Thursday, February 18, 2010

Drink Your Tea in Style

By Kaitlin Koppenal

While discovering the dos and don’ts of tea drinking, I realized that I did not have all the proper things I needed for having a great cup of tea and/or tea party.
While I rummaged around my pantry I found that I only had a few of the essential things I needed of the perfect cup of tea. I really was ashamed to say that I really had about only half of the things that I needed. While on I came across many neat things that I think you need to have and serve the perfect cup of tea. Especially when hosting people for tea, you want to make it as proper and pleasant as possible. Along with the tea, the ambiance should be set so that the time you spend with your friends drinking tea will be as enjoyable as possible. Here are the dos for a great tea party!

The Table —Firstly, the table should be set with a nice linen table cloth and matching or coordinating napkins. Include tea cups and saucers along with a plate to discard used tea bags. Using fine silverware makes the experience feel classy and upscale. If you are serving any food, make sure you have the proper silverware and dishes that correspond with the food being served. Also, a nice flower arrangement or centerpiece would be nice to help create the perfect mood.

The Tea — If you are brewing loose leaf tea, make sure that you strain the tea before the tea is served. By using an infuser or strainer, you can avoid your guest finding leaves in their cup. The loose leaf tea allows the tea to move about the pot and will maximize flavor. Pour the brewed tea into the fancier tea pot and present it to the table. Make sure you rinse the tea pot and the cups under some warm water before you pour the tea into them. This will prevent the ceramic or porcelain from shattering. Some prepare their cup of tea with different items. It is a good thing to have lemon, sugar or honey, milk or cream available to suit your guest’s taste. NOTE: Brew and steep the tea before the guest arrives so you have less to do and more time to enjoy.

Properly Pouring
—By having the tea at a perfect temperature (around 180 degrees F for lighter teas and 212 degrees F for darker teas) it allows the flavors of the tea to really blossom and provide a full-bodied cup of tea. Make sure when you pour a cup of tea for your guest that you remember to hold onto the lid so the hot tea won't spill onto your guest’s lap. Try not to fill the cup up too close to the rim or they will be unable to add milk or sugar into their tea.
Some items I found on that I think would be great for a tea party or just to enjoy a nice cup of tea for one are: Note: hyperlinks take you to desired website.

Also, you can add some tasty treats or snacks for your guest have to munch on.