For thousands of years, tea has brought people inner peace and wellness during periods of turmoil. From the sacred tea ceremony of Japan, to the sophisticated British high tea (pinkies up!), to the soul-satisfying street chai of Delhi, each culture has shaped its own way of making this incredible drink.
Right now in the US, the closest thing to a tea ritual we have is the tea bag. This clever American invention was popularized by a New York merchant in the early 1900s and redefined how tea was consumed around the world. However, the convenience of the bag trapped the expansion of the American imagination when it came to tea drinking, and we haven’t evolved since. Today, we’re at an exciting moment, as high-quality loose-leaf teas from all over the world are now more widely available here in the US. And with these new teas comes new ways to appreciate them—tea brewing tools can greatly impact the flavors and aromas in the finished cup.
Following marathon tea sessions, research, and many vigorous (read: overly caffeinated) conversations, we arrived with these brand new gift ideas to make shopping for the tea lovers in your life (or treating yourself) a little bit easier.
Along the way, we realized that each of us at Young Mountain Tea has our own favorite! Madelaine, who leads our daily operations, loves the flexibility of the in-cup infuser, while Lucas, who oversees our finances, enjoys the minimal sleekness of a professional cupping set. Mitra, our aesthetic guiding light, favors the comfort of her reliable ceramic stump teapot while I won’t leave home without my tea tumbler, whether I’m going to the office or on a hike in the woods on a quiet Oregon morning.
Whatever your fancy, we wish you and your loved ones the best in venturing deeper into the loose-leaf world. Steep on!
1. Loose-Leaf Tea Starter Kit: Two Whole-Leaf Teas & Infuser
Perfect for those looking to dive into the world of specialty tea or raise the level of an existing tea practice. This set comes with two of our most popular teas and a well-built stainless steel in-cup infuser that fits effortlessly into any mug.
Staff Pick: Each time Madelaine makes tea, she revels in choosing the right cup to match the leaf and the moment—no easy task, given the diverse collection of ceramic cups in her kitchen cupboard. With this loose-leaf tea starter kit, she has ultimate flexibility to infuse her two favorite teas into whatever cup fits the occasion.
2.The Precision Set: Professional Cupping Set & Three Reserve-Line Teas
The iconic tool of tea tasters around the world, cupping sets are designed for precise steeping and easy clean up. To demonstrate how the cupping set elevates tea’s taste and aroma, we chose three reserve line teas that really shine when prepared with a careful eye.
Staff Pick: Lucas started using cupping sets when he wanted to turn tea drinking into a professional skill, and he enjoyed the transition so much that he carried the habit back into his home practice. He recommends them for anyone wanting to really dial-in consistency in their steeping.
3. Ceramics & Botanics: Stump Teapot Set, Art Print, And Tea
For many dedicated tea drinkers, tea is a full-blown lifestyle. With this set of quality ceramics, you’ll feel rich (although we can’t promise famous) surrounded by tea, teaware, and a tea-inspired botanical art print hanging above your tea spot.
Staff Pick: Mitra is an artist and designer who loves how tea serves as a connection between beverage, culture, and more. She designed two tea-inspired art prints to go with this gift set, allowing the person who opens the box to feel totally immersed in the world of tea.
4. Tea On-The-Go: Vacuum-Insulated Tea Tumbler & Two Teas
A durable, stylish, leak-proof tea tumbler with an infuser unlocks the ability to make tea anywhere. Paired with two all-purpose teas, the only thing separating this gift from a perfect cup is hot water!
Staff Pick: This is Raj’s go-to setup for on-the-go-tea, which he turns to on planes, trains, and automobiles. He chose the two teas that he likes to travel with most: a strong black to fuel long drives and a calming white tea to soothe jet-lagged nerves.
5. Subcontinental Explorer: Loose-Leaf Teas From Five Regions Of India And Nepal
Our goal with this gift set was to bring the vast world of South Asian teas into one box. To help keep track of the experience, we’ve included a set of tea-inspired note cards perfect for scribbling down tasting notes, pseudo-poetic meanderings, or a postcard to a friend.
6. The Glass Set: Transparent Teapot, Warmer, Cups & Tea
Glass teapots make for an immersive tea experience, providing a window into the many colors tea passes through in its transformation from water into elixir. They also give a helpful visual cue for when the tea is done steeping, perfect for those of us prone to get lost in conversation. We like to believe that the Mad Hatter would have used this set if he could have.
7. The Home Brewer: Tea Mug With Infuser, Tea & Leaf Storage
We love simple. For the home brewer, that means everything needed to make good tea and nothing more. Equipped with high-quality versions of the essentials sans frills, this set ensures your gift recipient is set up for a productive headspace headed into the New Year.
8. Young Mountain Tea Gift Card
Give the gift of choice and let your lucky someone search for new tea, teaware, or art. And since every purchase through our store drives social and environmental change for rural communities in India and Nepal, you can feel good knowing that your gift will benefit people on both sides of the cup.
Looking for even more gift ideas?
Raj Vable, Founder
He has been confounded by the leaf since his first transcendental encounter with white tea in 2010. Three years later, he started Young Mountain Tea to bridge his budding tea obsession with his interest in traveling in the mountains and previous experience creating job opportunities in rural India. He revels in working across cultures and can be regularly found trying to get the rest of the team on board with another outlandish tea project. His favorite teas remain white, and he’s always searching for the next cup of ma