; Cwyn's Death By Tea: Best Tea Gifts 2016 ;

Monday, November 21, 2016

Best Tea Gifts 2016

Hard to believe, but holiday shopping is upon us along with the agony of selecting gifts for other people. Really the whole point of holiday shopping is to buy things for ourselves under the cover of altruism. Or to turn the non-tea lover onto the hobby of tea hoarding, and failing that we can borrow the gift back later on. In case you need a break from the hard work of thinking about others this season, I've put together a list of must-haves if you are building a wish list, and for the most part I've tried to go budget this year.

Tea Ware

We all know the point of tea ware is to share photos on social media and inspire envy in others. Tea pets are a staple of tea tables world wide. The problem is they constantly fall off the tea table. A new trend which I predict will be the next big thing is the tea pet right in the cup. 

Imagine these little faces peeking out of a bath of warm brew.

Tea Pet Cups will go viral real soon.
 $15.89 inc. shipping, Aliexpress
This bone china cup comes with a matching lid and spoon.
 The idea is you can be the first to show off the new trend on Instagram before everybody else. We all have cats, and now you can have your tea pet cat right on the cup. Aren't these just too cute?
Image result for 3D cat coffee mug
These cat mugs include a choice of cup color.
$8.52 incl. shipping, Aliexpress.
And then we have this tea pet cup for the differently alerted.
3D mugs and cups novelty ceramic coffer cup up yours middle finger tea water mug creative gift drinkware(China (Mainland))
My personal pick 
$10.40 incl. shipping, Aliexpress
Tea Gifts

Sometimes people expect me to give tea, and even want me to give tea. But in truth I don't give away my good stuff, and even if I did nobody would like it anyway. So that leaves me looking around for tea that I know others will like while still preserving a shred of the appearance of good taste. These 1.5 kg Dahongpao tea disks really show how much you care.

Image result for lucky chicken dahongpao big red robe
A whopping 1.5 kg 
$93.10 incl. shipping, Aliexpress
These disks are table top size which makes them super practical. All you need to do is add wooden legs and cover with a doily and the roast can rest away for a really, really long time. If you don't like the chicken design, others are available too. This lucky sheep is a nice choice for that friend who is more of a follower than a leader.

Image result for lucky sheep dahongpao big red robe
Lucky sheep pattern.
Price same as above, Aliexpress

And then we also can get a Lucky Cow, except in this case I believe this one is mislabeled or transgendered. This one is my favorite.

Image result for 1.5kg lucky cow chinese tea
1.5 kg Lucky Cow
Price as above, Aliexpress.
This wooden barrel of puerh tea in a bag has a Swiss Colony look, and takes me back to the days of salt barrel sardines. You can thoughtfully personalize this gift by handwriting a set of brewing instructions starting with "Rinse in cold water to remove any fishy flavors." 

Puerh in a Barrel
$2.15,+ shipping., St. John Enterprises LLC
Tea Brewing

People new to tea often complain they don't have anything to brew tea in. You're in a position to help with that. The hot gifts this year include US Political designs, such as this tea pot.

Trump Tea Pot
Design by AmericanUniqueFinds
You can also get the same teapot for the opposing side of the political aisle. Both of these tea pots come in a choice of Small size of 11 oz and a much larger Medium size of 44 oz. Medium will cost $11.20 more. 

Trump and Lincoln Teapot
Design by TheBigApple
$33.75 for small size
These teapots are both the same apart from the design, however Lincoln costs quite a bit more. Political differences are really painful this year. In fact, I'm hearing that people are cancelling holiday dinner plans with relatives who voted the opposing party, whatever the vote. But in case your family agrees to set differences aside, then you need to plan ahead to serve a crowd. Or just yourself on a personal bender. 

Glass Infuser Tea Dispenser
$24.50 ships free to store.
Interestingly, this glass dispenser had one review posted of 4/5 stars that got removed after one day. The reviewer stated that the infuser works well, but the spout dispenses tea at a trickle. I'm not sure why she considered that a flaw, anything that discourages others from drinking my tea is a plus. The reviewer stated her husband could likely drill a wider hole to compensate after the relatives go home. I concur with this idea.


I hear stories from puerh hoarder spouses who complain about unsightly puerh cakes and crocks taking over the house. The best options for puerh are those your partner thinks are for the benefit of the family. Here is an attractive portable bamboo laundry hamper.

Bamboo Folding Laundry Hamper
24 inches tall
$26.70 incl. shipping.
The time to buy this hamper is before you need a new one. Explain to the spouse you need an extra one in your closet. This hamper will fit two seven-cake tongs of puerh, covered thoughtfully with a rumpled clean t-shirt. None the wiser. At this price you can afford two. I'm sure you already have humidity packs to use with a hamper like this.

Most of my picks for tea gifts this year are on the budget side, but I save the best for last. Here is the high-end pick of the year for the tea lover who already has everything.

Japanese style gongfu teacup bathtub
Price: if you have to ask, you can't afford it.

Happy Shopping!

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