Monday, July 27, 2009

Tea & Life: The Gift of Tea

I like to give tea as gifts. Every Christmas, Mother’s Day and some birthdays I pick out tea or tea-related items to give to the people in my life. It can’t be just any tea, of course – it has to be one that the person is likely to enjoy, and as with all teas, it has to convey a certain sentiment in the drinking, at least to my mind.

At Christmas I’ll often give two teas together, a black spicy tea for energy and enthusiasm, and a green or white tea for calm reflection after the celebration is over. I try to pay attention to the recipient’s needs – if they are normally a person who wouldn’t take the time for loose tea, I’ll find a high-quality teabag to give. If I suspect they may be ready to take the leap, I’ll give loose tea, along with a steeping basket or teapot. I’ll often give a little snack to have with the tea as well…cookies, cookie sticks, scone mix, etc. I’ve found that if you’re careful in the choosing, you really can’t go wrong with a gift of tea.

This year, I’ve been thinking about Christmas gifts (yes, already – don’t laugh too hard), and have decided to make at least one personalized calendar, more if the one comes out well. And I’ve decided that two of my calendar pages will feature tea – one in the winter for hot tea, and one in the summer for iced tea. This wouldn’t work for a tea purist who insists that tea be as fresh as possible for consumption, but I’ve never been one of those people (year-old tea in my cupboard will still get brewed and enjoyed eventually, even if the container’s not airtight), and neither is anyone in my family, so we’re all good there.

The idea is to attach a small tin to each page with enough tea for a pot, with the instructions on the calendar page itself. I’m thinking a chai blend for winter, and a white or green flavored tea for summer. I think the recipients will really enjoy getting a little “gift” of tea from me twice in the coming year.

Another idea I had for a gift (birthday or Christmas) is a personalized “Tea-of-the-Month” club. The idea is to gift a tea on the holiday, and then send/take the person a different tea every month of the year. To take it one step further, it could be a monthly invitation to “take tea” together once monthly, though logistically it would be more difficult, schedules being what they are. I have someone in mind who would probably really like this type of gift, and may use it next year for her birthday.

When was the last time you gave someone the gift of tea?


  1. I've recently decided that as long as I could get away with it I'd like to give just about everyone the gift of tea in one way or another. And I do agree that Tea of the Month Club sounds like a great gift though it's going to be a bit of an expensive one. --Jason

  2. I gave my younger brother a basket of assorted teas and teaware for his birthday last month and he said it was one of the very best gifts he's ever received. Now I find myself wanting to do the same for everyone else on my gift list. :)

    I've thought about signing up a close friend or family member for Dragonwater's monthly Tea Tasting Club. At $9.95/mo it's really quite a bargain for someone very close.

  3. I LOVE the idea of a personalised calendar featuring tea!! What a terrific gift that would be. Once you've made them do you think you could post some photos?

  4. I don't think it would be too expensive to send tea every month, as long as one stuck to sending sample sizes from various companies. They're normally pretty reasonably priced, and you wouldn't want to overwhelm the recipient with full tins of tea every month. Not everyone drinks tea like we do. :-)

    Sure, I'll post pictures of the calendar pages when I get them done. Provided they turn out okay, anyway...


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