Mmmmmm, tea. You know I love it. Maybe too much. I can’t start my day without it (well, I can, but then I’m grouchy all day), and I’m sipping on herbals into the night. I seek out tea experiences while traveling – whether that’s visiting the Mariage Freres boutique in Paris or sipping a traditional afternoon tea in London. And I love anything that helps me celebrate my
addiction hobby. If you have a friend or relative who is similarly obsessed with tea, here are some delicious gift ideas, all things that I have and enjoy:
Travette Tea Pot. This is my number one recommendation, because no product has changed my tea-drinking life the way this little guy has. When I first got into drinking loose leaf tea, I looked long and hard for a way to perfectly brew a cup. M, my colleague who introduced me to the joys of drinking loose tea, brewed hers in a drip coffeemaker (which she only used for tea) and that worked for her. But I wanted something smaller and more portable. I tried tea balls, a teastick, and special mugs with tea infusers that fit into them – some were better than others, but none were perfect for me. They either allowed too many leaves to escape, or they dripped all over my desk, or both. Then I found the Travette Tea Pot at Teaism. And the clouds parted, and I saw clearly for the first time. The Travette has a fine mesh basket that fits into the pot and allows nothing – I mean nothing – to escape. It makes enough for two mugs, and if you pour the first mug out the basket is suspended above the water line, preventing over-steeping. And the double-walled construction means the pot keeps the second cup piping hot while remaining cool to the touch from the outside. This would be a perfect gift for someone who is looking to get into drinking loose tea but is nervous about brewing it – the Travette makes brewing the perfect cup of tea absolutely foolproof. I have two – one at home and one at work – and I can’t remember life without them.
French Tea: Mariage Freres – Three Centuries of Savoir-Faire. Mariage Freres is the ultimate tea purveyor. I’d say “in my opinion” but I don’t think there can be any debate. Mariage Freres is just the best. This gorgeous book tells the story of the company, from its founding to present day, and includes some stunning photographs. I keep my copy on the coffee table in my reading nook and flip through it whenever I want a little eye candy or relaxation. Sipping a cup of Mariage Freres tea while reading isn’t required, but it sure does help.
Mariage Freres Tea. Mmmmmmmmm. Since we’re already discussing Mariage Freres, let’s talk about how much any tea drinker would love a tin of this stuff in their stocking. The answer: they’ll love it a LOT. Plus, it would give you the opportunity to go to Paris to choose the perfect tea from among the hundreds of blends in the flagship store on Rue de Bourg-Tibourg. (What’s that you say? You weren’t planning to fly to Paris to get your holiday shopping done? And you don’t want to pay through the nose to have tea shipped from France? Well, Dean & Deluca also stocks many of the most popular Mariage Freres blends, and I guarantee you’ll find a blend your tea-lover will consider delicieux.)
Upcycled Tea Spoon. I have this “Peace Love Tea” spoon from SycamoreHill on Etsy and I use it every ding dong day to scoop my loose tea into my Travette Tea Pot – it scoops the perfect amount for one cuppa. It’s a fun, unique gift and probably something the recipient would never think to buy for him- or herself.
Handmade Teacup. I love the sky blue handmade mugs that my mother-in-law gave to me (a Christmas gift one year) – in fact, I’m drinking my breakfast cuppa out of one of them as I write this post. A beautiful mug or teacup can truly elevate the tea experience, and it’s an extra special bonus if the cup in question was a gift from a loved one. You could search Etsy or craft fairs for the perfect ceramic mug (the mugs my mother-in-law chose happen to be one of my favorite colors, and the organic shape lifts my spirits every time I look at them – I know that she was truly thinking about me when she chose them), or you could pick up a pretty vintage teacup (maybe one with a saucer!) at your local antiques shop. There are as many unique mugs out there as there are tea drinkers, and if you go this route, the recipient will think of you with a smile every time he or she takes a sip.
As cool as it would be if I was paid to write for a living, I’m not. This post wasn’t perked or paid for by any of the manufacturers mentioned, and everything I recommended I actually own, use, like, and paid for with my own money or was gifted by a thoughtful friend or family member. If I decide to run off and join a hippie commune… just a dream I had… I’d totally take this stuff with me but none of the sellers would ever know the difference.
Tea lovers – what gift would you love to get to celebrate or further enable your habit?