If you’re the type to enjoy your afternoon tea in style – why not organize a fun tea party? Planning a classy tea party can be a fun activity that lets your creative imagination run wild. It also gives you a chance to connect with friends that have a taste for the finer things in life. There are a few crucial elements for organizing a successful tea party. These are:
- The right choice of tea.
- Practical and stylish tea cups.
- Condiments and other menu essentials to complement your tea.
The Most Popular Type of Tea
When it comes to the afternoon tea ritual, you can include as many different types of tea as you prefer. However, the tea preferred by connoisseurs and tea lovers is black tea which makes it one of the most consumed hot drinks in the world. The use of both tea bags and loose tea is equally popular. It comes from the plant Camellia sinensis and manufacturers often combine it with other herbs to achieve different flavours.
The most common type is the Earl Grey black tea. It’s typically flavoured with oil of bergamot, but there are also various other flavour versions on the market. It contains less caffeine than coffee, but more than other teas, and it comes with a range of health benefits.
What are the Benefits of Drinking Black Tea?
You can choose black tea because:
- It has antioxidant properties: Consuming drinks rich in antioxidants helps to remove free radicals and decrease the damaging of cells in your body. Black tea contains antioxidants called polyphenols. Studies show that they help lower the risk of diabetes, obesity, elevated cholesterol as well as high blood sugar levels.
- It helps boost your heart health: Black tea also contains a type of antioxidants called flavonoids, which can benefit heart health.
- It helps improve your gut health: The bacterial present in your gut play a large role in your overall health. Some of these bacteria are beneficial for your health and some aren’t. The polyphenols in black tea help to promote the growth of health bacteria and prevent the growth of the bad bacteria.
- It can improve focus: Researchers find that the caffeine and L-theanine present in black tea improve alertness and focus.
- It’s a delicious drink: People mainly prefer Earl Grey for its unique taste. The unmatched citrusy aroma has been a favourite among tea drinkers all around the world. Apart from its staple flavour, there are a lot of modern variations of this tea that include flavours such as vanilla, peach, mint, chocolate and others.
Stylish Tea Cups
Just like every Sherlock needs a Watson, every tea needs a classy tea cup with saucer. The right choice of drinkware for your tea party will improve your drinking experience and the overall aesthetic of your set up. These cups come in many different shapes and styles, but they’re also made from different materials. The most common materials are:
- Porcelain and Bone China: These are among the most widely used materials in making tea cups and saucers. They’re non-porous and always topped with a glaze that prevents the cup from reacting with the hot tea, or getting stained by it. This eliminates any metal or other material tastes inside your tea. Porcelain and bone china come in a variety of gorgeous designs as well. They range from simple and minimalistic designs to detailed and elaborate works of art.
- Ceramic: Another widely used material that is popular both in terms of aesthetics and usage. The best thing about ceramic teaware is porosity and resistance to higher temperatures. Because of this material’s heat retention, ceramic teapots are also widely popular – they keep your tea hot for longer periods and you can easily handle them without burning yourself.
- Glass: Similar to the previous materials, glass is also known for its non-reactive qualities. The only drawback here is that it tends to lose heat quickly if it isn’t thick enough. For this reason, today we have practical double walled glass cups. The inner wall retains the heat, whereas the outer wall makes it convenient for you to hold the cup. Some people also prefer these cups for the way the tea looks through the layers of glass.
The one material connoisseurs never recommend for a tea cup with saucer is plastic. These cups can react with the hot liquid and release chemicals that are toxic for your health.
Menu Planning Tips
Apart from well-picked tea and good tea cups, you will need to put together a menu with a few essentials:
- Firstly, you will need milk and other condiments, such as sugar and lemon. While some prefer their tea without any additives, others like to soften the taste with milk or a teaspoon of sugar.
- Scones are popular and versatile tea companions. They can be plain, sweet or savoury, according to your preference. You can find plenty of scone recipes online to suit your tea party’s style. Make sure to pair them with the appropriate toppings and spreads that will add to the flavour.
- Finger sandwiches are another common food choice for a classic afternoon tea party. They’re simple, delicious and easy to prepare. The most common type is the cucumber tea sandwich.