Tea brings people together.
There is nothing like telling stories, catching up with friends or geeking out over a new taste experience around a shared pot of tea. Everything about tea is designed to help us slow down and enjoy life to the fullest, from beautiful hand made teapots and cups, to fresh aromatic tea that stops us in our tracks.
The invitation to slow down, taste, connect with friends and enjoy is one of the most powerful gifts that can be given.
Our mentor, and partner tea farmer Mr. He of Laoshan Village perfectly captures the spirit of the people behind the tea, and the reason why gifting tea is such a powerful expression of friendship and gratitude:
In the spirit of the season, we put together our top picks for all the tea lovers in your life. From your favorite tea geeks and committed collectors to adventurers on the go and newcomers to the tea leaves we love, you’ll find our recommendations for great teas and tea ware that will help everyone carve out the space and the time to slow down and enjoy tea.
Xiangfu Gilded Gaiwans
& Aroma Cups
Xiangfu makes some of the best workhorse porcelain out there. We love the bold colors and the durability of their cups and gaiwans. These are the pieces we use for comparative tastings and we want a consistent brew and presentation that flatters everything.
The aroma cups are a great touch for an extra dimension of complexity when tasting tea.
This high elevation Wudongshan Dancong is one of the first teas we fell in love with from Master Huang Rui Guang. He is the real deal– published author, nationally recognized and awarded taster and craftsman. Tasting his fine Dancong is a revelation.
Our newest friends in Fuding, the Weng Family is making incredible, biodiverse and technically precise white tea. Their tea opened our eyes to a whole category we have been trying to fill for years. Their aged Bai Hao Yin Zhen has a depth and complexity unlike anything else we have seen in white tea.
It is a real treat to taste and compare to fresh white tea to understand the value of aging.
This 1990 reserve from Master Zhang is the deepest, most foresty Tieguanyin we have every tried. It is closer in character to a very clean shu pu’er, but with the deep florals of oolong.
Over twenty five years of age have done incredible things to this tea, and we can’t recommend it enough!!
We’ve been in love with everything the Li family produces in Wuyishan for years. Right now we are super excited about the Reserve Big Red Robe for its deep tingling and numbing textures, cooling quality and lingering aftertaste.
We should be, too – Li Xiangxi’s Big Red Robe just took home first place with a Gold Medal award for excellence!
Xiangfu All-in-one Brewer
with Fluted Cups + Mini Board
This set is one of the easiest ways to brew tea. The beginner can enjoy the gongfu tea experience without having to worry about spilling or pour technique.
If you have a friend who hasn’t tried tea from our partner farmers, send them a Five for Five box to give them the chance to try our most popular teas and get a sense of what true small family tea farming is all about. Plus, we’ll send you five dollars in Tea Cash to thank you for spreading the joy, so the gift is basically free!
Xiang Fu & Samadoyo
Convenient Brew Mugs
These self-contained brew mugs give you an easy and portable way to enjoy tea while you work when space and time is limited.
Samadoyo’s glass brew mug is perfect for watching beautiful green teas open up as they steel out in your dishwasher-safe mug, while Xiang Fu’s Bamboo Steeper Mug is as beautiful and elegant as it is practically designed. Longquan porcelain, glass and bamboo are gracefully incorporated for convenient brewing that won’t burn your hands or your desk, and each piece separates for easy cleaning.
Both make loose leaf tea at your desk easy and mess-free, in one self-contained system.
Don’t have room for a brew basket and strainer, or prefer to let your leaves steep loose all day long?
The hand painted Bamboo Forest Brew Mug makes things simple and easy. With its incorporated porcelain strainer and cover, all you have to do is add tea leaves and hot water, and you are good to go!
Xiangfu All-in-One Brewer with
Glass Mini Mugs + Tea Tray
For folks with a bit more space and freedom to set up tea at work, this combination allows for gongfu brewing and smaller cups that are still practical to sip while working.
The simple bamboo tray from Xiang Fu creates a dedicated, clean space for tea on your desk. The All-in-One brewer is simple to clean and use, even in tight spaces, while the mini-mugs are perfect for sipping a cup as you work, and even sharing with friends at work!
Xiang Fu Complete +
Mini Travel Tea Sets
Whether you’re traveling light and compact with the minature Travel Tea Set for two, or you want to go all out with the Complete Tea Set for four, Xiang Fu’s travel sets are built to withstand the bumps of travel and still make tea stylish and convenient. Their custom padded travel bags keep everything safe and secure while you are on the go.
You can’t beat rolled oolong for travel. It is very hard to break and packs down small. Master Zhang’s Aged Tieguanyin is especially good to stand up to less than ideal water.
Tea is a collectible too!
Pu’er grows more complex with age just like wine. We work directly with the Qianjiazhai Dongsa Cooperative in the Mt. Ailao National Forest Preserve to offer pu’er cakes from incredibly old trees. These cakes become even more stunning the longer they sit, making them perfect for collecting and cellaring.
We love recommending our farmer-partners’ CSA style Tea of the Month Club for a chance to try truly unique and limited teas.
Many of the club offerings are experimental harvests, private reserves or limited varietals. Even the person who has tried it all won’t have tried many of the farmer-curated offerings we are lucky enough to ship each month.
Even seasoned tea geeks may have never tried pairing tea and incense. Incense has been part of the Chinese gongfu ceremony for years, but quality aloeswood is hard to come by and not well known outside of Asia. We have fallen in love with the rich evocative scent of aloeswood and its effect on setting the mood for a tea tasting.
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