We are in full holiday mode here in the shop. It's all decorated with pretty garland, lots of lights, lovely red velvet bows, and three small Christmas trees to help everyone get in the Christmas spirit.
I also have gift sets displayed around the store and holiday teas pre-bagged for convenient shopping.
But over the last several weeks, some of you have also asked about stocking stuffer ideas or small items that would make great gifts.
So here are a few suggestions...
As most of you know, I'm a big fan of using a tea strainer/infuser to brew my loose-leaf tea.
This gives the tea leaves the room to expand and allows the water to surround them to extract that great flavor we all want.
My tea strainers are workhorses and last for years. I've had a few of mine for what seems like forever. I have seven different kinds, so there's a color and style for everyone.
Another two very popular and convenient brewing items are single-use paper tea filters and personal tea bags.
If you've visited me in the store and had me make you a cup of tea, you know I use the Personal Disposable Tea Bags daily to brew cups of tea for my customers and friends. They're made of bio-degradable material and designed for single use (nope, you can't reuse them, but your compost bin loves the tea and the bag). You open the bag up, put in your tea, flip over the top flap (think old-time sandwich baggies), and then you can dunk your tea just like a regular tea bag.
These tea bags work well with all kinds of tea. They provide enough space for the leaves to expand and unfurl so that the flavor comes through.
I also love pre-filling some bags with my favorite teas and keeping them in my purse or car. That way, I can always have great tea any time I want. Hint: put each type of tea or flavor in its own Ziploc bag to avoid flavor transfer. I also take these bags with me when I travel. They're so convenient to work with because you can squish them anywhere in your suitcase without worries.
The Paper Tea Filters are another option and come in 3 sizes depending on if you are simply brewing a cup, a large mug, or a pot.
The larger #4 T-Sac Filters are ideal for a pot of tea, but also when brewing teas that expand, such as Jasmine Pearls or any of my Oolong Teas. They are similar to the Personal Disposable Tea Bags but do not have a fold-over flap. They need to hang over the top of your cup or be tied to a tea clasp to ensure the tea stays in the bag.
If you clip them, you can drop the bag into your cup without worrying your tea will escape. Clips also safely allow you to submerge the bag if you like. These single-use filters offer ample room for your tea leaves to unfurl.
Perfect Cup of Tea Spoon is another tool I love, love, love. I use it daily in my store and at home. They're precisely one teaspoon, so you can easily measure the correct amount of tea for a perfect cuppa (hence the name). I would be lost without this little gem. It's just so convenient. The right tool for the right job makes things quick and easy and perfect to drop into a Christmas stocking.
Now, for those who enjoy matcha without any fuss, I've got you covered with the single-serve Organic Matcha Sticks. A box of single-serve sticks contains 16 packets with 2 grams of premium stone-milled Organic Japanese Matcha. I also sell these sticks individually in my shop, so if you're curious and have never tried matcha, these would be a great first-time sampler.
Another wonderful gift for those who enjoy matcha is the Perfect Cup of Matcha Spoon. It is the perfect utensil for dispensing the correct amount of matcha powder when making a cup or adding it to your favorite smoothie. Again, it's an easy item to pop into a Christmas stocking.
I hope some of these ideas help and that my favorite tea accessories will find their way into your tea lovers' Christmas stockings or as gifts under the tree.