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.
We’ve compiled teapots and cups, books, and tea samplers—our best gifts for tea lovers.
Cuisinart PerfecTemp Cordless Electric Kettle
Brewing consistent cups of tea involves three things: 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.
Price at time of publish: $94
Capacity: 1.7 liters | Dimensions: 8.8 x 6.1 x 9.75 inches | Wattage: 1,500 | Voltage: 110 | Warranty: Three-year limited
"Highly versatile yet easy to use. Tea drinkers love the various temperature settings, which can be set for green tea, black tea, and more." — Derek Rose, Coffee and Tea Expert for The Spruce Eats.
Le Creuset Classic Whistling Kettle
You may know Le Creuset for its cast iron Dutch ovens, but 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 makes an awesome 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."
Price at time of publish: $92
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
Cusinium Glass Teapot with Infuser Set
This versatile teapot can brew several cups of hot or cold tea and has a modern design with an ergonomic handle and spill-free spout, making it ideal for everyday use. This model holds 3 to 4 cups of tea in borosilicate glass so durable that you can put it directly on a gas stovetop. The Cusinium is easy to use and includes a handy chart indicating required water temperatures and brewing times for different types of tea. Plus, it includes a few extras that help make it giftable: There’s a removable sleeve to keep tea insulated, a bamboo coaster to set the pot on, and a complimentary e-book on tea and how to brew it correctly, which is sent via email upon request.
Our tester praised the kettle's sleek design and how easy it is to clean. The kettle and infuser pieces are dishwasher safe, though our tester noted that for best results everything should be taken apart and separated before putting it into the machine.
Price at time of publish: $36
Capacity: 32 ounces | Dimensions: 6.1 x 4.7 x 5.9 inches | Weight: 1.01 pounds | Material: Borosilicate glass | Dishwasher Safe: Yes
"The filter did an excellent job of straining the loose tea leaves and we found no sediment whatsoever." - Sage McHugh, Product Tester
Palais des Thés Around the World Set
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.
Price at time of publish: $55
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
Uncommon Goods Tea Bag Pocket Mug
Say goodbye to used tea bags lying around the house. This handmade glazed ceramic mug has a clever design that includes a kangaroo-like pouch that’s just the right size for a sachet. Once your tea is finished steeping, you don’t have to get up to throw the bag away—you can just stick it right in that ceramic pocket. This mug promotes coziness, relaxation, and convenience, and best of all, it’s both microwave- and dishwasher safe.
Price at time of publish: $34
Dimensions: 6 x 4 inches | Capacity: 12 ounces | Material: Stoneware | Dishwasher Safe: Yes
Sullivan Street Tea Shop Chai Tea Kit
For those who prefer chai masala, this cute little kit inside a handmade wooden box comes from a quaint New York City tea shop. It contains everything you need to make a hot cup of Indian chai: recycled glass jars of organic whole cardamom pods, ginger root, peppercorns, and whole cloves, plus a handful of cinnamon sticks and a container of organic black Assam tea. Also included are a cotton tea strainer and recipe, setting you up for success with every cup of homemade chai.
Price at time of publish: $64
Material: Pine wood box and recycled glass jars | Includes: 5 whole spices and 1 container of tea | Origin: India
Bstean Tea Filter Bags Disposable Tea Infuser with Drawstring
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.
Price at time of publish: $13
Count: 100 or 200 teabags | Size: Medium or large | Material: Unbleached paper
PowerLix Handheld Battery Operated Milk Frother
For those who enjoy drinking their tea with milk (dairy or alternative), this brightly colored handheld frother is very handy. Just 15 seconds of whirring will create a foamy tea latte, and it works inside any cup. The stainless steel wand is sturdy and durable, and the motor is quiet, yet effective. It’s also attractively designed and ergonomic, and it comes with a metal stand should you want to keep it on the counter. It can be used for everything from milkshakes to cocktails to beating eggs, making it a multi-use gift. Two AA batteries are required, but not included.
When we tried this product in our lab, one tester praised the compact and sleek design, which made storage easy. She also loved the ease of use, saying, "In just 15 seconds, we had a good foam going with lots of volume." However, she did note her disappointment that the frother didn't also heat the drinks up.
Price at time of publish: $10
Dimensions: 2.7 x 3.1 x 10 inches | Weight: 5.3 ounces | Material: Plastic and stainless steel | Battery: Two AA
"Frothing is when you fold in or incorporate air into your milk to create an airier texture," says Paulo Asi, Director of Training at the Seattle Barista Academy. "Steaming milk can mean you froth it too, but it usually means heating it up, basically like you’re microwaving the milk."
Finum Stainless Steel Mesh Brewing Basket
Tea infuser balls may seem convenient, but tea leaves brew better when they have more space. Enter this large basket infuser, which is spacious enough for tea leaves to diffuse evenly and give off the most flavor. Plus, the super-fine mesh ensures even the smallest pieces won’t escape into your mug. The included lid helps tea stay hot while infusing, though the handles manage to stay cool to the touch. The brewing basket is dishwasher safe and available in multiple sizes and colors, so you can find one your gift recipient will like best.
Our tester reviewed the basket infuser and said it exceeded all of his expectations. He noted that it was one of the easiest tea infusers he'd ever tried and liked that the lid doubled as a drip tray.
Price at time of publish: $21
Dimensions: 2.05 x 2.4 x 2.95 inches | Weight: 2.12. ounces | Material: Plastic and stainless steel mesh | Dishwasher Safe: Yes
"The plastic is sturdy, yet lightweight, and the mesh is strong enough that normal use won’t dent it or alter the shape. It's easily one of the best infusers I tested, if not the best, and worthwhile for both the casual or avid tea drinker." — Derek Rose, Coffee and Tea Expert for The Spruce Eats
Bodum Pavina Double Wall 12-Ounce Cooler Glass, Set of 2
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, which is ideal for a single brew of tea in the cup with an infuser for loose tea or tea bags.
Price at time of publish: $21
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
Ember Temperature Control Smart Mug 2, Metallic
If your giftee always has a cup of tea near them, whether it's at home or in the office, this smart mug is an exciting 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 a charge for up to 90 minutes, allowing you to be portable for a while without being tied to a cord and outlet.
While it is 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.
Price at time of publish: $146
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
"From the moment I poured my coffee into the mug, it stayed hot until I was finished about 60 minutes later." - Cheyenne Elwell, Product Tester & Writer
The Tea Enthusiast's Handbook: A Guide to Enjoying the World's Best 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 and Drinking Guide," a James Beard finalist.
Price at time of publish: $15
Page Count: 208 pages | Published: 2010 | Format: Paperback, hardcover, and Kindle
Rare Tea Cellar Tea of the Month Club
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. Its 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.
Price at time of publish: $85
Options: 3, 6, or 12 months | Size: 2 to 4 ounces | Varieties: Two teas each month
Ippodo Tea Basic Matcha Kit
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.
Price at time of publish: $90
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, Cofounder of Chalait, New York City
The Boba Book: Bubble Tea and Beyond
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 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.
Price at time of publish: $16
Page Count: 224 pages | Published: 2020 | Format: Hardcover and Kindle
Adagio Tea Spoon
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.
Price at time of publish: $8
Length: 5 inches without clip and 6.5 inches with clip | Size: 1 teaspoon | Material: Stainless steel
Rishi Showen Kumihimo Tin
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. It's crafted in Kyoto, Japan.
Price at time of publish: $32
Material: Toray Sillook thread | Dimensions: 2.75 x 5 inches | Colors: Red, yellow, black, blue, or teal
Espro Travel Tea Press
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.
Price at time of publish: $35
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
Tea Forté Tea Duet Gift Set
If you’re looking for a truly classy tea gift, look no further than this box set from luxury tea maker Tea Forté. The classically designed box comes with everything one would need for a quiet cup of tea with a friend: two bone china tea cups with lids, two of Tea Forté signature tea bag holders made specially for their pyramid-shaped tea bags, and a sampler box of 10 different organic teas, including black, green, white, and herbal.
Price at time of publish: $60
Includes: Presentation box, 10 pyramid infusers, two 8-ounce porcelain cups with lids, two ceramic tea trays | Tea Varieties: African solstice, black currant tea, chamomile citron tea, Earl grey tea, ginger lemongrass, green mango peach, jasmine green tea, raspberry nectar, white ambrosia, white ginger pear
Harney & Sons Linen Tea Chest Featuring Eight Teas
Tea chests make a wonderful gift, and this one from Harney & Sons is particularly attractive and high-end. It comes pre-filled with 32 individually wrapped teas in eight flavors (four bags of each), and the owner can refill the keepsake box for years to come. The flavors are chosen by the manufacturer, though, and they don’t share the flavors in advance.
Price at time of publish: $30
Dimensions: 16 x 9.3 x 2 inches | Weight: 1.7 pounds | Material: Linen | Form: Bags | Size: Box includes 32 tea bags
Uncommon Goods Flower Tea Ritual Gift Set
Anyone who loves flowers will adore this beautiful box set, which comes with a glass serving pitcher, bamboo tongs for handling and stirring, and nine whole-flower herbs sourced from Tibet. Aside from great-tasting tea, the process of watching the dried flowers open up in hot water is relaxing and beautiful. Each bud makes 3 cups of tea, and the recipient gets three roses, three chrysanthemums, and three lotus flowers, each individually wrapped.
Price at time of publish: $59
Dimensions: 8.5 x 8.5 x 4.5 inches | Material: Glass server and bamboo tongs | Capacity: Glass server holds 9 ounces | Form: Bags | Size: Box includes 9 flower tea bags | Origin: Tibet
Sugarwish Medium Coffee & Tea
There are so many types of tea that it can be tricky to know exactly which type someone loves. Why not let them pick? Sugarwish offers several sizes of gift boxes with which the recipient gets to choose what goes inside. The Coffee & Tea Sugarwish features dozens of different flavors in many different styles, with tea highlights including Masala chai, white coconut creme, French lemon ginger, oolong, and English breakfast cold brew. Gift box sizes range from mini (two selections) to deluxe (eight selections and a gift). Sugarwish is a great way to ensure you know the giftee is getting exactly what they want.
Price at time of publish: $45 for medium gift box
Includes: 6 recipient-chosen selections of coffees and teas
Genuine Fred Manatea Tea Infuser
To add a bit of quirkiness to your cup of tea, Genuine Fred has a whole suite of silicone tea infusers shaped like animals–but among the cutest is this “manatea” in the shape of, well, a manatee. The infuser hangs on the side of a cup, smiling at the drinker, while steeping loose-leaf tea. Both dishwasher- and microwave-safe, the infuser is heat-resistant up to a piping hot 450 degrees Fahrenheit. In addition to the adorable manatee, Genuine Fred also has infusers shaped like a seahorse, a narwhal, a whale, and even the Titanic.
Price at time of publish: $12
Material: Silicone | Dimensions: 3 x 4.5 x 1.5 inches | Dishwasher Safe: Yes
Davids Tea Organic Cream of Earl Grey Tea
David’s Tea has a wealth of incredible loose-leaf tea options available. There are tea sachets, loose leaf teas, seasonal picks, glittery teas, iced teas, drink mixes, lattes, and lots more. David’s Tea even has plenty of tea accessories for sale, but the focus for this list goes to one of the most well-known teas: Earl Grey. The Cream of Earl Grey Tea has notes of black tea, bergamot, citrus, and vanilla. It’s available in loose-leaf or sachet form and in a variety of sizes or packaging types.
Price at time of publish: $18 for 100 grams of loose-leaf tea
Tasting Notes: Black tea, bergamot, citrus, vanilla | Caffeine Content: 40+ milligrams per cup
Tea Drops 25 Tea Drop Deluxe Sampler
You’ve heard of bath bombs, but did you know there are tea bombs? Tea Drops makes individually wrapped single-serve tea bricks in whimsical shapes. The 25 Tea Drop Deluxe Sampler features citrus ginger, matcha, blueberry acai, rose Earl Gray, and sweet peppermint tea. Just add boiling water and enjoy. Touted as an eco-friendly alternative to bagged tea, Tea Drop also says the packaging is 100 percent recyclable and biodegradable. It’s a feel-good, taste-good cup of tea.
Price at time of publish: $35
Includes: 5 blueberry acai tea drops, 5 citrus ginger tea drops, 5 matcha green tea drops, 5 rose earl gray tea drops, 5 sweet peppermint tea drops
Teabloom Celebration Complete Blooming Tea Set
Making tea is a work of art–and this clear tea set allows you to see it in action. Teabloom’s kit includes a 40-ounce borosilicate teapot with a lid, a glass tea warmer, four double-walled glasses, and an infuser, but the true star of the show is the 12 flowering teas that are included. When put in the pot, the buds bloom into truly stunning flowers while infusing the water with tasty tea. It’s a memorable and one-of-a-kind gift any tea lover will treasure.
Price at time of publish: $80
Includes: 40-ounce glass teapot with lid, glass tea warmer, four double-walled glasses (3.4 ounces each), loose leaf tea infuser, 12 blooming teas
NovelTea Book Tins
NovelTea takes puns to the next level. The company creates literary themed teas and tins, perfect for the book-loving tea drinkers in your life. Each set comes with a decorative tin, loose-leaf tea, and a bookmark. Some pun-tastic options include War and Peach, Don QuixoTea, Matcha Do About Nothing, Oliver Lemon Twist, Pride and Peppermint, and The Picture of Earl Gray. NovelTea also offers smaller tea tins with even more hilarious titles. Anne of Tea Gables, anyone?
Price at time of publish: $35
Includes: Book-shaped tin, 2 ounces of lemon tea, bookmark
Fusion Select Ultimate DIY Bubble Tea Kit
Bubble tea (also known as boba) has become increasingly popular over the past few years, and now you can make it right at home. Fusion Select has an incredible DIY Bubble Tea Kit that features six flavors–taro, mango, coconut, lychee, Thai tea, and milk tea–as well as quick-cook tapioca pearls. The kit is able to make about 36 12-ounce drinks or 24 16-ounce drinks. One Amazon reviewer said she bought it for a fun family activity and it was a total hit with everyone.
Price at time of publish: $40
Includes: Sachets of flavored boba powder (taro, mango, coconut, Thai tea, milk tea, lychee), 3 bags of quick-cook tapioca pearls, large colored straws
Williams Sonoma Honeycomb Cream & Sugar Set
Many people like a bit of cream and sugar with their tea, and Williams Sonoma makes an eye-catching cream and sugar set decorated with golden honeycombs and detailed bees. Both pieces are crafted from porcelain and are dishwasher-safe. While the set is definitely cute on its own, it was designed to go with Williams Sonoma’s other honeycomb-themed drinkware, including tea cups and saucers, mugs, a teapot, and espresso cups. They’re also included in the full honeycomb tea set.
Price at time of publish: $50
Includes: Porcelain sugar bowl with lid, porcelain cream pitcher | Dishwasher Safe: Yes
StudioRosalina Small Ceramic Leaf Teabag and Spoon Rest
Few things are more frustrating than making tea, sitting down, getting comfy, and then realizing there’s nowhere to put your steeped tea bag. These ceramic leaf-shaped dishes are great for resting tea bags or mixing spoons without making a big mess. Each set comes with four handmade ceramic dishes. In addition to using it as a spoon rest, the recipient could use them to hold jewelry, coins, sauces, or other knick knacks. They’re as versatile as they are pretty.
Price at time of publish: $26 for 4
Material: Handmade ceramic | Dimensions: 2.5 x 3 inches
Sosou 10-Piece Silicone Snail Tea Bag Holder Set
Ever had a tea bag’s string fall into the drink? It’s a pain to fish out. Prevent that from happening with these cute silicone snail tea bag holders. The snails perch securely on the rim of a cup and can hold up the strings of any tea bags steeping inside. Each set comes with 10 colorful snails. Nearly 70 percent of the 3,850+ ratings on Amazon give these little guys five stars.
Price at time of publish: $10
Includes: 10 colorful silicone snail-shaped tea bag holders
Orren Ellis Makelle Ceramic Tea Set
If you want to give someone a beautiful tea set, check out the Makelle Ceramic Set from Orren Ellist. Featuring a pleasant white-to-dark-gray-blue ombre effect, the ceramic pieces are both microwave- and dishwasher-safe. The large teapot can hold up to 50 ounces, and each of the mugs hold about 10 ounces. In addition to the pot and four cups, the set includes a similarly decorated porcelain tea tray for serving.
Price at time of publish: $77
Includes: Teapot, 4 teacups, serving tray | Material: Porcelain
World Menagerie Alouette Tea Set
Taking inspiration from Japanese tea sets and symbolism, this beautiful blue set contains a porcelain teapot with a bamboo handle and four teacups. Each piece has a pretty dragonfly decal. The set is also microwave- and dishwasher-safe, so long as you remove the stainless steel strainer beforehand. For those looking for a more traditional set, this is a fantastic option.
Price at time of publish: $83
Includes: Teapot, 4 teacups | Materials: Porcelain, wood, steel
What to Look for in Gifts for Tea Lovers
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.
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-bone 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 is that 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 1 teaspoon of tea for every cup of water used, plus one extra scoop. So, if want to make 5 cups of tea, use 6 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, including lattes, iced matcha, and smoothies. It can also be used in cooking and baking (check out these matcha truffles, for example). Unlike most teas with which 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," 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 such as baking soda and lemon juice are effective descaling agents, and many brands sell special descaling solutions in liquid or powder form that are 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're 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 Fahrenheit. 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 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 trade shows. 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. She is the author of "Steeped: Recipes Infused with Tea" a Los Angeles Times Favorite New Cookbook of the Year.
This piece was updated 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.
Devorah Lev-Tov, who also updated this roundup, is a food and beverage writer who has covered tea and coffee for The Spruce Eats as well as outlets including Thrillist, National Geographic, Saveur, and Martha Stewart Living. She drinks herbal tea every evening and alternates between coffee and black tea during the day.
Michelle Puyane is the cofounder 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.