Thursday, November 13, 2008

Holiday Gift Guide - Tea Master

Someone who is well versed in tea is probably the hardest to shop for. A Tea Aficionado is going to have most of their earlier tea equipment.

Another world of tea:
One way to find a gift for a tea aficionado is to buy them some tea equipment for an area of tea that they are not used to. Matcha and Gongfu sets come to mind primarily. Unfortunately these sets get very pricey and can get very specialized. Starter sets are a great way to try it out though. Once delving down some of these paths you can get to some very expensive and wonderful items though. If you know they enjoy some of these you may try to find something that they have been eyeing for a while, but not gotten for themselves.

The unusual teaware:
There are many pieces of teaware that everyone sees and wishes they have. Items that come to mind are the Sorapot and the Molo chawan.

The best tea to get for a tea guru is some wonderful tea. Most tea aficionados would love to give you some recommendations for wonderful tea to try out, so it's easy to try and figure out what they would enjoy. Most tea stores will be more than helpful to help suggest some as well. But at this level do your homework to know what kind of tea they would enjoy and where to get it. Many people develop attachment to specific vendors and tea types, so be selective.

Tea Caddies:
For almost any tea connoisseur you have a number of tea caddies, but because of this most of them are not special ones. There are a few that stand out and have a special feel to them. Special well crafted tea caddies can range in materials from stainless steel to copper to cherry bark and beyond. One of any of those will be a treasured tea container only to store the best teas in.

Fancier general purpose pots:
Most general purpose teapots have a higher end version that is still for general use, but are very special and unique in their own right. Examples are Tetsubin (cast iron teapots) and English Bone China. For people who enjoy flowering teas a nice glass teapot would work well as well.

Tasting Sets:
This is what professionals use to taste teas. They are very uniform so it creates an equal basis for tasting teas from. They're available from a number of vendors, but they're all basically the same item. Adagio. Lupicia. Even if you have one, you may want more for comparison tastings.

A teacup:
This is probably the hardest but one of the best gifts you could get. Teacups are as varied as there are teas in the world. Selecting a teacup takes a great deal of knowledge about the person you're buying for and it shows a certain deal about yourself. Know their favorite colors, favorite teas, favorite pottery styles, and anything you can. For any given tea style there are a plethora of different cups, and so this becomes a very personal gift. It shows a search for something that would suit them and their tastes.

For any of the gifts if anyone would like a few suggestions or questions, please feel free to email me. I'll be happy to answer and help as much as I can.

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