Need to get Christmas, Chanukah or winter solstice gifts? If the recipient is a tea lover, then half the battle is won. If you forgot to send them a birthday gift, then an extra-special tea gift will get you back into their good graces. Drinking tea is more than just buying a bunch of loose or boxed tea, so gift ideas abound.
Avoid getting a clever tea mug or teapot. Chances are the tea lover will already have mugs and teapots galore. But they may not have a tea cosy, which keeps the pot warm in between cupfuls. They may not have a spoon rest for their drippy spoons or a small dish to place used tea bags.
A good kettle is always appreciated, whether they are electric or stovetop varieties. There are small kettles available for people who love to camp and love a cuppa. These kettles can usually fit over a small gas canister stove. Keep in mind that you may have to buy the stove as well as the kettle. If you know that your camping tea drinker uses a fire pit, then you need to get a solid metal kettle that can withstand repeated scorching temperatures.
Many tea lovers love to read while savouring a brew. There are many books about tea available. Some showcase the history of the tea trade, others cooking with tea and others center on collecting teacup or tea pots. Still others combine spirituality with the making and drinking of tea.
One highly recommended book that combines all of the above and is still in print is “Tea Bliss: Infuse Your Life with Health, Wisdom and Contentment” (Conari Press; 2007) by Theresa Cheung. Not only is it beautifully illustrated and filled with stress management tips, but also explains the different types of teas and how to prepare them.
Herbs and Spices
There are many more things your tea lover can add to a cuppa rather than lemon, cream, sugar or artificial sweetener. What makes some brands of pre-packaged teas so good? It’s because they add herbs and spices to their teas. The tea lover can experiment with these herbs and spices to pep up a regular cuppa or perk up a blah herbal tea. Chai, after all, is regular tea with spices added such as star anise, ginger, cloves and nutmeg.
Technically, an herbal tea is really an herbal infusion, but it’s often called tea, even if it doesn’t have a bit of actual tea leaves in it. Some easy to grow pot herbs like mint, nettle or yarrow make a refreshing and healthy alternative to black tea. If your tea drinker has a green thumb, then a packet of herb seeds or a small potted herb can combine the person’s two interests.