It's just over 7 week till Christmas. 7 weeks people! A tad too close for comfort if I'm honest about it. I mean, am I really ready for the onslaught of fruit mince pies and trifle...
As the pre-Christmas frenzy starts to escalate we thought we would try to make the gift purchasing job a little easier when it comes to the tea drinker in your life. What follows are our favourite tea related products that we use ourselves or are coveting from afar as we save up to make a purchase.
For the tea curious person who may just be starting out exploring tea we recommend investing in some good basics as the right equipment is essential for creating a good brew. For a solo brew we recommend a basket style steeper, preferably with a fine mesh and silicone handles. The basket gives the tea leaves plenty of room to unfurl and move about so that you get the most out of the leaves. The fine mesh ensures that the brew remains particle free and the silicone handles prevent your fingers from getting burnt. This one from Upkoch fits the bill and is available on Amazon. But if you can find similar in your local homewares store, even better. We have several of these and they get a work out each and every day.
Another great option for that solo brew is a cup and steeper combination. We love the Unimug by Kinto. It has plenty of room for the leaves to move around, it comes in some cool colours and a few sizes and also has a lid which you can rest the basket on once you’ve finished steeping. Personally I think this is a great solution for work. Check out your local Milligram store but many homewares and gift stores stock them too.
A small favour if I may be so bold. Please steer clear of novelty steepers, I beg you. They are the worst for brewing a good cuppa and simply clog up ones utensil draw or gather dust down the back of the tea cupboard.
Now, if your gift recipient is more likely to brew for two or more then you could look at getting them a tea pot. When it is just Jason and I having the same tea, then we grab out our old faithful. The Kinto Unitea tea pot. Be sure to grab this version as it has many holes in the basket vs the one that only has a few slits in the bottom of the basket. We have the plastic basket version (the pot itself is glass), but it also comes in a version with a metal basket and lid. It’s perfect for 2 big cups of tea, has a great no drip spout, and like the Unimug, has a large basket allowing plenty of room for the leaves to move about. It also comes with a lid which can double as a basket rest.
Finally, if brewing tea for more than 2 people we would recommend a Bodum tea pot. I don’t think they make the one we have anymore but after having a quick look at their website, you would be pretty safe in choosing any one of their larger glass pots. For convenience ours has the built in basket and press (as do most of the them), so you can leave the tea in the pot and not worry about it over-steeping. The main reason why we love our Bodum is the spout. The shape of it means you don’t get tea spilling everywhere when pouring it into your cup. It’s surprising how many tea pots are poorly designed, allowing water to splash everywhere as you pour. I don’t know about you, but I for one, do not want my scones swimming in tea.
For someone that already has those basics sorted, you might like to consider purchasing something hand made from a local ceramic artist. Check out your local artisan’s market and see what’s on offer, supporting local and handmade is the bomb. I would also recommend checking out Clay Beehive, Tiny Clay Company which you can get at our mates Steep St in Katoomba, and Koa by Kaitlin.
To finish up, I'll share with you what we are secretly coveting...the Raven stove top tea kettle by Fellow. It is so easy on the eye and is functional to boot. I think any tea lover would be happy to receive one...hint hint mum and dad.
Cheers & happy shopping,