With spring almost here and warmer days upon us, it’s the perfect time to host an afternoon tea party. Spring is the season for tea parties! Follow these tips to help plan your own afternoon tea party.
*Decide on a budget and theme. Do you want a formal or informal party? Spring themes often focus on spring holidays like St. Patrick’s Day or Easter. Other common themes are: “Alice In Wonderland” or “big hats for a garden party.”
*Finalize a date, time and location. Afternoon tea parties are typically around 2 to 5 p.m. Will the party take place indoors or outdoors, in a garden?
*Make a guest list and send out invitations accordingly. Evites (evites.com) are an easy, eco-friendly and free way to invite 10 or more people. Facebook (facebook.com) invites are also a great way to get the word out. If you’re having a more intimate gathering, it might be nice to get crafty with a handmade invitation or a phone call would suffice.
*Create the food and tea menus. Make sure to buy or make a variety of sweet and savory treats to complement the teas. Food infused with tea is an excellent way to showcase the tea. Try some of our favorites made by Katie Kirby, our social media maven. Click on these links to past posts for recipes: Matcha Cupcakes, Tea Truffles and Earl Grey Chocolate Cake.
Tea party menus typically include a mix of pastries and sandwiches. Think bite-sized appetizers or finger food. You can find many recipes on Pinterest.com with or without an account.
Select teas that will pair well with your food options. Here are Art of Tea recommendations:
Black Teas: Earl Grey, Earl Grey Crème, Tali’s Masala Chai, English Breakfast, Starry Night
White Teas: White Coconut Crème, Silver Needle, White Acai, Amore
Green Teas: Jasmine Pearls, Green Pomegranate, Happy Tea, Sencha
Oolong Teas: Mandarin Silk, Iron Goddess of Mercy, Plum Oolong
Pu-erh Teas: Naked Pu-erh, Pu-erh Tuo Cha, Coconut Cacao Pu-erh
Herbal/Tisanes: French Lemon Ginger, Egyptian Chamomile
If you want to serve one tea at a time, we recommend tasting light to dark for a smooth transition for your palate. Take your guests on a tea journey starting with white; then green, followed by oolong and ending with black or pu-erh tea if adventurous. If you are new to pu-erh teas, refer to this two-part article on re-steeping pu-erh: Part 1 and Part 2. You should also have herbal blends available to accommodate guests who do not want caffeine.
Lastly, since tea is the star of the party, you may want to share more fusions or unique teas like blooming teas such as Halo or Beach Flower. If you want to go a step further, you can make tea cocktails or tea-tinis! Check out these recipes from past posts: Happy Hour with AOT’s Blooming Teas and Hibiscus Cooler cocktails.
Learn about recommended steeping times. We recommend 1 tsp per every 8 oz.
*Make sure you have the proper teaware and accessories-teapots, teacups, kettle and water heater. Get some teaware tips from the last post on: How To Choose The Right Teapot. If you don’t have enough mugs, you can ask your guests to bring their favorite teacup, which will also add to the party décor.
Hope these tips were helpful! Enjoy sharing cups of tea with great company. Cheers!
Melissa is the Business Development Manager at Art of Tea. Contact her directly with any feedback, ideas or questions via Google+.