so most of the parts moved over. I did have to build up a new rear wheel due to spacing, but other than that it was just a frame swap.

I’ve got about 200 miles logged on it already and I’m pretty happy with it. This weekend I’ll ride up Mt. Wilson and then next weekend I’ll ride 160 miles for MS. Did you donate yet?



Playing With TopoFusion

Last week I experimented with TopoFusion, which is a GPS Mapping Program. It pics up where the available Garmin software leaves off. One of the best things about it is the ability to use a wide assortment of maps that are hosted on a server. This means that you don’t have to pay for the expensive Garmin maps. TopoFusion is only a pc program, which is a bummer. I’m a Mac guy, but I’ve got a netbook so I’ve been playing with the demo for a few days. I’ve since hooked it up to real monitor and have been trying to learn it. So far so good.

One of the coolest features is the ability to playback multiple .GPX files at the same time. I’m still learning how to capture it properly, but here’s test video. This is my commute from three different days. It’s interesting to see how much faster one day is than the other. You can also see how much time is lost at traffic lights. This looks best in HD, so if you have the time, let it load.