I am an avowed teaphile. In a nation that’s taken more and more to the allure of the coffee shop over the last decade or two, I’m delighted and excited by the rise of tea specialists and what I’m calling (in a rather linguistically challenged way) teafés.
So I thought I’d share some of great tea suppliers with you, by highlighting those products from each that I think would make fabulous gifts for those tea lovers in your lives. Or for yourselves!
First up are Jing Tea. I confess, I haven’t yet tried their teas, though they’re on my list to try soon, but with such a large selection in the cupboard, Pete is “encouraging” me to reduce my stock before adding to it any further. (And I have to concede, he may have a point!) But I absolutely love their double walled tea cups and mugs and they’re firmly on my own Christmas wishlist.
From the modern to the traditional with Lahloo Tea‘s beautiful tea infusers. My favourite is the Six Cranes design, above. Combine one of these with a selection of their teas for a gift pack that whispers peace and relaxation.
The Rare Tea Company, who I’ve mentioned before on Kavey Eats, also has a range of pretty teaware, with both modern glass and dainty porcelain items. But it’s Henrietta’s teas I can’t get enough of. I love her Jasmine Silver Tip Tea, made by steaming fine silvery-white tips of tea with fresh jasmine flowers, and her Emperor’s Breakfast black China tea is pretty marvellous too, as are her delicate Oolong Tea and her refreshing Green Leaf Tea.
You may recall me mentioning Teapigs before too, and not just for the cute name! Self-confessed tea evangelists, their mission is to bring really fine quality tea to everyone, even those who are new to or nervous about loose leaf tea. They have a great range of teas (both loose and in specially designed tea bags) including some novel ones such as chocolate flake tea and spiced winter red tea.
Tiny Teas is another tea specialist I’ve recently come across but haven’t yet tried myself. However, I’m intrigued by the idea of their apple crumble tea which is described as a mix of green and oolong tea with the flavour of apples, cinnamon and marzipan.
And I’m saving a real treat for last. I have posted before about my serendipitous friendship with Pei Wang from Teanamu. Pei has established his own tea business with a somewhat different slant to those above. Although he does indeed sell very fine quality tea and hand-selected teawares (I can personally recommend the phoenix eye jasmine and the lychee black and isn’t the petite elegance black pot adorable?) he also runs the most amazing tea appreciation sessions and tea cookery workshops. I’ve attended both of these myself and cannot recommend them highly enough for any tea lovers out there. I’m planning to purchase some teanamu magic for one of my nearest and dearest this Christmas.
Here are some photos taken at Teanamu’s tea appreciation ceremony (from a couple of months ago) and the tea cookery workshop, that I attended more recently:
I hope you find some tea inspiration in this selection and perhaps the perfect tea gifts to treat either yourself, or your friends and family, this Christmas. Enjoy!