Wildfire. Tornado. Hurricane. Earthquake. Imagine having five minutes to pack up what you value – as well as what you might need – as you prepare to be a refugee. Everyone grabs the photo albums and the poodle. Those items go with you without thought. What else would be essential? Medicine? Comb? Blanket? You’ve just five minutes, and you need to be able to carry the stuff without assistance. This is the worst-case evacuation scenario, played out often enough that if you live in an area prone to one or more of these disasters, it makes sense to have a bag packed and at the ready. It takes just a second to grab the photos and Fido.

If you are a hiker or enjoy the wilderness, sooner or later you will develop your own “ten essentials” for travel. Most everyone agrees on extra food, clothing and water; pocketknife; fire start . . . you get the picture. The idea behind having the ten essentials in your pack is that you could survive a night out in the elements if necessary. While some hikers travel with just a water bottle and an energy bar – an ankle sprained a mile from your car can be a serious calamity.

For the tea drinker . . . what are the ten essentials? I would have to say the first three are sencha, my cute little matcha kit, and King of the Pearl. Never leave home without them! After those, what else should the tea drinker have in her/his portable kit of ten essentials? I am looking forward to your lists! (And I expect that your essential teas will vary!)

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