With the holiday shopping season already underway, you may be narrowing down your list of gift ideas, searching for just the right present that sits at the intersection of thoughtfulness and usefulness. Fortunately, if the recipient is a tea drinker, there are endless options that are at once beautiful and functional.
We collected a handful of gift ideas for every type of tea drinker. There are a number of great options in every category. Pick the ones that best fit your budget and gift recipient’s taste!
Gifts for the Tea Novice
For beginners, delving into tea culture can be a bit overwhelming. From choosing high-quality loose leaf teas to perfecting steeping times and temperatures, there’s a bit of work involved in creating a satisfying cuppa. These three gifts can make it simpler:
A Tea Guide
There are several great books out there that break down everything a novice needs to know about tea in a simple, short format. Look for something that explains technical information — everything from tea chemistry, history and culture to leaf selection, brewing and tea accessories — in a simple and relatable way. It’s the perfect introduction to the world of tea.
Every tea lover needs this essential piece of equipment, but you can make it easier on a beginner by selecting a pot with a built-in strainer that gives leaves plenty of room to breathe and makes stringing a breeze. We recommend a glass teapot that lets the brewer admire the color of their infusion as the leaves steep.
Temperature-controlled tea kettle
If the novice tea maker in your life is worried about achieving the right water temperature, a temperature-controlled kettle is a great alternative to a stovetop teapot. These electric kettles let you choose your desired temp with a push of a button, and can hold that temp for anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour. That means you can enjoy a second or third cup of tea without having to re-boil water.
Gifts for the Tea Connoisseur
It can be tough to choose a gift for any enthusiast, who will certainly be particular about the products they use. The trick is finding unique, high quality items that your tea lover doesn’t already have. Because the tea connoisseur probably has an appreciation for tea histories around the world, we recommend choosing gifts with cultural significance, like these:
Gongfu Tea Gift Set
The Gongfu brewing style, a traditional Chinese method, uses a porcelain pot called a gaiwan to brew tea. A gaiwan is a lidded bowl with no handle that often comes with a small saucer and plate, which are used to help lift the pot without burning your fingers. The lid acts as the tea strainer. Because the leaves are allowed to float freely in the pot, they often infuse more thoroughly and produce a tastier brew — but adjusting the lid and pouring out your tea without letting any leaves slip through takes a bit of practice. The tea enthusiast will appreciate the challenge. A gongfu tea set should include the gaiwan and several small ceramic tea mugs, since drinking tea is a custom meant to be shared with friends.
Bamboo Serving Tray
Bamboo trays are traditionally used in Chinese tea ceremonies to serve tea to guests. Made with a series of slats, they allow spilled water to drain through, and include a hidden drawer underneath to catch it. A serving tray rounds out any tea set and is perfect for those who like to host the occasional tea party.
Matcha Gift Set
Preparing a good bowl of matcha green tea takes a degree of skill and patience. The green tea powder must be sifted and then whisked vigorously with hot water. A good quality bamboo matcha whisk ensures the powder is fully incorporated, and a ceramic bowl is better for holding heat. The avid tea drinker needs both to make their own matcha at home.
Gifts for the Iced Tea Lover
Cold Brew Tea Pot
Iced tea devotees know that cold brewing extracts better flavor and retains more of the leaves’ antioxidant capacity compared to brewing with hot water and then re-cooling. This is especially true for more delicate herbal teas like lavender or chamomile. Though the process takes more time, it is definitely worth the wait.
Gifts for the Traveling Tea Drinker
The person who’s always on the go needs a travel mug designed with tea in mind. With a stainless steel mesh filter built into the lid, a tea tumbler brews your beverage while you’re warming up the car, running for the bus, or simply strolling the streets, and retains heat for hours. Truly, tea time can be any time.
What Is The Best Gift For Tea Lovers?
The perfect gift for any tea lover is, of course, tea! While a sampler of different teas or gift box of their favorite tea is sure to please, there is an alternative that not only delivers great taste and all the health benefits that we seek from tea, but also stores and travels well — an important factor to consider if you won’t be delivering your gift in person this year.
We’re talking about tea crystals. Normally, dried tea leaves lose some of these properties with processing, exposure to non-ideal environmental conditions, and time. Cold-brew crystallization, as the process is called, preserves these characteristics.
Tea crystals begin with high quality tea leaves, which are then cold brewed over eight hours to fully extract the polyphenols that give tea its unique color, aroma, taste and health benefits. The tea liquor is then pressurized to remove excess water, resulting in a dried, crystallized version of brewed tea that retains all of the original leaf’s phytochemical and will easily dissolve in either hot or cold water — no brewing required.
Stored in vacuum-sealed, single-serve packets, they are also safe from mold growth that ruin tea bags and loose leaf tea can develop over time.
Simply put, crystals deliver what tea lovers are looking for — taste and healthy antioxidants from high-quality leaves — with the added bonus of convenience and versatility.
Whichever type of tea lover you have in your life, this guide hopefully helped you solve your holiday gift-giving conundrum. Happy shopping!