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How to arrange a tea tasting party

How to Plan an Afternoon Tea Party Menu

How to arrange a tea tasting party

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Planning a tea party menu for an afternoon tea (also called high tea or low tea) may seem daunting at first, but it’s fairly simple.
Depending on the occasion, your afternoon tea menu can be as sparse as tea and cream scones (a type of afternoon tea menu known as “cream tea”) or elaborate enough that it includes multiple types of teas, scones, finger sandwiches, and other treats. Either way, these tips for planning your tea party menu are sure to help you find the perfect combination of food and drink for your next afternoon tea.

The Tea

With so much of a focus on the foods in afternoon tea, it can be easy to overlook the tea. However, the tea or teas you serve are just as important as the foods, if not more so. I highly recommend selecting from this list of top teas for afternoon tea, as most of them pair very well with a range of foods found on afternoon tea menus. Try to select bold teas for rich or strongly flavored foods or more delicate teas for more subtle foods. Consider including at least one caffeine-free tisane (“herbal tea”) or a decaf option, in case some guests are sensitive to caffeine.

Milk and Condiments

Milk, sugar, and lemon are optional ingredients that your guests can add to their own tea. Depending on the type or types of tea on your tea party menu, you might want to offer milk, sugar, and lemon or only one or two additives. (Although some Americans like to add cream to their tea, this is not traditional in England. Also, adding milk to Earl Grey is not common in England, as the dairy tends to clash with the bergmot flavor in the tea.)

Scones & Scone Toppings

Scones are one of the most popular foods for tea party menus. They can be sweet or savory, and complex or plain. From basic buttermilk scones, savory cheddar mustard scones, sweet cinnamon scones; there are scone recipes for any style of tea party. If you’re planning a tea party menu for girls, consider serving raspberry scones, which are naturally pink when you mash the raspberries a bit as you stir and knead the dough.
Be sure to pair your scones with appropriate scones toppings or spreads, such as Devonshire cream, clotted cream or lemon curd.

Finger Sandwiches

Finger sandwiches (also known as “tea sandwiches”) are often served at full tea, a heavier style of afternoon tea menu. Classic afternoon tea finger sandwiches include egg salad, tea sandwiches, cucumber tea sandwiches, smoked salmon finger sandwiches, roast beef finger sandwiches, ham finger sandwiches, and chicken salad finger sandwiches. (These types of simple recipes tend to work well for kids’ tea parties.)

However, you can venture beyond these more traditional tea sandwiches with other tea sandwich recipes, like watercress tea sandwiches or buttered radish finger sandwiches. Just be sure to keep the intensity of the flavors in your finger sandwiches comparable to the level of flavor in your tea and sweets.

Other Sweets

Other sweets (besides sweet scones) are often served with full tea or light tea. Common types of sweets found on tea party menus include various types of sponge cakes, Madeleines, cupcakes (which are ideal for kids’ tea parties) and trifles. Be careful not to have too much overlap in the types of sweets you serve. Ideally, your sweets menu will include a variety of flavors, such as seasonal fruit (or, in the cooler months, preserves), cream, vanilla or chocolate.

Other Savories

In addition to finger sandwiches, some tea party menus include other savories, such as savory scones, soups, quiches or lighter savory snacks, like seasoned nuts or cheese and crackers. If you are throwing a themed tea party, careful selection of other savories can help add to your theme.

Other Beverages

For kids’ tea party menus, consider serving iced tea, juice or punch. For adult tea parties, you might consider offering champagne or a tea cocktail.

Donna Pilato is an event planning expert who writes articles on planning parties and other events for over 20 years. She wrote for The Spruce for 16 years, covering entertaining trends from hosting a murder mystery dinner to catering food and drink for a bar mitzvah. Her advice has also been featured in Reader’s Digest, Disney Family.com, the New Jersey Star Ledger, and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

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How to arrange a tea tasting party

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When thinking about tea parties, do you find yourself overwhelmed with thoughts of the British gentry, scenes from Alice in Wonderland, Victorian decor, blue-haired ladies, and pinky fingers stuck up in the air? If so, you’re both right and wrong. You’re right because as the tradition of “afternoon” tea has developed over time, it has become an elegant affair. You’re wrong because “high” tea was often enjoyed by the British working class as their evening supper, with heartier fare than the tea sandwiches and scones that are now associated with tea parties.

As the custom has evolved, tea time is usually scheduled from mid to late afternoon. It’s a between-meal snack that is a lot more elegant than a bag of chips from the vending machine. It needn’t be extremely fussy, although the meal often includes savory, bite-sized sandwiches, scones or biscuits, and sweets (accompanied by a good pot of tea, of course!). Both men and women enjoy afternoon tea in England, and it’s often used as a function for entertaining business clients.

An afternoon tea party is suitable for many celebrations. When you’d like to host a party that isn’t as involved as a dinner party, a tea party can be the answer. It’s an ideal format for a baby or bridal shower, Boxing Day gathering, a retirement party, a birthday celebration, or time to catch up with good friends. The food is prepared before your guests arrive, and is either presented buffet style or by passing plates of goodies at the table. The only thing you need to serve is the tea itself, leaving you plenty of time to relax and enjoy your guests. Your guest list can include dozens of people or only one good friend with whom you’d like to share an intimate conversation. It can be a very formal affair as you’ll find at some of the more elegant hotels, or it can be as casual as a pot of tea and some cookies.

Whatever your reason for hosting your next tea party, enjoy a cup for me!

Tea Time Tables

In many parts of the world, tea time is an honored tradition of refinement and elegance. When you’re planning a tea party—whether for a shower, graduation, birthday, or just for fun—adorn your table with your best china, silver, and linens. These add polish and grace to the occasion, and in our “paper cup” world they remind us fondly of earlier times.

Find your tea
For your first tea tasting, it’s helpful to include different types of tea. This way, you’ll get to know the basic varieties. Once you’ve had an introductory tasting, it’s fun to move on to a tasting featuring only one type of tea. Since it can be monotonous to taste just one specific variety, such as Keemun, try sticking within a general category, like black or oolong. (Keep in mind that white and yellow teas are especially subtle, and might not appeal to a broad range of palates.)

In order to keep things interesting, aim for variety within the category you’ve chosen: teas with different-colored liquors (tea liquid), flavors, strengths, and provenances. For example, within the category of green teas, compare and contrast Chinese and Japanese varieties. Do you find that the Japanese varieties have a hint of sea flavor? Are they a brighter green color? If including all black teas, determine whether or not you prefer Darjeeling to Assam. Do you find the Darjeeling to be more delicate and complex in flavor?

Six types of tea should make for a comprehensive, though not overwhelming, tasting. Figure on 1/4 cup of each sample per person. For a six-person tasting of six teas, purchase about one tablespoon of each type of loose tea. To be on the safe side, I would allot an extra tablespoon of each tea, just in case you decide to brew another pot or two at the end of the tasting (or find yourself craving tea the next day).

Organize your tasting
Arranging a tea tasting can be a bit complicated. You might want help keeping track of the amount of steaming water in the kettles and tea-steeping times. Create a cheat sheet for yourself with the name of each tea, the quantity of dry leaves and water you’ll need, the recommended water temperature, and the steeping time (for a tasting for eight people, you’ll probably prepare a total of two cups of each tea). Some tea merchants will automatically provide all of this information, but if not, just consult the package, as well as online merchants’ Web sites. Place this cheat sheet next to the range as you prepare the teas.

Learn your palate
Ask yourself the following questions when sampling the teas:

  • 1. Describe the appearance of the dry leaves. Are they whole or broken? Are the leaves twisted or flat, regular or uneven?
  • 2. Describe the color of the tea liquor (liquid).
  • 3. Close your eyes and inhale. What does it smell like?
  • 4. Now, slurp the tea-don’t worry about making loud noises. Spread it all over your tongue and mouth. What flavor notes do you detect?
  • 5. Finally, swallow the tea. Is the finish (or aftertaste) long or short, meaning do the flavors dissipate quickly or last for a while in your mouth? What flavors remain?
  • 6. Most importantly, consider whether you like the tea and would purchase it.

    This text is excerpted from the tea chapter of Tasting Club (DK Publishing).

    How to arrange a tea tasting party

    T Ching is launching a new category: Tea Parties.

    But under the current circumstances, I wanted to begin with this Virtual Tea Party prompt. If you’re running low on ideas for sheltering at home, we challenge you to create new ways to share tea.

    The first time I heard of a Virtual Tea Party was well before the Internet was so much a part of our daily lives. It was a fundraiser for a hospital. Teabags were sent with formal invitations to enjoy the tea while writing out a donation check. The “advantages” were humorously detailed. We wouldn’t be asked to donate baked goods or help clean up after the event. All the money that would have been spent on decorations would go directly to fill the need. And none of us would have to dress up or try to squeeze it into our schedules. Ta Da! But that was when we were being almost too social with no concern for hugs and handshakes.

    The Corona-19 Pandemic has inspired creative ways for us to maintain physical distance but minimize our sense of loneliness and isolation. Virtual Tea Parties might be something that will add a bit of fun and meaning. T Ching is now adding a new Tea Parties category for our contributors to share their amazing talents. I’m asking them to design virtual parties and also to add virtual suggestions to every theme.

    For Starters:

    A virtual tea party can be as simple as two friends sharing a cup of tea while chatting on the phone. Or it can become an elaborate technological event. No matter where you want to be on that scale, the fundamental nature of sharing tea with people who matter to us doesn’t change. And the most important thing is that we share our teatime events in the most positive way.

    Don’t create stress.
    KISS
    (Keep It Simple Sipper)

    The Internet is the Venue:

    In the same way that we plan any event based on the location, the actual location of a virtual tea party is the Internet. And, as much as it can be cold and impersonal, it also offers the opportunity to to connect with family and friends with an immediacy and convenience that was previously unimaginable.

    Virtual Event Tools:

    These are free or mostly free resources at the moment and are more than adequate for most of us. Some have additional paid versions. Use what you have and what you feel comfortable with. Don’t feel like you have to go out to learn a whole new system in the beginning.

    On the other hand, be open to exploring more options if this is something fun for you or if you want to add this to your tea business.

    • Facetime
    • Skype
    • WeChat
    • Zoom
    • FaceBook Hangouts
    • Google Hangouts
    • YouTube
    • Vimeo

    Don’t forget that a phone call shared over a cup of tea can also be meaningful. I enjoy sending some of my favorite teas to friends to sip while we chat. But equally fun is when we begin a conversation with, “What are you drinking?” With my tea friends, this sometimes takes up a large percentage of the call. With less tea-ish friends, it becomes a sweet springboard to catching up on the details of our lives.

    How to arrange a tea tasting partyhttps://www.teatimemagazine.com

    Themes:

    There are hundreds of possibilities. Any tea party theme that you can host live can be converted to virtual sharing. But some are probably better suited to you personally and to your guests. One of the most popular resources is Pinterest. But another amazing resource is TeaTime Magazine and their online options. In addition to the magazine, they also publish books with complete party planning ideas. Check traditional party plans and see what you can adapt virtually.

    • Family Events: Baby Showers, Mother’s Day, Birthday Parties
    • Share your interests: Quilting, drawing, reading out loud, music, poetry, art, learning a language
    • Tea party with family: Share photos and old family stories – like a mini family reunion
    • Children: Teatime is a wonderful way to explore classic children’s literature

    How to arrange a tea tasting party
    https://www.evite.com

    Invitations:

    • Even virtual tea parties can have real invitations sent by mail
    • Canva Graphic Design Application – Canva actually had about a dozen “Tea Party Invitation” templates that are an excellent starting place for you to edit with easy click and drag tools.
    • Evite – electronic invitations
    • Jacquie Lawson (paid subscription)

    Or — for something really creative — your invitation can be a small gift box: Order matching mugs or cups and saucers to create your own gift box along with a special tea and some goodies. If you don’t want to send baked goods, send the recipes and have everyone on your guest list whip up their own batch. Or you could order teas and matching sets from one of the online tea shops.

    Menu:

    • Offer suggestions that all your guests can create and share
    • Share recipes and perhaps a how-to video
    • Prepare the dry ingredients for baked goods so that your teatime guests can just add the wet ingredients and bake

    Decorations:

    Flowers are very nice. A single flower adds a touch of elegance. If you enjoy flower arranging, use this to show off your talents.

    Teaware is also decorative. Share some of your favorites. These may not be your daily-use tea things. In fact, virtual tea parties are a perfect time to dust off things that have been sitting in your cupboards that seldom see light.

    Dressing up can be a kind of decorating. It’s also an activity and expands your theme with a bit of fun.

    Activities:

    • Arts & Crafts
    • Coloring Pages
    • Word Games
    • Share Poetry
    • Share Music

    How to arrange a tea tasting party
    Photo by ThoughtCatalog–2926513

    Teatime Video Resources:

    • Floating Leaves Tea Club , a Facebook Group LiveStreaming tea demos with Q&A
    • Marianne Russo of Nellie’s Tea Company demonstrates a recipe for making Maine Maple Fog

    We all have taken time for tea in the afternoon. Tea is a popular and relaxing break in the day that is cherished by the people around the world.

    The term “tea”, however, refers to more than just a comforting hot mug of leaves with your feet up on the sofa. It also refers to an all-out event “steeped” in tradition and known as the tea party.

    A tea party fundraiser is a great way to entertain and catch up with family and friends. After all, tea parties are centered on conversation and elegance. However, they can also be a great way to make money for a fundraising organization through tea sales—and maybe even expand your guest’s tastes for different types of tea leaves (and the finer things in life) as well.

    Tea parties are not rushed affairs. A typical high afternoon English tea can last anywhere from one to three hours—or longer if you’re royalty. For an English tea, the host traditionally serves black caffeinated tea leaves accompanied by a small tray of snacks or desserts. The tea can be informally served out of mugs in a help-yourself style.

    However, if you want to maintain tradition, tea should be served out of dainty fine bone china tea cups with a selection of elaborate desserts and sandwiches—and fancy food and an assortment of teas should, of course, be the highlight of a successful high afternoon tea.

    What you’ll need to host an English tea party:

    • Matching china—tea cups, saucers and dessert plates
    • Tea pot
    • Elegant napkins
    • Silver cutlery
    • Tea trays
    • Creamer and sugar bowl, including all condiments
    • Guests—make sure guests don’t exceed the number of matching tea cups
    • An elegant dining room, sitting room or outdoor garden will do
    • Flowers and décor to create an atmosphere of sophistication

    Pick a nice spring afternoon if you are hosting your fundraising afternoon tea outside in the garden. Or find a facility that will cater to the group you expect. Smaller groups will suit a more intimate setting in your home, however, larger groups might need more space that a church or hall might accommodate better.

    If you are inviting a large group of mostly community members and strangers, you’ll need to advertise your fundraiser for at least a month in advance using community bulletin boards, word of mouth, newspapers and social media (such as Facebook, Twitter and other online communities).

    You can raise money for your fundraiser by selling tickets per individual attendance. Also, seek out donated supplies—such as desserts from a local bakery, sandwich meats and cheese from a local deli, and teas from a local grocer or specialty tea shop—in exchange for free publicity through sponsorship credit.

    What to serve for English tea:

    The tea party is traditionally situated around mid-morning or afternoon; therefore you’ll need to provide snacks or a light lunch. For a formal English tea, foods may include:

    • Tea sandwiches—ham, cream cheese or cucumber on white bread with the crusts cut off
    • Soup or salad
    • Quiche or an omelet
    • Tea biscuits—such as digestive, gingerbread or shortbread cookies
    • Scones with jam, cream, marmalades and butter
    • Cake, pie or tarts
    • Pudding—such as a trifle or layered dessert of berries and cream

    For a formal tea party, the central part of your menu should always be the tea and each food served should have a tea that compliments the taste, for example fruit salad with herbal fruit teas, shortbreads with dark teas, and etc.

    Remember that tea pairs with and compliments food similar to wine. To help you get started, pair the following teas and foods for an afternoon tea event:

    • Assam or earl gray tea with red meat sandwiches
    • English breakfast tea with cucumber or biscuits
    • Ceylon tea with raw vegetables
    • Assam or oolong teas with milk and chocolate
    • Green tea with cheeses and Asian foods
    • Oolong or Darjeeling teas with chicken or eggs
    • Yunnan tea with fruits and berries
    • Chamomile tea with vanilla or cinnamon spice
    • Mint tea with milk or dark chocolate

    Hosts should remember to entertain with ease. The theme of the day is elegance and relaxation after all. To create an atmosphere of elegance, follow these final tips:

    • Choose soothing music from a CD collection or splurge for a string quartet
    • Set up tea tables a few hours before your guests will arrive
    • Decorate with fresh flowers
    • Make last minute food and prepare water for the tea then relax for a while
    • Greet each guest as they arrive and show them to their seats
    • Remember to have fun and enjoy some tea yourself!

    How to arrange a tea tasting party

    Tea parties are one of the most popular traditions of the British culture in the XXI century, and they have spread all over the world, and now everyone participates in them. Hosting a tea party at home is a great way to gather everyone together and spend time chatting and drinking hot tea. Here are some valuable tips to make it perfect!

    If your tea party is a success, you can also make it a regular date and meet your friends in the warmth of your home for a chat. But how do you organize the tea party of your dreams and what recipes should you prepare to surprise your guests? Let’s look into I together!

    When we think of tea time, we inevitably think of the traditional English afternoon tea at 5 p.m. This is an actual ritual of taste and manners that has been passed down for centuries.

    The custom seems to have started in the early 19th century when the Duchess of Bedford took a light meal of tea and sweets to satisfy her midday hunger. The Duchess liked the experience so much that she invited her friends to repeat it every day, and soon the ritual became a truly global event.

    Today, although many things in society have changed, teatime is a ritual that has spread worldwide, and tea parties are becoming more and more popular as an original way to celebrate important occasions such as birthdays, baby showers, or simply a meeting with friends.

    The first step in organizing a tea party is to choose the style. Teatime doesn’t always have to be in the British style. You can also choose to have a Japanese, Chinese or Russian-style tea party.

    For a traditional English style, you need to choose a classic pure black tea like Ceylon, which has a strong taste.

    You can opt for Chinese teas like the famous gunpowder or green tea with jasmine.

    In Japanese tea ceremonies, the primary choice is green tea such as Sencha or traditional Matcha.

    Finally, you can also have a Russian tea party that focuses on rich black teas with a citrus flavor.

    Once you have decided on the style of the party, it is essential to decide on the menu. Along with the tea, sweet or savory snacks should be served.

    You can start with sandwiches, or scones, soft bread with neutral flavors that can be freely seasoned, and move on to a variety of pastries and desserts. You can choose from classic muffins, traditional Victorian cakes, and all kinds of cookies (sometimes with butter).

    How to arrange a tea tasting partyMacarons, Purple, Sweets

    Preparing the table is fundamental and requires elegance and attention to detail. If desired, the table can be set with a glass teapot or delicately decorated porcelain, a white tablecloth embroidered with flowers, a three-dimensional backcloth for arranging refreshments, and a beautiful centerpiece with fresh flowers.

    Each guest will be provided with a dessert plate and napkin with a fork, in addition to cups and saucers and teaspoons.

    Last but not least, don’t forget to serve tea and pay attention to your guests.

    The basic rules are sending invitations in advance and using the original scrapbooking technique if possible, but a simple message is also fine.

    How to arrange a tea tasting partyTea, Teatime, Pastry, Syrian, Sweet, Pistachio

    By following these little tips, your tea party is sure to be a success. So, let your imagination run wild and organize a tea party to surprise your dear guests in the best way possible!

    Enhance Your Tea Tasting Experience

    How to arrange a tea tasting party

    LICreate / Getty Images

    Like savoring a fine wine, tasting premium tea is a joy. With a few simple steps, you can transform your tea tasting experience from “ho-hum” to “whoa”! Over time, you can use these steps to develop your tea palate and appreciate the many nuances that quality teas have to offer.

    Look at the Tea Leaves

    The appearance of the tea leaves gives you a hint at the quality of the tea. Full leaves tend to be better than broken leaves. White tea should be covered in fine, downy hairs. Many Japanese green teas should be deep, almost bluish, green. Teas with more tips tend to be more nuanced and complex than those without them. Fresh teas almost always have a glossy sheen.

    Brew the Tea

    Explore using different brewing times, brewing temperatures, water types, water to tea ratios, and types of teaware to find the best match for your teas, or use your brewing time to reflect on your day or relax.

    Look at the Brew and Leaves

    Look at the color and opacity of the brewed tea. This is part of the beauty of tea, and one of the reasons we recommend using a teacup with a white interior or a clear teacup. Also, a darker brew may indicate a fuller flavor, and murkiness or sediment may indicate a low-quality tea, although there are exceptions to this, notably with Japanese steamed green teas.

    Looking at the tea leaves will also tell you a lot about the tea itself, especially in the case of rolled oolongs and other shaped teas. Close inspection can tell you if it is made from tea buds only, leaves only, or a specific proportion of buds and leaves. Sometimes, you can see more clearly how broken the leaves are after they have been brewed.

    Smell the Brew and Leaves

    In Chinese tea culture, the aroma and aftertaste of a tea are just as important as its flavor. In Taiwan, special “aroma cups” are used to savor the aroma of the tea before it is sipped. Fully appreciating the aroma of a tea adds a new dimension to tea tasting.

    Using a narrow cup and closing your eyes as you sniff may help you smell the brew better. Professional tea tasters actually press their noses into brewed leaves to smell them. You don’t have to take it that far–just sniffing the leaves is fine–but smelling the leaves can be a very enjoyable and informative act to add to your tea tasting experience.

    Taste the Tea

    Finally, it’s time to taste the tea. To get the full taste of the tea, slurp it as you would slurp wine in a wine tasting. The goal is to spray a fine mist of tea over the entire palate and even the back of the throat. Just be careful not to choke!

    Once you have slurped the tea, roll it over your tongue in a swishing motion. If you’d like, you can aerate it more by sucking more air into your mouth and through the tea. This activates the flavors more. In professional tastings, tasters spit the tea out after each sip, but once you have tasted the tea, it’s probably best to just swallow it.

    Observe the Mouthfeel

    Although “mouthfeel” sounds like a complex concept, it’s actually a simple one. It’s just the way the tea makes your mouth feel. Does it leave a creamy coating, like milk, or is it oily? Perhaps it’s like a rich broth…or is it thin and cleansing, like warm water? Does it create a puckery sensation on the tongue? After you have drunk the tea, does it leave your mouth feeling dry, moist, or coated? All of these feelings are part of the mouthfeel.

    You can observe the mouthfeel during the first sip if you want, but we recommend noting the flavor first and then moving on to mouthfeel later.

    Note the Aftertaste

    Some teas have very brief aftertastes. Others, especially some artisan oolongs, are known for aftertastes that can last for an hour or more. Some aftertastes are simple, while others are complex and evolving. Sometimes, the aftertaste is identical to the tea. Sometimes, it’s completely different. Occasionally, a type of tea has an even more enjoyable aftertaste than the flavor itself. While you may not always love the aftertaste of every tea, aftertastes can be fascinating components of the flavors and aromas of many teas.

    To note the aftertaste, open your mouth slightly after you have swallowed a sip of tea. Allow air to flow between your mouth and nose. Observe not only the flavor but also the scent that develops.

    Observe the Mental or Physical Effects

    Many tea drinkers report that different teas have completely different mental and physical effects on them. Generally speaking, people associate green teas with mental clarity and black teas with physical energy, but it’s different for everyone.

    Note how different teas make you feel. If they offer any particular benefits to you (such as soothing stress or improving focus), you can use those benefits to your advantage once you are aware of them.

    Plenty of blended Scotch can be enjoyed casually, whether on the rocks or in cocktails (even pods, as we’ve learned). Some well-to-do heretics might even use particular single malts for highballs, but there are certain whiskies that must be reserved for enjoying in their purest forms. Here’s how to host your own at-home tasting.

    Get the Supplies

    When amassing a selection of Scotch whisky to taste for the evening, a host can go one of two ways: offer a crowd-pleasing variety from each of Scotland’s five whisky-producing regions (including Highland, Lowland, Speyside, Campbeltown and highly peated Islay whiskies), or provide different age expressions or products from the same distillery for comparison’s sake. Either way, stick with single malt Scotch (i.e. liquid distilled from a malted barley mash at a single distillery) and limit the flight to six to eight whiskies in total.

    Obtain Proper Glassware

    No one wants to drink elegant, expensive Scotch out of a glass boot or a plastic sippy cup. Not only does proper glassware look worthy of the precious liquid it contains, it will also serve the important function of allowing for aeration and optimal delivery to your nose and mouth. You can give these beverages the respect they deserve with a rocks glass, a tumbler or even a shot glass—but perhaps the perfect vessel is the Glencairn glass, the shape of which will maximize the aroma, taste and sight of your finest drams.

    To buy: Glencairn Whisky Glass Set of 4, $26 at amazon.com (also in set of 2 for $14 or set of 6 for $30)

    Invite the Right Crowd

    Extensive whisky drinking experience is anything but a requirement—much of the fun will be comparing notes with those who have a fresh, uninformed perspective. But those who attend your gathering should be willing to at least attempt to savor the nuanced aromas and flavors of each beverage, not toss them back like pledging frat bros.

    Lose the Ice

    A few drops of filtered water can help expand the flavor profile of any fine whisky after the first sip, but I’ll take the controversial stance of altogether banning ice cubes. The type of high-end stuff you and your guests will be trying is best served neat—without the presence of any other ingredient but the liquid itself—so as to best understand the expression of the spirit.

    Try whiskey stones to keep it cool: Outset Chillware Whiskey Stones, $15 at amazon.com (or buy the glasses and stones together: Premium Whiskey Stones Gift Set, $21)

    Pour Small

    You’re not being cheap—pouring very small samples (about half an ounce or so) will actually allow you to offer your guests more variety, without sending them to their graves. After all, no mortal can down half a dozen full pours and still taste with the same accuracy or consideration as his or her sober self. Down eight or more ounces of 90-proof liquor and the only distinguishable flavor characteristic of any subsequent whisky sample will be “whisky-like.”

    Have Snacks

    Considering the amount of booze that will be consumed at your gathering, snacks are as important as pour size in keeping your guests alive. Food can coat the stomach to help prevent acid reflux and will slow down the processing of alcohol. Plus, certain food items (such as plain crackers or lemon sorbet) can act as palate cleansers, while others can enhance the flavors of the liquid. Chocolate, cheese and fruit are all dependable fixings for whisky pairings.

    Talk About It

    Perhaps the most important step of all for this tasting is to engage in lively discussion. What do you and your guests like about each whisky? Dislike? Any surprises, whether good or bad? By verbalizing your experience, you’ll be making meaningful memories with your friends (both human and liquid). Use your unbearable geekiness to torture any teetotaler who might have stumbled into the tasting by accident via a friend or significant other. Then thank them for leaving behind more treats for the whisky nerds.

    Provide Late Night Refreshments

    How to arrange a tea tasting party

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    How to arrange a tea tasting party

    Anyone who has even the slightest bit of interest in British etiquette is aware that tea is the center of many social occasions. It’s something that must be done correctly, or it isn’t a proper English tea.

    From afternoon tea to a formal tea party, knowing the proper way to serve and drink it is essential. Whether you’re the host or the guest of a tea party, there are certain rules you need to learn and practice before you participate. Here are some important things to know:

    Types of English Tea Parties

    Understand the different types of tea events. All of them may be casual or more formal, but it is rarely acceptable to host or attend wearing sweatpants or jeans and sneakers. Even the most casual tea party requires either a dress or nice slacks and a top you might wear to an office.

    • Afternoon tea—Also known as “low tea,” the afternoon tea is enjoyed at a low table, such as a coffee or tea table in the living room. It is a more relaxed setting than the high tea, but it isn’t necessarily more casual.
    • High tea—This is served at a dining table or higher table than the low tea. You may have a high tea with small snacks or offer something more substantial.
    • Cream tea—The occasion that involves tea being enjoyed in the afternoon, with clotted cream or scones is often referred to as the cream tea.
    • Royale tea—Add champagne or sherry to the tea for a Royale tea.

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    fancy.yan / Getty Images

    English Tea Do’s

    When taking tea, there are a few rules that you should follow to avoid looking uncouth. They’re basic but, in some cases, foreign concepts to westerners. Here are some tips:

    • Use clotted cream. This spread for your scones is something that takes very little effort yet makes the tea so much more elegant. It can be purchased or homemade.
    • Use loose tea. Although tea bags are acceptable, loose tea is the preferred type of tea. The flavors are more pronounced, and the experience of using loose tea is more elegant and adds to the experience. You can find tea balls in most kitchen stores, tea shops, and in the kitchen section of many department stores.
    • Steep the tea for an appropriate length of time. Let the tea settle long enough for the flavors and antioxidants to flow into the water, but don’t leave it so long it gets bitter and harsh tasting. The ideal length of time is approximately five or six minutes.
    • Feel free to request specific milk. Some of the options, in addition to cow’s milk, include almond, coconut, and soy. If you are enjoying tea in a private home, rather than demand a specific type of milk, ask what is available.
    • Replenish the tea. It’s bad form to let the teapot go empty. It’s always important to start with a clean pot, so it’s not a bad idea to have more than one.
    • Eat the food properly. The finger sandwiches should be eaten with your hands, and the cakes should be consumed with a fork. Don’t take huge bites. It’s better to nibble or take small bites to keep from looking like you haven’t eaten in days.
    • Take your time. When enjoying an English tea, you should enjoy it in a leisurely manner and not gorge like it’s your last meal. An afternoon tea gives you a chance to relax in the middle of the day, so take advantage of it.
    • Use a napkin properly. It doesn’t matter whether it’s paper or linen; instead of vigorously wiping your mouth (or anything else, for that matter), gently blot your lips.
    • If you’re a guest, don’t forget to send a thank you note to the host.

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    Jennifer A Smith / Getty Images

    English Tea Don’ts

    There are also some things you shouldn’t do at an English tea. These are just as important as the list of things you should do:

    • Don’t lift your pinky. Someone somewhere started the myth that raising the pinky finger helps balance the teacup. This is not true, so there is no point in raising it.
    • Don’t add the milk first. This is especially the case if the host pours the first cup of tea for the guests. Add the milk to the teacup after the tea has been poured. However, it is perfectly acceptable to put the sugar or lemon in the cup before you pour the tea.
    • Don’t add milk to white or green tea. Save the milk and cream for black tea.
    • Don’t forget to use the strainer. When steeping loose tea, some of the tealeaves get loose in the water. You don’t want to have to pick the leaves out of your teeth when you finish.
    • Don’t stir your tea like you’re beating cake mix. Use a gentle motion and take care not to make a noise by clinking the spoon against the inside of the cup.
    • Don’t leave your spoon in the cup after you stir it. Place it on the saucer behind the cup.
    • Don’t dunk your biscuits or scones. This is rude. It’s better to break off small pieces and spread a little bit of clotted cream to each bite.
    • Don’t show up in sportswear, sweats, or sneakers. Even a casual tea commands more respect than that. A skirt and blows, knit dress, or nice pair of trousers will be more appropriate. Men should wear clean trousers and collared shirts.

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    Lesia Valentain / FOAP / Getty Images

    Tea Party Conversation

    While there is nothing wrong with bringing up controversial topics during your tea party, don’t let the conversation escalate to the point of becoming a brawl. The instant you feel your blood pressure go up, change the subject to something completely different. If the other people don’t take the hint, simply state that you would like to discuss something that isn’t so bothersome.

    If you’re the host of a tea party, it’s always a good idea to have some discussion topics planned to make sure there are no lulls in conversation. Some fun things to discuss include the history of tea, the varieties of tea, British royalty, and of course, there’s that old standby—the weather.

    If you’re a guest, follow the lead of the host. If she changes the subject, accept it and go with the flow. Be gracious and friendly throughout the party. If you enjoy the tea that’s being served, go ahead and pour some more. If you don’t care for it, take small sips—or at least pretend to—and keep your opinions to yourself.

    Embrace the Tea Party Experience

    The English tea is such an enjoyable occasion it’s hard to imagine why everyone doesn’t embrace the practice. Take some time out of the afternoon and have some tea as you chat with friends or reflect on life.

    Donna Pilato is an event planning expert who writes articles on planning parties and other events for over 20 years. She wrote for The Spruce for 16 years, covering entertaining trends from hosting a murder mystery dinner to catering food and drink for a bar mitzvah. Her advice has also been featured in Reader’s Digest, Disney Family.com, the New Jersey Star Ledger, and Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

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    How to arrange a tea tasting party

    Bridal shower tea parties are a very traditional, elegant and sophisticated way to celebrate a bride’s upcoming wedding. A bridal tea can be intimate, with just the bridal party attending, or a larger event including other female friends and relatives that will be invited to the wedding.

    This shower theme isn’t usually best for a co-ed shower since the food is lighter and the decorations are more feminine, but it doesn’t mean male friends or family of the bride are not welcome. If a bride is interested in opening her bridal shower tea party up to members of the opposite sex so be it! An exclusive party is never a fun one, so it’s nice to keep an open mind about who might enjoy this kind of event when sending out invites.

    A bridal tea party is not necessarily a food-focused event so make sure guests know in advance they are joining for refreshments in light snacks so they can plan accordingly (either grabbing some heavier fare pre or post-shower). This is the brides moment to share her happy news with those nearest and dearest to the almost newlyweds. After all, you only get married once (alright maybe for some a couple of times) so might as well make some happy memories to remember the joyous occasion.

    Using the theme of a tea party for a bridal shower immediately elevates and event, so make sure you choose venues appropriately. A tea party theme typically should be arranged at a nice hotel restaurant in your town or neighboring city, but an upscale restaurant or rentable hall space should do. Avoid hosting a bridal shower tea party in your home unless you have put a lot of attention and detail into your outdoor entertaining or dining room space. Setting a great atmosphere and a sophisticated tone for your event is step one before the cute little sandwiches even make their appearance.

    Party planning can be a difficult and time-consuming matter, so these are some ideas for hosts of upcoming tea parties to delight brides with an elegant and well-planned event.

    Setting the Stage

    • Serve the food and beverages buffet style since there won’t be a plated entree as part of your menu.
    • Decorate the buffet and guest tables with linens and flowers selected with the bride’s colors in mind.
    • Ask guests to bring a small gift for the “wishing well” that fits with the tea theme. Items might include loose teas, tea strainer, tea bags, teaspoons, tea cookies.
    • Plan to organize a few bridal shower games for fun and to help break the ice when guests first arrive.
    • When the bride arrives, give her a small bouquet to welcome her, and she can use it to mark her place.
    • Create a tussy mussy for each guest and tie them with ribbon that is wide enough to write each guest’s name—then use them as place cards.

    The Menu

    • Assorted pots of tea. Keep refreshing them with hot water throughout the party.
    • Assorted tea sandwiches such as ​egg salad; cucumber and cream cheese; smoked salmon and dill; chicken salad with tarragon.
    • Chocolate covered strawberries. Offer an assortment of white and milk chocolate dipped berries for visual interest.
    • A Spinach and Strawberry Salad.
    • Create and decorate elegant Angel Food Cupcakes.
    • A large Fresh Fruit Salad.
    • Assorted Chocolate Truffles.
    • Serve Blushing Bride champagne cocktails.

    Party Favors

    Send guests home with party favors that will help them remember this special party. Think about a gift that will fit with the bride’s interests. You might give each guest any of the following:

    How to arrange a tea tasting party

    Cheese platters can be simple or elaborate, depending on what type of party you’re throwing and how much money you want to spend. They can be simple or complicated, but remember all you’re doing is buying a few interesting kinds of cheese, arranging them with tasty garnishes like fruit, nuts, crackers, and cured meats and your guests will love it.

    Cheese Selection

    How to arrange a tea tasting party

    Do you want to serve inexpensive but crowd-friendly cheese, high-end artisanal cheese or maybe a combination of the two? Whatever you decide, keep in mind these basic tips:

    • Serve three to six different types of cheeses so it’s not overwhelming
    • Select cheeses that have different flavors and textures
    • As a general guideline, each person will eat 2 ounces of each cheese. If you’re serving lots of other food or serving the cheese at the end of a meal, it’s usually safe to assume people will eat only 1 ounce of each cheese. That should help you determine how much cheese to buy for a cheese platter.

    Cheese Platters and Utensils

    How to arrange a tea tasting party

    Cheese can be served on anything from a dinner plate to a serving platter, a plastic tray, a wooden cutting board, a cheese dome, or a slab of marble. Be creative!

    Unless you’re serving the cheese cubed or already sliced, cheese knives should accompany the platter so guests can serve themselves. If you don’t own decorative cheese knives, simply use steak knives (or a cheese plane) for hard cheese and butter knives for soft cheese. Ideally, each cheese has its own knife, but similar types of cheese can share the same knife if necessary. For example, Gouda and Cheddar can share a knife but you don’t want vastly different cheese flavors co-mingling, such as blue cheese and Manchego.

    Guests always appreciate it when each cheese is identified with a cheese marker. Plus, it relieves you of the responsibility of having to tell guests over and over again what type of cheese is on the platter.

    Cheese Platter Presentation

    How to arrange a tea tasting party

    You don’t need to have a degree in culinary arts to arrange cheese on a platter. Simply follow these tips:

    • Place the cheese on the platter first, then fill in the open space with garnishes. On a circular or square platter, fill the middle of the platter with a garnish (like fruit) and place the cheese around the perimeter. On a rectangular platter, set the cheese in a row with a few inches of space between each cheese (you can fill the space in with a garnish)
    • If you’re serving a wedge of cheese that has rind on three sides, consider cutting the rind off two sides so guests can easily cut a piece of cheese to eat. If you’re serving a small wheel of cheese (like Camembert or Mt. Tam) cut out a small wedge so guests know how the cheese should be cut.
    • If you’re serving more than three types of cheese, all of the cheese doesn’t have to be displayed on one platter.
    • If you’re serving individual cheese plates to each person, then you’ll want to arrange the cheese mildest to strongest. If you’re serving one large platter of cheese, don’t worry about it.
    • Throughout the party, check the platter to make sure it isn’t in total disarray.

    Fruit and Cheese Platter

    How to arrange a tea tasting party

    Fruit adds a healthy element to a cheese platter and the sweetness in fruit also pairs really well with cheese. You can serve fresh fruit or fruit spreads such as fig jam or green tomato and apple chutney. Fresh fruit should be seasonal based on what’s fresh in the market.

    How to arrange a tea tasting party

    Hosting a Tea Tasting Party!

    Welcome neighbors, friends, or special group to a party. Here’s a new party idea host a tea tasting party!

    First what is a tea tasting anyway?

    A tea tasting or tea cupping began with professionals that would “judge” teas and report on them to their industry. While the professional tea tasters uphold an exact industry standard in their practice, and their tastings involve pieces of professional equipment to complete their task at hand, you can substitute your home equipment and have a wonderful experience.

    Your private party experience may bring tea into a new realm for you and your guests. It can help reduce the stress of your guests as you experience tea by using your senses to participate in the tea tasting party. Slowly and methodically, you will gain a new perspective on tea.

    How do I proceed with a “cupping” party? Gather your favorite teas or the teas your group has voted on , then line them up on white saucers, grouping them into alike categories, and then start comparing! That is all that is to it! Here are a few ideas to get your party started:

    Pick the room in which you will do your tasting. One idea is to use your kitchen table. Insert all the available leaves to make the table be at its largest. Remove the chairs so that all can walk completely around the table. Then you can make your table look “professional” by covering it with a white tablecloth, or white non-fitted sheet. Your table will look clean and pristine.

    The professional tea cupping has industry standards that must be meant with each tasting in order for it to be a valid tasting. Their tastings are done in tasting cups that are between 1” and 2” cups w/lids and are usually made of white porcelain, each loose tea that is used is exactly 2 ¼ grams –per 6 oz. tea cup. You can recreate the standards by using things that are found around your home, or can be bought relatively cheaply.

    For your party there are some things that are key to have for each tasting, they are: the amt. of tea, the water temp. and brewing/steeping time (depending on the type of tea). For each tasting these elements must be the same throughout.

    Depending on how many types of teas you may want to taste you will have to have at least six tasting cups(can use disposable hot cups), a simple digital timer, a thermometer, a tea scoop for loose tea, and a digital type scale to accurately read the amount of tea measured out. And one should purchase a journal to write notes of each tasting.

    Group your measured teas in alike types, such as black teas, green teas, or white teas for example. Try to compare at least 2 types of varieties at you tasting party. Invite your guests to bring along their particular favorites and do “blind testing” for fun.
    Now after your first teas have been measured, now brewed/steeped (for the appropriate times), temperature is measured, invite your guest to start “cupping”. When professionals do their tasting they will slurp up the tea, and roll it around their mouth letting it fall on their gums.

    Focus on the color of your tea, focus on the tannin or bitterness, focus on the smell or aroma of your tea, focus on the leaf type itself. Does the tea taste like citrus, does your tea have body, is it flat? Does your tea taste a bit grassy? Does it have a smoky flavor?
    Now write down these reactions down in the tasting journal. Have fun with this!

    When your tasting is done, hold a tea! Serve your guests small delicious sweet treats and cakes. Serve the tea that “did” the best or was the over all favorite. Rotate the next tea tasting party to another member’s home. Explore tea while using your senses! Hosting your own tea tasting is a fun and new way to have some great times with colleagues, friends, and extended family.

    How to entertain without killing your budget or yourself!

    How to Organize a Potluck Tea Party

    Years ago, I decided to share my glorious wisteria with all of my girlfriends because it was so fragrant and lovely. A tea seemed the perfect way to do just that. The weather’s almost always perfect–both warm enough and cool enough to sit outdoors under the blossoms. Since then I have started catering teas, although I must admit, because it is so labor intensive, I much prefer to do tea for friends with Laurie’s help.

    This year, my eighth annual Wisteria Tea, we had an abundance of help. My sweet sister Hellen did all the floral shopping at the mart and made the stunning centerpieces, ably assisted by our niece Norah. I’ll devote a whole blog post to their amazing work. My centerpieces are generally beautiful; Hellen’s are works of art.

    Norah’s mom, my sister Margy, tore herself away from the Fairfield Downtown Business Association to also join us, and her help was very much appreciated. She was our go-to girl for the day – always good to have!

    Because of the tea catering, I have many, many pieces of one-of-a-kind china. Rose patterns are my favorite, but most of my porcelain is covered in ultra-feminine floral designs. I never try to match china for 20 to 30 guests, so I use a mash-up of flower patterns, the more the merrier. My friends and sisters have given me lots of china, but most of it has been purchased on eBay. (The Party Know-it-alls are almost always thrifty.)

    My Wisteria Tea has become a potluck event, with guests invited to bring their favorite tea item, which makes it a great way to entertain a large group without totally killing yourself or your budget–you know, our theme. We always make sure we’ve got the essentials handled: a number of tea sandwiches, scones, several desserts. It’s fun to see what people bring. Non-cooks offer to purchase clotted cream and jams and exotic teas. Our friend Barbara always brings incredible strawberries. One year a guest brought a polka-dot cake from a local patisserie that we’re still talking about. We always have wonderful concoctions that are demolished by the “starving” ladies who attend.

    Maybe you’ve got a lovely garden you’d like to share with your friends but you find yourself under-equipped to serve tea for 20. Ask each guest to bring her own tea cup too. Almost every woman’s grandmother or aunt gave her china, even if the recipient said, “I’m not the kind who will ever use this.” But here’s your chance – take it to the party and remember the sweet story about the relative who gave it to you. Not my grandma, of course, but she did give me some kickin’ champagne glasses!

    We’re going to post some tea sandwich recipes in the next few days. Laurie and I brainstorm for weeks about this tea. At the beginning we usually have 20 sandwiches in mind, but as crunch time rolls around, we narrow it down to, oh, 10 or so. Stick around; you’re gonna love our afternoon tea!

    Harney & Sons makes over 300 types of tea, and we know our customers like trying new flavors and drinking more than one type of tea. But when the tins and boxes start to take over your pantry like a kudzu vine, it’s time for a little organization. Or a lot.

    The internationally famed Marie Kondo, known for her KonMari Method™, refers to getting organized as a “tidying festival.” She doesn’t specifically advocate minimalism, unless that’s your thing. She’s about getting rid of clutter and keeping what “sparks joy.” We like to think that tea is one of those things that sparks joy… so let’s talk about having a tea tidying festival, some simple ways you can accomplish that, and some reminders of what not to do.

    Start with a Clutter Intervention

    There’s a reason “cut through the clutter” is a saying. Before you can begin organizing your tea, you need to get rid of those things that are no longer necessary. This is true if your tea is living alongside other pantry roommates; if you’re planning to give your tea its own dedicated space, what you do with the contents of your pantry is your business!

    Expired items. We’ve all got them. Check those cans for expiration dates and throw out what’s exceeded their shelf life. Consolidate open boxes of spaghetti, or make spaghetti for dinner tonight. If you have pantry items that are unopened and still good, but you don’t need them, consider filling a bag or box and taking them to a food pantry. Food is certainly something people need right now. Look at getting rid of non-food items as well that are just taking up space. Goodwill would be happy to take your collection of unicorn mugs.

    How to arrange a tea tasting party

    Wide Open Spaces

    Now that you’ve made space, it’s time to decide how to get organized. There’s no wrong way. Do what makes sense to you. You can organize by:

    • Type of tea. Black teas together, green teas together, decaf teas together, etc.
    • Breakfast teas. Afternoon teas. Evening teas.
    • By tin color.
    • Alphabetical.
    • Teas you drink with your cat. Teas you drink with your dog.

    You get the idea. How many types of tea you have and how much space you have will also play a role in how you choose to organize your teas. But with less clutter, you should have more space to work with.

    How to arrange a tea tasting party

    Tins v. Teabags

    Storing tea in tins is obviously a different animal than individually wrapped tea bags. Our tins are the perfect way to store loose leaf tea and sachets, so while you may be tempted to put them all in plastic bags to save space, hold onto your ziploc. There are best, just ok and definitely not ok practices for storing tea, which you can read about in our Does Tea Go Stale? blog post. It’s a great companion read to go along with this article.

    If you have individually wrapped tea bags, there are many options to purchase online at places like Amazon and The Container Store, from smaller units made to fit teabags to larger containers. Harney also carries small tea bag sized boxes and larger tea chests, a lovely way to store and display your teas. You can find them along with other items on our Tea Chests and Sampler Sets page .

    How to arrange a tea tasting party

    Please note we are talking about storing individually wrapped tea bags. If you purchase tea bags that are loose in a container, keep them in the container. It’s the best way to make sure your tea stays at the highest quality possible. Individually wrapped tea bags are protected from harmful elements.

    About those tins…

    They’re So Pretty!

    If you have the space, consider bringing those Harney tins out and making them part of your decor. You can line them up on a shelf. Place them on a small bookcase. Arrange them on a tea cart . Create a tea corner on your counter. Stack them in a pyramid. Put them in a basket. Get creative.

    To cut down on the number of tins, consider purchasing our bulk bags and refilling your existing tins with your favorite blends. We recommend keeping the same type of tea in the original tins and not mixing and matching. Unless you want your Earl Grey to taste like Hot Cinnamon Spice. And if you do, then you can buy both kinds of tea in loose leaf and make your own concoction. But that’s a topic for another day.

    How to arrange a tea tasting party

    Steep Back and Enjoy

    However you choose to organize your tea collection, when you’re finished step back and take it in. There’s something extremely satisfying about turning chaos into calm. Fix a cuppa and pat yourself on the back. Today, the tea cabinet. Tomorrow, the garage!

    Do you have tips on how you’ve organized your teas? Share them with us in the comments below.

    How to arrange a tea tasting party

    How to Format Reference Initials

    People can get burned out by fundraising requests. A stay-at-home tea fundraiser capitalizes on people’s frustration with being asked to buy things they don’t need or spend hours manning booths to raise money for charities and organizations they care about. Although there are some upfront costs to sponsor this type of fundraiser, they are typically less than those involved with planning a big event.

    Step 1

    Assemble your mailing list. Include everyone who has donated to your group in the past and everyone who is a member of your organization. If you have a core group on the fundraising committee, ask each member to develop a list of names of people who might be interested in contributing.

    Step 2

    Purchase tea bags to include with your invitations. You’ll need one for each invitation you are sending out. Make sure the tea bags are wrapped in foil or paper; bulk tea bags without a wrapper may burst during mailing, creating a mess that won’t be welcomed by the recipient.

    To cut costs, ask a local supermarket to donate the tea bags in return for an acknowledgement in your mailing.

    Step 3

    Write a letter describing your organization, its goals, and what the money raised will be used for. Include a statement acknowledging how busy everyone is, and that this “nonevent” can be held at the recipient’s convenience. Invite them to sit down, put their feet up, enjoy the tea and relax. Suggest they donate what they would have spent on a typical fundraiser, but also include a suggested donation amount.

    Step 4

    Include a stamped self addressed envelope, if your budget allows the up front expenditure. This will increase the likelihood of donation. Consider using PayPal or taking credit card payments to make it easier to donate.

    Step 5

    Mail the invitations, including the letter, tea bag, and stamped self-addressed envelope, if you are using it.

    Step 6

    Include information about the fundraiser in the organization’s newsletter and send a press release to the local newspaper.

    Tea tastings are a fun way to gather with friends, get to know more about how to make the perfect cup, and of course enjoy a bunch of new teas – from fresh traditional loose leafs to fun and innovative blends. They’re a delicious way to sip and mingle, and are super easy to set up once you master the prep.

    Ready to host your own? We’ve put together an easy-to-follow guide full of tea tasting tips and tricks, from the 101 of tastings, to key steeping temperatures and times, and making a DIY tea tasting card.

    Welcome to tea Prep School.

    Master the Prep

    In an ideal world, we’d have all of our teas lined up in row and access to an endless number of teapots and kettles. But let’s be real – who owns more than one teapot? To keep things simple, preparing one tea at a time, so you can enjoy it freshly steeped before moving on to the next. Just make sure you have these tea tasting essentials before getting started.

    How to arrange a tea tasting party

    Tea tasting tips

    1) When it comes to tea tastings, always go from light to dark teas so as to not overwhelm your palate. Tasting our new traditional teas collection? We suggest you start with our subtle Jasmine Peony and Green Spiral, and end with our bold Sun Moon Black.

    2) When tasting teas, it’s not uncommon to slurp them up (that’s what the tasting spoon’s for). Try this technique: Fill your spoon with tea and slurp it up quickly, letting the liquor roll across your palate and around your tongue. You’ll notice some nuanced flavours that you may have otherwise missed.

    3) Between each tea tasting, cleanse your palate with some soda crackers or water.

    4) Not used to drinking high amounts of caffeine or tea? Make sure you have some light snacks beforehand like tea sandwiches, a simple salad of a plate of charcuterie. No funky cheese or garlicky spreads!

    Steeping Temperatures and Times

    How to arrange a tea tasting party

    Tea tasting 101

    How to arrange a tea tasting party

    Now here’s where the real fun starts! We’ve put together 3 basic steps so you get the most out of your tea tasting. Remember – taste is personal, so there are no right or wrong answers. Just write down what the flavour reminds you of and then at the end of your tasting, rank the teas to see which one you liked best. Download your tasting sheet here.

    Look (eye icon)

    Notice the colour, intensity, and shape of the dry leaves, steeped tea leaves and steeped tea

    Ask yourself: What colour are the leaves? Are they twisted or flat? What colour is the steeped tea?

    Smell (nose icon)

    Take a big whiff or short sniffs of the dry leaves, steeped tea leaves and steeped tea.

    Ask yourself: What do you smell?

    Taste & Flavour (mouth icon)

    If you wanna do it like the pro’s take a loud slurp of tea, swirl it in your mouth then swallow.

    Ask yourself: What does the taste and flavour remind you of? Is it sweet, salty, sour, bitter or umami? Does it feel light, heavy or drying? Is the flavour intense or delicate? If you need a little help, make sure to check out our flavour chart.

    ‘Proper’ tea served the ‘proper’ way is something of a lost art. If you’re planning a tea party, or just catching up with friends, consider learning how to properly serve tea. There’s nothing wrong with taking the time to get a classic just right.

    More inspiration from my blog

    • 10 simple wedding favours ideas on a budget >>
    • 5 budget-friendly ideas for your hen party >>
    • Practical tips for organising afternoon tea party >>

    The Table

    The arrangement of the table is how we present our courtesy, good taste, and friendliness. Laying a ‘festive’ tablecloth on the coffee or dining table is the first step.

    Plain white linen is not recommended. Instead, a pattern that suits the event is suggested – something floral or colourful. Of course, it’s essential that you – the hostess – ensure that whichever table you use has enough room on it for decorations, tea, and settings for all of your guests.

    Table Decorations

    Centrepieces are a great way of bringing the antique / vintage aesthetic to the event. Flowers are a classic option. Furthermore, if your tablecloth is floral, you can match the flowers at the centre of the table to those on the cloth.

    Something important to remember about centrepiece flower arrangements is size. They should never be so large as to leave the table cramped, nor so tall as to block any of your guests from talking to one another.

    Candlesticks and candelabra can serve a function as well as providing decoration. Traditionalists will say that candlesticks shouldn’t feature for tea parties unless they are the main source of light at the occasion.

    However, a lot of antique silver candlesticks and candelabras have beautiful styles that you might think are worth using them for. If you do choose to use them and light them, ensure that your candlesticks are so far away as to fail to provide light, but also not so close as to become too distracting or even dangerous.

    Decoration Ideas

    • How to make simple beeswax & coconut oil candle >>
    • How to make your own potpouri >>
    • How to make dried apple decorations >>

    The Tea Set

    Obviously, the tea set is essential to a proper tea party. If you’re not a fan of tea – or if any of your guests are not interested in tea – there are other alternatives. Coffee and punch are excellent routes to explore if you’re looking to broaden your horizons.

    Even if tea is not served at all, a tea set is the perfect addition to the table to keep the aesthetic focused. Ensure a tray is used to serve any beverages, whether they are just for decoration or not. Having drinks trays at either end of the table is a good way of ensuring the table itself doesn’t get too crowded.

    If you’re looking to serve tea as ‘properly’ as possible, then even the location of items on the tray is important. The teapot itself should be on the right hand side of the tray, with the cream jug and sugar bowl on the left.

    If your tea service has a slop bowl, then that can be placed at the centre, ideal for discarding unused cold tea.

    Cups and Plates

    The appearance of the cups used for your tea – or other beverages – is essential. Naturally, the cups need to be free of any chips, scuffs, or discolouring.

    It’s also important to use teacups that are appropriately sized, and matching to your tea set. Ceramic, china, and silver tea cups are all options to consider.

    Here are some other quick rules for cups:

    Never touch interior surface of a cup, whether it is yours or someone else’s; use the handle or the exterior surface.

    Do not stack cups to avoid any toppling or damage, the maximum would be two stacked together, but even then, it’s best not to stack them at all.

    Spoons and Napkins

    There is an easy rule of thumb for spoons and napkins: do not stack. Not only does stacking lead to accidents, but it also makes it difficult to pick up just one and not many by accident. Instead, a small selection of napkins that complement the design of the table cloth are required.

    Consideration to Others

    Any food served should not only be aesthetically pleasing, but also be small and dainty, bite-sized food. Finger food is kind at a tea party.

    Dishes can be used to not only accessorise the table – if more decoration is needed – but also to serve foods like fruit or nuts.

    Not everyone likes milk and sugar in their tea, and for these guests, lemon wedges should be readily available on the table within clear view.

    Finishing Touches

    Before your guests arrive, you need to check everything. Food should be available to refill any dishes served, flowers, candles, and any other decoration should be pristine.

    The layout of the table itself should also be perfect, perfect meaning symmetrical. The balance between aesthetic appearance and practicality also needs to be appropriate.

    With all of this in order, your guests are free to arrive. Notice how they’ll appreciate the efforts you’ve gone to to ensure that everyone gets a taste of the ‘proper’ tea party that you’re more than ready to provide. Good luck, and remember – pinkies out!

    What’s not to love about tiny, two-bite tea sandwiches? With so many flavor combos, they’re easy to make and fun to eat. Tea sandwiches are a must for your afternoon tea party, and your tea sandwich platter can be as creative as you like.

    How to arrange a tea tasting party

    Sandwiches for Your Tea Sandwich Platter

    A selection of three sandwiches for your tea sandwich platter will yield 12 servings. If you plan on a few servings per guest, this will serve about 4-6 people. With side dishes, like fresh fruit or a mixed green salad, this should make for a satisfying afternoon meal.

    A gourmet choice to wow your friends with is a brie with smoked ham and apple tea sandwich. I made mine meat-free by opting for no ham, and used a pecan apple butter for the shmear instead of onion jam. Keep in mind that while this sandwich is super tasty hot out of the pan, it will slice cleanly if you wait until it’s cooled a bit.

    My next tea sandwich is a vegan option: tomato, hummus, and spinach on 12-grain bread. Grab a ripe heirloom tomato of any color and slice a few thin slices. Spread hummus on both pieces of your bread so that the inside ingredients stay well-kept in the sandwich. Add your veggies and assemble the sides together. Chill after assembling and before quartering for a clean cut.

    Then, a sweet option for my tea sandwich platter: my new favorite flavor, apricot cream cheese brioche. Brioche is a bread of French origin whose high egg and butter content give it a rich and tender crumb.

    How to arrange a tea tasting party

    Apricot Cream Cheese Brioche Tea Sandwich

    • 6-8 dried apricots, chopped
    • 1 oz brandy
    • 1/3 cup cream cheese
    • 1 tablespoon sour cream (optional)
    • 2 teaspoons sugar (to taste)
    • 2 slices brioche bread

    Directions:

    Soak the chopped apricots in the brandy for 5 to 15 minutes. Drain, and then mash them into the cream cheese. If you want the mixture a little wetter, try adding sour cream. Add sugar to your taste.

    Spread the mixture evenly, to the edges, on one slice of brioche. Top with the second slice.

    Cover with a slightly damp paper towel and chill to allow the spread to set.

    Cut into quarters to serve.

    There are some things to consider if you’re going to make your tea sandwiches ahead of time. For more on how to make tea sandwiches and then store them before serving, check out this article.

    How to arrange a tea tasting party

    Plating You Tea Sandwich Platter

    My favorite tip for arranging a tea sandwich platter is to create your own tiered server at home with whatever bowls, vases, or candlesticks you have.

    Most likely you have what you need to creatively design your very own server. I start with a small bowl that I can turn upside down to use as the base for my plate. I play around with different heights to see what works for the space I’m using.

    You can create a tiered serving station for the middle of your table and display all of your sandwiches there. Or, if you want to create personal servings for each of your guests, use small plates to display an assortment of tea sandwiches for each person. I love small demitasse plates for a single tea sandwich.

    How to arrange a tea tasting party

    Eye Catching Accents

    The next thing to decide on for your tea sandwich platter is what to use to spruce up your sandwich decor. A very simple and fun option is to create a sandwich topper with curling ribbon and a toothpick. You may already have curling ribbon at home in your holiday gift wrap box, so this will make it a quick, eye-catching option. Pick a few pretty colors, cut to size, and curl before tying to the pick.

    Another way to use a toothpick for a dress-up option is to select a complimentary fruit or veggie sandwich topper. I used a salty garlic-stuffed green olive to pair with my brie and apple sandwich.

    Get creative with cupcake toppers, too, for your tea sandwich platter. I had pretty paper flower toppers in my craft closet and thought they paired perfectly with my Apricot Cream Cheese Brioche tea sandwich.

    Fresh flowers or cut greens can really spruce up your tea sandwich platter. Use small vases filled with cut flowers throughout your table setting, or use them on your guests’ plates to highlight their individual sandwiches. Edible flowers would be a delightful and surprising accompaniment on top of your sandwiches.

    How to arrange a tea tasting party

    Tea and Sandwich Pairings

    If the weather is warm, Huckleberry Happiness black tea is a refreshing iced tea choice – and is almost tastier than a bowl of freshly picked berries and whipped cream. It has a melange of fresh berries and hint of hydrating hibiscus.

    A great choice for a hot tea selection is the Housewarming Blend. It’s a delicious vanilla “creme brulée” black tea blend similar to the Plum Deluxe House Blend (just vanilla) with hints of creaminess and caramel and a touch of floral sweetness.

    For a cozy cuppa herbal tea, Buttery Shortbread is a must-have. Honeybush paired with cocoa peel and blackberry leaf provide intriguing depth of flavor, with a buttery feel and sweet, creamy taste. It’s a Plum Deluxe staff favorite!

    With some inspiration, imagination, and creativity, you’re ready to design your own eye-catching tea sandwich platter for your next get together. Enjoy!

    I love the Wite Tip Formosa Oolong tea. The brew has a distinct flavor and aroma making it so very special. I prefer to brew it a little longer, as it brings out the inherent taste flavor and aroma of the tea. It is kind of strong in flavor, but taste awesome when blended with honey. The taste of honey with the tea gives it a taste that is almost addictive.

    Primatea’s sencha tea has got a real taste treat for me. I never had the greenest tea in my life before I can across this one. This tea has a delicate taste like the early sweet peas or young asparagus. I treat myself with this tea very often and it is one of my favorites in my collection now. This is a tea which will definitely rejuvenate you, however utmost care must be taken while brewing this tea or else it tends to become bitter. You do it in the right way and you will have a very aromatic tea

    Primatea’s sencha tea has got a real taste treat for me. I never had the greenest tea in my life before I can across this one. This tea has a delicate taste like the early sweet peas or young asparagus. I treat myself with this tea very often and it is one of my favorites in my collection now. This is a tea which will definitely rejuvenate you, however utmost care must be taken while brewing this tea or else it tends to become bitter. You do it in the right way and you will have a very aromatic tea with a pleasant taste.

    I am purchasing this tea every 3-4 month and every time get the greate quality green sencha and very good service. Thank you Prima Tea? thank you Nina

    I would say it is a great rejuvenating elixir with a great taste. It has given me a significantly improved digestion. I take it at least once a day to detoxify my body and I feel fresh and active throughout the day. I came to know that it also helps to keep cholesterol under control, and its special fermentation gives it a rich flavor. I would say it is a wonderful health drink with an exotic taste.

    I love this spicy fruity tea. My family loved it last Holidays season and ask me to purchase it again this year. We just received it couple of days ago and now I am packing it as Holidays gifts for my kids and family. Love it, love it, love it! Refreshing, spicy, tasty and fun fruit tisane! Happy Holidays Prima Tea, my family loves you!

    Chinese Tea Story

    The extensive history, contained in a single cup of loose leaf tea, is an exciting story that belies the gentle and relaxing nature of this mild beverage. Millions of people around the planet begin and end their day with a fresh cup of hot green tea or black tea.

    Tea’s origin began in China, the birthplace of the first cultivated tea gardens along Yunnan’s southern border. Awareness of tea spread first from Yunnan, throughout China, then to the rest of Asia, and finally to the West.

    By the time of the Shang Dynasty (1766-1050 BC), green tea was being consumed in Yunnan Province for its medical properties. For any given ailment, tea leaves were boiled with a host of other forest plants, seeds, barks, and leaves to concoct healing herbal remedies.

    As the popularity of Buddhism, Confucianism, and Daoism spread throughout China, so did an awareness of life-enhancing tea. Each of these religious embraced loose leaf teas for its healthful virtues and powers of rejuvenation

    The Tang dynasty (618-907 AD) brought a sophistication to tea drinking. This was a time of high art and culture. Tea drinking became an attractive, relaxing pursuit, and it was the Tang who first enjoyed formal tea gatherings that were designed to find delight in this delight beverage. Tea was consumed differently by various members of the social classes during that time. Many tea drinkers favored adding onion, ginger, orange peel, cloves, and peppermint to their tea. Mixing salt into the tea became popular choice in the western provinces. Ladies of the court sipped tea that was mixed with the delicate extracts of fruits and flowers.

    During Ming dynasty (1369-1644) the secrets of oxidation ( the process by which fresh tea leaf is turn into black tea) were discovered. They recognized the importance of the discovery and the potential value that oxidation had for improving the condition of tea that would be traveling long distances over land or sea. Now, brick tea exported to the border regions of Tibet and Mongolia could be send as black tea, which would allow the tea to arrive at its final destination in better shape. Over time the Chinese refined and perfected the production of black tea, and for many years these teas were produced in the Wuyi mountains of northern Fujian Province.

    The first porcelain teapots also appeared in China under Ming rule. Tea was still costly, so these teapots were intentionally made small. This allowed the loose tea leaves in the teapot to be reinforced several times by successively adding more water, a method of tea brewing still followed in China for green and oolong tea. Small Zisha clay teapots also become the favorites of the tea literati (see “Artistic Yixing Teapots). Many styles of teaware were created, which was subject to change with every successive emperor, who had his own idea of fashion, glaze color, style, and whether to use incised or applied designs.

    Loose leaf tea was then and now regarded as a healthful tonic that would impart peace, harmony, and happiness. Spiritually, tea was believed to be an “elixir of immortality”, an embroidered ideal that suggested its uplifting nature.

    The ancient science of Ayurveda believes in three different doshas or dynamic energies – Vata, Pitta, and Kapha – as sustaining the human body. The entire system of Ayurveda medicine is based on the theory that all diseases emanate from lack of synthesis of these three doshas. In other words, any imbalance in the doshas is what provokes the disease in the human system. Ayurveda aims at restoring any imbalance through the regulation of the doshas.

    Correct Tea Brewing Temperature

    How to arrange a tea tasting party

    Tea Facts

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    PrimaTea – The Wholesale Tea Shop

    We offer the highest quality gourmet artisan tea at the wholesale pricing. Great choice for small tea businesses or the real tea lovers. No Minimum order. Our tea packaged in 2LB packs.
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    Tea Brewing Time and Temperature

    How to arrange a tea tasting party

    DE-STRESS, DETOX & CALM YOUR MIND

    DE-STRESS and DETOX after Global lockdown, after any stressful situations in your life and go to Wellness Retreats in USA

    Dear reader: If you haven’t been captivated by the decadent, elegant, and pastel-hued world of Regency-era London through the Netflix hit series Bridgerton, get yourself to your couch stat and get ready to be captivated by the dramatic plotlines, lush decor, incredible hair and costume designs, and steamy romances.

    One tradition that pervades the whole series is afternoon tea in the signature pale blue drawing room of the show’s namesake family, the Bridgertons. While you desperately await the arrival of season two, transport yourself back to a time when coming out as a debutante was as competitive as getting into an Ivy League college (and when ladies’ gossip was good as fact) with a proper high tea that even Lady Whistledown wouldn’t find fault with.

    A Brief History of High Tea

    The trend of having tea and nibbles started in England in the 1700s as a way for the working citizen to have a late-afternoon snack. It was known as “high tea” likely because it was served at high tables. Pretty soon thereafter, the custom caught on and expanded to the higher classes as a lighter meal served around 3 to 4 p.m. It was intended to hold people over between lunch and dinner, which was often served quite late after the theater or other leisurely pastimes. (And no one likes a hangry duchess or duke.) For families like the (fictional) Bridgertons, afternoon tea was typically taken in the drawing room while sitting in low, comfortable chairs. This meal, also sometimes known as afternoon tea to differentiate it from the lower-class iteration, has since become one of Britain’s most loved and renowned traditions.

    The Basics of Hosting High Tea

    Interested in hosting your own Bridgerton-inspired afternoon tea? Typical tea snacks include scones with butter or clotted cream and marmalade, finger sandwiches—also known as English tea sandwiches, go figure—and a selection of small pastries and cookies (in addition to the tea itself).

    Perhaps just as important as the menu is the mood you set for your afternoon tea. Picture the swoon-worthy blue drawing room of the Bridgerton house—the vibe you’re going for is vintage, not musty; elegant, not stuffy; dainty, not fragile. Consider your table settings and decor. This is where you really have the chance to go the extra mile and transport your humble afternoon snack into a high tea worthy of even the Queen herself. Start by checking out our selection of Regency-inspired decor that won’t feel out of place in a modern home. Think about adorning your tea room with wisteria vines and fresh flowers. Looking for some smaller touches? Check out our options below to get your tea table suited for the very best English drawing room. And don’t be afraid to be bold—Regency-era interiors were opulent and decadent. Now would be a great time to pull out that gold candelabra or your grandmother’s lace tablecloth and your best silverware.

    Finally, your guest list. Typically, tea was known as a social event for ladies, while the men were off doing other things. However, modern times call for a revamped inclusionary look at high tea—so gather the most sophisticated members of your pod (or round up your excited kids) and get ready to set the table for a refined snack time.

    Hosting a Tea Tasting Party!

    Welcome neighbors, friends, or special group to a party. Here’s a new party idea host a tea tasting party!

    First what is a tea tasting anyway?

    A tea tasting or tea cupping began with professionals that would “judge” teas and report on them to their industry. While the professional tea tasters uphold an exact industry standard in their practice, and their tastings involve pieces of professional equipment to complete their task at hand, you can substitute your home equipment and have a wonderful experience.

    Your private party experience may bring tea into a new realm for you and your guests. It can help reduce the stress of your guests as you experience tea by using your senses to participate in the tea tasting party. Slowly and methodically, you will gain a new perspective on tea.

    How do I proceed with a “cupping” party? Gather your favorite teas or the teas your group has voted on , then line them up on white saucers, grouping them into alike categories, and then start comparing! That is all that is to it! Here are a few ideas to get your party started:

    Pick the room in which you will do your tasting. One idea is to use your kitchen table. Insert all the available leaves to make the table be at its largest. Remove the chairs so that all can walk completely around the table. Then you can make your table look “professional” by covering it with a white tablecloth, or white non-fitted sheet. Your table will look clean and pristine.

    The professional tea cupping has industry standards that must be meant with each tasting in order for it to be a valid tasting. Their tastings are done in tasting cups that are between 1” and 2” cups w/lids and are usually made of white porcelain, each loose tea that is used is exactly 2 ј grams –per 6 oz. tea cup. You can recreate the standards by using things that are found around your home, or can be bought relatively cheaply.

    For your party there are some things that are key to have for each tasting, they are: the amt. of tea, the water temp. and brewing/steeping time (depending on the type of tea). For each tasting these elements must be the same throughout.

    Depending on how many types of teas you may want to taste you will have to have at least six tasting cups(can use disposable hot cups), a simple digital timer, a thermometer, a tea scoop for loose tea, and a digital type scale to accurately read the amount of tea measured out. And one should purchase a journal to write notes of each tasting.

    Group your measured teas in alike types, such as black teas, green teas, or white teas for example. Try to compare at least 2 types of varieties at you tasting party. Invite your guests to bring along their particular favorites and do “blind testing” for fun.
    Now after your first teas have been measured, now brewed/steeped (for the appropriate times), temperature is measured, invite your guest to start “cupping”. When professionals do their tasting they will slurp up the tea, and roll it around their mouth letting it fall on their gums.

    Focus on the color of your tea, focus on the tannin or bitterness, focus on the smell or aroma of your tea, focus on the leaf type itself. Does the tea taste like citrus, does your tea have body, is it flat? Does your tea taste a bit grassy? Does it have a smoky flavor?
    Now write down these reactions down in the tasting journal. Have fun with this!

    When your tasting is done, hold a tea! Serve your guests small delicious sweet treats and cakes. Serve the tea that “did” the best or was the over all favorite. Rotate the next tea tasting party to another member’s home. Explore tea while using your senses! Hosting your own tea tasting is a fun and new way to have some great times with colleagues, friends, and extended family.

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    How to arrange a tea tasting party

    Churches often host tea parties for the women in the church and community. Sometimes the tea party is for a special occasion, other times it is simply hosted as a time to gather together the women for fellowship and fun for no reason at all. If you are in charge of hosting a tea party, it is important to plan out the event carefully. Tea parties are generally semi-elegant events and are an ideal time to make the women of the church feel pampered for a few hours.

    Set up a committee. Ask people to volunteer to help you plan this event. If the church is really small and only a few women will attend, you can avoid this step; however, if you expect a lot of women to attend, you should not plan it alone.

    Determine the generalities. With your committee, choose a date, time and theme. If it is a spring tea party, choose a spring theme, such as flowers or new life. Decide how will you advertise and invite women, including response methods, such as a sign-up sheet, or ask women to send an email or fill out a response card. Another aspect to plan is whether the tea party is offered free to guests or if you will sell tickets to cover the expenses.

    Choose the menu. Tea parties of course always have tea, so this is a given. Delegate someone to purchase various kinds of teas to offer the women. For the menu, some tea parties serve a light snack, such as homemade scones or muffins; whereas others serve a full lunch. One idea for a menu is serving chicken salad sandwiches on croissants with fresh fruit. You could also offer an alternative, such as tuna salad sandwiches.

    Determine how you will serve the meal or snack. There are several common options for serving food. If you are offering a light snack, such as muffins and scones, place them in baskets and put a basket on each table. For a luncheon, have kitchen workers make individual plates to serve the guests or set it up buffet style.

    Plan the agenda. One nice addition to a tea party is hiring a guest speaker. If you decide to do this, give the speaker the theme of the event and ask her to discuss this. For example, if the theme is new life, or spring, ask the speaker to relate her message around this subject. Plan any additional activities that will take place at the tea party, such as singing or playing a game.

    Purchase decorations and supplies. This includes table covers, centerpieces, tea sets, food and a small gift for each lady. Make sure the centerpieces compliment the theme of the party.

    The 2022 NW Tea Festival will be open:
    10 AM – 6 PM Saturday, September 24th
    10 AM – 4 PM Sunday, September 25th

    Entry is open to the public, with an admission fee of $15 per person.
    Admission allows entry to both days – Saturday & Sunday.
    Children under twelve are admitted free.

    A porcelain tasting cup and shopping bag will be provided as part the admission fee (as long as supplies last). The tasting cup allows sampling of tea at the program sessions and at the exhibiting vendor booths.

    There is no additional cost for entry to the exhibiting vendor area. Most stage presentations, Tea Bar activities and many workshop sessions are free.

    Some workshops do have additional fees. Refer to the schedule below for details.

    The Northwest Tea Festival Tea Bar – Returns again this year and has been enlarged in scope to become the Tea Lounge

    Tea Lounge – it is free and can be found in the east side of the Exhibition Hall. It will be open throughout the afternoon and will be serving dozens of different kinds of tea in a variety of quick and fun themes. Similar teas will be compared. Unusual teas will be explored. Rare teas will be savored.
    Here is an opportunity for a couple of quick cups of tea with an educational bonus!

    The Tea Bar:
    The Tea Bar is a space for experiencing short three to five minute intensive tastings. These will typically be a comparison of two similar teas, a contrasting of related but dissimilar teas, or a focused showcasing of one very special tea. The tea bar is kid-friendly and children participating at the tea bar may walk away with something extra!

    The Tea Tutorial Table:
    The Tea Tutorial Table is a space for a slower-paced educational exploration of teas lasting fifteen to twenty minutes. Participants will be guided through a tea or series of teas in depth.

    The Tea Guest Table:
    The Tea Guest Table is a space for knowledgeable members of the tea community to share their love of and experience with aspects of tea. This may include in-depth tastings, demonstrations of teaware and techniques, or even fun exhibition contests or blind tasting events. Session length may vary considerably depending on the type of presentation the guest is offering.

    Be sure to visit it, we are sure you will be glad you did.

    Essential Planning Tips for Cocktail Party Drinks, Food, and More

    How to arrange a tea tasting party

    How to arrange a tea tasting party

    The Spruce Eats / Bailey Mariner

    The cocktail party has been a popular social gathering since the early 1900s. They’re great for entertaining friends or business associates, and a guest list of around 10 people creates an intimate affair that is manageable for the host. On a larger scale, cocktail parties are also excellent for open houses and receptions, both business and personal.

    The average cocktail party lasts two to three hours, during which guests snack on a simple spread of food and imbibe on great cocktails while chatting with other guests. It’s a fairly easy event to plan because there are so many options available.

    Cocktail Party Planning

    A cocktail party can be as simple or complex as you wish to make it. Ask yourself a few questions to begin planning your party:

    • How many people will you invite?
    • Is this a casual event for friends or a formal business networking event?
    • How much time and effort do you want to put into it?
    • How much money do you want to spend?
    • Will there be a full bar or a limited cocktail menu?
    • Will the party be inside or outdoors? Do you have a plan for inclement weather?
    • What type of food will you serve?

    For small cocktail parties, you may be able to take care of everything on your own. That becomes more difficult and stressful as the guest list grows. You want to socialize and have fun too, so you might need some help.

    Ask friends or family if they can assist with the food or bartend at the event. If that isn’t possible, hire out the work. Many catering companies provide bartending services, some professional bartenders independently offer their services for parties, and an aspiring bartender may appreciate the experience. Discuss the bartender’s rate in advance, and be sure to set up a tip jar.

    Party Cocktails and Other Drinks

    The drinks are the most important part of a cocktail party. Plan for two to three drinks per person, and have some wine, beer, and water on hand and ready to serve. Think about nonalcoholic drinks or mocktails for guests that don’t drink, too.

    Depending on how much effort you want to put into the cocktails, there are a few different approaches you can take:

    Full Bar: This option allows guests to choose their favorite drinks. It works best if you already have a well-stocked bar or are willing to buy the essential spirits and can mix up various drinks (or have a good bartending guide). It’s also a good approach for larger parties with a designated bartender.

    Drink Menu: This encourages people to step out of their comfort zone and discover new drinks. It also saves money because you need fewer ingredients. Select two or three drinks: include at least one popular classic cocktail, then choose something intriguing that’s slightly different.

    For bigger groups, make up a drink list with the ingredients. Set it on the bar for guests to peruse so you don’t have to explain the options to everyone.

    Pitcher Cocktails: This is the most hands-free option because the drinks are ready to go, and guests can help themselves. For variety, choose a couple of drinks to mix up in pitchers ahead of time and keep them chilled (hold any carbonated mixers until it’s time to serve). Set the pitchers on a table with glasses, garnishes, and an ice bucket, and you’re free to mingle.

    Cocktail Party Food

    It’s not intended to be dinner, so you don’t need to plan a full course meal for a cocktail party. Simple foods, such as hors d’oeuvres and finger foods, allow guests to nibble throughout the event as they feel the need.

    Some tried-and-true cocktail party foods such as crostini and crudités or cut veggies and crackers with a homemade dip like cauliflower hummus are perfect. Even something as simple as a platter of cheese, crackers, and cut fruit will be appreciated by guests. Try to add one showstopping bite that’s simple to make. Fig crostini, for instance, is quick to prep and puts a unique twist on a party favorite.

    8 Tips for a Great Party

    Planning your first cocktail party can be overwhelming, but it gets easier and more enjoyable with each event. Keep in mind that striving for absolute perfection only leads to stress, and this is supposed to be a fun occasion. Have a checklist of the things you need to do and acquire, mark them off as you go, and everything will work out great!

    An informal tea tasting can be a great way to share your tea knowledge—great or small—with friends or family. Here are a few easy scenarios that I often use when speaking at tea events across America. You can do the same!

    Meet the Tea Families

    Prepare white, green, oolong, and black teas for sampling. Start with the lighter teas and make your way toward the black. This gives you opportunity to share the fact that all teas come from the same plant; it’s the manufacturing process that determines which family they will join. It could be an a ha! moment for your audience.

    Three Great Tea Regions of India

    Prepare representative Darjeeling, Nilgiri, and Assam black teas. Be sure to have a map handy to show the geographical locations of these famous tea growing areas. A bit of information about the term “flush” is always helpful, so prepare a few notes about the harvesting seasons and how they influence the taste of teas.

    Classic Teas of China

    No country’s teas are more varied and complex than China but you can begin a Chinese tea discussion with several familiar examples that have become classics for western consumers. Those might include Silver Needle (white), Lung Ching (green), Ti Kwan Yin (oolong), and Keemun (black.) Again, a map of China is handy to illustrate the geography of these teas.

    Green Teas from Around the World

    A majority of the tea imported into America in the 19th century was green tea with 40% of it coming from Japan after our Civil War. Now every major tea producing country exports green teas in order to meet rising demand.

    An exemplary sampling might include gunpowder from China, sencha from Japan, American green tea from the Charleston Tea Garden, and a green tea from either Sri Lanka or Kenya.

    These are just a few examples of the selections you can put together. Don’t make the sessions too long or too complex. Make the tasting informative and delicious so that your guests will be motivated to infuse more tea into their lifestyle!

    Prepare your notes with information found in The New Tea Companion.

    1. Pick two to four teas, but make sure you try them first to avoid any surprises. Try to pick a theme, too. Delicious teas are fine, but a series of teas based on the type or the region they come from will enhance the experience.

    2. Properly steep the tea. It’s about much more than just dropping a bag in boiling water. Each tea should be prepared with a specifi c temperature and steeped for a certain amount of time. White and green teas should be steeped in water that is 175 degrees Fahrenheit. White tea should be steeped for four to fi ve minutes and green tea for only a minute. Black tea should be steeped for 2 to 3 minutes at 195 to 205 degrees Fahrenheit. Don’t steep for longer to increase the flavor, that makes the tea bitter. For a stronger flavor, just add more tea.

    3. Buy the right food. White tea has a very light flavor and should go with mild foods like jasmine rice or shortbread cookies. Green tea is a bit stronger and goes well with seafood, salads and most Asian cuisine. Black tea is the heartiest and can be paired with meats and spicy food. Try some of the combinations beforehand to make sure they’ll pair well.

    4. Check your equipment and lay everything out. Make sure your teapot is clean. And make sure you can boil enough water quickly enough to keep the tea flowing. This might require purchasing an electric kettle or keeping multiple pots on the stove to boil lots of water.

    Personali-Tea
    There are lots of types of tea, and it can be pretty confusing. It helps to understand the basics.

    White: The least-processed of teas, white tea leaves are picked when they’re young. This tea is low in caffeine and has a very light color and flavor.

    Green: The most popular (because of how much of it is consumed in Asia). Green teas are picked, dried and heat-treated to stop the leaves from fermenting. They have more caffeine than white teas and a stronger taste.

    Black: The most popular tea in the West and also the most processed, being twice dried and fully fermented before being sold. Black teas have a strong taste and color and more caffeine than other teas.

    Herbal: Herbal tea is not actually tea, as it does not come from camellia sinensis. Many herbal teas are blends of fruits, spices, herbs and sometimes flowers that create a flavorful—and caffeine free— mélange.

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    Tea Party: The world’s most popular beverage is finding a new market on Long Island

    When you’re having a sit-down get-together, it’s fun to decorate the table with a beautiful centerpiece. And while there are many gorgeous ones for sale in floral boutiques, they can often be quite spendy.

    A homemade centerpiece is unique and special; think of it simply as a collection of things you arrange together, like a still life. It might be a collection of treasured items, or a display of things you can eat. Check out these five unique tea party centerpiece ideas you can create at home (and on a budget!).

    How to arrange a tea tasting party

    Glassware

    Glassware of all shapes and sizes makes a very versatile centerpiece. Use them with candles and they provide a beautiful soft glow of light across your table. Fill them with a bit of water and float flowers in them. Think outside the box about the many other things they could display for you.

    How to arrange a tea tasting party

    Treats to Eat

    For instance, why not fill some small glassware or candleholders with treats for your guests? You can use colorful slices of fruit or veggies, or bonbons to pass around and enjoy with your tea. I love the playful look of colorful jellybeans in these small glasses, and the elevated candleholders are perfect for displaying special, sweet finger foods.

    How to arrange a tea tasting party

    Guest Gifts

    I do love making an arrangement that can be given away to my guests, and small potted plants make this easy to do. Look for flowering plants to arrange in the middle of your table; succulents and orchids are also very popular and make great gifts. These mini roses were a steal at my local discount grocery store — only $3 each! The pretty flowers and bright greenery provide all that’s needed for a centerpiece, but you can also place other items around them as you wish.

    How to arrange a tea tasting party

    Uplifting

    Why not use your centerpiece as a mindful moment of affirmation? I have a box of Dream Cards that I hung across a yarn between two glass vases. This way each guest can pick one of their choosing and keep the card, too. Create your own feel-good quote cards easily with card stock, markers, stickers, or stamps. Use your imagination on how to display them, maybe hanging from a plant or branch, framed in tiny picture frames, or piled in glass jars.

    How to arrange a tea tasting party

    Tea Affair

    Of course, if you’re having a tea party, you might want your centerpiece to be tea themed! Use a combination of stacked teacups and saucers to create different levels of eye-catching sculptures. Place flowers in a teapot and surround it with other tea-related items.

    How to arrange a tea tasting party

    Get Creative!

    Now that your artsy juices are flowing, you can use these ideas as a jumping-off point to make your own personalized centerpieces by mixing and matching things from around your home. Use items with different heights to create visual interest and draw the eye through the display. Use candles to create a warm glow throughout your centerpiece. Personalize it with things you treasure, ones that have a story that you can share with your guests.

    No need to cough up a fortune on your next tea party centerpiece. I hope now you’ll feel inspired to create your own!

    December 1, 2014 by llqwyd Comments are off

    Keep It Simple! Do not try to simulate a posh English Afternoon Tea, with silver and all the trimmings. Most churches have the facilities and the cups and saucers, plates and spoons right on hand.

    Consider Your Budget.

    With the economy the way it is, many churches are suffering from low donations right now, so it may be necessary for each lady to bring one food item – half a dozen sandwiches, or some small cakes and perhaps a teapot.

    Make a list, to make sure there are no duplications. Tell them the essence of an afternoon tea is not to provide a full meal! Each person should have one or two small sandwiches, a couple of slices of cake and a few cups of tea. That’ is all that will be needed.

    How Many Are Coming? Make sure any interested lady signs up. You may have a system of emailing within your church, the church secretary may be happy to email members.

    If you are a small church, a simple list posted on the noticeboard will suffice. Always consider any diabetics or ladies with food allergies, have a check box on the list for Diabetic/Special Requirements? and some food items can be made accordingly.

    Make sure you note the day and time – and an ending time.

    Ask the ladies to wear their best hats!

    If your budget is small, have the ladies bring a baked item or make some sandwiches. Would You Have A Special Speaker Attend? She will be the guest of honor, of course, and not asked to bring anything! She will sit at the head of the table.

    It’s best not to make place cards, let the ladies seat themselves.

    What Will We Need For the Tables? First and most importantly, you will need table cloths, white or pastel preferably. If you do not have them, you can use clean white bedsheets safety pinned around the tables, leaving enough room for the ladies to slide their knees beneath! Buy some disposable table cloths and place mats if all else fails. Place mats will help absorb any accidental spills.

    Provide a large paper napkin to the left of each place setting, with a fork placed on top.

    Decorate the Tables. Flowers, flowers, flowers. Maybe the church has been decorated for Sunday Service. Perhaps you could use those, replacing them again for evening service if you have one. Just make sure everyone can see each other across the table.

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    If you don’t have any flowers, ask if there are any gardeners willing to cut a few from their gardens to bring. Perhaps you could add a card “Donated by…”, this is sure to open a line of conversation on gardening!

    Light Food – Sandwiches and Small Cakes is the Key! A proper English afternoon tea will have the crusts cut off the sandwiches and arranged in an attractive display on trays or platters. If you don’t cut the crusts off, don’t worry!

    The essence of this gathering is to bring your church ladies together for a relaxing hour or two, for conversation more than anything.

    Teapots & China. If you have a large machine for boiling water great! (called a tea urn – but you don’t put tea in it!) Get that going. You will need one medium sized teapot between 4 ladies. You may have to ask some ladies to bring a teapot or perhaps donate one to the church kitchen.

    If it is a large gathering, it’s probably easier to use good teabags, not loose tea. One bag per person per pot. If it’s too strong you can always add more hot water. If it is black tea, always make sure the water is boiling! It will not taste good if it isn’t made with boiling water.

    Make sure all the teapots are washed out (not in the dishwasher) before use. Have somewhere to dump used teabags.

    Then you will need a salad plate per person, a fork for eating cake, a cup and saucer and a teaspoon. Place a pitcher of milk on the table for those who take their tea with milk and some sugar and sugar substitute, and some sliced lemon.That’s pretty much it!

    Stray Men! You know there’s going to be some stray men around! Hovering around the sandwiches like bees!

    Tell them if they want to be fed, they must act as butlers, and if they do a good job, they can have a piece of cake!

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    Tea Party Ideas: Food Label Cards, Party Activities & Recipes

    Spice up the dinner table with free printable food label cards, yummy recipes, and pen and paper activities to match a Tea Theme party. Our theme matching party guide can help your event be a success.
    Tea Party Supplies . Party Games & Prizes

    • Theme Party Music
    • Party Movie Ideas
    • Tea Party Talk
    • Conversation Ideas
    • Tea Fun Facts
    • Educational Parties
    • Free Printable Invitations
    • Homemade Party Games
    • Handmade Party Supplies
    • Tea Homemade Costume
    • Tea Party Games
    • Free Coloring Pages
    • Tea Word Find
    • Printable Party Activities
    • Free Word Scramble
    • Tea Word Search
    • Homemade Games
    • Free Printable Food Signs
    • Printable Place Name Cards
    • Free Theme Coloring Pages
    • Tea Word Find
    • Free Printable Activities
    • Printable Word Scramble
    • Free Printable Word Search
    • Tea Craft Ideas
    • Handmade Themed Pinatas
    • Handmade Party Favors
    • Tea Pattern Stencil
    • Tea Cakes
    • Tea Cookies
    • Free Food Label Cards
    • Tea Menu
    • Tea Recipe
    • Free Place Name Cards

    Cinnamon Cookies are Yummy with Wine or Tea

    A nice thing to have around during the holidays is Tea & Cinnamon Cookies, but don’t expect them to stay around long, these two combination are great and people enjoy them tremendously, I always have these two things around, you just never know when you will have visitors and need to be prepared. Ingredients (stick to one set of measurements):

    8oz 2 cups self raising (self rising) flour
    1/2 tsp 1/2 tsp 1/2 tsp bicarbonate of (baking) soda
    1 tsp 1 tsp 1 tsp ground cinnamon
    100g 4oz 1 st / 8tbsp butter
    100g 4oz 2/3 cup soft (light) brown sugar
    1 tsp 1 tsp 1 tsp lemon juice
    1 tsp 1 tsp 1 tsp orange juice
    1 1 1 egg, separated
    2 tbsp 2 tbsp 2 tbsp caster (granulated) sugar

    Method:
    Sift the flour, soda and 1/2 teaspoon of the cinnamon into a bowl. Rub in the butter, then stir in the brown sugar. Add the juices, egg yolk and enough of the egg white to make a dough. Roll out the dough thinly and cut into 5cm/2″ rounds. Place on greased baking sheets. Brush with the rest of the egg white, lightly beaten. Mix the white sugar with the remaining cinnamon and sprinkle on top. Bake in a preheated moderately hot oven (190C/375F/GM5) for 15 to 20 mins.

    Free Tea Theme Recipe
    Free Tea Theme Menu
    Free Tea Food Label Cards
    Free Tea Name Cards
    Free Tea Party Game
    Keep the guests moving, laughing, and entertained with theseTea Party Ideas. Try creating a menu to match the party theme.

    Why not gather mothers and fathers for an afternoon of Tea and wine tasting? You can state in the invite a dress up theme to add to the atmosphere of the afternoon.

    For an afternoon tea at a Garden party make sure to have a variety of hot and cold teas and wines available for tasting. With the new iced tea makers it is easy and inexpensive to make flavored tea in minutes. Serve the salad course by offering a field green salad to all guests. Make sure to include all forks at the place settings so the children can learn which fork to use. Serve cucumber sandwiches and for dessert serve scones.

    Cucumber sandwiches are perfect for an afternoon tea. This easy recipe will make sandwiches that all will enjoy. Start with 2 medium size cucumbers, 1 tub whipped cream cheese spread, shaker of dill weed, 1-2 packets of dry Italian dressing mix 1 package rye or wheat bread. Slice the cucumbers into 1/4 inch slices or thinner. Set aside. In a small bowl, stir together cream cheese and dressing mix; combine well. Spread the mixture onto the individual slices bread. Next take a biscuit cutter or other circle cookie cutter to make the round shape. Don’t cake the slices with the mixture, just a thin layer concentrated in the middle of the slice. Next, lay one slice of cucumber (per slice of bread) in the middle of the bread. Once done, shake a small amount of the dill weed onto the cucumber slice. Remember that dill is strong and a little goes a long way. Just one or two taps of your finger on the shaker should do it per slice. By just adding even one simple food item to the menu will help create a complete Tea theme party feeling.

    Free printable Tea food label cards to match the party theme. Use at the buffet to label the dishes or place on the dinner table for assigned seating.

    Instantly Print Food Label Cards!

    STORY TELLING TEA CUP (or WINE GLASS) PARTY GAME: Ask each of your guests to bring their own teacup or wine glass that has a story behind it. It may be something a grandparent brought over with them from another country, a gift from a friend, or something they picked up at the thrift Give everyone personalized wine maracas as party favors. Lots more Tea party ideas here Theme Party Games. Also, check out the Garden Party Ideas.