Gift Guide: Valentine’s Day

Valentine’s Day is a mere 4 days away – are you still struggling for some gift ideas for that special tea lover in your life? With a gift giving holiday so soon after Christmas, it can be a struggle at times to come up with some ideas. But I’ve got your back, tea friend! Whether you’re shopping for your sweetheart or your tea lovin’ bestie, I’ve got some gift ideas for you for all sorts of budgets.

20180210-giftguidevday1 For That Special Someone

If your sweetheart loves boxes of assorted chocolates, how about a tea sampler box from their favourite tea company? This shows them that you listen when they go on (and on) about their favourite place to shop, plus you’ll be the one to introduce them to new teas. $

For the person who loves feeling decadent at home, might I suggest a tea-for-one set, a tea pot, or a cup-and-saucer set? You can find some gorgeous vintage and modern styles these days. With tea growing in popularity, you can find teaware in department stores, home goods stores, bookstores, thrift stores, and so much more. You’ll pretty much be able to find something to fit their style anywhere. $-$$

If you’re feeling particularly spendy, might I recommend signing them up for a tea subscription box? For the person who otherwise has everything tea related, a tea subscription box is a fantastic way for your special sweetie to get introduced to new teas every single month. This is decidedly the most spendy option of the three, but it’ll be the gift that keeps on giving until the subscription ends. I’ve reviewed a few different tea subscription boxes, if you’re looking for ideas. $$$


For Your BFF

Your tea-loving bestie needs a travel mug, if they don’t already have one. You’ll probably get bonus points if it has a built in tea infuser, or if you include a packet of tea with it. There’s such a huge variety of tea travel mugs out there these days that it can be hard to decide on one. I’d go for one in their favourite colour that also looks easy to clean – nobody has time for travel mugs that need an instruction manual to take apart. $

If you want to spoil your friend with an at-home spa experience without completely breaking the bank, I’d recommend some tea-infused soap products or bath bombs. With tea gaining popularity, there’s a lot of bath products out there that are infused with teas (particularly green tea or Earl Grey), along with a myriad of essential oils and dried flowers (like lavender). There’s even products like herbal bath tea bags that you can buy that basically look like giant tea bags, but they’re designed for use in the bath tub and not for your teapot. $

For the ultimate gal pal get together on Galentine’s Day (yes, I went there), I don’t think you can go wrong with a date for two for a favourite spot for afternoon tea. If you’re in the Metro Vancouver area, I have reviewed several local places to sit down for a scrumptious bite to eat! The nice thing about this option is that you get a #treatyoself moment as well while you’re catching up with your friend. Because of the popularity of afternoon tea for Valentine’s Day, I’d highly recommend book a reservation in advance if you can. Bonus, a lot of places are vegetarian or gluten-free friendly, just be sure to let them know when booking. And, as an aside, remember that traditionally macarons are made with almond meal/flour, so if your bestie has a nut allergy, best let them know as well. $$-$$$


I hope this list of gift ideas helps you out a bit with any last minute gift shopping for that special tea obsessed person in your life.

Recipe: Matcha Sugar Cookies


It’s that time again for a holiday cookie exchange at work! This year, I had coworkers asking me to make the Earl Grey shortbread cookies again – which I did. I also decided to make something new, so I opted to change up a tried-and-true sugar cookie recipe with some matcha. 2 tablespoons of matcha was just enough to give the cookies the matcha flavour, but not too much to be overwhelming. I hope you enjoy baking these matcha sugar cookies!


Recipe Yields: 4 dozen. Baking Time: 8 minutes.


  • 1½ cups powdered sugar
  • 1 cup butter
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 2 eggs
  • 2½ cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 tablespoons matcha



  • Beat powdered sugar, butter, vanilla extract, and eggs together until well blended.
  • Mix in flour, baking soda, and matcha.
  • Cover and refrigerate for approximately 2 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • Roll out dough to approximately ¼” thick, cut into shapes with cookie cutters.
  • On cookie sheets, lay out cookies at least 1″ apart.
  • Bake 8 minutes or until edges are light brown.
  • Remove from cookie sheets to cooling racks.

Recipe adapted from Betty Crocker The Big Book of Cookies, “Sugar Cookies”.

If you make these delicious matcha sugar cookies, I’d love to see your photos! Be sure to tag me on Instagram (@onemoresteep #onemoresteep) or comment below with a link to the photo!

2017 Vancouver Tea Festival: Recap

This past weekend, on November 4th and 5th, it was the annual Vancouver Tea Festival – hosted and organized by the Vancouver Tea Society at the Chinese Cultural Centre of Greater Vancouver and the Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Classical Chinese Garden located in the heart of Chinatown in Vancouver, British Columbia. This was also the first year that the Vancouver Tea Festival took place over two days, with presentations and tea tastings happening on both days.

Ticket prices varied from $7.95 to $24.95 depending on the number of dates (and which date), and if you opted for Exhibition Hall admission only or Exhibition Hall and Garden admission. There were children tickets available for free. Attendees also received a white sampling cup to tasting tea.

20171108-vantea3mconceptsM Concepts

On the first day that I attended, I focused primarily on the Exhibition Hall where the marketplace was held with all of the vendors. Here are some of the highlights of some of the things that I saw at the booths.

20171108-vantea2thechineseteashopThe Chinese Tea Shop

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