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Holiday Gift Guide: For Tea Lovers and the Hostess

tea lover gift guide

I prefer drinking tea instead of coffee during the holiday season because it is easier in the stomach. In fact, it helps my digestion. I also keep a supply of herbal teas for my guests who don’t want the caffeine at night.

Here are three gift ideas for people who enjoy their cup of tea at night. First, every teapot needs its cozy. This colorful tea cozy is made of acrylic, which means that it is easy to clean.

I received free sample boxes of the winter collection by Four O’Clock from TRANS-HERBe. They come in 4 flavours: almond biscotti, banana cinnamon spice, gingerbread and truffle mint. I was delighted by the taste and became a fan of the almond biscotti. If a latte is more your style, take two bags of your favourite flavour from the winter collection and steep in 250 mL of hot milk.

As a bonus, the festive illustrations of the Four O’Clock Winter Collection given by Montréal artist Bruce Roberts will look great on your table. You can find this limited edition Winter Collection in supermarkets, gourmet food stores, natural food stores and pharmacies across Canada.

Lastly, Magisso proposes an innovative teacup for serving tea with tea leaves. I have them thanks to Magisso, who sent me a few teacups a while ago. I enjoy how they work. Each Magisso teacup comes in a nice box that makes your gift wrapping easy. The Magisso teacups are available at and might be available at David’s Tea.


Japanese Teapots for Green Tea Lovers

japanese teapots for green tea

japanese teapots for green tea

Kyusu is a traditional Japanese teapot mainly used for brewing green tea. We used these teapots all the time when we were in Japan. They pour very well. Typical features include a side handle and a built-in strainer.

If you want to get yours, you can find them at Lucipia, a Japanese tea shop which operates a few stores in the USA plus an online store. Typically, a kyusu is small. I like the black Komarukyusu.

Sencha tea lovers can opt for the elegant Sawa teapot. This modern version of a Japanese sencha tea pot with an ergonomic handle and thumbprint lid allowing for easy one-handed pouring. Add 4 to 6 Sawa cups and saucers to create a wedding gift that the couple will be happy to use for many years.

Oct. 2nd, 2010 Update: My husband brought me back from San Francisco the stylishly modern SAWA teapot. I love it! It comes with two strainers: a built-in porcelain strainer on the inner edge of spout and a removable strainer for tea leaves. The one-handed pouring system works like a charm.

+ Komarukyusu black $22 USD
+ SAWA Teapot with Strainer $49
+ SAWA Sencha Cup $11
+ SAWA Saucer $13


Wood You Like a Cup of Tea by Jakob Solgren

Jakob Solgren's teapot Wood you like a cup of tea

Jakob Solgren\'s teapot Wood you like a cup of tea

As we visited the Interior Design Show in Toronto last weekend, one trend that is still going strong is the tree barks and branches. My husband and I were happy since our banister design is inspired by branches.

The Swedish design Jakob Solgren put it at a new level with his stylish teapot. I love it. At €1,500 a piece, “Wood You Like a Cup of Tea” seems more like a piece of art than an object you will use on a daily basis. He only produced five. The green ceramic leaf reminds me of the delicious Tea Aura’s matcha green tea cookies.

+ via Coolhunting


Tea and Mug Cozies

ruth cross tea and mug cosies with linda bloomfield\'s teapot and mug

More and more designers are updating these old-fashioned tea essentials. They always kept their granny look but like the things at Anthropologie, it is part of their charm. Ruth Cross, who worked with Linda Bloomfield, creates knitted garment and home accessories. Her knitted work is exquisite.

tea me mug cozy by knit storm on etsy

Etsy constitutes a great source for cozies. Knit Storm crocheted adorable mug cozies using a recycled wool yarn. My favorite is the one with hanging “Tea Me!” bag that is hand embroidered onto a piece of off-white felt and attached to one side of the cozy. After discussing with my husband, he is worried that the cozy stands too tall to stay clean. For that reason, I will sleep on it before ordering mine.

One thing for sure is that tea and mug cozies are becoming more desirable by the minute since my cup of tea got cold as I wrote this post.

+ Ruth Cross
+ Tea Me Mug Cozy by KnitStorm $14 USD


A bias on serving coffee vs tea in restaurants

serving tea vs coffee in restaurants

Why it is so hard to find a restaurant that serves tea in style? I want my tea served with a porcelain teapot or an iron cast model. It seems that most restaurants skipped the memo about the current tea popularity.

PHOTOS by Kim Vallee:
+ Awesome teapot at Art Java on President Kennedy in Montreal – some coffee shop owners get it
+ Sugar pot at DNA restaurant in Old Montreal


Handcrafted Coffee and Tea Sets by a.j

a.j coffee and tea collection sets

I first introduced the work of a.j creation as a gift ideas for last Christmas. a.j is the crafted work of two Montreal-based artists: a ceramist and a glassblower. I am happy for them that more retailers have picked up their wonderful products.

Coffee Cups and Saucers

The first thing that caught my eyes this morning were their coffee cup and saucer sets. I drank plenty of wonderful espresso over the last week. We stayed at the new Fairmont Battery Wharf in Boston, which is located next to North End, the Little Italy neighborhood. In fact, I put sugar on my espresso for the first time this weekend. I usually take my coffee with two dashes of milk. I insisted on the milk since cream and half-half changes the taste of the coffee.

Anyway, going back to a.j ceramic work, I feel it have a nice twist. Three options are available for the saucer: white china, white china with colored lines or chocolate stoneware. The simple lines of the spoon are gorgeous.

Teapots and Tumblers

They also cater to tea lovers, like my husband. I prefer the high teapot to the wide one; I feel it is more elegant when it is tall. They both costs the same. Small and large tumblers are available. You could use the large tumblers to serve hot chocolate.

+ a.j Espresso Set $33 CAD at Modern Karibou
+ a.j Cappuccino Set $33 CAD
a.j Coffee Set $33 CAD
a.j Teapot – High $96 CAD
+ a.j Teapot – Wide $96 CAD
+ a.j Set of 2 Large Tumblers $34 CAD
+ a.j Set of 2 Small Tumblers $26 CAD


Unique Design Tea Pots Fit for a Man

unique tea pots fit for a man :: potter for stelton :: sorapot by joey roth

Most tea services are quite feminine. Since my husband is a huge tea drinker, I went on a search for the ultimate tea pot for a man. I found two.

Potter tea pot designed by Jehs & Laub for Stelton

The first thing that caught my eyes is the color choice of the Potter tea pot: soft black and soft midnight blue. Then, they got me with the non-drip spout. A tea pot that will not stain my table every time I use it is a must when I buy a tea pot.

Potter is the latest creation for Stelton by the duo Jehs & Laub. They won a reddot design award in 2009 for Potter. The handle shape and position delivers more balance. It makes the tea pot extraordinarily easy and comfortable to pour from. A special tea strainer is included. I found no picture of the stainer.

Sorapot designed by Joey Roth

If you are looking for a piece with architectural appeal, go with Sorapot. Made from stainless steel, borosilicate glass (Pyrex), and food-grade silicone, the ritual of tea undertakes a modern transformation due to the unique feature of Sorapot. Unlike standard teapots that confine tea leaves in a small mesh basket, the tea leaves run freely over the entire Sorapot’s interior. In theory, your tea will taste better. One thing for sure, Sorapot’s design will start a conversation.

+ Potter tea pot designed by Jehs & Laub for Stelton $147 USD at Unica
+ Sorapot Mirror Polished $250 USD (198 EUR, 312 CAD)
+ Sorapot Brushed Polished $200 USD (158 EUR, 250 CAD)