Buying gifts for men is confusing. What do they like? A quick search on amazon recommended claws for shredding pork, a tire pressure gauge, and toilet paper with Hillary Clinton’s face on it. None of which are quite what I’m going for. I think that tea makes more sense as a gift.
Tea is a small, practical luxury. It’s 15 quiet minutes to yourself, or shared with another person. A decaf like Chai Rooibos can be enjoyed at the end of a long day, instead of a customary evening drink like bourbon or brandy. A rich black tea like Pu’ehr can replace a first cup of coffee in the morning, or become a quiet moment in the middle of the day. Giving someone a fine tea is a little like giving them a box of cigars, but without the lung cancer. Giving someone tea suggests that you want them to enjoy a moment to themselves, while most traditional men’s gifts seem to suggest that you want them to fix something.
Once you’ve decided to give someone tea, there are still plenty of decisions to be made. We carry over 110 types of tea. Do you want to get them something caffeinated, or decaf? Green, black, oolong, or white? A fun, flavored tea, or a more dignified plain one? Do you want to get them tea at all, or a tisane or herbal?
If all of these questions are a little overwhelming, we can start with some suggestions, instead.
Pu’ehr, and Scottish Caramel Pu’ehr- These are fermented black teas. They taste very rich, and almost like coffee. Pu’ehr itself can come in pressed bricks, which are wrapped in paper, and fermented like wine. If properly stored, they can become as valuable and luxurious as a vintage wine. I, myself, know that I likely can’t taste much of a difference between a fine brick pu’ehr, and one which was pressed earlier that week. Our pu’ehr is geared more towards the newer tea drinker. It is loose, and can be steeped like a regular tea. The Scottish Caramel is a fun twist on a regular pu’ehr. It is not only rich, but has a sweet caramel note. It’s the sort of tea you drink late on a Sunday morning, while reading the paper.
Any Yunnan tea- These are the teas I recommend to new tea drinkers. They’re Chinese black teas, which are remarkably mild. When steeped properly, they are much less bitter and astringent than a standard black tea.
Chai Rooibos- Rooibos is made from a slightly different plant than true teas. It is a South African herbal, which naturally has no caffeine. It’s flavor is mild and earthy, and thus can be made into a variety of different teas. Our rooiboses range from the fruity African Autumn, to sweeter teas like Caramel Rooibos, and even include this gently spiced chai. While we also offer other chais, I’m featuring this tea in particular today, because I see it as a quiet evening tea, which can replace that customary evening glass of brandy or bourbon.
Temi Sikkim- This tea captures the idea of a moment of quiet better than most others. It is an Indian black tea, similar to Darjeeling, but with a distinctive honey note. It’s the sort of thing you sip reflectively at four in the afternoon, while you watch the absurdly early sunset.
If none of these teas are quite manly enough for whomever you’re shopping for, but you still aren’t quite looking for power tools and tire pressure gauges, we’ve also recommended a few of our more masculine teas in this blog post.
Tell us what you’re getting, and who you’re getting it for, in the comments below! We promise we won’t tell them before Christmas :)