Gift Guide: Holidays

It may be early November, but is it ever too early to be considering what you’re getting your loved ones for the holidays? As someone who tries very hard to get all of the holiday shopping completed before the month of December (oh yes, I’m that person!), I’m a fan of gift guides because they help me out with ideas or directly influence my shopping plans.

For the Beginner Tea Drinker

Consider a tea mug with infuser. They come in all shapes, sizes, colours, and designs. And what a better way to influence someone to continue their love of tea than making it easy on them? I’m always of the opinion that one can never have enough tea mugs – bonus points if you get something seasonal so your tea loving friend can begin to rotate through the seasons.

How about a tea sampler? You can create your own by assembling some of your favourite teas or base it off of the teas that you know your loved one enjoys. If they’re a recent convert from coffee, considering black teas for the stronger caffeine content (try English or Irish breakfast blends, lapsang souchong or orange Pekoe). If they’ve been drinking tea for a while, try some more rare or expensive teas that they may not purchase for themselves regularly (try flowering/blooming teas, white teas, and oolongs). A nice size for a tea sampler would be between three to six teas. You can buy tea samplers prepackaged or go the DIY route if you have tea that you wouldn’t mind parting with.

And if you’re trying to give a present before the holidays – try a tea advent calendar! This year I’ll be drinking the Tea Advent Calendar from Adagio Teas. There are many available out there and there’s a great assortment of types of teas available in calendars. Last year, I worked through my DIY version – but this option really only works if you have 12 or 24 teas available to you because the idea of purchasing 24 teas just to parcel out into advent calendar-sized servings sounds like a lot of work to me.

For the Advanced Tea Lover

How about a variable temperature kettle? The ability to properly steep a cup of tea is so important and respects the artistry that goes into tea production. I personally love my tea kettle (Breville IQ Kettle) and can’t recommend it enough – I’ve been using it daily, multiple times a day, for more than 3 years now.


Teaware is never a bad idea. A tea-for-one set or a gaiwan is a must for any tea lover. I’m personally a fan of a tea-for-one set because there’s just something charming of a tea pot that sets into the tea cup. But for those who are into Chinese teas, a gaiwan is basically a must have. I personally have two and love using them for green and oolong teas, it makes for an easy way to do quick steeps and I’m slowly getting better at pouring from them without spillage.

Subscription boxes are all the rage these days! You can get them for: food, socks, cosmetics, and also tea. I’ve reviewed subscription tea boxes from a variety of companies and there’s so many more than I haven’t covered. You can often purchase subscription tea boxes in 3, 6, 9, or 12 month increments so you can be sure that your loved one will get tea for an on-going basis, as long as you’d like. Depending on which company you choose, I would expect the monthly cost to be at least $15-20 and all the way up to $50 per month.

Tea is always a great present, in my humble opinion as someone who has both received and been given tea and teaware as a present. After all, what’s not to love about a hot cuppa tea? If you have any gift ideas for the tea lover in your life, add them below in the comments!

Gift Guide: Mother’s Day

Mother’s Day is a bit of a funny thing, since a lot of countries have their own version of Mother’s Day – and not everyone celebrates it on the same day (or even month!). If you’re in Canada or the United States, then you probably celebrate it on the second Sunday of May, which just so happens to be next week. If you’re in another country that doesn’t celebrate Mother’s Day next week, then I’m either late (and you can use this gift guide for next year) or I’m early (which is great!).

When I was younger, Mother’s Day consisted of a hand drawn card, usually me making a cup of tea, and some sort of breakfast. It certainly progressed and got a little bit more sophisticated as time went on, but the general idea remained the same. A card, a cup of tea, and food. I like to think that I make awesome pancakes, but it’s harder to do a surprise! breakfast when I no longer live in the same house. So here are some of the gift ideas that I’ve come up with for Mother’s Day this year!

I still recommend getting a card or making one. Remember how much your mom loved those cards you made in school? Nothing says I love you like being a little bit creative. You can buy premade a Mother’s Day card at grocery stores, specialty card shops, dollar stores, or head to your local Big Box craft store and find some supplies to make your own. Bonus points if you have kids and get them to help you out – stamping your child’s hand or getting them to help with drawing or colouring would be a fantastic idea and make it all the more heartfelt. $

Breakfast or brunch is still a good idea. I don’t know about you, but everyone I know needs to eat! Why not take your mom to her favourite eatery for some breakfast? Brunch is very on-trend right now, and who doesn’t love pancakes? Bonus points if you also show up with a small bouquet of her favourite flowers. You’ll probably see a lot of bouquets of carnations leading up to the big day. Carnations are the flower for Mother’s Day – coloured if your mom is still with you, and white if your mother has passed away. $-$$

I’m all for afternoon tea, as many of you might have picked up on. It might not be too late to call up a local afternoon tea salon to see if they still have a table available! Not only will you have the opportunity to treat your mom, you’ll also have a lovely experience – complete with sandwiches and dessert, yum! If you’re local to Metro Vancouver, check out some of my past reviews of places where I had tea experiences! $$-$$$

And who wants to meet up with their mom empty handed? While not all moms might love flowers since allergies are a very real thing, she might also like a nice scented candle, bath bombs & fancy soaps (bonus points if you find something locally made!), a new teapot (or tea set…?), jewellery (I recently purchased some goodies for Mother’s Day from Etsy, specifically from a shop called Lulidesigns), a spa day, or perhaps a brand new book that you spotted on their Amazon wishlist or one that you spotted that made you think of them. Anything that tells your mom that you’ve been thinking of them is a good gift. $-$$$

I hope this Mother’s Day Gift Guide has helped give you some ideas of what to give to your mom for Mother’s Day. Hopefully the restaurants and tea locations in your area aren’t too booked up just yet, so you better get on calling for a table! However it goes, don’t stress out too much because that’s not really the point of Mother’s Day. Hopefully nex Sunday will be filled with joy and serenitea!

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.