For many people, the first cup of tea is often the highlight of their day. And while you don’t need much to make a great brew, there are a number of tools and gadgets that can make the whole experience a lot more enjoyable. So this holiday season, whether you’re looking for a present for you or someone you love, check out this list of our favorite gifts for tea lovers.
Hiware Borosilicate glass pitcher
After the handle on my previous pitcher developed a crack, I went on a search for a simple but durable container that could support my iced tea addiction and after a year and a half, this thing has not disappointed. Its heat-resistant borosilicate glass means you can pour boiling water directly into the pitcher without worrying about it shattering and its huge 68-ounce capacity holds enough to keep an entire family hydrated. Meanwhile, the stainless steel lid prevents leaves or stuff like fruit pulp from escaping. And at $20, this pitcher is just great value.
Hario Cold Brew Bottle
If you know someone who always brings their “famous” iced tea to parties or picnics check out Hario’s Cold Brew bottle. It holds up to 750ml of liquid and comes with a removable strainer to keep tea leaves from spilling out. There’s even a grippy silicone top for easy handling and a removable stopper that acts like a cork. And if you’re worried it’s a little pedestrian looking to make a lasting impact, Hario makes a champagne bottle version too.
Fellow Stagg EKG Electric Kettle
When it comes to boiling water in style, Fellow’s Stagg EKG Kettle can’t be beat. It’s available with a huge range of finishes and accents including walnut, cherry and maple woods. There’s an LCD panel built into the base for choosing a specific temperature (down to the degree) while the hold feature keeps water hot for up to an hour. The gooseneck spout is also great for friends or family that like making mudwater (aka coffee) with a V60 or similar brewer. And if that’s not enough, just this fall, Fellow introduced a new pro model that supports customizable brew settings, WiFi connectivity and more.
Breville IQ Electric Kettle
For those on your list that prefer function over form, you really ought to consider Breville’s IQ Electric Kettle. In addition to having nearly double the capacity (57 ounces vs 30 ounces) of the Stagg, it has dedicated temperature settings for a lot of major types of tea (green, white, oolong and black). It’s also a bit more powerful with an output of up to 1,500 watts, so there’s less waiting around for the water to heat up.
OXO Tea Infuser Basket
One of the easiest ways to brew better tea is by moving away from single-serving bags and switching to loose-leaf teas. That’s because typically tea bags feature lower quality leaves that often sit on shelves for months (or years) with the whole process favoring convenience over flavor. On top of that, the cloth or (more often) paper used to make tea bags can also impart unwanted flavors.
If you know someone looking to get into loose-leaf teas, they’re going to need an infuser, and OXO’s is one of the best. Its stainless steel basket won’t mess with the taste and its included lid traps heat in when steeping while also doubling as a saucer to prevent dripping once the tea is ready to drink. The basket is also a perfect size so it fits in practically any mug (and even many iced tea pitchers), and at just $15, it’s cheap enough to buy two or more so there will always be a clean one ready to go.
Fellow Atmos Vacuum Canister
While Fellow’s Atmos Canister was originally intended to store coffee, it’s equally great at keeping tea tasting fresh and flavorful, even after long periods. That’s because simply twisting its lid removes oxygen from the canister, slowing down potential oxidation which can cause tea to taste dull and lifeless. It’s available in three sizes (0.4, 0.7 and 1.2 liters) and in a range of materials, though you’ll probably want to stay away from the glass version, as light is another source of potential oxidation. (Leave the clear one for cookies or something.) And while it’s a bit on the pricey side, in my opinion there’s no better way of keeping even the fanciest leaves tasting great over time.
For matcha lovers who don’t want to deal with the hassle of a traditional bamboo whisk or anyone seeking a way to quickly froth up some milk, Golde’s Superwhisk is a great pick. It has two different speed settings and a battery that can be recharged via USB. It even comes with an included travel case, so your giftee can take it camping or anywhere they want to enjoy some tea (or a latte).
Pure’Tea Portable Tea Infuser
For people who want to bring their brew on the go, this charming portable tea infuser bottle looks great and makes the whole process super easy. Tea goes in the top section and water goes in the bottom. Right before drinking they flip the whole infuser upside down to brew instead of letting the leaves become oversteeped after sitting in water all day. The portable infuser also features borosilicate glass with a double-walled construction, so it can handle high temperatures without burning hands. Admittedly, there are similar bottles for less, but between its innovative design and premium materials, I can’t think of a better way to drink tea on-the-go.
Breakaway Matcha Flight Kit
Getting into matcha can be intimidating for even long-time tea drinkers. Not only can matcha be expensive but, since it’s very finely ground green tea instead leaves steeped in water, it has a very different flavor profile and texture. So instead of buying someone a single type of matcha, give this matcha flight kit a try. It includes four different blends which range from bright grassy varieties to deeper savory mixes. There’s also a handcrafted bamboo scoop, a sieve, tea towel and most importantly, a motorized whisk for properly whipping up the perfect cup.
Adagio Tea Samplers
For complete newbies to tea, Adagio’s loose teas sampler sets offer a huge range of types and flavors to choose from. You can select specific types like green teas from China for the Sinophile on your list, or opt for more general mixes like seasonal blends or even herbal selections. Prices also start as low as $12 a box for four different types, which makes this one of the most flexible and affordable ways of gifting a wide range of teas without doing a ton of research.
Butterfly Pea Tea
The first time I had butterfly pea flower tea was on my honeymoon in Thailand and it was love at first sip. It has a sweet flora aroma with some subtle earthy notes. But its signature highlight is its color. When brewed alone, you get a deep blue hue with hints of green, but when you add acid suddenly the tea becomes bright purple or pink. And because butterfly pea flower doesn’t contain caffeine, between its color and taste, it’s a great way to introduce kids to tea. Steep it, chill it, add the juice from a couple lemons or limes and a splash of sugar (I preferred agave), and in no time you’ll have the perfect summertime iced tea.
More Holiday Gift Ideas: Check out the rest of our tech gift ideas right here. Also, you'll find the best ideas for car lovers at Autoblog, gifts for the young (and young at heart) at In the Know, and picks for just about everyone else on your list (moms, dads, teens, nurses, you name it!) in Yahoo’s holiday gift ideas section.