Tea drinkers can be a picky bunch sometimes, but there’s nothing like giving a great gift to somebody that you care for, especially when they’re surprised that you managed to find them something that they like. Here’s our top picks.
Update, 11/21/22: Checked content for accuracy, product availability, and dead links. Replaced or removed four out-of-stock items.
Not all tea drinkers are created equal, but they tend to have some key interests. Sometimes they have an obvious interest in a niche, which can be helpful when you understand the basics of that niche. That’s why we’ve rounded up and provided short explanations for all products—both those with broad appeal and niche products.
The biggest question to keep in mind is: does my tea lover use loose leaf tea? If they only use bagged tea, then you have an opportunity to enhance their teabag experience, or to introduce them to the basics of loose leaf tea (an especially good idea if you’re buying for a self-proclaimed “tea snob”). If you’re buying for someone who uses loose leaf tea, then you really only need to ask yourself what products your tea lover already owns, and if they have a niche interest in, say, Chinese tea ceremony.
The teapot is the undisputed king of tea tools (if you’re buying a gift for a pretentious tea drinker, feel free to also refer to them as the “undisputed king of tea tools”). But what kind of teapot should you give to your tea lover? I mean, there’s a lot of options…
Well, you’ll want to get them a great big teapot if they like to steep a lot of tea at a time. If they take their time drinking their tea, then you’ll want to get a teapot that won’t oversteep the tea. Generally, that means getting a smaller teapot, or one that has an infuser that doesn’t reach too deep into the pot.
If your tea lover is interested in tea ceremony, then you should get them a traditional yixing pot or gaiwan cups. Yixing pots are particularly treasured among tea drinkers, as they “season” with use and can provide a very personal tea drinking experience.
If your tea drinker prefers bagged tea, or is just getting started with loose leaf, then you’ll want to get them something simple.
These are some of our favorite teapots:
- Hiware Glass Teapot: This is a nice, affordable 35 oz glass teapot that any tea lover can enjoy. It may not be as thick as other glass teapots, but it can make tea and it has a spout.
- CUSINIUM Glass Teapot: This is a nice, heavy glass teapot. It holds 32 oz, which is plenty of space for any tea lover. It also has a wide mouth, which makes cleaning easy. There’s a couple of inches between the bottom of this teapot and its infuser basket, which will prevent any tea from oversteeping.
- Genuine Yixing Teapot: Yixing teapots have been loved by tea devotees for thousands of years. They’re expensive, but a 6.8 oz Yixing teapot would be greatly appreciated by serious tea drinkers.
- Music City Tea Gaiwan Set: Gaiwans are, essentially, tiny steepers and saucers for tea ceremonies. This 3.5 oz 8 piece Gaiwan set would be a fantastic gift for people who are specifically interested in tea ceremony.
- Bodum Travel Press: If you know a tea drinker who’s always on the go, then maybe you should grab them this 15 oz tea press. It’s great for taking loose leaf out of the house without making a big mess.
- Apace Loose Leaf Tea Infuser Set: Does your tea lover need some basic, stainless-steel infusers? This is a great gift for someone who’s interested in loose leaf tea, or for someone who keeps reusing the same dirty old tea tools.
You always know when you’re in a tea drinker’s kitchen. There’s usually a draw dedicated to bags and tools, or a pile of tea nonsense in the corner of the room. Why not help your tea lover clean up?
This is a relatively easy gift to give, it doesn’t take a lot of guesswork. The only thing that you need to keep in mind is whether they drink bagged tea or loose leaf tea. You may also want to consider what kind of tea storage they may already have, or if they need help storing tea away from the house.
Here are some great tea storage options:
- Cookbook People Bamboo Tea Bag Box: This is a great gift for somebody who’s got messy draw full of teabags. This bamboo box holds 128 tea bags, which should rescue anybody’s kitchen drawers from tea hell.
- SilverOnyx Tea Tin Canister Set: Tea tins are a great way to store loose leaf tea, because they block air and sunlight. The SilverOnyx tea set contains only 4 tea tins, but they’ll last forever.
- Mind Reader Loose-Leaf Organizer: This is a toolbox-styled tea organizer. The six canisters in the Mind Reader set fit firmly into a tray, and they’d look great in somebody’s kitchen or cubicle.
Don’t bother with old-fashioned kettles. Electric kettles are faster, cleaner, and more consistent than a stove-top kettle, and they’ve gotten relatively cheap. I would suggest giving your tea drinker an electric kettle that has temperature control because different teas need to steep at different temperatures.
Again, this is a relatively easy gift idea. There’s not a lot that can go wrong, especially if your tea lover has been heating up their water in the microwave or in a kettle that doesn’t have temperature control. You just need to consider what level of convenience your tea drinker desires. Some adjustable kettles have pre-set temperatures, while others let you dial in specific temperatures.
All of the kettles that we’ve suggested are lined with stainless or non-stick material, so you don’t have to worry about giving your tea lover a kettle that’s going to fill their body with microscopic plastic material. This isn’t just a health thing. Water that’s been boiled in a plastic container always tastes like plastic, and it can ruin a cup of tea.
Here’s our favorite electric kettles:
- Yabano Gooseneck Kettle: This 1 liter kettle can be adjusted to any temperature between 99 and 212 degrees Fahrenheit. It’s difficult to make a mess with a gooseneck kettle, because the water comes out in a fixed stream.
- Zojirushi Hot Pot: Hot pots are great for serious tea drinkers, because they provide on-demand hot water. No waiting. This particular hot pot holds 4 liters.
- Cuisinart Stainless Electric Kettle: This is a quick and convenient electric kettle. It holds 1.7 liters, and has pre-set buttons for different temperatures. Sadly, you can’t put in a specific temperature.
There’s not a single tea enthusiast that can be disappointed by good tea. A sampler or kit is a great and easy way to impress your tea lover, even if they’ve got pretentious taste buds.
We’ve selected a variety of tea samplers and kits, but they should really appeal to just about anyone. All of them contain good quality loose leaf tea (except for the matcha kit, because matcha is always a powder).
Speaking of matcha, the yerba mate and matcha tea kits are great and exotic gifts to give to your tea lover. They give you all the tools to drink those specific teas the correct way, so they’re great for any tea lover, from snob to novice.
Here come the kits:
- VAHDAM 10 Tea Sampler: This sampler contains 50 servings of 10 different teas, including black, green, and oolong varieties. It’s great for somebody who loves loose-leaf tea, or who’s just getting started.
- Tea Forte Tea Bag Sampler: This sampler contains 10 different teas, including green and herbal varieties. They’re loose leaf teas contained in pyramid-shaped bags, so you’ll be giving the flavor of loose-leaf with the convenience of bagged tea.
- Tealyra Matcha Kit: Matcha is a type of green tea power that’s especially popular in Japan. It’s a delicious tea, but it’s difficult to make correctly without the proper tools. This kit comes with a bag of matcha and the tools to make it correctly.
If your tea lover seems to have everything, then you might want to get them tea drinking accessories. None of these items are necessary for tea drinking, but they’re great tools for enhancing a tea drinking experience.
These accessories are especially good for people who are interested in the culture of tea, or how tea is harvested and cured. If you know someone who’s interested or invested in tea ceremony, then this is the time to grab them a great gift.
Here are our favorite tea accessories and books:
- Bamboo Gong Fu Tea Tray: Tea trays are great for entertaining company or holding tea ceremony. This particular tray is made from a fast-drying bamboo, and it has a drawer that catches any spilled liquid.
- Agatige Gongfu Tea Ceremony Accessories: This 6 piece set of tongs, whisks, and brushes can help your tea lover have the best loose leaf experience, especially if they’re interested in tea ceremony.
- The Story of Tea: Ah, do we have a tea scholar? “The Story of Tea” can teach tea lovers the culture of tea, and guide them through new tea drinking experiences. The Hard cover is hard to find but it’s available on Kindle and Audible.
- The Tea Book: All things Tea: This is a great, affordable learning resource for any tea lover. It thoroughly illustrates where tea comes from, and it contains some great pictures. A new copy of the hardcover may not be available, but there are plenty of options to buy used.
Whatever kind of tea lover you’re shopping for, there’s bound to be something in our list they don’t have and they’ll love.