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12 best Christmas gifts to treat the tea lover in your life

Teas the season for giving after all...

Siobhan Grogan
Monday 20 September 2021 17:45
<p>Whether they can’t start the day without a builder’s brew or like to dabble in finer flavours, there’s a gift to suit every tea lover in your life</p>

Whether they can’t start the day without a builder’s brew or like to dabble in finer flavours, there’s a gift to suit every tea lover in your life

Every Brit loves a good old-fashioned cup of tea, so you can’t go far wrong with a tea-based treat this Christmas.

Whether you’re buying for someone who can’t start the day without a builder’s brew or someone who likes to dabble in finer flavours, there’s a present to suit every tea lover in your life – and every budget.

Gifts for tea drinkers don’t need to be boring either. From lavish hampers to exquisite cups that make every tea break an occasion, we’ve included a range of thoughtful, useful ideas that would suit everyone from your mum to your child’s teacher.

How we tested

As dedicated tea drinkers, we judged each gift on whether we would be thrilled to open it on Christmas morning. We also considered cost, presentation, taste where relevant and whether each present would either make a tea lover feel thoroughly spoiled or guarantee they would enjoy their brew more in the coming months.

We looked especially for gifts that will make someone smile every time they sit down with a cuppa or for wouldn’t-buy-yourself indulgences to enjoy over the Christmas period.

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Here’s a round-up of our favourite ideas for any devoted tea drinker, however hard they are to buy for.

The best Christmas gifts for tea lovers for 2021 are:

  • Best overall – Fortnum & Mason take time for tea hamper: £150,
  • Best for an everyday cuppa – William Mason set of 4 grey mugs: £18,
  • Best for the perfect cup – Hoogly tea loose leaf tea set: £39.99,
  • Best teacher’s gift – Cartwright & Butler Time For Tea: £12.50,
  • Best gift by post – Afternoon Tea with prosecco hamper: £58,
  • Best for gourmets – Panzer’s Time for tea hamper: £40,
  • Best for commuters – Greens Steel reusable coffee cup: £15,
  • Best subscription – Maverick tea 1 year gift subscription: £111 for a year,
  • Best for gadget lovers - Ember mug: £99.95,
  • Best to brighten up someone’s morning – BIAinfuse teapot in yellow: £23.35,
  • Best experience gift - Steam train & afternoon tea voucher: £59,
  • Best stocking filler – Amazon Handmade Personalised Coaster: £12.99,

Fortnum & Mason the take time for tea hamper

Best: Overall

Rating: 10/10

Fortnum & Mason is the high temple of tea, having sold it from their London Piccadilly store since the early 18th-century and famously created a bespoke blend for King Edward VII in 1902. Its wicker hampers packed with teatime goodies have now become iconic and are the ultimate way to spoil any real tea obsessive this Christmas.

This one is the ideal way to bring serious luxury to the most important ritual of the day. It features six covetable tins of Fortnum’s celebrated loose-leaf teas including our favourite, Darjeeling BOP, Earl Grey and the Royal Blend. There’s also a three-minute tea timer and a traditional tea strainer to guarantee the perfect cuppa, every time.

Of course, no proper tea break is complete without biscuits so the hamper includes a tin of melt-in-the-mouth pistachio and clotted cream biscuits. There’s also a huge selection tin of Fortnum’s butter biscuits in stem ginger, salted caramel, macadamia nut, lemon curd, fruit and nut flapjack and chocolate pearl flavours. Spoiler alert: they might be the best biscuits we’ve ever tasted.

Finally, there’s a teeny Fortnum’s bag of Countess Grey tea caramel truffles and even a copy of Tom Parker Bowles’ entertaining guide to tea, Time for Tea (£14.99, If all that doesn’t thrill the tea lover in your life, we’d start to suspect they secretly prefer coffee.

William Mason set of 4 grey mugs

Best: For an everyday cuppa

Rating: 7/10

We all know someone who drinks their well-deserved cuppa each day from a chipped mug they once got free with an Easter egg. This Christmas, it’s time you made their daily routine more of a pleasure and treat them to some decent mugs they can curl up with day after day in 2022.

We loved these go-with-everything grey mugs for their embossed ripple decoration and decent 400ml capacity, plus the handle feels really comfy to hold and they kept our brew nice and hot until the end. They go in the dishwasher, freezer and microwave too. Though if someone is microwaving their cuppa, they’re not really a tea lover at all are they?

Hoogly tea loose leaf tea set

Best: For the perfect cup

Rating: 8/10

Research has shown the ultimate cup of tea should be brewed for five minutes exactly and served in a red mug. While every tea enthusiast will have their own tried and tested way to make their dream cuppa, this smart set will make the process a pleasure.

It comes with a stylish glass teapot with a removable glass filter so it can be used with either loose leaf tea or a bog-standard teabag and is the perfect size for tea-for-one. There’s also a ceramic mug that comes in black or the all-important red, a bamboo coaster that doubles as a handy lid, a five-minute “egg” timer, and even a golden spoon to give tea breaks added pizazz. All go in the dishwasher to keep annoying tea stains at bay.

Finally, every set includes a 50g bag of loose leaf tea from Hoogly teas, which are hand-blended in the South East of England using all-natural ingredients. There are more than 30 flavours to choose from including Chocolate Brownie, Darjeeling and Spiced Orange but the English Breakfast is delicious and a safe bet when buying for someone else.

Cartwright & Butler time for tea

Best: Teacher’s gift

Rating: 7/10

Need to buy a present for a teacher who always seems to have a mug in hand? This beautifully presented tin makes a change from the usual box of chocs grabbed from the supermarket the night before term ends, but is also a great gift to keep on hand this Christmas in case anyone pops by unexpectedly. The tin includes 30 English Breakfast teabags and a pack of buttery sea-salted caramel shortbread that were so delicious we were tempted to scoff the whole pack in one sitting. Best of all, the attractive tin can be used to store teabags afterwards too.

Afternoon Tea with prosecco hamper

Best: Gift by post

Rating: 9/10

Any tea lover will tell you nothing beats a traditional afternoon tea and receiving one in the post this Christmas will thrill even the hardest to please recipient. This jam-packed set includes everything they’ll need to enjoy a slap-up feast in the comfort of their own home delivered in an open wicker gift basket with a free gift message.

There’s a jar of traditional Scottish strawberry preserve and two individual-sized pots of clotted cream plus two large fruit scones stuffed with sultanas. Bear in mind when ordering that these only have a shelf-life of 48 hours once delivered though. There’s also a rich whiskey Dundee cake topped with flaked almonds, a 125g box of Belgian chocolates wrapped in a gold ribbon and three chunky pieces of clotted cream fudge – though we have to confess, these were a little rich for our taste.

Most importantly, there’s a lovely traditional tea caddy filled with 40 Afternoon teabags and even a full-size bottle of La Tenuta Sconta Prosecco DOC Extra-Dry to up the luxe factor.

Panzer’s time for tea hamper

Best: For gourmets

Rating: 8/10

North London foodies are devoted to Panzer’s, the capital’s original Jewish deli renowned for its smoked salmon bagels where regular customers include Nigella Lawson, Yotam Ottolenghi and Harry Styles.

This tea-focused gift is ideal for anyone who appreciates quality ingredients rather than a bog standard teabag and a custard cream. It arrives in a sturdy cardboard box in Panzer’s distinctive dark green tied with an elaborate striped ribbon and contains a limited-edition porcelain mug to mark the deli’s 75th anniversary.

There’s also a smart caddy of loose-leaf English Breakfast tea plus a generous box of four different types of Italian biscuits. Our favourites were the chocolate and hazelnut biscotti which proved the perfect texture for dunking.

Greens Steel reusable coffee cup

Best: For commuters

Rating: 7/10

It might not be the most glamorous Christmas gift you’ll ever buy, but if you’re shopping for someone who travels for work or is always on the go, this if the gift that will make the biggest difference. Not just for coffee drinkers, this insulated stainless steel mug means any dedicated tea fan can make a cuppa exactly as they like it and keep it warm throughout the commute.

The large vacuum cup has double-wall insulation which kept our tea piping for over four hours and didn’t leak a drop, even when we (nervously) threw the cup in our bag to test it. It has a lid to keep it hygienic and a handle for easy carrying plus it comes with a lifetime guarantee for a present with serious staying power.

Maverick Tea 1 year gift subscription

Best: Subscription

Rating: 8/10

Not sure what to get the tea lover who has everything? You can’t go wrong with a subscription to ensure they have a supply of top-notch tea all year-round.

Already known for their excellent quality, ethically sourced coffee, Maverick Coffee Company is a family-run business based in West Sussex who have now launched ten luxury tea blends in either biodegradable pyramid bags or loose leaf. All you need to do is choose the recipient’s favourite blend and it will be delivered to their doorstep every two weeks for a year. Options include a classic Earl Grey, a peppermint and green tea detox blend, a soothing chamomile and a lovely white pear and vanilla that fast became our favourite.

The first delivery also includes a chic reusable eco-tube to refill with every new package. We loved the fact there’s no need to stump up for the subscription in one go if money’s tight at Christmas either. Instead, payment of less than a fiver will be automatically debited from your account every two weeks so you can spread the cost and give a friend a daily brew.

Ember mug 2

Best: For gadget lovers

Rating: 9/10

Any real tea lover knows nothing is worse than a cold cuppa. The world’s first temperature-controlled mug aims to end the torture of tepid brews forever and could revolutionise tea drinking for anyone who loves a gizmo. It would also be the best present possible for any new parent who believes they will never finish a hot drink ever again.

The stylish cup, available in white or black and in two sizes, detects the temperature of any hot liquid and has a light to alert you when your tea is at the desired drinking temperature. Keep it on the charging coaster and your tea will – honestly – stay hot all day. Off the coaster, it will still stay steaming for over an hour, which was usually more than enough for us.

The temperature can also be easily controlled on the app, which allows you to pre-set different drinks (or even different types of teas). It’s not cheap but trust us, this is the gift that keeps on giving.

BIA infuse teapot in yellow

Best: To brighten up someone’s morning

Rating: 8/10

The idea of dunking a teabag straight into the mug would fill a devoted tea drinker with horror. Make them smile every time they make a cup with this cute ceramic teapot that comes in a range of attractive colours including buttercup yellow and bright turquoise. It’s made from sturdy stoneware with a stainless steel lid and we loved the fact it has a removable infuser inside so can be used for both loose teas and teabags. Best of all, it goes straight in the dishwasher afterwards to keep tell-tale tea stains at bay.

Steam train & afternoon tea voucher

Best: Experience gift

Rating: 8/10

Give your grandparents a day out to remember with this handy voucher. It allows two people to ride through the countryside on a steam train then have an afternoon tea at one of several tearooms. It also has a great 18-month validity so they can choose a day to suit and won’t have to worry about any changing restrictions.

There are dozens of tearooms to choose from so there’s bound to be one to suit but be aware not all are near a steam train so they may not be able to easily manage both on the same day. However, once they’ve settled on a location, all they’ll need to do is book, turn up and decide whether jam or cream goes first on their scones.

Amazon handmade personalised coaster

Best: Stocking filler

Rating: 7/10

A great secret Santa gift for any devoted tea slurper, this sturdy wooden coaster would make a lovely addition to any desk – and save it from annoying cup rings too. The personalised details make it extra special, and you can choose the colour on the side, add a message on the back and choose a name engraved on the top before the standard “you are tea-riffic” words.

It has a lovely smooth finish and comes with an optional gift box if you need to post directly. Want something a little more substantial? We reckon it would go well alongside the But First Tea poster (£3.75,, a surprisingly stylish A3 print available in a choice of colours that would be welcome in any tea lover’s kitchen.

The verdict: Christmas gifts for tea lovers

The lavish Fortnum & Mason take time for tea hamper will make any tea obsessive’s Christmas and they’ll use the instantly recognisable wicker hamper for years to come. Plus if you ask really nicely, they might even offer you a biscuit.

The amazing Ember mug 2 is also a real game-changer to guarantee any tea lover will never have to endure a cold cuppa again. But if you want to spend (a lot) less, you can’t go wrong with the sweet personalised coaster, an ideal gift for anyone devoted to the perfect brew.

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