sfiligoik said

Tea Party Help

Hi folks,

So I noticed my tea cupboard is a bit overrun, and I was thinking that maybe a tea party might be a good way to use up a lot of what’s in there.

I was thinking that I could invite a bunch of friends over for an afternoon and I would prepare a bunch of tea and have the loose tea prepackaged so they could take their favorites home.

Has anyone done this before? Any tips for a first time tea hostess?

Thanks a bunch!

11 Replies
Lynxiebrat said

Havn’t any ideas, but I do know this topic has come up before…..try doing a search on the site for tea parties.

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Nicole said

Sounds like a great idea!

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Serenity said

Oh my gosh what a great idea!

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darby select said

If you have enough teapots/warmers – you can make more than one tea at a time for them to compare. If they aren’t regular tea drinkers then you can educated them on white being a lighter tasting tea, etc.

Oh, and have a small snack that might go well with tea….mini scones or a small sandwich. I find tea tastes better with food.

If you want, you could package in little ziploc baggies and then give everyone some of the paper filters and explain how to use them.

Nicole said

Those are great ideas. Helps introduce people to loose leaf without asking them to have an infuser already.

Shortbread is usually a decent choice with most teas. Not a strong taste of its own to interfere with the tea, but gives a little something in the tummy. I find that hot beverages always go well with buttery cookies. :)

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Lynxiebrat said

MMM shortbread…..maybe a light lunch including a salad with tea as part of the dessert?

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i was just thinking of having a tea party for my birthday next month! great minds think alike :)

my mom was like…tea party? how? and i was..you know, like in alice in wonderland – “a very merry unbirthday to you…to me?” hahaha. it would be appropriate since we will be celebrating a few days early to accomodate everybody’s work schedules :D

Nicole said

I love unbirthdays! :)

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I have thrown a teaparty. (Emilie Autumn themed) and let me warn you- it is A LOT of work. Keep your group fairly small and designate a helper or two so you can keep a system. For every 5 people, assume you need to circulate at least 2 teapots at a time. Light finger sandwiches are quick easy and yummy, scones take a little bit of skill, but instant biscuits with clotted cream and jam work just fine.

Once we got a rythm set up, we were fine. The hard part was trying to get everything done AND socialize since this requires so much attention. You may want to get more than one kettle, and everytime one kettle is emptied, the next needs to be warming and make sure you make enough food either early in the morning or right before bed for you not to run out. Its a very rewarding experience and the boyfriend and I were dead on our feet afterwards. I’m never doing that again unless I hire help.

Our party had the following menu:
Meatballs
Tuna Sandwiches
Chicken salad sandwiches
Strawberry- Cucumber cream cheese sandwiches (I prefer them sans cream cheese)
Strawberry cream cheese sandwiches
Scones
Bloody Cranberry crumpets
English afternoon tea
Southern Iced Tea
Black tea grog

The most crucial aspect of any formal party is planning. The more you plan ahead and budget and test your recipes, the smoother your teaparty will run. I wish you good luck!

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Lynxiebrat said

MMmm that menu sounds delicious, Lady of Spaydes.

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Nicole said

I have done several over the last 3 years for groups of 6-18, hauling all my equipment back and forth to work, including an electric kettle to boil the water and all the teacups, etc. :) I definitely suggest making a list of what you need to do, in the order you’ll do it in. I even make a little sketch of what my table set up will be, with what foods on what trays, etc. so I can quickly refer to it when setting up.

Recipes that don’t have to be served warm are a good idea since you can make them in advance and not have to worry about cooking or baking anything on the day of the party. The only thing I do the day of unless I am doing a small party for friends at home is the scones. Those always seem to be best when baked the day of eating. :) Also, mixing store bought with homemade is another way to make it easier on yourself. Store bought shortbread, homemade scones, salad, fresh fruit, cheese… things like that make it simple and won’t fill people up either since you sound like you’ll be serving several teas.

Something else for a tasting party, small portions and have a slosh bucket on hand on the table. Sounds unglamorous, but it gives guests a place to dispose of teas they don’t care for without having to drink them down before tasting another.

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