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What would you love to receive in a tea gift basket – SW Tea Festival style?

What would you love to receive in a tea gift basket? We ask that question of folks signing up for our newsletter and entering our frequent festival prize drawings.

75 tea aficionados completed this survey at our booth at the Southwest Tea Festival held in Las Vegas at the Lucky Dragon Hotel and Casino, February, 2017.

sw-southwest-tea-festival-logo-only

There were several surprise results. 27 people said they would love to receive a gift of Oolong tea – 30 said black tea. This is a real turn around. Historically, oolong tea gets very few votes. We had assumed most tea drinkers were not as familiar with oolong tea.

At the Festival this year, several tea vendors offered really good oolong teas and folks were enjoying them. We think this may be why so many more tea drinkers indicated they would like a gift of oolong tea.

The most requested tea was green tea at 36, followed by black tea at 30, oolong tea, as mentioned, at 27, white tea at 18 and, lastly herbal tea at 16.

Another surprise was the tea bag vs loose leaf tea preference. In the past, tea drinkers have been embarrassed (we guess) to admit they prefer tea in bags – the ‘right’ way to enjoy tea is to prefer the leaves loose. Of the 75 survey completers that responded to this question, 37 preferred loose leaf tea and a brave 18 tea drinkers admitted to preferring tea in bags.

We contend however you enjoy drinking tea is the right way for you. There is poor quality loose leaf tea as well as poor quality tea in tea bags. More and more now, we have the opportunity to experience better quality tea in better quality tea bags.

32 survey completers would prefer a gift of tea to be organic, 23 fair traded. Again, this is a significant increase from prior survey answers. Could the tea industry as a whole be doing a good job educating people about tea production? Maybe it is the vibrant tea culture in the Las Vegas area?

What was not a surprise was the tea treats. If you want to give a tea drinker a gift that will make them happy, it must include cookies first, tea cake or tea candy second. An interesting note here, someone expressed a desire for a gluten free option. When gifting anyone, please pay attention to their special concerns. Do not give someone who cannot eat flour, a treat with flour. If someone supports organic and fair trade, do not give them tea that is not those things. Sounds simple, but gift givers do sometimes have these oversights.

Elegant and English Tea biscuits

The number one tea tool survey completers requested was a tea infuser – 46 of the 75 responders said this. A tea thermometer, tea measuring spoon and tea scale listed similarly; 16, 19 and 12 requests.

The number one tea ware requested was a teapot, 38 requests, followed by teacup and saucer at 28, mug at 25 and tea spoons at 24.

teapot with infuser tea gift ideas

Teapot with infuser Tea Gift Ideas

Tea accessories were not ‘hot’ items. Of the 75 survey completers, 21 would enjoy receiving books about tea, 23 a tea wallet, 22 tea themed stationary and 27 tea themed gifts like candles and picture frames.

How tea wallet works photo

Tea Wallet Tea Gift Ideas

In conclusion, the perfect gift for our survey responders at the Southwest Tea Festival in Las Vegas, February, 2017 is a gift containing these things: Organic and fair traded green, black and oolong tea, a teapot and tea infuser (some teapots have built in infusers) and lots of cookies!

Thank you everyone for completing a survey and congratulations to those who won the 6 tea sampler prizes. Extra 6 tea sampler prizes as well as the other items we had for sale at the show are available at Tea Lover Teas and Tea Lover Gift Baskets. 10% off with code TEAFEST applies through Mother’s Day.

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Cynthia and I enjoyed Afternoon Tea on a

Cynthia and I enjoyed Afternoon Tea on a beautiful SF day at the Tea Stop Cafe, a mini me of the Crown & Crumpet, in San Francisco recently. http://ow.ly/obtHQ http://ow.ly/i/2WZpl http://ow.ly/i/2WZrb http://ow.ly/i/2WZrW

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I won $100 voucher at British Wholesale

I won $100 voucher at British Wholesale Imports! Yeh! I was a Lucky Seven winner this year – finally! Yes, we WILL get clotted cream this holiday season! http://ow.ly/i/2WYvb http://ow.ly/obqDz

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Personalize a tea gift basket for a special hostess gift…

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Beth was both surprised and delighted to receive this thoughtful gift. The gift was presented wrapped in a clear garbage bag, as Angela had to transport it safely on the train ride over to Beth’s house.

Angela is Beth’s friend so knows what she likes.  She chose a collectible basket lined with gingham to hold the other gifts. Angela blended an herbal tea, a simple blend of three ingredients, for Beth and presented it in a large canning jar.  Travel size facial products were included as well as a tea mug with a built in infuser. The highlight of the basket (besides the tea) was the box of Frango chocolates Angela had purchased at Macy’s.

Beth, our hostess, was not expecting a gift, knew it was not necessary. The gift made her feel special and appreciated – that her efforts had not gone un-noticed. Angela, the gift giver, was able to share part of herself and show her gratitude for Beth’s time and hospitality. Tea was the common denominator so a most appropriate gift.

The Let’s Go to Tea MeetUp group is sponsored, in part, by Tea Lover Gift Baskets.com. http://www.meetup.com/Lets-Go-to-Afternoon-Tea/events/56969452/ and http://www.tealovergiftbaskets.com/

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A Gift of Tea…and your time – Tea Festivals!

At Kulov’s Tea Festival in LA this past weekend,  I noted many attendees were not alone. They were attending with friends or their Mom or siblings and having a fun time. Those who attended on their own were open to meeting new people and experiencing tea culture. Tea festivals boast tea education classes, tea vendors for shopping and more education, and food including cocktails, usually tea inspired recipes.

If you are struggling for a gift for a tea lover, why not consider taking them to a tea festival? If it is impossible to attend together because of distance,  give them two tickets so they can take a guest with them.  Don’t forget to include a gift certificate for shopping and enjoying afternoon tea.

Kulov’s Tea Festival is held annually in May in Los Angeles, CA. The event is actually still going on as this year the festivities are being held each weekend throughout the month of May. It is not too late to take advantage of the reasonably priced Mother’s Day activities going on this weekend.  (http://tealoversfestival.com/)

Kulov (the last name of the organizer of the tea festival) also organizes a tea bus tour in the fall, usually in October. Another great opportunity to gift a tea lover you care about with tickets or to spend time with them.

You don’t live in or near Los Angeles? No problem. There are tea festivals throughout the country. Check out the:
1. Northwest Tea Festival held annually the first weekend in October in Seattle, WA. http://www.nwteafestival.com/.
2. The Rocky Mountain Tea Festival in Boulder, CO held annually the last weekend in July. http://www.boulderteahouse.com/rocky-mountain-tea-festival/
3. The NYC Coffee and Tea Festival held annually at the end of February in NYC. http://www.coffeeandteafestival.com/. The organizers of this event, which actually sold out this year, have also created similar events in Philadelphia and now Atlantic City. The event in Atlantic City will be held in early November. Do not be put off, tea culture holds equal billing with coffee at the Coffee and Tea Festival.
4. The owners of the Chado Tea Rooms and International Tea Importers, supporters of the Northwest Tea Festival, have begun the International Tea Festivals in LA (http://www.teafestivalla.com/) and San Francisco http://sfinternationalteafestival.com/festival-speakers/roy-fong/.  The first annual International Tea Festival in San Francisco was held this past February, the same date as the first day of the NYC Coffee and Tea Festival.

OK, so a day at a tea festival stiffens your back and churns your stomach, you love your friends and family, but the idea of a daylong tea event makes your head ache?? I do not know of anyone who enjoys drinking tea that would not enjoy spending time with you at a tearoom or tea café. Make a gift of taking the birthday boy/girl out for a tea centric meal.  Check out www.teamap.com, a tearoom directory sponsored by Adagio Teas. Find the nearest tearoom, make a reservation, and watch their special day turn into an event they will not soon forget. 

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So you want to give a gift of tea……

So you want to give a gift of tea to someone you care about?  Where do you begin?

  • Does this person use tea bags or prefer loose leaf tea?
  • Is caffeine an issue, does your tea drinker only drink herbal infusions or tisanes? (What is a tisane, anyway??)
  • Do they have a taste for green tea or is a black tea more to their liking?
  • Would they much rather have a tea blended with fruit, nuts, berries, even chocolate or would they snub their nose and select only single estate teas?
  • Is your gift recipient nearby or will your gift  need to be shipped?
  • You might ask yourself are some teas better than others?
  • How do you know if you are getting a good deal?
  • Is this a personal gift or a gift for a business client?

Once you find the answer to those questions, another array of questions present themselves…..

Have I found a reputable (tea) gift basket company? Will I be able to get my questions answered to my satisfaction? Will the gift I choose impress my tea drinker as much as it does me? For business, will the gift make the impact I anticipate?

When I started Tea Lover Gift Baskets, back in 2008, I had just returned from the World Tea Expo and was working towards completing the level two certification awarded by the Specialty Tea Institute. I had just seen (and tasted and held and drooled over) the newest and hottest tea and tea products. It was not difficult to bring (too) many of these things home and, with help, create beautiful tea gift basket designs.

What I was to learn, quickly, was that finding tea and tea products and creating fun tea gift basket designs was just part of my new job description. Here, I endeavor to share with you my journey. As I learned how to source the newest and hottest tea and tea gifts, mindfully selecting unique, re-useable containers as well as recycled or compostable packaging, and securely, cost effectively shipping (tea) gift baskets, I can help you avoid some of the mistakes I made.

Follow along with me and learn how to negotiate the myriad of (tea) gift basket providers. Know that you are selecting a quality (tea) gift basket, for the best price from a reputable company. Be sure your gift arrives timely as promised, with your sentiments clearly displayed.  A well selected (tea) gift basket will be a delightful surprise to those you care about and a strategic tool to impress business clients.

I create and sell tea gift baskets. Some of what I share can apply to other gift baskets. I indicated that information by putting tea in parenthesis (tea). Thank you.

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