Posts Tagged unique tea gift ideas

Part 3 of 22: Tea Folks take on a great tea gift idea

Sad news. Tea Folks is closed. The website closed – April 30th, 2017.

Helen Schussler had her company table ‘Tea Folks’ next to ours at the 2017 Southwest Tea Festival. She and her assistant were very knowledgeable about tea and very friendly.

Even though her store is closing, she had a great tea gift idea.

Create your own tea blend! Tea Folks was selling a variety of delicious teas and tea blends. What was unique to Tea Folks is that they also offered an option to make your own tea blend. The adventurous tea drinker picked a plain tea base; green, black, or herbal tea. Then there were many taste tempting options to add to the plain tea base to create your own tea blend (see the photo below).

We saw many people throughout the Festival take advantage of the opportunity to make their own signature tea blends. So I knew this was a great tea gift idea before I approached Helen later in day on Sunday and asked her opinion on what a great tea gift idea would be.

Keep a look out for other tea companies that offer the opportunity for you to make your own tea blend. Local to me, Steepers in downtown Campbell, CA, has a tea blending station where one can create their own tea blend. If you know your gift recipient well, create a signature tea blend for them with their favorite flavors. If you do not feel that brave, give them a gift certificate so they can create a tea blend themselves. If possible, share the experience with the gift recipient. A recurring theme in great tea gift ideas is sharing yourself and tea with someone you care about.

Leave a Comment

Part 2 of 22 Wholesale tea company Tealet at the 2017 Southwest Tea Festival

Representing the wholesale tea company Tealet at the Southwest Tea Festival this year – 2017 –  were Founder and CEO Elyse Petersen and her brother, Michael Petersen, Marketing and New Media Director (and photographer extraordinaire), as well as Rie Tulali, General Manager and other team members.

Tealet partnered with Naomi Rosen of Joy’s Teaspoon to present the Southwest Tea Festival.

Tealet’s mission is to connect tea buyers directly with small family farms around the world. Through Tealet, tea lovers can learn more about the people behind their teas, and access quality teas from around the world. Tea growers can become empowered to take their specialty tea craft to the next level of quality and consciousness.

Their goal is to be a transparent platform for the tea industry. In turn tea lovers get to experience better quality tea and provide a sustainable future for tea.

The Tealet grower network is composed of family farms and independent cooperatives in 8 different countries and 15 different growing regions, all with a dedication to their craft and their communities. Elyse explains, “Through our online platform you can trace our teas from field to cup. From videos from the tea gardens, to detailed profiles of each farm, we have designed our platform to make it simple for you to source the best teas from independent growers around the world”.

I encourage you to check out the videos and the teas descriptions at their online  tea chest.  Very well done documentaries personally introducing us to tea farmers around the world. I found it a very unique experience.

A way to help support these small family growers is through purchasing a tea subscription.

$49.95 (at this writing) for a two month supply of tea; 60 grams of a variety of teas direct from the grower – enough to make 120 cups of tea – enough to share. You will be able to connect with the grower and learn more about their community and tea cultivation history via online videos and content for each tea.

In answer to my question, Elsye’s great tea gift idea is their four tea Global Tea Taster Box $50. It cannot be ordered directly from the website but send her an email and she will make it happen for you.

Read their Blog, or sign up for their newsletter. They distribute the Tea Journey publication and Tea 101 videos. To further support their efforts, tea shirts (get it, tea shirts J) are available for sale online.

Leave a Comment

New Green Tea Magnet & Infuser Set

Green Tea Magnet & Infuser Set, introduced recently by the Charles Viancin Group (known worldwide for their nature-inspired silicon lids and kitchen/bar tools) is a very attractive, fun new tea infusion set – a great tea gift idea.

Their products can be viewed and purchased at their online store – just opened in 2015. On their website, I did not see information that their products can be found in any brick and mortar stores. I have not ordered one yet.

I read about and saw the photo for this new tea infusing set in the March, 2017 Kitchenware News trade magazine under the Gadget of the Month section and was immediately attracted. To date, I have not found any tea related anything sporting actual tea plant art – and tea plants with their flowers are very beautiful indeed. That was the first thing that attracted me to this new set – that the form resembles the tea plant.

I personally like using silicon products in the kitchen. They are colorful, flexible, clean easily and are almost indestructible. This product is dishwasher safe, oven safe up to 250 degrees and BPA free. A favorite of ours and another great tea gift idea are the silicon Tuffy Steepers available through Tea Lover Teas.

Beyond the silicon, I felt good about the stainless steel basket. The precision holes seem small enough to keep rooibos and herbals inside the infuser basket not floating around in our infusions. But there are enough holes to allow water to move freely over the leaves. Not all infusers can do both.

What is unique about this set is the magnet. On the  bottom of the silicon tea plant (handle) is a magnet. We use this magnet to lift the infuser basket out of the water. Our hands stay dry and clean. There are matching accessories, we can buy separately, in which to set the infuser basket. The mug has a very artistic rendering of a tea plant painted on it. The mug comes with another version of the infuser basket. Check out their website under tea accessories for more information and a video of the Green Tea Magnet infuser set.

If you would like to try out a Charles Viancin Group product before making a purchase, check out tomoson.com. Once you set up a free account with Tomoson, you can apply to get a Charles Viancin overboil ring free in exchange for reviewing the ring on your social media sites. Sadly, they do not have their tea accessories available to review currently.

Leave a Comment

Friends of “R” House Annual Spring Tea

A great tea gift idea: take a friend out to a special afternoon tea hosted by the staff of an historical venue.

“R” is Rengstorff House, the oldest historic home in Mountain View, CA, located at 3070 N Shoreline Blvd AND one of the finest examples of Victorian Italianate architecture on the West Coast hosts an Annual fundraising Spring Tea.

I heard of their event from a tea meetup group and learned it sells out. So I stayed up late the night before the tickets became available and at the stroke of midnight, I was able to access Eventbrite and secure two tickets for a favorite friend and I.

We were very pleased with the entire event from start to finish. A volunteer greeted us in the parking lot and directed us both to parking and where to sit once we entered the house. A thoughtful, welcoming touch.

My friend and I were seated in the cozy music room at a table for four with two other women, with whom we enjoyed chatting and getting to know. The table was set beautifully. We each had a mismatched teacup and saucer set to enjoy with our meal. We were given the opportunity to purchase our teacup and saucer set after the tea, all proceeds going to Rengstorff House.

Design with Flowers and Ralston Florists  provided the unique and attractive table centerpieces, they were available for sale after the event too.

Prompt volunteers kept our tea cups filled with Peach Strawberry, Earl Grey Floral or Boysenberry Decaffeinated teas. We enjoyed Mimosas or Punch cocktails to start. The tea foods were catered by Lisa’s Tea Treasures.

Rengstorff House Annual Spring Tea was catered by Lisa’s Tea Treasures located in Santana Row, San Jose, CA.

For the scone course, we were given one each of peach passion and cranberry orange scones accompanied by lemon curd, strawberry preserves or Devonshire cream.

The sandwiches were fresh and tasty. We each were given a tea sandwich of pesto, traditional cucumber, chicken waldorf, classic egg salad and aged cheddar cheese and tomato fillings.

Desserts were sweet and simple: chocolate iced eclairs and tartlets.

Rengstorff House volunteers encouraged us to come back on Saturday, May 6, 2017 from 11 AM to 4 PM for the 150th Anniversary Rengstorff House event. For the 150th Anniversary celebration, “R” House will host an antique car show, demonstrations, lectures, crafts for kids, live music and food trucks. Sounds like another great gift idea!

When we were finished with our meal, one of the docents volunteered to bring us on a tour of the house. It was a great way for my friend and me to end our delicious afternoon tea at the Rengstorff House. This is an event we recommend and in which we plan to attend again.

 

Comments (2)

Southwest Tea Festival – a great tea gift idea! (part 1 of 22)

I’ve written before bringing another tea lover to a local tea festival is a great tea gift idea. Admission costs are reasonable and usually there are educational options available. Not to mention all the tea you get to taste, free. Most of us are ‘tea drunk’ by the end of the day (or two days) but very happy.

Admission and your company at the annual Southwest Tea Festival which happened recently (Saturday and Sunday, February 25th and 26th, 2017) at the new Lucky Dragon Hotel and Casino is Las Vegas, NV is a perfect example of a great tea gift idea.

In the words of lead organizer, Naomi Rosen, “The Southwest Tea Festival aims to unite tea educators, retailers, and growers with tea drinking consumers and hobbyists. This two day festival will provide tea knowledge, cultural experiences, tastings, cuppings, pairings, and demonstrations for tea enthusiasts throughout Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico and Utah.” And that is exactly what happened. A photo of Naomi and her beautiful family at their joy’s teaspoon table at the Festival is below.

We (Tea Lover Gift Baskets and Tea Lover Teas) had a table at the show this year. In the few quiet moments I found, I talked with the other vendors asking the question “What is a great tea gift idea?” In the articles that follow, I will share all the wonderful ideas experienced tea professionals shared with me.

The sponsors of this year’s Southwest Tea Festival were; The Lucky Dragon Hotel and Casino, Las Vegas, Tealet whose mission it is to connect tea buyers with small family farms around the world, joy’s teaspoon encouraging communication over a cup of good tea, Kleff Premium Loose Leaf Tea the go-to tea source in the Rocky Mtn region, Purple Cloud Tea Housetea house in Auburn, CA, The Tea House Times and the new Tea Journey publications, and stickermule, an online sticker company.

Leave a Comment

Tea Lover Gift Baskets and Tea Lover Teas go to Vegas!

The Southwest Tea Festival, sponsored by Lucky Dragon Hotel & Casino, aims to unite tea educators, retailers, and growers with tea drinking consumers and hobbyists. This two-day festival will provide tea knowledge, cultural experiences, tastings, cuppings, pairings, and demonstrations for tea enthusiasts throughout Arizona, California, Nevada, New Mexico, and Utah.

Tickets are available and with code: TEALOVERS get 25% off. It is a two day festival; Saturday, February 25 from 10-5 and Sunday, February 26 from 10 to 4.

This weekend, Tea Lover Gift Baskets and Tea Lover Teas are 100% into preparing to participate in the Festival next weekend. We will be loading up our Santé Fe with boxes of tea ware and tea themed foods this Friday, February24th and heading to Vegas, Baby. We will be staying with the other vendors at the Lucky Dragon Casino hotel over the weekend. We understand the Casino is new, just opened this past December.

If you live in the area or plan to be in Las Vegas next week, come by the Festival. Enjoy tea, shopping and the variety of cultural experiences – maybe learn a thing or two about tea. Tea culture is inclusive and comfortable, come see for yourself. Be sure to stop by our booth for 10% off purchases of $10 or more.

sw-southwest-tea-festival-logo

Leave a Comment

Take your Valentine to Afternoon Tea

One of the best gifts we can give another is our time. When that time is spent enjoying afternoon tea together, it is a joy to be with people you care about.

Afternoon tea provides little bites of savories and sweets, delicious hot tea and even champagne or a cocktail. Something for everyone.

I took my Valentine, my husband, to Tyme for Tea in Fremont, CA to enjoy a royal afternoon tea this Valentine’s Day. Tyme for Tea, as well as many tea rooms in the Bay Area had special Valentine’s Day teas over the weekend. I wanted to celebrate on Valentine’s Day proper.

The mouthwatering aroma of baking scones greeted us. Having been to Tyme for Tea before, we selected the Royal Afternoon Tea. Mark selected the Assam tea; I selected the decaf blackberry sage tea. The Royal tea came with 4 choices of champagne; I picked the plain, Mark the mimosa. I tried to get a photo of us toasting, but did not have enough hands, so Mark took a photo of me with our two champagne glasses in a toast.

For me, the amount of food served at tea is too much. I usually eat half of everything and am still full when I get done. This day, I ate the entire apricot white chocolate, freshly baked scone with the delicious lemon curd, cream and preserves. So satisfying! I ate the three hot savories and tasted the two sandwiches. There was a mushroom pastry, I’ve had before that is ‘meaty’ and has an intense mushroom flavor. There was a cheese and artichoke crostini, so fresh tasting and crunchy, and there was a new chees-ie pastry roll up savory I enjoyed. Then I had to forgo the desserts because I was too full.

My husband took them with him to work, the desserts were heart shaped shortbread cookies, heart shaped petit fours and large chocolate and peanut truffles dipped in chocolate.  I had tasted these not long ago when my mother, daughter and I visited Tyme for Tea together. I knew how good they were so I did not feel I was missing anything.

There were fresh Gerber daisies on each table. Around the water jar for the flowers were hard candy hearts so traditional for Valentine’s Day. The pink, yellow, green and purple candies that say ‘love you’ or ‘too sweet’. I never did find out if we were supposed to or not, but Mark and I ate, and had a good time with those candy hearts.

Sharing afternoon tea with your spouse or significant other at Valentine’s Day or other holiday is special. Tea rooms usually have special events or menus at the holidays. My girlfriends and I visit tea rooms often to celebrate our birthdays or just because.

The women in my family enjoy afternoon tea regularly, no matter where we are visiting. In March, for my mother’s birthday, it is her turn to find a tearoom when we visit her in Houston, TX.

And then about the gifts….. I don’t give my husband greeting cards anymore. After I picked up off the floor the last card I bought him, we talked about it. He does not really care about receiving cards. I love to receive cards. He bought me a card. I bought him a Chicago Cubs championship baseball cap. I thought I was being clever putting it in a Victoria Secret bag, but he did not flinch one bit. He did, though, love the hat. I scored!

Leave a Comment

Older Posts »