This time of year, everyone (tea lovers and non-tea lovers alike) get bombarded with options for giving the gift of tea. Some are good, some are bad, and some are downright ugly. Yours truly (me, Little Yellow Teapot) has taken some time to put down some pointers to help you humans tell one from the other during this hectic season.
Gift certificates. No fooling! I know you humans are a persnickety bunch and tend to have your own preferences for teas out there. Why end up with some tea with orange peel or lots of cinnamon or even a hefty dose of rose petals (or all of these) when you prefer one that has peppermint leaves added in or just the tea itself? Why endure having to thank “Auntie Sue” or “Uncle Joe” for that tea mug and its accompanying box of stale tea dust in string-and-tag bags? Or why have to hide your total befuddlement when you get presented with a gaiwan and some loose tea in a pouch? Play it safe. Stick with the gift certificate.
Tea of the month clubs. See above. Plus, just imagine the giftee getting a box of some tea every month, tossing it aside to get to whenever his/her schedule allows, not getting to it, the next month’s box arriving and landing on top of it, and so on. (In case you’re wondering, yes, this is based on my personal observations of my humans, but maybe you are different.)
Anything tea-related from a big box store. No prejudice here. My humans love big box stores and even found me in one of them. The problem isn’t the store – it’s the consumers who rush in them, grab the first tea-related thing they see because they forgot that their niece or nephew likes tea, buys it, wraps it, and presents it. Here is one of the worst we’ve seen: Starbucks Coffee, Tazo Tea and Treats for Two Holiday Gift Set, 5 pc. Issues: it’s Starbucks, it combines coffee and tea, it conveys the impression that you were just trying to find that one-size-fits-all gift (in which case, where is the cocoa mix and herbal “tea”?), it’s awkward to wrap, and the box design is a bit elementary to say the least. Too picky? Again, I say that my observations here are based on my humans – both of them spoiled totally rotten by yours truly – TOOOOT!
© 2014 A.C. Cargill photos and text