Monday, November 26, 2007

Tea Gifts, and a Christmas Tea Package Drawing

I always buy tea for my Grandmother and one of my aunts (the one who lives closest and who we see the most). I generally get my mom some tea as well, and she returns the favor. Last year I got Harney & Son’s Christmas blend in my stocking, and enjoyed it very much. Gifts last year from me were Adagio – Gingerbread and Chestnut flavored blacks.

This year, I’m giving Harney & Son’s “Tag-a-Long” tins. They contain 5 sachets each, and I’m giving Hot Cinnamon Sunset and Cranberry Autumn. I’m also giving out Comfort and Joy Traveler’s Tins from the Republic of Tea. I think they’ll be well liked and of course, easy, since they are bagged teas that require no special implements (like teapots, strainers, etc.). That’s important for people who aren’t daily tea drinkers, and I’m not snobbish enough to assume they’ll want to immediately jump into brewing loose leaf – they may be perfectly happy with bagged teas, and I figure I am very well qualified to pick out the very best bagged tea to give them, if that’s the case. I have been known to give my mom teapots and other brewing implements along with loose tea, but I know she will use them, so it’s a welcome gift.

I normally give flavored teas, because it’s a good way to get people to actually *drink* tea when they might not otherwise. And I try to pick teas that aren’t easy to find locally, as a special treat. No supermarket teas. I think I may crochet some tea towels to go along with the tea, and I’ll be making some goodies for the gift bags as well. Cranberry almond bark crunch, pretzel wreaths, and jars of apple butter that I made earlier this fall. And Christmas cookies, of course – spritz trees and candy canes, along with oh-so-delicate meringues.

In any case, to spread the joy of tea beyond the bounds of my own little world this year, I’ve decided to send one lucky Tea on Tap reader a Christmas Tea Package, to enjoy for yourself, share with others, or re-gift it elsewhere, as you choose. It will be a surprise package, made up largely of loose leaf samples from my own tea cupboard, and will include several different types of tea from different vendors plus some extra goodies for you and yours to enjoy.

The lucky recipient will be chosen by drawing. To enter, simply participate in the poll I have posted to the left, and leave me a comment about the teas you’re gifting this year (or why you’re not). The contest will close on Friday, December 7th at midnight, and a winner will be chosen by random drawing (my hubby will draw for the winner). The winner will be announced on Monday, December 10th, 2007 and the Christmas Tea Package will be sent out that week.

Unfortunately, if the winner happens to live in another country, the prize may not reach him/her by Christmas, but I’ll do my best to get it wherever it’s going as quickly as possible. Anyone in the U.S. should recieve thier tea package the week before Christmas.

So cast your vote, write me a comment, and we’ll start the holidays off right - with the sharing of Tea.


  1. This is a very, very interesting subject - the proselytization of tea, and I think it will warrant more than a few posts on my part. You've definitely piqued my interest.

    In the meantime I'm planning on giving loose leaf tea, probably a medley of flavored teas and one "orthodox" tea to a tea drinking friend. She'll also recieve an infuser mug, as I find it a bit friendlier to newbies than a gaiwan or some other eccentric bit of Asian ceramic. She's just testing the waters, so to speak, but is practically a tea enthusiast already.

  2. The Proselytizing of Tea...I like that turn of phrase. I may have to steal it.

    Some of the blokes who hang at TeaChat have come up with a Secret Santa exchange, and I'm taking part in that. My SS is getting some Yu-Shan autumnal oolong that Hou De says is particularly honeyed. And a gaiwan. The world needs more gaiwans. I'll probably be getting my mom some Earl Grey too. It's a comfort tea in my house.

  3. "Proselytization of Tea" indeed. Great turn of phrase, Garrett!

    Infuser mugs are great as gifts, though I think I'd get one with a metal or mesh infuser. I have one with the ceramic infusor, and it doesn't really "flow" as well as I think it should.

    Secret Santa tea exchange...that sounds like a fun time! And the world does need more gaiwans (though I think I probably don't, but that won't stop me).

    Thanks for posting - you're both in the drawing. :-)

  4. A delightful idea.

    I am not sure what type of tea I'll give, but it definitely be a loose leaf tea from the Upton Tea Imports catalogue. I just received my first sampler order and the green tea is fantastic.

  5. I'm not exactly sure what kind of teas I am gifting, if any. I was considering making herbal blends for everyone, but my boyfriend thinks I should just give them tea bags and make it easy :(

  6. Oops. I forgot to leave a comment under my identity. Yay.

  7. I haven't tried anything from Upton yet, georgia...glad you're enjoying it!

    And Rachel, you could make up your herbal mixes, then package them in the unbleached filter bags, effectively making your own "tea bags"...that could be a fun idea! :-)

    Thanks to both of you - your names are in the drawing!

  8. I'm gifting my sister with the Adagio ingenuiTEA starter set for the holidays. She's a tea drinker at work, so that pot will be perfect for her. I've been loving mine since I got it, and Adagio has really converted me to loose teas, yay!

  9. Good idea, Jen - and thanks for posting, your name is in the drawing! :-)


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