What are the elements for hosting a tea party?
There’s something just so fun and elegant about a tea party, whether or not you like to drink tea. In fact, tea parties have now expanded to the point where tea, itself, is barely necessary. You could offer punch, herbed water, even Italian sodas. Despite those additions, personally, I still think a tea party needs tea.
The first step in organizing a tea party, once you’ve established who will be invited, the date and the time, is to figure out how the tea will be handled. One fun idea is to buy a supply of individually wrapped tea bags of varying flavours. Go for a larger supply of the more popular flavours, like Orange Pekoe and Earl Grey. Back that up with some Moroccan Mint and any other favourite of yours. Follow those black teas with some herbal selections. Then all you need is a continuous supply of hot water. Here’s an important point: even though I’m recommending you use individual tea packets, those still need to be filled with loose leaf tea. Don’t rely on a box of Tetley tea. That’s fine for your everyday cup, but not for a tea party. Loose leaf will give you a truer and more pronounced flavour. If individually packaged loose tea is hard to find, you have a few options that will solve the problem. Most tea purveyors sell fill-it-yourself tea bags. Take the bags home, fill them with your tea of choice, attach a pretty label and you’re good to go. Failing that, buy or borrow a few teapots. Brew two or three different teas, one for each teapot, and label appropriately.
The next most important part of the tea party is preparing the teapot or tea cups (if you’re opting for individually wrapped teas). Warming the pot and cups will ensure that the tea stays at the perfect temperature longer. Simply pour boiling water into the teapot or cups, let it sit for 5 minutes or so, then pour it out. Immediately pour the tea into the teapot or the tea cups. Enjoy!
Remember, loose leaf lasts much longer than the typical packaged teas. You can pour hot water over the loose leaf three or four times than regular tea bags before it begins to lose its flavour.
Tea parties are known for snacks — cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches, scones and cookies. How about trying something new and different this time? How about Goat Cheese and Fig on Cinnamon Bread, Crumpets and Cupcakes?