A Guide to Buying Tea Gifts

Give the best tea gifts to newbies and connoisseurs alike!


If you are trying to buy tea gifts for a friend then the choices can be overwhelming – so many teas and types of teaware are out there. How do you find the right gifts to ignite a passion in tea or wow that friend who already loves this magical drink?

Here are some simple suggestions to help guide you to find the perfect tea gifts. They are intentionally simple, just highlighting a handful of teas and teawares which are guaranteed to be winners, feel free to explore deeper and add more goodies to your gifting.

First of all, we are going to broadly separate your friend or loved one into one of three categories – NEWBIES, ENTHUSIASTS and AFICIONADOS


A newbie is someone who, perhaps, has a little collection of tea bags and some basic blended loose-leaf brews but does not know that much about True tea and is not brewing in a Gong Fu Style – If you don’t know what that means then check out this video but basically it is the best way to brew most speciality tea.

We need to give newbies a broad selection of pinnacle tea so that they can taste the variation of aroma, taste and effects of the wondrous camellia sinensis tea plants.

So I would opt for some of our headliners and tasting selections. These are selections of samplers of our house favourites as voted by clients.

We have a broad tasting selection set featuring 11 pinnacle brews across most tea types. We also have more specific selections for each main tea type so that you can dive into the intricacies of say Black tea or Taiwanese Oolong or White tea. Each headliner set offers three of our favourite teas which contrast each other and show off the breadth of diversity in just a single tea type.

Your newbie friend needs to be able to easily brew these teas and should experience the Gong Fu style. We have a couple of easy solutions to get them on the road to brewing mastery.

The first is the Connoisseur Tea Brewer. A simple, desktop Gong Fu brewer with push button control.

The second is our Gong Fu Solo which includes a porcelain cup, towel and a Gaiwan – the light sabre of the Gong Fu Jedi and an essential tool for all tea brewers. It takes a couple of minutes of practice but once you know how to brew with a Gaiwan you have graduated to the next level of tea brewing. We have a useful tutorial video to show you and your friend how to brew in a Gaiwan.

Finally, your newbie friend or colleague may be interested in Matcha – this is a stone ground tea which you can now find everywhere but you need to taste the proper high-end ceremonial matcha and whisk it up to truly appreciate its potency, health effects and flavour.

We have our customised Matcha Swaddle set which contains all that you or your friends need to make matcha – a chawan bowl, chashaku measuring scoop, chasen bamboo whisk and of course our carefully sourced ceremonial grade matcha. The whole set comes swaddled up in a padded bag to add even more beauty to the matcha ceremony.


Right, let’s move on to the Enthusiast tea drinker. This is someone who already has a little collection of tea and teaware and has begun brewing in a more considered Japanese or Gong Fu style.

We need to level up their palate and their collection with some new experiences and really useful teaware.

Let’s begin with teaware. Everybody who loves tea needs at least one Cha Pan or water tray. These are used as a brewing surface and catch water and tea so that you can brew freely.

Our Gong Fu Vessel is a small footprint cha pan which is perfect for small or solo sessions. It will transform the brewing experience for those who don’t already have a Cha Pan and can be used as a desktop Cha Pan for those who already have a larger one but want to bring their tea to brew at their desk. It also doubles up as a rinse bowl for bigger setups. I have made a full video about this versatile bit of teaware.

Your friend or colleague also needs some new teaware. Let’s upgrade that Gaiwan to a Blue Gaiwan. You can either match this with a Gong Dao Bei and Cups or browse around and create your own unique teaware set.

For teas, I would suggest introducing your friend to the wonderful world of old tree tea cakes. We have many tea cakes. Push Button Smile is very affordable and uniquely tasty. This is a Yunnan Black tea made from old trees and stored in low oxygen for a few years to enhance its hoppy and fermented aromatics.

Another tea type that you may want to introduce to your friend is Yan Cha – a famous rock oolong with a comforting and complex character. Summer Haze is a great choice for its fruitiness and sweet finish.

Finally, to level up your friend’s palate I highly recommend checking out one of our tasting experience box sets. In these sets, we compare three variations of the same tea name to educate the palate on the differences that come from cultivar, terroir and producers.


Right lastly let's talk about those teaheads out there who are deep in the tea rabbit hole and can drink and talk tea for hours. Any aficionado friend probably has a cupboard bulging with tea and shelves with some of their beloved teaware. An aficionado will already be brewing up regularly in a Gong Fu style.

For these tea lovers, we need to wow them with some very special teas and gear.

Let’s talk pinnacle teaware. Our website has a multitude of clay teapots which are works of art and transform the taste and texture of tea beautifully.

Most tea aficionados are looking for at least one Yixing clay pot and a great option is our exclusive Zini Chime pot – it’s made from excellent performing clay and stands out with its minimalist and bold silhouette. Feel free to browse the website for a great selection of clay pots and seek out the one that you think will suit your friend – I can personally vouch for their quality.

If you want to treat your friend to the top-level Cha Pan experience then look no further than the Gong Fu Code – a bit of a legend in the teahead community. Made with a laser-cut stainless steel top and big enough for the most expansive sessions, this is the centrepiece of a spectacular Gong Fu tea setup.

When searching for teas for the aficionado we have to look for those rarified teas which will shine out in their collection. Let’s start with some very special PuErh tea cakes made from ancient trees growing in ancient tea terroir.

Pernickety Pleasureseeker is made from pickings of 200-250-year-old trees in one of the most sought-after areas of Yunnan – Bing Dao. This famous village area commands some of the highest prices for tea because it produces brews which are brimming with character, flavour and effects. Check out the video for a full tasting description of this special tea.

Another PuErh cake which should be on your shortlist is the Heaven Surveyor. This old tree PuErh comes from the historic Man Song forests which were formerly reserved for producing tea for the royal courts in the Qing dynasty. This is a totally unique tea made from smaller leaf varieties for a powerful punch of tea energy and a bitter-sweet floral brightness. Again, you can check out the full tasting video.

Finally, your friend needs to experience what I consider to be the absolute apex of Silver Needle White tea.

You and your friends may have tasted many pretty Silver Needles before but this one is next level – the buds are sourced from incredible Taimu bushes and withered traditionally for about 60 hours before being rested for three months and then charcoal-baked at body temperature for up to 6 hours. The results are mesmerising and you can see us sourcing this tea by checking out our White tea series of videos on the product page.

So there you have my suggestions for gifting tea to your friends, family and colleagues.

Tea is truly a special gift, not only does it delight and indulge the senses with taste, aroma and the beautiful aesthetics of brewing but it cultivates a healthy and inspiring way of living which is transformative.

Give the perfect gift to bring enjoyment and positivity to those around you – give tea.


We think you’ll love:

The perfect way to store your tea. Stackable tins which have been designed to keep your tea organised easily.

Mengku Lao Cha Tou 2017

Rich and powerful Mengku Lao Cha Tou made from 100 year-old trees. Prune brandy, fennel seeds, caramel, wine cellar, licorice and sandalwood incense.

A classic cup traditionally for Chaozhou style brewing but suits any tasting session.

Organic Oolong processed in low oxygen to increase GABA to 200mg per 100g. Summer rain, apricot jam, wet wood and chestnut honey.