While many San Jose residents are eager to save money this Christmas season by making some of their gifts, there are still quite a few for whom the convenience of purchasing gifts is worth more than the money spent to buy them. Many holiday sales are still in effect, and some internet vendors are offering free shipping and other discounts, so if you are buying gifts and you have a tea-lover on your list, here are some suggestions that you might want to look for:
- A decanter or pitcher specifically for making iced and hot tea in. Teavana sells one, but there are several brands on the market.
- A commuter mug with a built-in tea strainer. Satori Tea Bar sells one model that is very convenient, but you can also get them at Peet’s Coffee & Tea and on the internet.
- High-quality loose-leaf tea. The most expensive teas are surprisingly affordable if you purchase sample sizes of them. Many tea vendors sell samples for less than $5 each. You can buy them at Satori Tea Bar, Lisa’s Tea Treasures, other local tea shops, or on the internet.
- Tea or chai ice cream. Haagen-Dazs has a green tea and a chai flavor that are available at local Safeway and Nob Hill stores. Local Asian markets also carry green tea ice cream mochi treats in the freezer section.
- Powdered instant chai and liquid chai concentrate. Both are shelf-stable items (the liquid must be stored in the fridge once opened), that require only the addition of milk or a dairy substitute to make a nice glass of hot or cold chai. Tazo makes a tasty liquid chai concentrate, and Oregon Chai makes both a liquid concentrate and a powdered instant chai; Tazo and Oregon Chai liquid concentrates are available in most local supermarkets, and Target grocery departments, and Oregon Chai powdered instant chai is available at Nob Hill stores.
- Books about tea. Lisa’s Tea Treasures and Satori Tea Bar sell a few titles, as do Barnes & Noble bookstores, but there are many more titles available on the internet. Check Amazon or other mail-order sites.
- Tea-flavored candies. San Jose’s Asian markets carry a surprising collection of these goodies. You can get Oreo Matcha candy bars at the Japanese groceries in Japantown, and Bali’s Best Tea Candy hard candies in many Chinese groceries and even in some American supermarkets in the Asian food aisle.
- Tea-themed calendar. There is a Collectible Teapot Calendar put out every year, that is available at the calendar store and kiosks at local shopping malls like the Great Mall of Milpitas. Also available on the internet.
- Tea-of-the-Month Club membership. Some vendors, like Mighty Leaf Tea, offer 3-month, 6-month, and 12-month memberships in Tea-of-the-Month Clubs. Members get one or more new teas sent to them every month.
- Tea Shirts. Not just a T-shirt, but one with a clever tea-related slogan on the front, like “Instant Human, Just Add Tea.” Available on the internet from places like CafePress and Etsy.
- Tea lotions or other cosmetics. Celestial Seasonings has a few holiday teas that they’ve added to body lotion for a holiday gift set. Look in Safeway supermarket specialty holiday product displays for this sort of thing.
Of course, teapots, cups and saucers, tea strainers, tea towels, or anything else that can be used for making or enjoying tea, will make great Christmas gifts for yourself or your favorite tea-lover! Places like Target, Ross, Marshall’s and Cost Plus World Market have lots of fun things.
Copyright 2011, Elizabeth Urbach
For more information:
“Review: Amandine Decanter by Teavana”
“Review: Mobile Teapot from Village Tea Company”
“Review: the Royal Wedding tea from Lisa’s Tea Treasures”
“Review: Buccaneer blend from SerendipiTea”
“Review: Passion blend from SerendipiTea”
“Review of Haagen Dazs Sweet Chai Latte ice cream”
“Review of Haagen-Dazs Green Tea ice cream”
“Review of Tazo Organic Spiced Black Tea Latte concentrate”
“Review of Oregon Chai Original Chai Tea Latte concentrate”
“Where to buy books about tea in San Jose”
“5 books that should be on the tea-lover’s bookshelf”
“Review: Japanese Oreo matcha candy bar by Nabisco”
Collectible Teapot Calendar Amazon link