A cup of char, or Rosie Lee, or simply tea, depending on where you live is truly a drink for all occasions. Whether you are thirsty, tired or feeling blue, everything seems better with a cup of tea, and sharing a problem is always easier with your hands wrapped around a cup of the nation’s favourite beverage. Whether you have a penchant for black, green, herbal or the rarer white, or Oolong, tea, it is a love affair that will last a long time.
Despite the fact that it is something we buy for ourselves every day, there are some outstanding Christmas tea gifts out there for someone who thinks you deserve an extra special cuppa. Top British companies who also have a strong online presence often create special gift packs especially for the festive season and this gives you the chance to buy a tea lover either their favourite luxury brand or open their palate up to some exciting new flavours.
There are over 3000 varieties of tea, and they all come from the same plant which is an evergreen that originated in China, the Camellia Sinensis. This plant can grow up to 90ft in height and it is the leaves that determine which tea they will be turned into. They range from shiny and smooth to fuzzy leaves covered in tiny white hairs, and every one can be turned into an individual blend of tea.
While the thought of 3000 different types can be quite mind boggling, it has been made easier for us by the fact that these teas have been split into 3 main categories; black, white or ‘Oolong’ and green. Green tea is considered to be very beneficial to health and has an earthy, grassy taste while black tea is the one we see in vast quantities in supermarket and it is these that through further blending become the likes of English Breakfast tea and Earl Grey.
White tea is delicate in both colour and taste as the leaves are picked in their infancy to ensure they are so pale. This is a rare tea that is expensive, and can often be found in tea packages for Christmas and other special occasions as it is a speciality tea that most don’t tend to buy for themselves. These gift sets tend to include a tea pot and a pack of loose Oolong tea as this is said to make the best cup.
The choice of tea gifts is vast and varied and as well as being able to buy packages that are dedicated to a specific tea blend, such as Lapsang Souchong for example, you can also buy them that have a range of teas in them with a specific flavour such as liquorice or spiced tea. Whether you are buying tea as a gift for Christmas, or hoping to receive one, you are guaranteed a wealth of choice and whether the giver or receiver, you will be glad there are so many Christmas tea gifts available.