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


Black Friday/Small Business Saturday/Cyber Monday Deals

Black Friday/Small Business Saturday/Cyber Monday deals & steals

Updated 11/23/12

It's officially Black Friday! Here's a list of must-stop-and-shop places to please the teaists on your shopping lists - and to help please your wallet too! Don't forget to treat yourself; you deserve it! :)

KaiMatcha - home of premium matcha tea and loads of recipes on how to brew up this healthy beverage - is offering 20% off all purchases today. Use code BLACKFRIDAY for the discount and free shipping! Ends Friday at midnight, so don't delay.

Teajo is offering a slew of amazing deals for Black Friday. Check them out:
  1. Free shipping at $25 or more
  2. 45% off New Winter Teas
  3. 40% off Black Teas
  4. 35% off Green and Rooibos Teas
  5. 30% off Smart Tea Makers (both 10 oz. and 16 oz.)
  6. Double rewards for purchases made during this time (customers who have accounts)
  7. 12 Tea Sampler for $25, each sample packs 10 cuppas
I have sampled their Juicy Peach black tea and it's delicious! I haven't ordered from them yet but I think I may make a purchase during this fabulous sale. :)

Butiki Teas, home of my favorite Strawberry Oolong, will be offering some sales, but no word yet... Stay tuned.

Della Terra Teas has lots of awesome deals all day on Black Friday (11/23/12) (times listed are Eastern Standard):

  1. 40% off all teas from midnight to 10 p.m. 
  2. Select teas will be 60% off during certain times: 6-8 a.m., 3-4 p.m., 9-10 p.m.
  3. The Chocolate Yule Box, which generally runs $61, is only $37.95
  4. The Tea for Two set, priced $50, is almost half off, $32.95
  5. The Holiday Tea box is on sale for $17.95, down from $29
  6. Holiday "Try Me" Packs, Steepster faves, are buy three (3) and get the fourth (4) free
  7. Country Tea Jar is five bucks off, only $15
  8. Coffee for One Set is $17.95, on sale from its $20 regular price
  9. 6 Ounces of Joy is only $20, on sale from $29
Check back for Cyber Monday deals! Visit their Facebook page and "like" them to be in the know first. 

Verdant Teas is offering $10 and $25 tea vouchers during the Black Friday weekend. Spend $50 and get a $10 off voucher for your next purchase; spend $100 and earn a $25 voucher.

Shop at The Persimmon Tree and score 35% off all purchases today. I don't see a coupon code, so it should apply in the cart. Let me know if you have issues.

Savvy Herbs and Teas is joining in the fun. Use code BLACKFRIDAY at checkout and earn 15% off your order today and tomorrow (through Nov. 24).

Praise Tea has the following sales slated for the Black Friday weekend:
  • Black Friday: score $5 off $35, coupon code: season5; or save $10 off $60 + FREE sample, coupon code: save10. 
  • Small Business Saturday: 10% off entire cart, coupon code: lovetea
  • Cyber Monday: $4.95 shipping on all orders (no code needed)
Gift a tea subscription from Tealet now through Nov. 26 and score a free tasting of 15 grams (or 30 cups). This is a new tea company, and will be featured in a company profile here in 2013.

Peony Tea is offering 15% off teas this week (through Nov. 23).

Adagio Teas is offering free shipping on any order now through Nov. 26. They usually offer free shipping at $50 so this is a nice gesture.

Samovar is offering a special deal for Black Friday over $130 off their Tea Starter Kit. Score their Limited Edition Holiday Kit for $129. The kit includes 10 boxes of tea, a glass teapot and a tea music soundtrack. Stop by the sale section for deep discounts! Get free shipping on any order with code 4HCTEA, through Mon., Nov. 26.

 Teavana is offering a free 3 ounce tin with every online order through Mon., Nov. 26. Orders still include a free sample, and there's free shipping over $50. Check out the sales section; there are lots of new deals there including the Caramel Almond Amaretti herbal tea blend, and several teaware and accessories.

Zhena's Gypsy Tea, home of my fave Coconut Chai, is offering 25% off all orders from now through Tuesday, Nov. 27. Use code FROMZHENAS at checkout.

Culinary Teas is offering their Buckingham Palace Tea for 20% off - less than $9! Better yet, save 15% off your order with code NOV2112 now through 11/28/12. Earn free shipping on your 5th order (don't forget to register for an account) and orders over $75 get free shipping regardless. Use code TROOPS to earn free shipping for packages heading to our awesome troops.

At Keen Tea Thyme I'm clearing out my tea stash - and gearing up for new holiday blends. Score 30% off all items in my shop until everything is gone! Use code CLEARANCE at Keen Tea Thyme's tea shop.

SCENTSational Soaps is offering a special one-day only sale - 20% off everything! Use code blackfriday at checkout. This site is run by a mother-and-son team and they produce several tea-infused soaps and skincare solutions such as Chai Tea soap. See my story from August 2011 which features this wonderful company.

Mahamosa Tea Bar is offering 30% off all purchases of $30 or more. Use code MAHA30STEEP at checkout, now through Cyber Monday (Nov. 26). I haven't tried this place yet but this is a good time to check them out! They recommend Pumpkin Creme Rooibos and Cranberry Acai. Free shipping at $75 or more, so you may want to split an order with a fellow tea fiend.

Score 50% off the ticket price of the Coffee and Tea Festival next year! Use code BLACKFRIDAY12 at checkout. The event is held in March 2013. Sale prices run through Sun., Nov. 25, 2012, so don't delay! This would be a great gift for the teaist on your list.

Mighty Tea Leaf has some specials for Black Friday happening now through the end of the week. Don't forget to sign up for their email and score 15% off your first purchase.

ESP Emporium has their loose tea on sale for up for 35% off - stock up now! Remember, free shipping at $45 or more. Use code BLACK35 at checkout.

Got any to add? Email me: keenteathyme@gmail.com


Welcome Marketers!

If you're visiting my blog for the first time, and/or you are a patron from the Fort Detrick Farmer's Market held on Tues., Nov. 20, 2012 - WELCOME to Keen Tea Thyme! Please take a look around. There's lots of stuff happening here - and much more in 2013.

If you purchased any of my blends from the Farmer's Market, thank you for your purchase! To save paper, I decided to post here how to brew each of the blends for sale. These blends are also available in my Keen Tea Thyme shop on Tea Trade.

The Christmas/Holiday Season teas premiering this year are Lil' Leapin' Lordy Lou and Let It Snow.

Lil' Leapin' Lordy Lou is a blend of naturally energizing guayusa, cinnamon bark, and peppermint and spearmint, with little sugar snowflakes and metallic gold sugar sprinkles. This blend contains caffeine. Brew one heaping teaspoon at almost boiling water for 4-5 minutes. The leaves can be reinfused at least once. (I am usually able to get two additional cuppas from each serving.) If you use a filter bag, especially once you purchased from me at the Market, these are biodegradable and can be composted - or just toss them in the trash.

Let It Snow is a blend of cinnamon black tea, peppermint and a hint of spearmint, with sugar snowflakes. This also contains caffeine. Brew one teaspoon at almost (205 degrees) boiling water. These leaves can be infused once, or you can leave the filter bag to brew for the length of the cuppa. (That's what I do with this blend as I enjoy a flavorful, spicy cup.)

My other blends for sale were Pink Pearls, San Diego Sunshine and Candy Cane Spice.

Pink Pearls is a blend of green rooibos and jasmine dragon pearl tea, with shimmery pink sugar pearls. This blend has caffeine, but not as much as the new Christmas blends. Brew one teaspoon at about 195 degrees (the oolong setting), and steep for at least 5 minutes. Because of the rooibos base you can steep this for longer and not worry about a bitter flavor.

San Diego Sunshine is caffeine-free - a green rooibos, citrusy blend. Brew one teaspoon for at least 5 minutes at almost boiling. Green rooibos is naturally sweet and naturally caffeine-free, a great alternative for those on a caffeine-free diet. I tend to let this one steep for the length of the cuppa, and even if you do that you can still get another cup from the leaves. This is also fantastic iced!

Candy Cane Spice is a blend of spicy black tea and a mint medley, with tiny candy-cane sprinkles - which also are peppermint-flavored. Brew one teaspoon at almost boiling water. Generally you can brew this blend for an additional infusion.

I also had several of my Adagio blends for sale:

These are my custom-blend creations from Adagio Teas. Click on the links above to see the blend online. Another top seller from Adagio (and one of the few teas my husband will drink) is Toasted Marshmallow. I blend all these creations before posting on Adagio.

On tap for 2013 are more CelebriTEA interviews - features of fellow tea bloggers - company profiles, surveys, contests, giveaways, coupons/deals and much more.

Got any questions? Do you blog about tea and wanna be featured? Email me!

Thanks again for stopping by Keen Tea Thyme!