I don’t want to jump the gun or anything, but the season of giving is just about upon us. As world travelers, we have a lot of friends all over the country and the world so, what kind of gift is best, nearly universal and easy to ship? The answer is easy: coffee and tea.
The world of coffee and tea is packed with variety and often full of seasonal options. If you’re lucky enough to have a local tea or coffee shop, there’s a good chance they have unique blends or roasts. The availability of such products makes choosing a gift that’s personal easy, without breaking the bank.
In the last decade, the United States Postal Service has introduced flat rate shipping depending the size of the box. Right off the bat I’ll say this is a big help. If you’re just shipping coffee or tea you don’t even have to be concerned about the weight. The price for shipping starts at $5.15 and can go up to $30 for anywhere in the United States. If you’re spreading cheer internationally getting it there will cost you a bit more. For example:
First Class Package International Service –
Washington, DC to Greece -weight 2lbs $24.15 delivery in about a week
Washington, DC to UK -weight 2lbs $25.00 delivery in about a week
Washington, DC to Italy -weight 2lbs $24.00 delivery in about a week
Washington, DC to Australia -weight 2lbs $21.00 delivery in 6-10 days
I recommend taking the time to order the free boxes from the USPS and have them dropped off at you home. Then you can pack them and arrange for free pickup, because who wants to get in a line the post office (particularly as we get into the holiday season)? The easiest way to do this is sign up online at the USPS website or download the app for your smart phone (Android, Blackberry and iPhone versions available).
You can use one of the commercial package carriers like FedEx or UPS, but that generally will cost you more. You’ll pay anywhere from $50-$80 extra (for example the cost of the package to go from DC to England is $100), but will get there faster – in just two days.
You might think “wow, that’s a lot for shipping,” and yes, the shipping may cost more than the gift. But that’s one of the reasons coffee and tea are a good choice. You can get good pound of coffee, and I have high standards, for less than $20. You can get a good box of loose leaf or bagged tea for the same price. That way you can afford to ship a meaningful gift anywhere in the world.