It’s that time of year again for heavy-duty gift shopping. Just about everyone has a lengthy Christmas or Chanukah gift list of family, friends, teachers, co-workers, and maybe a “secret Santa” or two. If you’ve been invited to parties, dinners, teas, or (lucky you!) a weekend visit, you’ll need to bring something for the host and hostess. And there are, of course, plenty of birthdays and anniversaries during this season as well.
If your recipient is a tea lover, you’re in luck because there are soooo many beautiful tea gifts to choose from. You could take the simple — but always much appreciated — route and choose a tea or two, a pretty teapot, an unusual teacup and saucer. These can be purchased in many places, both online and at brick-and-mortar shops. (Antique shops and eBay are terrific sources for some truly unique buys, and if you need referrals to good tea and teapot vendors just drop us a line and we’ll send you our recommendations.)
Prefer something a little different? Here’s are our top picks of gifts for tea lovers, ranging from charming little stocking stuffers to the sky’s the limit!
For the tea-loving bookworm, And Then It Was Teatime is an exhaustive compendium of descriptive teas plucked from some of the world’s greatest literature. It’s the kind of book you browse while sipping a good cuppa. Tea connoisseurs in-the-making will appreciate Mike Harney’s new The Harney & Sons Guide to Tea. And for the cook looking for tea recipes, choose from any (or all!) of five tea room cookbooks from An Afternoon to Remember Tea Room.
Sign ’em up for a subscription to a tea magazine or newsletter, and they’ll think of you every time a new issue arrives. Our faves: Newsletters Tea and Roses Quarterly and The Tea House Times; The Tea Room News, a journal geared to tea business owners and those aspiring to a tea business; and the mass-media Southern Lady Tea Time, which is just simply delicious. Each of these publications offers a different perspective on the art and enjoyment of tea, and as far as we’re concerned they’re all must-reads.
How about a tea-shirt for a tea-loving clotheshorse? There’s a wide selection of designs at Hot Teas Gift Shop, along with an array of aprons, earth-friendly cloth shopping bags, and lots of other tea-ish goodies and gear for every member of the family. For something completely different, find truly unique, one-of-a-kind tea-dyed tea shirts, embroidered blouses, scarves, and lace pillow covers at TeaDyedTees, where they give new meaning to the adage that “tea is good for your body.” Don’t miss the beautiful gifts from this brand new shop where they’ve updated and perfected the centuries-old art of tea dyeing for today’s discriminating tea lover.
Every tea drinker needs at least one good tea cozy. Thistledown Cozies really do “keep your tea warm for hours.” They have nifty little wallets for carrying tea, filters, and sweetener too — the perfect stocking stuffer for a tea-loving traveler.
Tea “foodies” will thank you for a package or two of scrumptious Victorian House Scones, especially if they’re arranged in a festive gift basket with a jar of Marmalady’s wonderful tea jams and jellies. Add a beribboned box of Sugars by Sharon in seasonal shapes and colours, then tuck in a charming tea wheel from Linen and Tea for an elegant and thoughtful gift of tea time cheer.
More gift possibiliteas: Exquisite mosaic tea trivets and glass teapot suncatchers at Tea-and-Roses; beautiful teacup design stationery from Kimberly Shaw Graphics; tea Christmas cards and tea party invitations suitable for women, men, and children, plus the 2009 “It’s 4 O’Clock Somewhere” tea time calendar from Hot Teas; Teago, a fun Bingo-like game for tea lovers and friends.
When money is no object, tea travel is the answer! Take your sweet-tea on a tea tour of Sri Lanka, India, or China. A little closer to home, there’s the First Flush Festival at the Charleston (South Carolina) Tea Plantation and the Victoria Tea Festival in British Columbia, two beautiful tourist destinations. Plan a week-long trip and see the other local attractions. Or maybe you’d rather take an oolong-la-la tour of tea rooms in Paris?
The holidays are coming up quickly, so visit these websites or your local shop today before all the tea goodies are gone.
Wishing you and yours a Joyous Christmas, a Chappy Chanukah, and a healthy, successful, tea-filled 2009! ~ The folks at TeaGuide.net
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