Find discounted gift cards for national tea purveyors

ImageI don’t know where I’ve been all this time! I was reading an article about how to save money eating out. One of the suggestions was to buy a discounted gift card for the restaurant you’d like to visit. Gift Card Granny.com  and ABC Gift Card.com were listed as two places to go to find discounted gift cards.

What a concept. Those of us with gift cards we will not use can sell or swap gift cards. The person who gifted us the unwanted card will never know. Or we can just go and buy a discounted gift card to any of many businesses we already shop with.

Testimonials shared on the Gift Card Granny site were remarkable. Folks doing remodeling projects bought discounted gift cards from home improvement stores like Home Depot for percentages off the card’s face value. They turned around and made home remodeling purchases saving hundreds of dollars. Amazing.

While searching around, I found four other discount gift card sites: Raise, Monster Gift Card, Gift Card Bin and JunkCard.  I liked Raise because it was easy to see the conditions under which I am buying the card. I liked JunkCard because it had more of the stores I frequent. There are even discounted gift cards for airfare and drugstores. I am not endorsing any of these sites, I have not tried them out yet.

Of course, I had to check out the tea offerings. This blog is about tea gift ideas after all. I found discounted gift cards for Peet’s, Teavana, Starbucks and Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. Not bad. Too bad there is not a national tea gift basket chain or tea room chain to offer discounted gift cards similar to Spa Finder and BedandBreakfast.com. Yes, find discounted gift cards for those.

I did notice the smaller the denomination of the gift card, the less percentage discount usually applied.  Frontier Airlines percentage off was just over one percent but I saw others offering up to 26% off.  I’ll take that. I believe all the sites offered free shipping. JunkCard states all their cards have free shipping and no expire dates. Discounted gift cards can be real, plastic cards or e-cards. They can be sent to you or someone else.

afternoon teatime tea lover gift baskets If you do not know what to get for the tea drinker on your gift list think about these ideas. First, shop at your favorite local tea shop or tea room, have them put together a gift basket for you, many will do that  and ship it too. Or bring the goodies home and create the gift yourself and ship it to your special tea drinker.  Support local, small businesses.  If you don’t have the time or creativity,  buy them a gift  certificate from their favorite local tea shop or tea room. If all you know is that your tea drinker loves tea and orders it when they go out, go ahead and take advantage of a discounted gift card from a national  coffee/tea chain. Save money, enjoy the convenience and know your tea drinker will be delighted. If they are not delighted, now you know they can swap it or sell it. You can’t go wrong.

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SF Chocolate Salon and 10% off 2014 Chocolate and Tea Collection

TasteTV is a food channel and food network with Food Video, Fashion Video, Recipe Video, Restaurant Video, Wine Video, Chocolate Video and an Online Community.

We had so much fun last November, at the Fall Chocolate Festival, when we were invited back for this Spring show, we jumped at the opportunity!

Talk about a great tea gift idea for a tea AND chocolate lover……. tickets are still available, click on the banner to get more information. Attendees get to sample lots and lots of chocolate as well as the  gourmet delectables.

While you are visiting, please come by the table Tea Lover Gift Baskets and Tea Lover Teas are sharing with Tipsy Tea. Complete our popular one question survey and be entered into one of the 17 drawings we will be holding each 30 minutes throughout the Show.

Winners will be gifted with a sample of each of the teas in our 2014 Chocolate and Tea Collection. Of course, you can shop for them now directly at our website Tea Lover Teas.com.

Using code SCS10off on the checkout page will give you 10% off your purchases at TeaLoverGiftBaskets.com and TeaLoverTeas.com through the end of March, 2014.

A couple of other Chocolate and Tea pairing gift basket ideas;

Premium Tea and Gourmet Pairing tea gift basket $58.99
ImageA sampler of three premium teas; a green, black and white tea paired with award winning The Tea Room tea-infused chocolate bars. Impressively presented.

and Pink Passion $75.99.
Image For someone special, a hand crafted silk bag, single estate Darjeeling green and black teas from the different harvest seasons, or flushes, in convenient tea bags, all of this paired with The Tea Room tea-infused chocolate bars.

Thank you very much for your time and attention.

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A unique DIY tea gift idea for children

A unique tea gift idea for children.  Author Laura Bartolucci recently introduced me to her new children’s book A Cozy House for Miss Mouse.  

Though Tea Lover Gift Baskets caters mostly to ‘grown up’ tea drinkers and those that care about them, I do have two granddaughters and a grandson who love tea and tea parties.  I’ll show you photos sometime….

She describes her book as a ‘charming tale set in the English cottage of Miss Ellie, a widow who finds a surprise visitor in her favorite teacup.  And because “a mouse in a teacup simply won’t do”, she must find the little creature a ‘cozy’ house of its own, which ends up being a mouse-sized tea cozy she knits herself.  Enchanting Illustrations  created by award-winning water colorist, Maris Shepherd.

Imagemouse puppet folkmanis

I found the book available in the usual book buying venues Amazon  and Books A Million.  You can buy the book from Ms.Bartolucci directly.  Her email address is  tealovernm@gmail.com.

The St. James Tearooms’ Gift Shoppe has been selling a tea gift set featuring A Cozy House for Miss Mouse.  They paired the book with the teacup from the story (from Heirloom China, contact the author for more    information). A mouse finger puppet from Folkmanis peeks out from the teacup for an adorable presentation.

If you are in Albuquerque, NM, please stop at The St. James Tearoom, enjoy afternoon tea and take home A Cozy House for Miss Mouse tea gift set.  Then send me an email telling me all about  it.  Otherwise, like me, order the items separately and create your own gift set(s).  Personalize the ‘basket’ to whom  you will be giving the gift using a colorful box or cloth basket, something that can be used again.

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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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Because it tastes good, that’s why.

Aren’t you looking for a tea gift basket idea because you want to give a gift of tea to someone who enjoys the taste of tea?

Cynthia Fazekas  of Adagio Teas wrote an insightful article recently (http://www.teasmart.com/article_120902.html?source=email) to an audience of tea sellers but the same message applies to those wanting tea gift ideas.  She compared selling tea to selling Twinkies.  Folks buy Twinkies because they taste yummy, not because they have any nutritive value. Tea sellers should focus on selling tea because it tastes good, not just because it is good for us.

Yummy, but no nutritive value.

When you select a tea gift basket as a gift, yes, you are giving someone you care about a gift that has healthful benefits. But is that why you are selecting a tea gift basket in the first place? Probably not.

Tea tastes good. Drinking tea is not always just about quenching your thirst. But sometimes it is. Tea, whether hot or iced, must taste good. Nowadays tea comes packaged in a myriad of ways to make it convenient. If the taste is pleasing to you or your tea drinker, it is ‘good’ tea. No matter how it is packaged it has healthful benefits.

Often preparing tea is an experience, a comfortable ritual, that includes heating the water, preparing the vessels, sitting still for a while, recharging.  When you give the gift of tea, isn’t this experience part of what you want to give?  Knowing tea is healthful comes second.

The experience of tea time can be shared making it a special time. To me, this is what makes tea so wonderful and keeps me coming back.

A great tea gift basket idea would be to include delicious tea that can be prepared in a way that allows your special tea drinker time to slow down for a bit. Adding tea foods; cookies, scones, or special sweeteners will allow them to have something to share at a tea with friends.  Tea gift idea surveys repeatedly show tea drinkers want cake or cookies in their tea gift baskets. A fine cake or shortbead, maybe not twinkies.

Tea Celebration

Tastes good AND is good for you.

That tea can be enjoyed without any negative side effects is as Cynthia says ‘the crème in the Twinkie’ or as they say in Britain ‘icing on the fairy cake’.

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The perfect gift for an Afternoon Tea Lover celebrating a special day…

Tickets to an historical home whose volunteers host an Afternoon Tea as a fund raiser make a great gift to honor a tea drinker on a special occasion. If you can attend with the event with them, all the better!

Start by checking historical homes and museums near where you live or where your tea drinker lives.  You may be fortunate to find an event near the time of the special date, but likely you will have to buy tickets a good bit in advance. Your honoree can then look forward to spending time with you and enjoying afternoon tea at a later date. Many historical homes with volunteers who host afternoon tea will also provide a tour of the home as part of the tea event. Do not be surprised if the fund raiser event also has other fund raising opportunities like a raffle and gift shop. You will be treating your special tea drinker to a fun afternoon for a reasonable cost.

Harris Lass Museum volunteers host the annual fundraising Afternoon Tea and Fashion Show in June.

One such occasion is the Harris Lass Museum Afternoon Tea and Fashion Show held annually in June in Santa Clara, California. http://santaclaraca.gov/index.aspx?page=41&recordid=7177 OR http://www.meetup.com/Lets-Go-to-Afternoon-Tea/events/43874102/. There are similar events held year round throughout the country.

Friends and I attend this event regularly. They bring friends, mothers bring daughters or their mothers – to enjoy a delightful afternoon tea, raffle, entertainment and gift store shopping.  For just $25 person, this noon until about 4 PM event is worth the price of admission.  Be warned, quality events like these, that have been held for years will likely sell out. If you find an event with tickets available, act quickly.

Tea sandwiches, scone with clotted cream and lemon curd, and fruit skewers – Afternoon Tea treats at the Harris Lass Museum sell out fundraising event.

This year I conducted an informal survey of the 8 women at our table. I asked each what they thought would be in the perfect tea gift basket. I was surprised by the answers, maybe you will be too.

  •       An equal number of women expressed a preference for white tea as well as for black, green and herbal tea. One person also added they enjoyed Oolong tea.
  •       Four mentioned loose leaf tea instead of tea bags.
  •       Whether or not the tea was organic or fair traded was not noted as significant.
  •       7 women would enjoy a tea cup and saucer in their gift; 3 would want a teapot and; 4 a tea spoon.
  •       For accessories; 4 women would want an infuser of some kind; 2 a tea thermometer; 2 a tea measuring spoon and; 1 a tea scale.
  •       A couple of women mentioned adding a tea book, stationary or tea wallet – a tea gift to the basket.
  •       Whatever else you add to a tea gift basket, do not forget the cake or cookies! Even more than candy, everyone wanted either cake or cookies to enjoy with their tea!

To make my friends happy with a tea gift basket, and maybe yours too; include any type tea, with loose leaf tea and tea bag selections.  Add a teacup and infuser to the basket and maybe a gift. Do not forget to add cake or cookies, your tea drinker if they are like my friends, will be disappointed if your gift does not include a sweet treat too!

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