The Best Gifts for Tea Lovers

Celebrate the tea lover in your life

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The Spruce Eats / Sabrina Jiang

Look into a tea drinker’s cabinet and you will most likely find a curated collection of tins, bags, and boxes to fit every mood and occasion. Finding the best gifts for tea lovers involves a bit of sleuthing and we are here to help. While all tea comes from the same camellia sinensis plant, the joys of this versatile leaf embody where it is grown, the soil and climate, and then how blenders might add in aromatics, herbs, spices, and flowers. This matters because knowing what kind of tea drinker you are buying for will inform the kind of gift to be appreciated most. A classic Chinese green tea fan is probably not going to be jazzed about receiving flavored black tea.

We’ve compiled teapots and cups, books, and tea samplers—our best gifts for tea lovers.

Best Electric Tea Kettle: Cuisinart PerfecTemp Cordless Electric Kettle

4.8
Cuisinart CPK-17 PerfecTemp 1.7-Liter Stainless Steel Cordless Electric Kettle
Amazon.
What We Like
  • Temperature settings labeled for tea

  • Great for non-electric coffee makers too

  • Durable

What We Don't Like
  • On the heavier side

  • Small lid opening

Brewing consistent cups of tea involves three things: amount of tea, brew time, and water temperature. That last one is where the Cuisinart PerfecTemp electric kettle comes in with six variable temperatures to heat the water to the right specifications for the tea you want to brew. This is the ideal gift for a daily tea drinker—its 30-minute keep-warm function can refresh your cup, and its illuminated window shows how much water is in the kettle.

Capacity: 1.7 liters | Dimensions: 8.8 x 6.1 x 9.75 inches | Wattage: 1,500 | Voltage: 110 | Warranty: Three-year limited

Best Stovetop Tea Kettle: Le Creuset Classic Whistling Kettle

4.4
Ozeri ZK14-R Pronto Digital Multifunction Kitchen and Food Scale, Red

Amazon

What We Like
  • Beautiful design and colors

  • Sturdy handle

  • Easy to clean

What We Don't Like
  • Heavy material

  • Lid can be hard to remove

You may know Le Creuset for its cast iron Dutch ovens, but it also has a line of gorgeous tea kettles. If your loved one is looking to upgrade their kettle, but prefers a stovetop model, this stainless steel whistling tea kettle coated in porcelain enamel makes an awesome gift. It works on any stovetop, has a near 2-quart capacity, and comes in nine eye-catching colors, including cassis, cherry, flame, Marseille, palm, and white. It also has a heat-resistant handle (in addition to the knob and whistle) to make pouring easier. Our tester said this was one of her favorite aspects of the item, adding, "When you combine these high-quality materials with the heat-resistant knobs and sturdy handle, it all adds up to a high-quality kettle that was built to last."

Capacity: 1.8 quarts | Dimensions: 8.25 x 9.75 x 8.25 inches | Weight: Three pounds | Material: Enamel on steel | Warranty: Five years

What Our Testers Say

"The Le Creuset Classic Whistling Kettle is a beautiful kettle with convenient features that make it worth the high price." Rebekah Joan, Product Tester

Best Glass Teapot: Cusinium Glass Teapot with Infuser Set

4.8
Cusinium Glass Teapot with Infuser Set

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Stovetop-, microwave-, and dishwasher-safe

  • Easy to use

  • Includes a sleeve and coaster

What We Don't Like
  • Only makes 3 to 4 cups

This versatile teapot can brew several cups of hot or cold tea and has a modern design with an ergonomic handle and spill-free spout, making it ideal for everyday use. This model holds 3 to 4 cups of tea in borosilicate glass so durable that you can put it directly on a gas stovetop. The Cusinium is easy to use and includes a handy chart indicating required water temperatures and brewing times for different types of tea. Plus, it includes a few extras that help make it giftable: There’s a removable sleeve to keep tea insulated, a bamboo coaster to set the pot on, and a complimentary e-book on tea and how to brew it correctly, which is sent via email upon request.

Capacity: 32 ounces | Dimensions: 6.1 x 4.7 x 5.9 inches | Weight: 1.01 pounds | Material: Borosilicate glass | Dishwasher Safe: Yes

Best for the Traveler: Palais des Thés Around the World Set

Palais des Thés Around the World Set

Amazon

What We Like
  • Packaged in a beautiful box

  • Wide variety of teas

  • Includes an informational guide

What We Don't Like
  • No decaf options

Ten single estate teas from France-based Palais des Thés bring a taste of around-the-world travel into the teacup. Discover the nuances of Darjeeling’s delicate peach undertones and robust Assam black tea—both from India, showing the range of terroir’s effects on tea leaves where climate, soil, and growing conditions impact the final cuppa.

Form: Loose leaf | Size: Box includes 10 tubes with 2 ounces of tea each | Origin: Varies by tea

What Our Experts Say

"The variety of teas included in this set makes it an amazing gift option, and it covers your bases if you don't know the recipient's favorite type of tea. Not to mention that it's already packaged in a pretty and presentable gift box." Derek Rose, Coffee and Tea Expert for The Spruce Eats

Best Ceramic Mug: Uncommon Goods Tea Bag Pocket Mug

Uncommon Goods Tea Bag Pocket Mug

Uncommon Goods

What We Like
  • Attractive design

  • Ingenious pocket to place used tea bag

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive for a mug

Say goodbye to used tea bags lying around the house. This handmade glazed ceramic mug has a clever design that includes a kangaroo-like pouch that’s just the right size for a sachet. Once your tea is finished steeping, you don’t have to get up to throw the bag away—you can just stick it right in that ceramic pocket. This mug promotes coziness, relaxation, and convenience, and best of all, it’s both microwave- and dishwasher safe.

Dimensions: 6 x 4 inches | Capacity: 12 ounces | Material: Stoneware | Dishwasher Safe: Yes

Best for Chai Drinkers: Sullivan Street Tea Shop Chai Tea Kit

Sullivan Street Tea Shop Chai Tea Kit

Etsy

What We Like
  • Charming presentation

  • Everything you need in one box

  • All ingredients are organic

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey

  • Small amounts of tea and spices

For those who prefer chai masala, this cute little kit inside a handmade wooden box comes from a quaint New York City tea shop. It contains everything you need to make a hot cup of Indian chai: recycled glass jars of organic whole cardamom pods, ginger root, peppercorns, and whole cloves, plus a handful of cinnamon sticks and a container of organic black Assam tea. Also included are a cotton tea strainer and recipe, setting you up for success with every cup of homemade chai.

Material: Pine wood box and recycled glass jars | Includes: 5 whole spices and 1 container of tea | Origin: India

Best for Loose Tea Drinkers: Bstean Tea Filter Bags Disposable Tea Infuser with Drawstring

Bstean Tea Filter Bags Disposable Tea Infuser

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Budget-priced add-on gift

  • No paper taste

  • Biodegradable

What We Don't Like
  • Thin paper, possible to rip

  • Designed for single use

BStean bags are convenient for those who drink loose-leaf tea. While many bags are bleached, these biodegradable chlorine-free bags are not. Paper can flavor tea, so untreated ones offer a purer drinking experience. The drawstring tops lock in loose tea leaves from accidentally floating into the cup, like fold-over flap-style bags. Ideal for 8-ounce servings of tea, the bags are available in packs of 100 or 200 and can be tossed in home compost after use.

Count: 100 or 200 teabags | Size: Medium or large | Material: Unbleached paper

Best Frother: PowerLix Handheld Battery Operated Milk Frother

4.3
PowerLix Handheld Battery Operated Milk Frother

Amazon

What We Like
  • Affordable

  • Portable

  • Fluffy foam

What We Don't Like
  • Doesn't heat liquid

  • Must purchase batteries

For those who enjoy drinking their tea with milk (dairy or alternative), this brightly colored handheld frother is very handy. Just 15 seconds of whirring will create a foamy tea latte, and it works inside any cup. The stainless steel wand is sturdy and durable, and the motor is quiet, yet effective. It’s also attractively designed and ergonomic, and it comes with a metal stand should you want to keep it on the counter. It can be used for everything from milkshakes to cocktails to beating eggs, making it a multi-use gift. Two AA batteries are required, but not included.

Dimensions: 2.7 x 3.1 x 10 inches | Weight: 5.3 ounces | Material: Plastic and stainless steel | Battery: Two AA

Good to Know

"Frothing is when you fold in or incorporate air into your milk to create an airier texture," says Paulo Asi, Director of Training at the Seattle Barista Academy. "Steaming milk can mean you froth it too, but it usually means heating it up, basically like you’re microwaving the milk." 

Best Infuser: Finum Stainless Steel Mesh Brewing Basket

5
Finum-Stainless-Steel-Mesh-Brewing-Basket

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Extra-fine mesh keeps leaves in

  • Large capacity

  • Included lid helps maintain heat

What We Don't Like
  • Plastic a little flimsy

Tea infuser balls may seem convenient, but tea leaves brew better when they have more space. Enter this large basket infuser, which is spacious enough for tea leaves to diffuse evenly and give off the most flavor. Plus, the super-fine mesh ensures even the smallest pieces won’t escape into your mug. The included lid helps tea stay hot while infusing, though the handles manage to stay cool to the touch. The brewing basket is dishwasher safe and available in multiple sizes and colors, so you can find one your gift recipient will like best.

Dimensions: 2.05 x 2.4 x 2.95 inches | Weight: 2.12. ounces | Material: Plastic and stainless steel mesh | Dishwasher Safe: Yes

Best Glass Tea Cups: Bodum Pavina Double Wall 12-Ounce Cooler Glass, Set of 2

bodum pavina double wall glass

Courtesy of Wayfair

What We Like
  • Microwave safe

  • Lets you see tea color

  • Glass stays cool to touch

What We Don't Like
  • No handles

  • Narrow base

Part of the joy of tea drinking is to see the color of the brewed tea and glass cups give a glimpse of what’s inside. Bodum Pavina double-walled glass cups stay cool to the touch while keeping your tea hot. Made of borosilicate glass that does not become cloudy over time, these dishwasher-safe glass cups come two per pack and are available in a 12-ounce size, too, which is ideal for a single brew of tea in the cup with an infuser for loose tea or tea bags.

Capacity: 2.5, 8, 12, or 15 ounces | Dimensions: 3.5 x 3.6 inches (8-ounce model) | Weight: 9.6 ounces | Material: Borosilicate glass and silicone

What We Like
  • Warms beverages to preferred temperature

  • Customizable LED light

  • Easy-to-use app

What We Don't Like
  • Pricey for a mug

  • Interior coating is extremely delicate

  • Hand wash only

If your giftee always has a cup of tea near them, whether it's at home or in the office, this smart mug is an exciting choice. The Ember Mug² warms hot beverages to maintain an ideal temperature, which is easily controlled with the Ember app. It recharges on a sleek matching coaster and can hold a charge for up to 90 minutes, allowing you to be portable for a while without being tied to a cord and outlet.

While it is a splurge, the cost per use may be worthwhile for those who can't stand tepid tea. However, our tester did note that the interior coating is extremely delicate, so be careful when stirring.

Capacity: 10 or 14 ounces | Dimensions: 3.3 x 4.2 (10-ounce model) | Temperature Range: 120 to 145 degrees | Battery Life: 90 minutes for 10-ounce model and 80 minutes for 14-ounce model

Ember Mug

 The Spruce Eats / Cheyenne Elwell

Best Book for Tea Beginners: The Tea Enthusiast's Handbook: A Guide to Enjoying the World's Best Teas

The Tea Enthusiast's Handbook

Courtesy of Walmart

What We Like
  • Great for beginners

  • Written by notable tea experts

  • Filled with photographs

What We Don't Like
  • Experts may know much of the info

  • Doesn't discuss herbal teas

Authors Mary Lou Heiss and Robert J. Heiss started their tea journey as loose leaf tea buyers in the 1970s and have since authored four books, starting with "The Tea Enthusiast’s Handbook," which details descriptions of 35 teas with tips on how to select and brew them. For tea drinkers wanting to go deeper into the cultural roots and history of tea, check out their follow-up book, "The Story of Tea: A Cultural History and Drinking Guide," a James Beard finalist.

Page Count: 208 pages | Published: 2010 | Format: Paperback, hardcover, and Kindle

Best Subscription: Rare Tea Cellar Tea of the Month Club

Rare Tea Cellar Tea of the Month Club

Courtesy of Rare Tea Cellar

What We Like
  • Wide variety of teas

  • Different monthly subscription options

What We Don't Like
  • A little pricey

Treat your favorite tea drinker to a taste of Rare Tea Cellars, a purveyor that supplies Chicagoland fine dining restaurants with bespoke blends and single estate teas. Its tea of the month gift sends two different teas monthly and is available in three-, six-, and 12-month subscriptions. Each subscription level receives a tea scoop.

Options: 3, 6, or 12 months | Size: 2 to 4 ounces | Varieties: Two teas each month

Best for Matcha Lovers: Ippodo Tea Basic Matcha Kit

Ippodo Tea Basic Matcha Kit

Courtesy of Ippodo Tea

What We Like
  • Great for those new to matcha

  • Comes in presentable box

  • All the essential tools you need

What We Don't Like
  • Horai is brand's mid-tier matcha

For the coffeehouse matcha drinker who wants to take that obsession home, consider the Ippodo Tea Basic Matcha Kit. Included are a bamboo matcha scoop, matcha whisk, whisk stand, a sifter for the ultrafine tea powder, and 20 grams of Horai, a light and sweet matcha that the brand recommends for beginners. Ippodo Tea sells matcha kits with more items included, like the Essential Kit and Deluxe Kit, at higher price points.

Matcha Capacity: 20 grams | Sourcing: Kyoto, Japan | Box Size: 8.5 x 2.7 x 6.1 inches

What the Experts Say

"I get a lot of questions like, 'How do I make matcha at home?' 'Do I need special tools—a bowl, a whisk?' When it comes down to it, you can make matcha in a protein shaker if you want. If you do have all the tools, take a small bowl, use slightly less than boiling water, and move a bamboo whisk back and forth in a W-motion until you get frothy bubbles at the top. Then, you’re good to go." Michelle Puyane, Cofounder of Chalait, New York City

Best for Boba Drinkers: The Boba Book: Bubble Tea and Beyond

The Boba Book: Bubble Tea and Beyond

Courtesy of Walmart

What We Like
  • Stylish coffee table book

  • Unique recipes

  • Great photographs

What We Don't Like
  • Some readers dislike asides about the authors

  • More recipes than info

Boba tea’s popularity isn’t just about the tapioca boba pearls. As any boba-head will tell you, the devil is in the details of individually brewing quality loose leaf tea, as evidenced at San Francisco local chain Boba Guys, where Tea People loose leaf tea yields a good cup of tea with boba. Boba Guys founders Andrea Chau and Bin Chen’s book, "The Boba Book: Bubble Tea and Beyond," brings their boutique approach home.

Page Count: 224 pages | Published: 2020 | Format: Hardcover and Kindle

Best Tea Spoon: Adagio Tea Spoon

Adagio Tea Spoon

Courtesy of Adagio

What We Like
  • Sturdy and durable

  • Tea doesn't stick to spoon

  • Affordable

What We Don't Like
  • Clip not useful for all tea drinkers

  • Clip too firm for some users

Ditch the measuring spoon from your baking drawer. Treat yourself to the well-made stainless steel spoon from Adagio Teas with a clip and handle long enough to easily dig into deeper bags of loose tea. Plus, the clip can be used to seal the bag of loose tea with the same spoon you’ll use to portion it out. This dishwasher-safe spoon ensures even brewing.

Length: 5 inches without clip and 6.5 inches with clip | Size: 1 teaspoon | Material: Stainless steel

Best Loose Tea Tin: Rishi Showen Kumihimo Tin

Rishi Showen Kumihimo Tins

Courtesy of Rishi

What We Like
  • Gorgeous design and colors

  • Air-tight seal

What We Don't Like
  • Not the largest capacity

Keep your favorite teas within reach, but perhaps in something more sleek than a zipseal bag. The Showen Kumihimo Tin from Rishi Teas is a fashionable way to store your loose teas. Measuring in at 5 inches high, the tin design is embellished with braids of silk thread, available in emerald, yellow, red, indigo, or black. It's crafted in Kyoto, Japan.

Material: Toray Sillook thread | Dimensions: 2.75 x 5 inches | Colors: Red, yellow, black, blue, or teal

Best for Tea To-Go: Espro Travel Tea Press

Espro Travel Tea Press

Courtesy of Amazon

What We Like
  • Works for tea and coffee

  • Top-rack dishwasher safe

  • Durable

What We Don't Like
  • Cannot go in microwave

  • Plunger sticks easily

For tea on the go, try the Espro loose tea press from Republic of Tea. It works like a French press with loose tea and features a dual-filter. Its double walls ensure temperature control for up to six hours. This is a practical gift for any tea lover with a commute.

Capacity: Makes 10 ounces of coffee and holds 14 ounces as a travel mug | Dimensions: | 2.83 x 2.83 x 8.06 inches | Weight: 12.16 ounces | Material: Stainless steel

Best Luxe Set: Tea Forté Tea Duet Gift Set

Tea Forté Tea Duet Gift Set

Tea Forté

What We Like
  • Beautiful presentation

  • Includes gift box

  • Includes tea

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

  • Can’t choose between caffeinated or herbal teas

If you’re looking for a truly classy tea gift, look no further than this box set from luxury tea maker Tea Forté. The classically designed box comes with everything one would need for a quiet cup of tea with a friend: two bone china tea cups with lids, two of Tea Forté signature tea bag holders made specially for their pyramid-shaped tea bags, and a sampler box of 10 different organic teas, including black, green, white, and herbal.

Includes: Presentation box, 10 pyramid infusers, two 8-ounce porcelain cups with lids, two ceramic tea trays | Tea Varieties: African solstice, black currant tea, chamomile citron tea, Earl grey tea, ginger lemongrass, green mango peach, jasmine green tea, raspberry nectar, white ambrosia, white ginger pear

Best Sampler: Harney & Sons Linen Tea Chest Featuring Eight Teas

Harney & Sons Linen Tea Chest Featuring Eight Teas

Harney & Sons

What We Like
  • Elegant presentation

  • Box is reusable

  • Teas are individually wrapped to maintain freshness

What We Don't Like
  • Customer cannot see or select teas

Tea chests make a wonderful gift, and this one from Harney & Sons is particularly attractive and high-end. It comes pre-filled with 32 individually wrapped teas in eight flavors (four bags of each), and the owner can refill the keepsake box for years to come. The flavors are chosen by the manufacturer, though, and they don’t share the flavors in advance.

Dimensions: 16 x 9.3 x 2 inches | Weight: 1.7 pounds | Material: Linen | Form: Bags | Size: Box includes 32 tea bags

Best for Flower Lovers: Uncommon Goods Flower Tea Ritual Gift Set

Uncommon Goods Flower Tea Ritual Gift Set

Uncommon Goods

What We Like
  • Includes everything you need in one kit

  • Attractive box and design

  • Each packet yields 3 cups of tea

What We Don't Like
  • Expensive

Anyone who loves flowers will adore this beautiful box set, which comes with a glass serving pitcher, bamboo tongs for handling and stirring, and nine whole-flower herbs sourced from Tibet. Aside from great-tasting tea, the process of watching the dried flowers open up in hot water is relaxing and beautiful. Each bud makes 3 cups of tea, and the recipient gets three roses, three chrysanthemums, and three lotus flowers, each individually wrapped.

Dimensions: 8.5 x 8.5 x 4.5 inches | Material: Glass server and bamboo tongs | Capacity: Glass server holds 9 ounces | Form: Bags | Size: Box includes 9 flower tea bags | Origin: Tibet

Best for One Person: Coastline Imports Multicolor Poppy Tea for One Set

Coastline Imports Multicolor Poppy Tea for One Set

English Tea Store

What We Like
  • Bright colors

  • Smart, compact design

  • Well-priced

What We Don't Like
  • Not dishwasher- and microwave-safe

This elegant, yet compact four-piece set brews a lovely pot of tea for one. Each piece is rimmed with gold, and the bright-colored whimsical poppy pattern gives a modern feel to a dainty format. The clever design allows the small teapot to fit snugly into the cup, and when you’re ready to drink, simply remove the pot and pour the tea into the cup. There’s even a saucer included.

Dimensions: 6.5 x 6 inches | Capacity: 16 ounces | Material: Porcelain | Dishwasher Safe: No

Best for Mother's Day: Harney & Sons Mother's Day & Honey Gift

Harney & Sons Mother's Day & Honey Gift

Harney & Sons

What We Like
  • Attractive design

  • Nice gift box

What We Don't Like
  • Doesn't work for other occasions

Tea is a perfect gift idea for Mother’s Day, and Harney & Sons had the brilliant idea to name one of their herbal tea blends after the holiday. The Mother’s Day herbal blend includes rose petals, chamomile flowers, cornflowers, and orange peel. This set includes 30 sachets of the tea inside a keepsake tin and one jar of Hunua honey, made from New Zealand manuka honey. Both are packaged inside a classic box with gold lettering.

Material: Tin and glass | Form: Bags | Includes: 30 Mother’s Day herbal tea sachets, 1 9-ounce jar of Hunua manuka honey

What to Look for in Gifts for Tea Lovers

Budget

It's much easier (and less stressful) to narrow down gift options when you have a budget in mind. Before diving in too deep, take a moment to consider the budget you are comfortable with, as well as what the gift-giving situation, whether it's a birthday or holiday, might call for. Fortunately, tea products come in a sprawling range of prices, from low-budget infusers to hundred-dollar kettles.

Practicality

Don't worry: Practicality isn't as boring as it sounds. In fact, gift-giving is a wonderful situation in which to be impractical—to get your friend, acquaintance, or loved one something they would never buy for themselves. Maybe there's a special teapot you want to get them, even if it mainly ends up being a decorative kitchen item. On the other hand, there are times when it's good to be practical. if the recipient prefers bagged tea over loose leaf, for example, then they probably won't get much use out of a tea infuser. Instead, maybe look for a sampling of tea bags so that they can try different varieties, brands, and flavors.

Design

From teapots to mugs to coffee table books, tea-related gifts open up a world of different designs. Selecting a design that suits the gift recipient is a fun way to show how much you know about and care for them. Would they like a goofy novelty tea infuser? There are many animal-themed ones out there. Are they into the timeless elegance of porcelain or fine-bone china tea sets? Everyone has their own unique style; what one are you looking for?

Tea Variety

You can never go wrong getting a tea lover their favorite drink as a gift. The only problem is that there are so many kinds of tea in the world. If you know the person you are gifting primarily drinks a certain type of tea, you may want to stick with similar varieties. Someone who drinks black tea, for instance, would probably enjoy a standard Earl Grey or English Breakfast. In contrast, if you know the recipient is open to all different varieties, then don't hesitate to try more distinct options.

FAQs

How do you brew loose-leaf tea?

Brewing loose-leaf tea for the first time can be confusing, perhaps daunting. How many scoops do I add? How long should it steep? Don't worry. Even long-time loose-leaf drinkers pick up new brewing tips every now and then. While there are many different methods, some of which are dependent on the type of tea used, here's a simple five-step process for brewing delicious loose-leaf tea:

  • Boil water in a tea kettle. If you have time, check what water temperature is recommended for the type of tea you are brewing (more information on this below), as this helps extract the richest flavor.
  • If you are using a teapot, preheat the pot by rinsing the inside with hot water. This allows the teapot to maintain the ideal water temperature while your tea steeps, and it prevents porcelain and ceramic teapots from cracking from the sudden heat of boiling water.
  • Fill the teapot or infuser basket with your loose-leaf tea. The general rule of thumb is 1 teaspoon of tea for every cup of water used, plus one extra scoop. So, if want to make 5 cups of tea, use 6 teaspoons of loose leaf.
  • Pour hot water over the tea, place the lid on the teapot, and let steep for the recommended time. Depending on the type of tea you are making, this may range from one to seven minutes.
  • Finally, once the recommended time has passed, serve the tea. If you had let the tea leaves float freely in the pot, place a small strainer over your teacup as you pour so you won’t get any loose leaves while sipping.

What is boba?

Boba tea goes by many names—bubble tea, pearl tea, tapioca tea, and more—but with its many colors, thick straws, and floating tapioca pearls, the beverage is easy to spot. There are countless variations around the world, but its basic ingredients are black tea, milk, ice, and those signature tapioca balls. If this doesn't pique your interest, boba can also be made with a green tea or oolong base and mixed with everything from fruit and fruit syrup to taro, nuts, and bean soup. Some boba doesn't even include milk. Such variety has drawn so many people to this Taiwanese drink. From sweet to savory, there is a boba recipe for everyone.

What is matcha?

Matcha is a finely ground powder made from dried green tea leaves. It is most commonly used to make hot tea, but matcha powder is highly versatile and can make a number of drinks, including lattes, iced matcha, and smoothies. It can also be used in cooking and baking (check out these matcha truffles, for example). Unlike most teas with which you extract the leaves before drinking, with matcha, you actually consume the ground-up tea leaves. Matcha can range in flavor from earthy to sweet; the taste is often linked to the term "umami," a unique savory taste. Enjoyed widely around the world, matcha dates back hundreds of years to China's Tang Dynasty and then to 12th-century Japan, where it grew in popularity.

How do you clean a tea kettle?

From rust stains to limescale buildup, tea kettles require routine upkeep to look and function like new. We'll cover all the ways to clean your kettle below, no matter what material it's made from and no matter the spots or stains. Let's start with cleaning inside the kettle. The most popular technique goes as follows:

  • Fill the kettle halfway with equal parts water and white vinegar.
  • Heat the kettle until the water and vinegar mixture is boiling.
  • Pour out the mixture.
  • Once the kettle is cool, scrub the inside with a non-abrasive cloth or brush. 
  • Finally, rinse the kettle or boil water in it until all traces of vinegar are gone. 

This process, which is suitable for both electric and stovetop kettles, removes potential limescale buildup. It’s important to thoroughly clean inside a kettle at least once every three months, otherwise, limescale may begin altering the taste of your tea, and it could even prevent electric kettles from working properly. Other household products such as baking soda and lemon juice are effective descaling agents, and many brands sell special descaling solutions in liquid or powder form that are worth checking out, as well.

As for cleaning the exterior of a tea kettle, the same combination of water and vinegar can be used. Water and dish soap works, too. Simply wet a microfiber cloth with either solution, gently scrub the kettle’s exterior, and dry thoroughly. Regularly performing this task eliminates scale buildup, prevents rust stains, and will keep your kettle sparkling. We recommend cleaning the outside of a kettle weekly, but the frequency can vary depending on how much you use your kettle. Those who own an electric kettle should avoid getting too much solution on the base of their machine and certainly avoid immersing the item in water; this may damage the electric components and render the kettle nonfunctional.

Last but not least, we'll cover those pesky burn marks that appear all too often with gas cooktops. If your kettle already has burn marks on it, start by soaking the item in hot water and dish soap for 30 minutes to two hours (once again, do not soak an electric kettle). Second, lightly cover the kettle’s exterior with baking soda. Third, using a sponge or brush, scrub the exterior with a combination of water and dish soap until clean. Finally, rinse and dry the kettle.

What water temperature is best for brewing tea?

The best water temperature depends on the type of tea you're making. Gentler teas taste best when brewed at lower temperatures, while bolder teas require hotter temperatures to bring out their flavors. White tea, for example, is best brewed with water that is 160 degrees Fahrenheit. Green tea ranges from 150 to 180 degrees. Oolong is best around 190 degrees. Moving onto the stronger teas, black tea ranges from 180 to 212 degrees. Finally, herbal teas sit around the 212-degree mark. Many electric kettles can be programmed to reach a specific temperature, and some even come with designated buttons for different tea varieties.

Why Trust The Spruce Eats?

Annelies Zijderveld has worked in the tea industry for over a decade, traveling across the United States, pouring tea at food and wine festivals, and connecting with tea drinkers at trade shows. During that time, she has tasted and tested a dizzying array of teas and built her own arsenal of only the most necessary tea accessories. She is the author of "Steeped: Recipes Infused with Tea" a Los Angeles Times Favorite New Cookbook of the Year.

This piece was updated by Derek Rose, the coffee and tea expert for The Spruce Eats. He researches a variety of products and interviews field experts for their insight. After joining The Spruce team in 2019, he has also written about a number of other topics, including home goods, technology, and gifts. He received an MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia University and a BA in Communications from Marist College.

Devorah Lev-Tov also updated this roundup. Her product and restaurant reviews, chef interviews, and other food and travel stories have appeared in a variety of publications, including Simply Recipes, Food & Wine, Bon Appetit, The New York Times, Vogue, Eater, Thrillist, and more.

Sources

Michelle Puyane is the cofounder of Chalait. Established in 2015, the company has three cafes in New York City and sells its collection of matcha powders online.

Paulo Asi is the Director of Training at the Seattle Barista Academy. He has worked in the coffee industry for more than 12 years. Founded in 2013, the Seattle Barista Academy is a multi-dimensional program that trains baristas who are committed to the professional preparation of espresso drinks.

Additional reporting by
Derek Rose
Derek Rose Bio Photo

Derek Rose is the Coffee and Tea Expert for The Spruce Eats. He received an MFA in Creative Writing from Columbia University and a BA in Communications from Marist College.

For inquiries, you can reach him at derekspruceeats@gmail.com.

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Devorah Lev-Tov
Freelance food and travel writer, author, and cookbook editor. She has 15 years of experience in writing for major publications.
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