Hot New Entertaining Trend:
High Tea at Home
Entertaining Expert Shares the Secrets to a Smashing Tea Party
While afternoon tea originated in England around the mid 1800’s, it didn’t become vogue in the states until the past year or two. Women are now throwing high tea parties to celebrate wedding showers, baby showers, birthdays, Mother’s Day, poetry reading events, fundraisers, a social event amongst friends and more.
Consider the following tips on how to throw a flawless, fun-filled High Tea Party with invitations, theme, décor, food, and of course - the perfect tea!
Guests & Invitations
The first call of action is to create a guest list and send out invitations. A lot of preparation is involved, so you may want to start by hosting a small gathering of about eight to ten guests. Choose invitations that reflect the theme of your party. For example, invitations with a pink or blue bow are perfect for a baby shower. On average, most tea parties begin anytime from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. and last approximately two to three hours.
Theme & Decor
Depending on your theme and the formality of party will determine whether you use fine China, or casual party-themed plates. Ideally, you’ll need one tea pot per guest, or at least one tea leaf strainer per guest. Tables will need a centerpiece, which can range from a beautiful bouquet of flowers, candles arrangement, or a fresh fruit display. Great music sets the mood for a great party! Again, music selection should relate to the theme of the party. Classical or light jazz works well as background music.
The most important part of any High Tea party is, of course, the tea! It is important to have a wide range of tea for your guests, and have at least six varieties to offer. Perfect Tea starts with a high quality product. At Sun-Rich International, we have a selection of eight premium Darjeeling teas to choose from: Lingia Whole Leaf Black Tea, Lingia Black Tea Autumn Leaf, Chamong Summer Tea, Pussimbing Whole Leaf Black Tea, Pussimbing Silver Marbles Black Tea, Nagri Farm Green Tea, Phoobsering White Tea, and Phoobsering Oolong Tea. To help guests choose their favorite, have a menu describing the flavor and origin of each tea.
Making The Perfect Cup
Start with fresh, cold water, as it’s fully oxygenated. If your tap water doesn’t taste good, use filtered or bottled. Measure tea into a preheated pot – one teaspoon per 6-8 oz. cup. If you prefer stronger tea, add an extra teaspoon to the pot. (To preheat the pot, pour a little of the boiling water from the kettle into the pot and then pour this water off into the drinking cups to warm them.)
For Black or Oolong tea, pour boiling water over tea immediately. However, if you’re making Green or White tea, allow the water to cool slightly for a minute or so. (Boiling water can burn these delicate teas and create a bitter flavor.)
Allow tea to steep. This is a bit tricky because the tea needs to steep long enough to release the full flavor, but over-steeping can make it bitter. Try tasting a spoonful every minute as it steeps to see if it’s reached the flavor you want – and if you like stronger tea, it’s better to add more leaves rather than steeping too long.
• Green Tea: 1-3 minutes
• Black Tea: 3-5 minutes
• Oolong Tea: 4-5 minutes
• White Tea: 5-6 minutes
Add milk in the bottom of the cup before pouring the boiling water. Cream or high-fat milk doesn’t deliver the best flavor results, so use low-fat milk. To sweeten, use white sugar as opposed to honey or brown sugar for the best results. Feel free to also add lemon if you wish!
Afternoon tea parties typically serve finger foods and sweets such as Cucumber Tea Sandwiches with Mint, Shrimp Toast, Capers and Salmon Sandwiches, Cinnamon Scones, Almond Popovers, Banbury Cakes, Butter Tarts, Clotted Cream, and Devonshire Cream. These recipes are typically easy to make and taste absolute delicious!
With these guidelines, you are on your way to hosting a smashing tea party. Enjoy the good times with your family and friends and bottoms up!
Article courtesy of Sun Rich Gourmet