Serious Eats: Drinks
Gift Guide for Tea Lovers
There are few things more satisfying than a well-stocked cupboard of teas—except perhaps a well-stocked cupboard of tea-related toys. For your tea-loving friends this time of year, we offer a few perfect gift choices, from the fanciful to the indispensable, at prices you won't find too steep.
Iced Tea Tornado
The fascinating engineers over at Hario (known best for their household coffee wares, and their stake in the automotive headlight industry) have certainly not forgotten the tea set in their endeavours, and this Iced Tea Tornado is surely evidence of that. Its generously sized metal strainer insert allows for full leaf expansion of your looseleaf teas, all while allowing you the pleasure of brewing something arguably non-catastrophic in a vessel named after a tornado. What more could you ask from an iced tea brewer?
Tea: History, Terroirs, Varieties
French-speakers and those otherwise in the know have been hip to this incredible tea guide from Montreal tearoom and tea purveyor Camellia Sinensis for some time now. This wonderful tea book has now been made available in an English translation, making this handsome and terrifically researched guide the ideal gift for anyone who wishes to simplify the mystifications of tea from region to region, style to style, all while fanning the flames of their curiosity. Beautiful photographs and heaps of information are approachably organized here. A must-have for those who love learning about tea.
White Peony Tea
Delicate, lovely white teas are a wonderful complement to the hushed snowfall of a winter's day, or, if you're celebrating somewhere that looks less like a greeting card, still a wonderful chapter in any tea journey. This particular White Peony tea, sourced by Intelligentsia Coffee & Tea in Chicago, hits all the right holiday notes—its description says it brews to the color of "light gold" and tastes like myrrh, so we recommend a frankincense pairing for this sweet and gracious cup.
Available from Intelligentsia for $8.99 per ounce.
There are few more perfect gifts—or vessels—than the versatile gaiwan, a small, simple lidded bowl that's wonderful for preparing aromatic oolong, white and green teas. Gaiwans come in myriad styles, from the classic, simple white porcelain gaiwan to highly decorative versions (perhaps your lucky recipient would prefer one hand-carved from jade?), whatever your budget or taste, you simply can't go wrong when gifting a gaiwan.
About the author: Liz Clayton drinks, photographs and writes about coffee and tea all over the world, though she pretends to live in Brooklyn, New York. She is currently compiling photographs of the best coffee in the world to be published by Presspop in 2013.
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