Giving gifts can be wonderful for both the recipient and the giver. Think about some of the cherished gifts you have received . . . isn’t it delightful how a thoughtful gift brings to mind the one who gave it? On the other hand, when you think of silly – or thoughtless – gifts you have received, you shake your head in wonder, “What was she/he thinking?”
I think this handy guide – complete with links – will help you to find the perfect gifts for the tea drinkers on your list.
My advice is to stay away from blended teas unless you know your recipient drinks nothing but Earl Grey. Purchase 50 or 100 grams from one of the vendors linked below; you’re sure to receive fresh, high-quality, delicious tea.
Nobody does it better than Lochan Tea. There are several blacks to choose from, and all are good. Doke Black Fusion, Jungpana, Margaret’s Hope, Giddapahar . . . the lover of black tea on your list is going to love you, too.
Again, Lochan is your best bet. There are several chais to choose from. Caffeine-free, delicious, and worthy of several steeps, Calming Chai and Dream Chai are beautiful to look at as well as lovely to drink. Although Lochan is located in Siliguri, India, you will find that shipping charges are competitive with stateside vendors and your tea will arrive within a week.
Look no further than Tealet for a plethora of choices in green teas, from Genmaicha to Lishan Spring to Sencha of the Earth. Attractive t-shirts, and gift sets, too. There is a 30% off sale going right now!
MATCHA: Food grade? Latte grade? Delicious-in-your cup . . . you can find it here at The Tea Guy.
The best oolongs I have ever tasted – from the high mountain fisted types to the toasty roasty long leaves . . . come from Eco-Cha. The tea is beautifully – and environmentally – packaged. Grown on the rainy slopes of Taiwan, Eco-Cha is our first choice for oolong of every variety.
If there is a puer drinker on your list – or if you just know someone who is willing to try something new – there is a wealth of information and choice at Seven Cups. If you haven’t learned to love puer, Seven Cups is a good place to start. The website is both an educational and esthetic experience.
Delicate and sensitive, white tea is very much like the people who love it. Refreshing – but not very forgiving of procedure – white tea is rare and special. The standard bearer is Silver Tip, and PMD Teas offers this tea grown near Adams peak.
Almost every website listed above offers some blended and herbal teas (tisanes) to add to your order for the tea drinkers on your list who prefer those brews.
If you’re looking for a tea flask to carry in your pack, purse, or briefcase, look no further than Camellia Sinensis. These brewing systems are quick and portable . . . just add hot water and tea. Many of the flasks are insulated to keep your delicious elixir at the optimum temperature.
If you’re looking for cups, gaiwans, glass teapots or yixing clay pots . . . you will find them at Seven Cups! There are scores of beautiful items to choose from; some teaware is even on sale at steep discounts.
If you’re looking for a book of inspiration, here are two dandy choices: Dharlene Marie Fahl’s Sereni-Tea: Seven Sips to Bliss, and Life by the Cup: Ingredients for a Purpose-Filled life of Bottomless Happiness and Limitless Success, by Zhena Muzyka.
Got a tea pal into gong fu cha? This glass teapot from West China Tea Company is offered at an incredible price and is a beautiful way to share the spirit of tea.
While we at T Ching are a bit suspicious of diluting the pure tea experience with biscuits, crumpets, cookies and their ilk, holidays are a time of festive feasting. Even the purists among us are tempted by the delicious recipes of Robert Wemischner. This cranberry scone recipe will be a hit at any holiday celebration.
Holidays are a time of stress for many. Shopping is stressful. Travel makes us weary. Eating more and differently than we do for the rest of the year takes its toll. Listen to your body. The best gift you can give yourself is a cup of freshly brewed whole leaf tea, sipped while you relax in your favorite chair. Making and serving tea to the people we love is an incredible gift of time, respect, and service. Keep that in mind!
Happy Holidays to you and yours from all of us at T Ching.