Normally, we would advocate for functionality over aesthetic when it comes to tea packaging and presentation. After all, a tea package is supposed to block air, light, and moisture, keeping the tea from growing stale or spoiling. (Pu-erhs are somewhat of an exception, since they need to be wrapped loosely to allow air flow.) This is especially good for white and green teas, but even oolongs and black teas can be stored longer in a good, functional package (one that really protects the tea from those elements). But to every rule there is an exception. This time it’s giving tea gifts.
Why do people bother with nice boxes, colorful wrapping paper and ribbons and bows, or those great gift bags? Presentation. Let’s face it, people get more excited about a nicely presented gift than one in a plastic store bag or just handed to them as is. Taking time to present the gift shows as much thought and consideration of the gifter for the giftee as the gift itself.
With tea gifts, you can go two basic ways to get a presentation “Wow!” factor:
1. So-so tea and great presentation
2. Great tea and great presentation
It all depends on the giftee. Obviously! You might not want to give an expensive and rare tea to someone who barely drinks tea, and while a polite giftee who is also very much into tea will always say “Thank you” for even that so-so tea in that great package, a better tea in a slightly less fancy package will be received even better — more like “Holy cow! Gee, thanks!”
Some Great Teas
- Green: Dragonwell (Longjing, Lung Ching, etc.), Chun Mei, Jasmine Pearls
- White: Silver Needle, White Peony, Light Jinggu
- Pu-erh: 2005 Nannuo Mountain Old Tree Raw Pu-erh, 2006 Haiwan Tea Factory “Purple Bud Raw Pu-erh Tea Cake”, 2007 Xi-Zhi Hao “Dragon Phoenix ” Raw Pu-erh Tea cake
- Oolong: a Thai Oolong, Anxi Oolong Tea, Dancong Oolong Tea, Taiwanese Oolong Tea, Taiwanese Oolong Tea, Wuyi Rock Oolong Tea
- Black: Keemun Black Tea, Lapsang Black Tea, Taiwanese Teas, Thai Black Tea, Yunnan Black Tea
Some Great Presentations
- Basket arrangements
- Teawares and an appropriate tea selection
- Teas in a theme (around the world, asian experience, green teas galore, pu-erh treasures, etc.) boxed and wrapped
The main idea is to give something that will please the giftee both before and after unwrapping!