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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.
Brighten up teatime with the FORLIFE Curve teapot. Made from porcelain 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 0.3-millimeter 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.
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.
BStean bags offer convenience for loose leaf tea. While many bags are bleached, these natural fiber chlorine-free bags are not. Paper can flavor tea, so natural and untreated offer a more pure tea 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 biodegradable bags are available in packs of 100 or 200 and can be tossed in home compost after use.
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.
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.
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 the 12 ounce size, ideal for a single brew of tea in the cup with an infuser for loose tea or tea bags.
Best Electric Tea Kettle: Cuisinart PerfecTemp 1.7-Liter Stainless Steel Cordless Electric Kettle CPK-17
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.
Best Book for Tea Beginners: The Tea Enthusiast's Handbook
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.
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.
For the coffeehouse matcha drinker who wants to take that obsession home, consider the Ippodo Tea matcha starter kit. Included are a bamboo matcha scoop, matcha whisk, and stand, a sifter for the ultrafine tea powder, and a white matcha bowl, in which to whisk the vivid green tea. This comprehensive gift includes 20 grams of Kimmo-no-mukashi, a culinary grade of matcha, ideal for lattes, straight tea (usucha), and baking.
Best for Boba Drinkers: The Boba Book
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.
A technicolor twist on tradition, Harney & Sons gaiwan is a modern take on the Chinese lidded tea bowl and saucer. Used in gongfu tea ceremonies in China, sip from the gaiwan bowl directly as the saucer on top siphons off the tea leaves inside, or, brew and then tip tea into smaller cups. Available in two color combinations of yellow lid or turquoise lid, the gaiwan measures 9.6 centimeters in diameter and 9.2 centimeters in height. The handpainted bowls and lides cannot withstand the microwave and should be hand-washed.
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.
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.
Tour three iconic Chinese teas in this tea farm sampler from Silk Road Teas. Each tea comes in 2 ounces, giving a taste of three different caffeine levels and styles. Dragon Well, also known as Longjing, is a pan-fired green tea that’s slightly nutty. Silver Needle is a hand-plucked white tea that shows off young downy leaves that brew a delicate fruit flavor. Golden Monkey black tea is the kind of malty breakfast tea that stands up to milk with a touch of cacao.
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.
Best Book for Cooks: Steeped: Recipes Infused with Tea
I wrote Steeped: Recipes Infused with Tea as a love letter to tea and its infinite uses for adding an aromatic twist to classic dishes. Through nine widely available teas, the cookbook offers 70 plant-based recipes using tea as a spice and inspiration from morning until dessert. Published by Andrews McMeel and selected as one of the Los Angeles Times’ favorite cookbooks of 2015, it also brings together a guide of handmade edible gifts using tea to keep the tea love going.
Pu’erh is an aged tea that is often collected and appreciated for its profiles, from earthy and peat flavors to the sweet and aromatic flavor of sticky rice pu erh. Sold in tiny disk “tuochas” that resemble bird’s nests, discover this black Yunnan tea from Brew Dr Tea Company.
Iron Japanese tetsubin tea kettles boil water on the stovetop, conducting and retaining heat evenly while softening and mineralizing the flavor of the water. With a classic raised hobnail pattern, the 28-ounce kettle from Iwachu Casting Works in Japan is available from Sensational Teas and is a gift that can be passed down to future generations—tetsubin are built to last.
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.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
The Spruce Eats writer 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 also wrote a cookbook about cooking with tea, inspired by the ease chefs brought to tea as an ingredient—thinking home cooks would love getting in on that idea, too.