With Father's Day in less than two weeks, I thought it would be nice to put together a Father's Day gift guide. Being a dad myself, I've based this around what I would be happy to receive if my son decided to buy me something tea related or what I would buy for my dad for Father's Day.
I've always been a tea purist so I absolutely love single estate teas from around the world but since we opened our blending factory in Edinburgh and started making our flavoured teas from scratch, I now also have an appreciation for interesting blends and flavoured teas. If they taste good and have some kind of story (not just out of a catalogue) then I can really get into these.
Tea ware is always special to receive. At PekoeTea we've always taken the attitude that we won't stock anything that we wouldn't be happy to receive ourselves if bought for us a gift. If I were to be bought a teapot or some beautiful tea cups then I would be really happy.
Tea is sometimes seen as a feminine drink - men are supposed like alcohol and coffee, but this is absolutely not the case. Tea and related items are gender neutral and can be enjoyed by everybody.
Here are some ideas of what I recommend as Father's Day gifts.
It's always exciting to receive Jethi Kupi from Rohini each year. It is one of the earliest harvested teas in the whole of Darjeeling, with the first picking happening in February. Every year since 2013 we have been buying a very small amount of this tea (a few kgs) direct from the estate, and it has been a firm favourite of mine ever since. It is a very light tea made with minimal withering and oxidation. It is made from the BB157 Clone with flavours of juicy stone fruits and a very pleasant mild astringency. Brew with boiling water for 5 minutes and then decant. Wait for it to cool slightly and enjoy.
Kinnettles Gold Scottish Grown Tea was the first commercially available black tea wholly grown and processed in Scotland. It is made in very small quantities by hand in Angus with only 2kg of finished tea being produced each year. We've been buying this tea exclusively from Kinnettles Tea Estate since 2015 when I first met Susie Walker-Munro. Susie makes this tea as a labour of love and I feel very privileged that PekoeTea has been part of her tea journey. Kinnettles Gold is absolutely exceptional and with its limited quantity it really makes the perfect gift. Not only that, it tastes amazing too. When infused there are aromas of apple and spice. The liquor is a clear golden colour and each sip if divine.
Another of my favourites is the Handmade Silver Needle tea from the Zhou family. It's actually quite difficult to get completely hand processed Silver Needle tea and there has been a lot of over production to meet global demand. We only have a small amount of this tea left at the moment but with the weather starting to improve, the infusion made from this tea is ideal for the sunshine. The buds are really fat and juicy and when brewed have a sweet flavour without being too vegetal and grassy. Anything hand made in small quantities is a great gift for a tea lover. Its exclusive but it's also well priced. It tastes great and has a great origin story too.
Following on from our very successful range of whisky teas, we have just launched our Whisky Tea Explorer Set. Our range of whisky teas are made with real single malt Scotch whisky. It was a really exciting project to make these blends. Each one uses a different single malt whisky from the five main whisky regions in Scotland. We spent a lot of time analysing the nose to pick suitable base teas, fruit, spices and a little flavour oil to compliment the whisky itself. Each blend is made with around 5% whisky, which evaporates leaving just the flavour of the whisky and the other ingredients. I didn't used to like flavoured teas but since we have started making these from scratch ourselves, I really love some of the different blends we can make. This set of 5 is definitely a great idea for Father's Day.
We have been working with the Secret Herb Garden for the past 10 years making special Earl Grey teas using herbs that they grow. Last year they approached us to make three teas inspired by some of the gins they make at their distillery - also using their herbs and botanicals. The resulting blends are really fantastic and really do taste like a tea version of gin and tonic. The three G&Teas are Apothecary Rose, Lemon Verbena and Lavender. My favourite is the Apothecary Rose but all three are pretty amazing. We've been experimenting making iced teas with these too with great results - make with boiling water for 5 minutes, leave to cool, pour over ice and add some lemonade.
There are many cast iron teapots available to buy online at varying different prices and at first glance you may be wondering why our Wazuqu teapots are so expensive. The answer is that they are made out of very pure Japanese cast iron. They are made by the 15th generation of the same family with the foundry being established in 1604. Some of the techniques used make them 25% lighter than other cast iron teapots and production is now 99% free of industrial waste. That's the blurb from the manufacturer but I have to say the reason I like these teapots so much is that they are just beautiful to hold. They are smooth all round the joins and the textures are amazing. They are well balanced and in proportion. My dad has one of these teapots and every time I visit him and have sencha in his, I'm reminded that they are something little a bit special.
Not sure what to buy you dad, why not get him a gift card so he can make up his own mind. You can use these online or in store.