My son's last day of school is on Wednesday. I'm not sure where the time has gone, but I'm not quite ready to give up my peaceful afternoons sans-child for a summer of playdates, sports, and travel. Yet the fact remains that I'll be leaving for our first summer road trip on Sunday—my yearly journey through Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, and Arkansas—where I don't have to cook a thing and can catch up with my friends and family after not seeing them all year.
In preparation for my trip I've been trying to answer the age-old question: what's the best way to take tea with me when I travel? I prefer loose leaf tea, but it can be a challenge to take on the road and I hate resorting to teabags, which can be messy. Then there is the fact that I rarely have access to hot water, so any tea I make needs to be cold-brewed over night. The good news is that I do at least have access to good-quality water. I never leave home without a case in my trunk, a lesson learned the hard way when my car broke down during a heatwave (you don't ever want to be stuck on the side of the road with temperatures above 100ºF without anything to drink—lesson learned.)
To cut down on the amount of tea paraphernalia have to take with me I've been looking at ways to cold brew my tea inside a water bottle. It's a little wasteful, but it cuts down on the mess, gives me an easy way to dispose of my tea leaves, and the bottles can be reused if necessary. This has been my method of choice for the past few years and the discovery of the Steep & Go from the Tea Spot, a little plastic steeper that fits on top of a water bottle, only cemented my love of this method. So far it's been the most convenient way for me to make tea when I travel, but I'm still struggling with how to make taking matcha with me just as easy.
I know that I'm not the only one struggling with this problem and manufacturers have begun to take notice as well—there are quite a few who are offering single serve packets of matcha. At first glance these seem like a match made in heaven for anyone who travels, commutes, or wants to take matcha with them during the day so I decided it was time I finally gave a few different brands a try to see if these would solve my matcha woes. Up first: entireTea, a ceremonial-grade matcha sweetened with monk fruit.
For those of you who aren't familiar with monk fruit, don't worry, I wasn't either—it seems to be a fairly new zero-calorie fruit-based sweetener (you can read more about it here.) Not being familiar with it I was taken back by just how sweet it is and the fact that it has an aftertaste somewhat reminiscent of artificial sweeteners. You can tell immediately this drink wasn't sweetened with cane sugar and it's so sweet you can barely taste the matcha. Now depending on your tastes that could be considered a good or bad thing. If you're having difficulty adjusting to the taste of matcha this might be a good alternative to try. However, if you're a matcha purist or want a drink that is only slightly sweet, this isn't the product for you.
Would I order this again? No. I do love the convenience of these packets, but I've discovered I don't care for monk fruit as a sweetener.
Suggested Brewing Tips
Serving Size: 1 packet per 16oz water
Water Temp: Cold