Sarararah said

Is tea as present good or not

Hi there,
Recently, I feel puzzled because my friend’s brithday is coming. I don’t know what to send him. As I know, he is fond of tea, especially oolong tea. But tea as a present is good or not?
I really want to send him some special present, while I have no idea.

11 Replies
Psyck said

Safer to send him wine and chocolates than a tea he may or may not like.

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tperez said

If you know what kind of tea he likes I think it could be a great gift. I know I’d be very happy if someone got me some good pu’erh or black or oolong.

You could also get him a pot or something like that to use when making tea.

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Dr Jim said

My sister and her son are into tea. I’ve given them assortments before and they seem to really enjoy it. I also listen to what they like (white tea especially) and give them mostly what they like and then maybe a sample or two to expand their taste.

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Babble said

How picky is he about gifts? If you want to get him something tea related, maybe get him a gift card to a local tea shop and let him pick out something?

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Everune said

If you know your friends taste in tea, it could make a wonderful gift. If you know he likes oolongs, that’s what you should buy for him.

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That’s an awesome idea. It’s easy to screw it up, to get something he won’t like, but it seems worth trying. The more you can figure out what he already likes the better your chances will be; getting some insider help with that would be good. There is an off chance that you might find something he would absolutely love that he isn’t even aware of yet (like bai mu dan; a white tea that oolong drinkers usually can relate to) but that might be pushing it. Teaware also seems a stretch; people tend to be particular about that, and what works for any one person doesn’t always work for a lot of others.

To put some numbers to a range, mid-range to better teas tend to cost starting a bit below $10 for 50 grams, with a lot of options if you extend that towards $15, so not much. If he’s into even better teas, more rare varieties, further down the path of developing specific, higher end preferences you not only have the problem of added expense but it gets harder to select a version. It wouldn’t make any sense to buy teas at over $20 per 50 grams; you couldn’t pick out things relatively at random that isolate preference and quality beyond that level, and almost all tea enthusiasts still appreciate more typical range teas, with upper medium tier pricing leveling off more around $15 for 50 grams. That is the standard smaller amount (or close to two ounces, some people are on that system instead), but it’s not unusual to buy more modest tea types in 100 or 200 gram sizes instead, but then most vendors sell whatever you want to buy.

I’ll mention one site that is probably easy to look around that will give you an idea of what you’re in for. A good local shop could be helpful too, to have an actual human that knows about tea helping you out. This site is not necessarily the best place to start, but it is one practical option that sells a range of basic and less typical teas, and a good indication of the complexity of the task:

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Teasenz said

Oolong looks like a safe bet then. My advice would be to first find out whether he likes light or dark oolongs. Afterwards, go for more premium offers, and avoid the oolongs that look like a good deal. Going premium is probably a safer bet, since he’s a fanatic oolong drinker.

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I only know my friend drinks Earl Grey from Twinnings ( I think) so I buy her a seasonal collection from David’s Tea. Or one year I bought the 12 days of Christmas from 52 teas. Basically I just buy samples and send them to her. Same goes for family members. I like to share the tea love.

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A good quality tea sampler would be lovely. Just about every tea person likes to experiment and try new things.

Sometimes I pick up two samplers. One for the friend/family and one for myself. :D

That’s a good idea. It doesn’t change that if you source a half dozen 15 gram samples of mediocre tea it’s all still kind of so-so, but even then it would be trying different things.

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