If you’re running out of ideas for holiday gifts, there’s an easy solution: consider warm, comforting, aromatic hot brewed beverages. Yes, we all know how coffee and tea have become an important part of our daily routine and social get-togethers (remember those). While we’re not suggesting treating your partner, mom, or bestie to a cup of coffee in lieu of a holiday gift (although that’s always a nice gesture throughout the year), we are saying you really can’t go wrong focusing on a gift category that will please nearly everyone. And there couldn’t be a better time to be a coffee or tea lover, as there are so many great gift options out there. Here are a few winners for the holidays and all year round:
When it comes to effortlessly brewing a delicious cup of coffee at home, whether it be an Americano, cappuccino or ristretto shot, Nespresso does it exceptionally well, and with the healthiest dose of European class while still staying affordable. It all starts with one of a wide range of coffee-making machines, the perfect gift for a coffee lover who doesn’t already have one.
For the classic continental experience we’d go with the “Original” lineup of machines, with prices ranging from $99 to over $1000, there are options for all budgets. For those who are already Nespresso converts, there is always a wide range of new and exciting coffee styles to try, with seasonal flavours and accessories, especially at Christmas. Nice to know: all Nespresso coffee is roasted, ground and put in pods at Nespresso facilities in Switzerland before going out to the world.
Check out Nespresso Original machines and various compatible Nespresso “pod” flavours.
TEAPIGS HOLIDAY COLLECTIONS
And while coffee has its fans (billions of them) it’s tea that reigns supreme the world over. That’s in no small part to adventurous Brits spreading and popularizing tea drinking around the world for centuries, including India. So here’s a special treat for the tea lovers in your life: 24 Days of Tea, a wonderful holiday collection from charming English brand teapigs. If you don’t already know teapigs, check out their site to get a sense of their friendly, playful attitude to business and their founders’ and team’s genuine passion for tea. We’re also happy to report they’re Britain’s favourite premium tea brand: an impressive achievement! So all their products are gift-worthy for someone special, especially if that someone is you!
Here are a few notes from our resident tea expert Amanda on testing 24 Days of Tea:
A really nice mix of quality teas from teapigs, 24 different blends, 14 herbal and 10 caffeinated. Suitable for vegetarians and vegans, except for one that contains real caramel, but teapigs offers to send a replacement tea for that day (now that is customer care!) I really loved the fact that the packaging is 100% recycled and biodegradable. (editor’s note: Amanda is also an eco-scientist by day!) This is great for someone who wants to explore tea, with a variety of blends from green tea to rooibos all the way to darjeeling. And there is excellent value here, teapigs provides generous amounts of tea, with three biodegradable tea bags for each flavour!
STARBUCKS GIFT IDEAS
Create a café vibe at home and enjoy your coffee, your way. Starbucks Christmas or Holiday Blend, combined with a festive Starbucks tumbler, mug or cold cup is the perfect gift for even the most difficult person to buy for. We love ceramic mugs because they keep your coffee or tea hotter for longer, so you can relax and slowly savour every drop. And of course, we love that they’re obviously reusable and not to mention these are so, so cute!
You can always browse select merchandise on the Starbucks app or grab a gift to go at Starbucks cafés. You can also be a Messenger of Merry and spread holiday cheer with an e-gift card via the Starbucks® app or Starbucks.ca/gift. And of course, you can treat a loved one to a surprise Peppermint Mocha with a Starbucks® delivery on Uber Eats to let them know you’re thinking of them. Shop now: Starbucks Ceramic Mugs
EMBER SMART MUG
So, talking about keeping your coffee or tea hotter for longer, here’s the ultimate gift for the hot beverage perfectionist in your life. The Ember Temperature Control Smart Mug 2 is designed for your home or office (or home office!) and lets you choose your exact preferred drinking temperature , so your coffee is never too hot, or too cold. Goldilocks would be mightily impressed. Ember then maintains your chosen temperature for up to 1.5 hours. The mug comes in two sizes, 10 oz and 14 oz, it easy to clean as it’s hand washable. It uses a built-in battery to maintain drinking temperature and come with a charging coaster. Get ’em while they’re hot!
Tim Hortons, Canada’s homegrown coffee shop hero, has a few festive offerings of their own to share. For all you Keurig users out there, Tim’s has a 24 day holiday calendar with 24 Keurig K-Cup Pods featuring Tim Hortons headline beverages: Original Blend, French Vanilla, 100% Colombian, Espresso Roast, Hazelnut, Dark Roast coffees and a few Steeped Teas to round out the collection. Wonderful for the holidays but of course these are great anytime of the year! And only $21, available in Tim Hortons this month.
Also on the holiday roster, is a Tim Hortons Stainless Steel Double Wall Tumbler and a Holiday Ceramic mug, both handsomely adorned in Canadian red hues. Get both so you cover everywhere from home to the car to the ski hill or hockey arena. And talking about hockey, Tim Hortons has also brought back the perfect stocking stuffer for young hockey fans, Tim Hortons Hockey Cards, only $1 with a qualifying beverage purchase.
And last but not least Tim Hortons and Mattel’s Barbie® are launching Tim Hortons Hockey Barbie® dolls at participating restaurants across Canada, with 100% of Tim Hortons’ net proceeds being donated to the Hockey Canada Foundation to support girls’ hockey. Awesome, a gift that gives twice! Check in at your favourite Tim Hortons. While supplies last.
SMEG RETRO KETTLE
The ubiquitous kettle, a kitchen tool that’s been with us for millennia, is still a great gift if properly selected. And while we aren’t nostalgic for pre-historic water-boilers, we are absolutely charmed by the retro editions that Italian appliance maker SMEG has been bringing to market. Available in a variety of wonderful colours, this 50s style (but technically modern) kettle will be a well-received gift for any of the tea lovers on your list. The Smeg KLF kettles are not cheap (look for deals under $200), but you are buying a high-quality, award winning product made with quality materials, featuring variable temperature controls (7 settings) for the hot beverage connoisseur that understands that you would never brew your tea and yerba mate at the same temperature. Available in several retailers (from Hudson’s Bay to Williams Sonoma).
While they’ve been struggling on the retail side on main street and in the malls during an uncooperative 2020, DAVIDsTEA have been finding a huge demand for their quality products judging by the fact their 2020 tea and matcha holiday calendars were sold out only a couple days into November. So, while we definitely can say get your orders in early next year (hopefully they’ll plan better in 2021), nevertheless there is still a nice selection of gift-worthy collections at their online DavidsTea Shop, for example a “countdown to 2021” featuring 10 curated tea blends.
Meanwhile our own tea fanatic Amanda did get her hands on both the 24 days of tea AND the 24 days of matcha! Here are her notes on the matcha collection:
This is the first year DavidsTea has released a “24 days of tea, matcha edition” and it contains festive and classic matcha blends, a sprinkling of matcha infused chocolates, vegan Matcha alligator gummies from Squish and a 50 g jar of matcha infused honey. The collection contains 19 different types of matcha, including many limited edition matcha blends you won’t find otherwise. This collection is an absolute winner, with generous amounts of matcha every day, enough to have 2-3 cups worth! Beautiful packaging that takes you on a matcha journey explaining the significance of all matcha tools (i.e. bowl, whisk, powder, etc.) An excellent value, and a wonderful gift.
So, are there really people who don’t make either coffee, tea or both part of their daily routine? Actually, yes, there are, and we know a few of them, but have no fear, gift-givers, for they all expressed great love for HOT CHOCOLATE! Yes, that other warm caffeinated beverage that’s particularly delicious and welcome in colder months. There are wonderful hot chocolate products out there, and William Sonoma has a few great ones. Check out this year’s offerings from Williams Sonoma Hot Chocolate including salted caramel (awesome!), classic chocolate, peppermint chocolate, vanilla chocolate with marshmallows, and more.