We think of tea as very calming and soothing – and it is. But it can also be refreshing, reviving, invigorating, or healing. Teas have been used for centuries to treat illness and as a favorite beverage, and they continue to be valued in cultures all over the world. Every part of drinking tea, from breathing in the steam and aroma to holding the hot cup in our hands, creates contentment. If you have a tea lover on your list, find the perfect gift that will bring as much satisfaction as a perfectly brewed cup of tea. You could go with a tea gift basket, or here are some unique ideas to get you started.
Flowering tea. Some tea purists do not like flowering tea because the quality of the tea may be affected. This difference may not even be noticeable for the majority of people, and if it is, the beauty of the bloom ought to be enough to change their mind. This gift is not only about the taste of tea, but of the entire experience. It invites you to linger and enjoy. Flowering tea is a bundle of dried leaves and flowers, and when you steep it, it begins to unfold. Finally, it “blooms” into a flower-like shape. These come with glass tea pots, and the same bundle can be used two or three times.
Stain tea cup. Tea can stain china, and your teeth, over time. But with stain cups, age is beauty. Artist Bethan Laura Wood created the ingenious, beautiful stain tea cup. The interior of the cup is treated so that it stains. It sounds like an odd thing to want your cup to do, doesn’t it? But it is treated so it stains in predetermined areas. The more you use the cup, the more the hidden pattern is revealed. According to Wood, “they will build up an individual pattern dependent on the user’s personal way of drinking tea.” These cups are hand treated and made of high quality bone china. It takes some doing to buy one of these fun cups: contact Bethan Laura Wood via her website to order. One cup costs about £35, or about $56.
Adagio Teas Ingenuitea Teapot. A bit easier to find, and more than a bit less expensive, is this innovative teapot. This compact little teapot helps you make perfect tea from loose tea leaves. You steep the tea leaves in hot water in the cup-like Ingenuitea and when it is ready, you put the unit on top of your cup. This releases a valve on the bottom, and tea flows down into your cup. The mesh filter keeps the leaves in the top, and you get wonderful hot tea in your cup. The Ingenuitea is made from food-grade, BPA-free polycarbonate. Even better, it is less than $20 and easily available through sites like Amazon.
Teastick. The Teastick is an infuser, but it is quite likely that the tea lover in your life doesn’t have one. You simply scoop loose tea into the infuser and put it into a cup of water. That’s it! The ingenious little gadget makes tea-making fast and easy. Another benefit is that with loose tea, you can create your own blends and flavors. The original version, made by Gamilla, is made of stainless steel and sells for about $20. There is an updated version, the Teastick Gem, that is made with an Eastman Tritan casing and stainless steel mesh for about $12. The Gem comes in different colors and is a chic addition to any cup of tea.
A similar product, the Bombilla Tea Straw, is also made to be used with loose teas. You can simply put the tea leaves in a cup, add water, and steep. When it’s ready, you just sip through the straw, which has a filter to keep the tea leaves out of your mouth. This is under $7, and both this and the Teastick make excellent gifts for those who want to enjoy their tea at the office or on the go.
Gourmet honey. Honey not only makes a sweet addition to many teas, it is great on homemade bread and in a variety of desserts. When you choose native honey, it also has incredible benefits for your health, particularly your immune system. Gourmet honey is raw and unfiltered, and thus the healthiest type of honey. If you can’t get local honey, try brands like Grampa’ Gourmet. Their variety pack is excellent because the honey bees produce different honeys based on the type of flowers they visit.
Tea itself makes a wonderful gift, but next time you’re searching for just the right gift for the tea lover in your life, consider one of the unique choices above.