Keen Tea Thyme Holiday Guide

Got a teaist on your holiday list? You could get them tea, of course, but there are lots of other items for tea enthusiasts out there!

Black Bear Laboratory specializes in lip balm based on popular tea flavors, and offers a selection of wax tarts too. Her lip balms are vegan-friendly with mouth watering flavors: Candy Cane, Pumpkin Chai, Blueberry Cotton Candy. How can you resist?! Perfect to complete a gift basket or treat yourself to supple lips during this high-stress season.

i Heart Teas offers a wide variety of tea products - tea blends plus teawares (her Steep n' Go for steeping tea in water bottles is a popular product), plus tea-infused items. Check out her line of soaps such as Tea & Rose Body Soap. She even has a selection of mouth-watering perfumes such as Caramel & Honey Cake, Fresh Watermelon Rooibos, and Cotton Candy. Get a couple items for a gift basket

But what about tea? If that's what your holiday recipients have as their wishes, you have to oblige! Tea can get expensive quickly, but avoid super-hyped Teavana for smaller businesses and you'll feel better helping out a growing company.

Della Terra Teas are favorites among Steepsterites. First, Steepster is an online tea community, one I highly recommend teasists join. (I'm Keen Tea Thyme there, look me up!) Second, Della Terra Teas offer some of the finest quality leaves and terrific selection of teas for any palate. They offer samples of their tea - purchase one for about $10 to find your new favorite tea, or build a custom pack to try potential new faves.

Culinary Teas offers anything from their own blended mulling spices to "plain" black tea - and everything in between. Each week they offer a different tea for 20% off, and there's often an accompanying coupon for 10-15% off your total purchase. Teas to try? Long Island Strawberry Green Sencha is awesome hot or cold. The Maple Tea is delicious around the holidays, and the mulling spices goes great in hot apple cider - or a glass of wine! Stop by the sales section for some clearance deals too.

If your gift recipient loves matcha (tea granulated to powder form), Red Leaf Tea sells a variety of flavored matcha tea. Buttered Rum, English Toffee, Cotton Candy, Black Currant are just a few of the varieTEA they offer. If he or she is a matcha purist, the best kind out there is by DoMatcha - at least according to Steepsterites. Add a matching matcha bowl and whisk for a complete gift set and you're done!

52Teas - which offers a limited edition, unique tea every week - is selling a 12 Days of Christmas tea sampler for $29.99, and free shipping to US customers. (An additional $4.49 for Canadian customers and $7.99 for overseas)  This is a selection of 12 of the best teas 52Teas offered in 2012. Each sample contains enough for about six cups (six teaspoons or 1/8 cup of tea). This is a great way to try 52Teas, or gift to a teaist - or treat yourself!

Samovar is offering a great deal - over half off their Limited Edition Holiday Tea Starter Kit.  This kit includes a tea soundtrack, glass teapot and 10 boxes of tea. Stop by the sale section for deep discounts. Free shipping through Nov. 26 with code 4HCTEA.

Make your own custom blend at UniqTeas. This is a great gift idea for any teaist, beginner or expert, or to give to a teaist couple. There's a huge selection of flavors for any palate.

Speaking of custom blends, another awesome gift idea is to have Madam Potts make a blend based on your PersonaliTEA. Answer questions about yourself, or your gift recipient, and have your own custom blend created for just $25. Loose or bagged varieties are available. My "I Love NY" blend is one of my favorite teas - it's a blend of apple and mint and so delicious.

This is a shameless plug but my shop offers exclusive holiday blends too - Keen Tea Thyme. My new 2012 holiday blend, Lil Leapin' Lordy Lou, is available for sale.

Before you buy, especially if shopping during Black Friday/Small Business Saturday/Cyber Monday weekend, don't forget to check out the deals & steals. Visit my blog's Tea Scores & More tab and check out my post on Black Friday. More money in your wallet means less stress and more money for tea!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! :)

Merry Christmas Snowmen

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