The calendar of events is rather partial to the 4th quarter of the year- keeping the best for the last, this trimester includes Christmas, Thanksgiving, Diwali, Chinese golden week, Toussaint holidays in France, the New Year’s eve, and the wedding season in Asia.
You can see the decorative lights being arranged, firecrackers readied, and new clothes prepped and pressed. Tis’ the season, and a festive frenzy fills the air. But with a whiff of worry, “what gift should we buy?”
Gift-giving is a tradition for each one of these fetes- whether it’s for family or friends, neigbours or clients.
With the passing of each year, we try to outdo ourselves in finding a gift that is both classy and useful. And each year we mull over lists to check what’s in vogue, whether it’s within budget, if the packaging is pretty, and if it can be delivered easily without perishing.
Yes, there is such a gift that fits the bill perfectly, and it’s tea. Surprisingly tea as a gift item hasn’t really caught on, though it’s rather black and white (or oolong and green!) why tea would make for a great gift. Whole leaf tea is classy, healthy, flavorful, and in vogue. It can be packaged beautifully, and it lasts long. As far as delivery is concerned, whether it requires to be shipped or personally delivered from door to door- it’s lighter and less cumbersome than sweets, diaries, fruit baskets, table calendars or mugs.
Which tea for whom
Silver tip white tea is grown in high altitudes and has a mellow flavor of spearmint. It’s carefully handpicked to honour the much coveted leaf and a bud process. It has more antioxidants than green tea, and helps boost the immune system.
Darjeeling second flush black tea - There is no other tea like this one. Renowned for its muscatel flavor that is unique to its region and climate, this is a gift for those whom you deeply care for- your parents, your best friend, your top 3 corporate clients, or your most loyal customer. The tea has earned itself a GI (geographical indication) tag and is a high-graded tea, and in my opinion it’s a tea that speaks from the heart. It has an amber hue when brewed and a beautiful muscatel grape flavor, and could complement the Diwali snacks.
Oolong tea - This one’s for your friends because it’s naughty and nice. Oolong tea is the perfect blend between the full-bodied flavor of the black tea and the goodness of green tea.
It has a smoky flavor and a lingering sweet aroma.
Green tea - It’s a one-for-all tea, because it has something for everyone. It’s good for weight-watchers, and it’s good for the heart. It helps prevent high blood pressure, it’s rejuvenating and full of anti-oxidants. It’s good for the young and the old, the lazy and the busy, the new-to-tea folks as well as the tea connoisseurs, and fits perfectly in a New Year’s Resolution list.
Green tea has a pale golden hue when steeped, and a refreshing vegetal flavor.
A collection or a mix and match – A tea degustation of different types of tea makes for a good gift too, especially for newly-weds or for your in-laws, because usually they seem to want it all (smiley face!).
Gifting tea is thoughtful and rather practical. You don’t have to worry whether it’s age or gender appropriate. It can be personal or a corporate gift, it’s health friendly, easy to transport, it’s unique, fashionable and flavorful when compared to all other gift items that land up in our usual shopping carts.
You never know what a cup of tea could lead to:
A revolution perhaps like the Boston Tea party.
An inspiration for a classic novel like the Mad Hatter’s tea party in Alice in wonderland.
A prayer offering, like practiced by Tibetan and Japanese Buddhist monks.
An innovation for an economic upper hand - the Tea clippers or ships which were specially built for speedy delivery of Chinese tea to Europe.