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Look into a tea drinker’s cabinet and you will most likely find a curated collection of tins, bags, and boxes to fit every mood and occasion. Finding the best gifts for tea lovers involves a bit of sleuthing and we are here to help. While all tea comes from the same camellia sinensis plant, the joys of this versatile leaf embody where it is grown—the soil and climate and then, how blenders might add in aromatics, herbs, spices, and flowers. This matters because knowing what kind of tea drinker you are buying for will inform the kind of gift to be appreciated most. A classic Chinese green tea fan is probably not going to be jazzed about receiving flavored black tea.
We’ve compiled teapots and cups, books, and tea samplers—our best gifts for tea lovers.
Best Electric Tea Kettle: Cuisinart PerfecTemp 1.7-Liter Stainless Steel Cordless Electric Kettle CPK-17
Temperature settings labeled for tea
Great for non-electric coffee makers too
On the heavier side
Small lid opening
Brewing consistent cups of tea involves three things: the amount of tea, brew time, and water temperature. That last one is where the Cuisinart PerfecTemp electric kettle comes in with six variable temperatures to heat the water to the right specifications for the tea you want to brew. This is the ideal gift for a daily tea drinker—its 30-minute keep-warm function can refresh your cup and its illuminated window shows how much water is in the kettle.
Capacity: 1.7 liters | Dimensions: 8.8 x 6.1 x 9.75 inches | Wattage: 1,500 | Voltage: 110 | Warranty: Three-year limited
Best Stovetop Tea Kettle: Le Creuset Classic Whistling Kettle
Beautiful design and colors
Easy to clean
Lid can be hard to remove
You may know Le Creuset for its cast iron Dutch ovens, but did you know it also has a line of gorgeous tea kettles? If your loved one is looking to upgrade their kettle but prefers a stovetop model, this stainless steel whistling tea kettle coated in porcelain enamel is the perfect gift. It works on any stovetop, has a near 2-quart capacity, and comes in nine eye-catching colors, including cassis, cherry, flame, Marseille, palm, and white. It also has a heat-resistant handle (in addition to the knob and whistle) to make pouring easier. Our tester said this was one of her favorite aspects of the item, adding, "When you combine these high-quality materials with the heat-resistant knobs and sturdy handle, it all adds up to a high-quality kettle that was built to last."
Capacity: 1.8 quarts | Dimensions: 8.25 x 9.75 x 8.25 inches | Weight: Three pounds | Material: Enamel on steel | Warranty: Five years
"The Le Creuset Classic Whistling Kettle is a beautiful kettle with convenient features that make it worth the high price." — Rebekah Joan, Product Tester
Best All-Around Teapot: FORLIFE Curve Teapot with Infuser, 24-Ounce
Multiple color options
Comes with infuser basket
Price varies depending on retailer
Brighten up teatime with the Forlife Curve teapot. Made from ceramic and lead-free material, it comes in 10 cheery colors at 24-ounces, ideal for brewing two cups of tea. The dishwasher-safe teapot includes a stainless steel infuser with holes small enough to prevent tiny herbal tea leaves like rooibos from slipping through, and the infuser is deep enough, giving plenty of room for brewing large tea leaves.
Capacity: 24 or 45 ounces | Dimensions: 8 x 5.25 x 5.5 inches | Weight: 1.81 pounds | Material: High-fired ceramic
Best for the Traveler: Palais des Thés Around the World Set
Packaged in a beautiful box
Wide variety of teas
Includes an informational guide
No decaf options
Ten single estate teas from France-based Palais des Thés bring a taste of around-the-world travel into the teacup. Discover the nuances of Darjeeling’s delicate peach undertones and robust Assam black tea—both from India, showing the range of terroir’s effects on tea leaves where climate, soil, and growing conditions impact the final cuppa.
Form: Loose leaf | Size: Box includes 10 tubes with 2 ounces of tea each | Origin: Varies by tea
"The variety of teas included in this set makes it an amazing gift option, and it covers your bases if you don't know the recipient's favorite type of tea. Not to mention that it's already packaged in a pretty and presentable gift box." — Derek Rose, Coffee and Tea Expert for The Spruce Eats
Best for Loose Tea Drinkers: Bstean Tea Filter Bags Disposable Tea Infuser with Drawstring
Budget-priced add-on gift
No paper taste
Thin paper, possible to rip
Designed for single use
BStean bags are convenient for those who drink loose leaf tea. While many bags are bleached, these biodegradable chlorine-free bags are not. Paper can flavor tea, so untreated ones offer a purer drinking experience. The drawstring tops lock in loose tea leaves from accidentally floating into the cup, like fold-over flap-style bags. Ideal for 8-ounce servings of tea, the bags are available in packs of 100 or 200 and can be tossed in home compost after use.
Count: 100 or 200 teabags | Size: Medium or large | Material: Unbleached paper
Best for Making Tea Lattes: Bodum Schiuma Milk Frother
Good add-on gift
Easy to use
Only one setting
For someone who wants to be their own tea barista at home, this handy device will help anyone make a delicious tea latte. The Bodum Schiuma Milk Frother whips milk into a fluffy consistency in seconds. Ideal for matcha, or you can try it with other teas, the battery-operated wand goes straight in your tea cup.
Dimensions: 1.25 x 1.5 x 8.875 inches | Weight: 0.3875 pounds | Material: Stainless steel and plastic
"Frothing is when you fold in or incorporate air into your milk to create an airier texture. Steaming milk can mean you froth it too, but it usually means heating it up, basically like you’re microwaving the milk." — Paulo Asi, Director of Training at the Seattle Barista Academy
Best Infuser: FORLIFE Extra-Fine Tea Infuser and Dish Set
Very fine mesh keeps tea in
Dish set prevents mess
Cheaper infuser baskets are available
Pass on tea balls—not enough space for tea leaves to plump and steep. Don’t bother with cutesy infusers with big holes—tiny tea leaves escape into the cup. Go with the Forlife stainless-steel infuser with its extra-fine holes that keep out even the tiniest chamomile petals and rooibos leaves. Most Forlife teapots and single serve cups include an infuser or you can buy one on its own accompanied with a resting dish. The dishwasher-safe infuser nestles down into tea mugs, ensuring great tea to water contact, with a lip that hooks onto the edge of your cup to hold the infuser in place.
Dimensions: 5.25 x 2.75 x 2.625 inches | Weight: 0.12 pounds | Material: Stainless steel infuser and ceramic dish
"Tea leaves like lots of space to unfurl and release their flavor, so larger infusers like this basket-shaped one usually lead to a better cup of tea." — Derek Rose, Coffee and Tea Expert for The Spruce Eats
Best Glass Tea Cups: Bodum Pavina Double Wall 12-Ounce Cooler Glass, Set of 2
Lets you see tea color
Glass stays cool to touch
Part of the joy of tea drinking is to see the color of the brewed tea and glass cups give a glimpse of what’s inside. Bodum Pavina double-walled glass cups stay cool to the touch while keeping your tea hot. Made of borosilicate glass that does not become cloudy over time, these dishwasher-safe glass cups come two per pack and are available in a 12-ounce size too, ideal for a single brew of tea in the cup with an infuser for loose tea or tea bags.
Capacity: 2.5, 8, 12, or 15 ounces | Dimensions: 3.5 x 3.6 inches (8-ounce model) | Weight: 9.6 ounces | Material: Borosilicate glass and silicone
Best Hot Tea Mug: Ember Mug²
Warms beverages to preferred temperature
Customizable LED light
Pricey for a mug
Interior coating is extremely delicate
If your giftee always has a cup of tea near them, whether it's at home or in the office, then this smart mug may be a perfect choice. The Ember Mug² warms hot beverages to maintain an ideal temperature, which is easily controlled with the Ember app. It recharges on a sleek matching coaster and can hold its charge for up to 90 minutes, allowing you to be portable for a while without being tied to a cord and outlet.
While it's a splurge, the cost per use may be worthwhile for those who can't stand tepid tea. However, our tester did note that the interior coating is extremely delicate, so be careful when stirring.
Capacity: 10 or 14 ounces | Dimensions: 3.3 x 4.2 (10-ounce model) | Temperature Range: 120 to 145 degrees | Battery Life: 90 minutes for 10-ounce model and 80 minutes for 14-ounce model
Best Book for Tea Beginners: The Tea Enthusiast's Handbook: A Guide to Enjoying the World's Best Teas
Great for beginners
Written by notable tea experts
Filled with photographs
Experts may know much of the info
Doesn't discuss herbal teas
Authors Mary Lou Heiss and Robert J. Heiss started their tea journey as loose leaf tea buyers in the 1970s and have since authored four books starting with The Tea Enthusiast’s Handbook, which details descriptions of 35 teas with tips on how to select and brew them. For tea drinkers wanting to go deeper into the cultural roots and history of tea, check out their follow-up book, The Story of Tea: A Cultural History & Drinking Guide, a James Beard finalist.
Page Count: 208 pages | Published: 2010 | Format: Paperback, hardcover, and Kindle
Best Subscription: Rare Tea Cellar Tea of the Month Club
Wide variety of teas
Different monthly subscription options
A little pricey
Treat your favorite tea drinker to a taste of Rare Tea Cellars, a purveyor that supplies Chicagoland fine dining restaurants with bespoke blends and single estate teas. Their tea of the month gift sends two different teas monthly and is available in three-, six-, and 12-month subscriptions. Each subscription level receives a tea scoop.
Options: 3, 6, or 12 months | Size: 2 to 4 ounces | Varieties: Two teas each month
Best for Matcha Lovers: Ippodo Tea Basic Matcha Kit
Great for those new to matcha
Comes in presentable box
All the essential tools you need
Horai is brand's mid-tier matcha
For the coffeehouse matcha drinker who wants to take that obsession home, consider the Ippodo Tea Basic Matcha Kit. Included are a bamboo matcha scoop, matcha whisk, whisk stand, a sifter for the ultrafine tea powder, and 20 grams of Horai, a light and sweet matcha that the brand recommends for beginners. Ippodo Tea sells matcha kits with more items included, like the Essential Kit and Deluxe Kit, at higher price points.
Matcha Capacity: 20 grams | Sourcing: Kyoto, Japan | Box Size: 8.5 x 2.7 x 6.1 inches
"I get a lot of questions like, 'How do I make matcha at home?' 'Do I need special tools—a bowl, a whisk?' When it comes down to it, you can make matcha in a protein shaker if you want. If you do have all the tools, take a small bowl, use slightly less than boiling water, and move a bamboo whisk back and forth in a W-motion until you get frothy bubbles at the top. Then, you’re good to go." — Michelle Puyane, co-founder of Chalait, New York City
Best for Boba Drinkers: The Boba Book: Bubble Tea and Beyond
Stylish coffee table book
Some readers dislike asides about the authors
More recipes than info
Boba tea’s popularity isn’t just about the tapioca boba pearls. As any boba-head will tell you, the devil is in the details of individually brewing quality loose leaf tea as evidenced at San Francisco local chain Boba Guys, where their Tea People loose leaf tea yields a good cup of tea with boba. Boba Guys founders Andrea Chau and Bin Chen’s book, The Boba Book: Bubble Tea and Beyond, brings their boutique approach home.
Page Count: 224 pages | Published: 2020 | Format: Hardcover and Kindle
Best Tea Spoon: Adagio Tea Spoon
Sturdy and durable
Tea doesn't stick to spoon
Clip not useful for all tea drinkers
Clip too firm for some users
Ditch the measuring spoon from your baking drawer. Treat yourself to the well-made stainless-steel spoon from Adagio Teas with a clip and handle long enough to easily dig into deeper bags of loose tea. Plus, the clip can be used to seal the bag of loose tea with the same spoon you’ll use to portion it out. This dishwasher-safe spoon ensures even brewing.
Length: 5 inches without clip and 6.5 inches with clip | Size: 1 teaspoon | Material: Stainless steel
Best Loose Tea Tin: Rishi Showen Kumihimo Tin
Gorgeous design and colors
Not the largest capacity
Keep your favorite teas within reach, but perhaps in something more sleek than a zipseal bag. The Showen Kumihimo Tin from Rishi Teas is a fashionable way to store your loose teas. Measuring in at 5 inches high, the tin design is embellished with braids of silk thread, available in emerald, yellow, red, indigo, or black. Crafted in Kyoto, Japan.
Material: Toray Sillook thread | Dimensions: 2.75 x 5 inches | Colors: Red, yellow, black, blue, or teal
Best for Tea To-Go: Espro Travel Tea Press
Works for tea and coffee
Cannot go in microwave
Plunger sticks easily
For tea on-the-go, try the Espro loose tea press from Republic of Tea. It works like a French press with loose tea and features a dual-filter. Its double walls ensure temperature control for up to six hours. This is a practical gift for any tea lover with a commute.
Capacity: Makes 10 ounces of coffee and holds 14 ounces as a travel mug | Dimensions: | 2.83 x 2.83 x 8.06 inches | Weight: 12.16 ounces | Material: Stainless steel
Best One-of-a-Kind Gift: Red Blossom Tea Company Artisan Yixing, Style 622
Decorative and practical
Great for tea history buffs
Smooth and even pouring
Not designed for green and white teas
Yixing teapots take on the flavor of the tea brewed inside and for that reason, some reserve one tea per Yixing teapot. Made of reddish-brown clay, these Chinese teapots are often tiny in size with designs that are simple or offer great flourish. They're created by artisans who specialize in Yixing handmade craftwork, and we particularly like this swirled squat 10-ounce teapot from Red Blossom Tea.
Capacity: 10 ounces | Dimensions: 6.5 x 4.25 x 2.75 inches | Material: High-fired stoneware clay
What to Look for in a Gift for a Tea Lover
It's much easier (and less stressful) to narrow down gift options when you have a budget in mind. Before diving in too deep, take a moment to consider the budget you are comfortable with, as well as what the gift-giving situation, whether it's a birthday or holiday, might call for. Fortunately, tea products come in a sprawling range of prices, from low-budget infusers to hundred-dollar kettles.
Don't worry: practicality isn't as boring as it sounds. In fact, gift-giving is a wonderful situation in which to be impractical, to get your friend, acquaintance, or loved one something they would never buy for themselves. Maybe there's a special teapot you want to get them, even if it mainly ends up being a decorative kitchen item. On the other hand, there are times when it's good to be practical. if the recipient prefers bagged tea over loose leaf, for example, then they probably won't get much use out of a tea infuser. Instead, maybe look for a sampling of tea bags so that they can try different varieties, brands, and flavors. So it's worth deciding beforehand: how much use do you want the recipient to get out of their gift?
From teapots to mugs to coffee table books, tea-related gifts open up a world of different designs. Selecting a design that suits the gift recipient is a fun way to show how much you know about and care for them. Would they like a goofy novelty tea infuser (there are many animal-themed ones out there)? Are they into the timeless elegance of porcelain or fine-bona china tea sets? Everyone has their own unique style; what one are you looking for?
You can never go wrong getting a tea lover their favorite drink as a gift. The only problem? There are so many kinds of tea in the world. If you know the person you are gifting primarily drinks a certain type of tea, you may want to stick with similar varieties. Someone who drinks black tea, for instance, would probably enjoy a standard Earl Grey or English Breakfast. In contrast, if you know the recipient is open to all different varieties then don't hesitate to try more distinct options.
How do you brew loose-leaf tea?
Brewing loose-leaf tea for the first time can be confusing, perhaps daunting. How many scoops do I add? How long should it steep? Don't worry. Even long-time loose-leaf drinkers pick up new brewing tips every now and then. While there are many different methods, some of which are dependent on the type of tea used, here's a simple five-step process for brewing delicious loose-leaf tea:
- Boil water in a tea kettle. If you have time, check what water temperature is recommended for the type of tea you are brewing (more information on this below), as this helps extract the richest flavor.
- If you are using a teapot, preheat the pot by rinsing the inside with hot water. This allows the teapot to maintain the ideal water temperature while your tea steeps, and it prevents porcelain and ceramic teapots from cracking from the sudden heat of boiling water.
- Fill the teapot or infuser basket with your loose-leaf tea. The general rule of thumb is one teaspoon of tea for every cup of water used, plus one extra scoop. So, if want to make five cups of tea, use six teaspoons of loose leaf.
- Pour hot water over the tea, place the lid on the teapot, and let steep for the recommended time. Depending on the type of tea you are making, this may range from one to seven minutes.
- Finally, once the recommended time has passed, serve the tea. If you had let the tea leaves float freely in the pot, place a small strainer over your teacup as you pour so you won’t get any loose leaves while sipping.
What is boba?
Boba tea goes by many names—bubble tea, pearl tea, tapioca tea, and more—but with its many colors, thick straws, and floating tapioca pearls, the beverage is easy to spot. There are countless variations around the world, but its basic ingredients are black tea, milk, ice, and those signature tapioca balls. If this doesn't pique your interest, boba can also be made with a green tea or oolong base and mixed with everything from fruit and fruit syrup to taro, nuts, and bean soup. Some boba doesn't even include milk. Such variety has drawn so many people to this Taiwanese drink. From sweet to savory, there is a boba recipe for everyone.
What is matcha?
Matcha is a finely ground powder made from dried green tea leaves. It is most commonly used to make hot tea, but matcha powder is highly versatile and can make a number of drinks like lattes, iced matcha, and smoothies too. It can also be used in cooking and baking. Unlike most teas where you extract the leaves before drinking, with matcha you actually consume the ground-up tea leaves. Matcha can range in flavor from earthy to sweet; the taste is often linked to the term "umami," which is a unique savory taste. Enjoyed widely around the world, matcha dates back hundreds of years to China's Tang Dynasty and then to 12th-century Japan, where it grew in popularity.
How do you clean a tea kettle?
From rust stains to limescale buildup, tea kettles require routine upkeep to look and function like new. We'll cover all the ways to clean your kettle below, no matter what material it's made from and no matter the spots or stains. Let's start with cleaning inside the kettle. The most popular technique goes as follows:
- Fill the kettle halfway with equal parts water and white vinegar.
- Heat the kettle until the water-and-vinegar mixture is boiling.
- Pour out the mixture.
- Once the kettle is cool, scrub the inside with a non-abrasive cloth or brush.
- Finally, rinse the kettle or boil water in it until all traces of vinegar are gone.
This process, which is suitable for both electric and stovetop kettles, removes potential limescale buildup. It’s important to thoroughly clean inside a kettle at least once every three months; otherwise, limescale may begin altering the taste of your tea, and it could even prevent electric kettles from working properly. Other household products like baking soda and lemon juice are effective descaling agents, too, and many brands sell special descaling solutions in liquid or powder form worth checking out as well.
As for cleaning the exterior of a tea kettle, the same combination of water and vinegar can be used. Water and dish soap works, too. Simply wet a microfiber cloth with either solution, gently scrub the kettle’s exterior, and dry thoroughly. Regularly performing this task eliminates scale buildup, prevents rust stains, and will keep your kettle sparkling. We recommend cleaning the outside of a kettle weekly, but the frequency can vary depending on how much you use your kettle. Those who own an electric kettle should avoid getting too much solution on the base of their machine and certainly avoid immersing the item in water; this may damage the electric components and render the kettle nonfunctional.
Last but not least, we'll cover those pesky burn marks that appear all too often with gas cooktops. If your kettle already has burn marks on it, start by soaking the item in hot water and dish soap for 30 minutes to two hours (once again, do not soak an electric kettle). Second, lightly cover the kettle’s exterior with baking soda. Third, using a sponge or brush, scrub the exterior with a combination of water and dish soap until clean. Finally, rinse and dry the kettle.
What water temperature is best for brewing tea?
The best water temperature depends on the type of tea you are making. Gentler teas taste best when brewed at lower temperatures, while bolder teas require hotter temperatures to bring out their flavors. White tea, for example, is best brewed with water that is 160 degrees. Green tea ranges from 150 to 180 degrees. Oolong is best around 190 degrees. Moving onto the stronger teas, black tea ranges from 180 to 212 degrees. Finally, herbal teas sit around the 212-degree mark. Many electric kettles can be pre-programmed to reach a specific temperature, and some even come with designated buttons for different tea varieties.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
Annelies Zijderveld has worked in the tea industry for over a decade, traveling across the United States, pouring tea at food and wine festivals, and connecting with tea drinkers at tradeshows. During that time, she has tasted and tested a dizzying array of teas and built her own arsenal of only the most necessary tea accessories, figuring out everything from which loose tea infusers worked best and also understanding that when it comes to tea blends, what a person prefers comes down to their palate and what tastes good to them. She is the author of Steeped: Recipes Infused with Tea, a Los Angeles Times Favorite New Cookbook of the Year.
This piece was edited by Derek Rose, the coffee and tea expert for The Spruce Eats. He researches a variety of products and interviews field experts for their insight. After joining The Spruce team in 2019, he has also written about a number of other topics, including home goods, technology, and gifts. He received an MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia University and a BA in Communications from Marist College.
Michelle Puyane is the co-founder of Chalait. Established in 2015, the company has three cafes in New York City and sells its collection of matcha powders online.
Paulo Asi is the Director of Training at the Seattle Barista Academy. He has worked in the coffee industry for more than 12 years. Founded in 2013, the Seattle Barista Academy is a multi-dimensional program that trains baristas who are committed to the professional preparation of espresso drinks.