Summer is the perfect time to head outdoors to enjoy the weather, good friends, and great tea. While the idea of a tea party may seem old fashioned, it’s actually part of the appeal — it’s a great traditional way to enjoy fantastic food, drinks, and company.
Also, certain tea varieties have been associated with benefits like reducing your risk of heart attack or stroke and helping in weight loss. Thus, if you’re looking for a healthier and more family-friendly option than heading to the bar for drinks, a tea party is the perfect solution!
Although it might seem easy to throw together a quick summer tea party, it does require some preparation to maintain that civilized air for which tea parties are famous.
Finger Foods are Fabulous!
One of the best parts about tea parties — other than the delicious tea — is that you get to nibble on tasty small appetizers or miniaturized entrees. There are tons of healthy finger food recipes and you could even encourage friends to bring their own finger foods to share.
Pick appetizers that aren’t too messy and can be picked up easily with two fingers. Also, provide small napkins and plates. This allows guests to choose whether they will walk around with their napkin or sit down with their plate of goodies.
Always, Always Provide Amazing Tea
The tea is vitally important in any tea party. Many summer-time guests enjoy cold tea, but you may want to have warm tea options as well. Here are some other things to consider:
- Provide a variety of flavors with varied sweetness to appeal to more guests
- Consider pointing out the health options of particular kinds of tea as a display
- Be sure to include the classics like sweet tea and black iced tea
- Make sure you label all your flavors
- Consider offering a refreshing twist of fresh mint available
Tea parties are a great way to experiment with new tea flavors and blends. You can also test out which foods pair best with which teas as well. Here are a few delightful recommendations:
- Black Teas: Earl Grey Crème, English Breakfast
- White Teas: White Coconut Crème, Blueberry Pomegranate
- Green Teas: Green Pomegranate, Happy Tea
- Oolong Teas: Mandarin Silk, Peach Oolong
- Pu-erh Teas: Naked Pu-erh, Coconut Cacao Pu-erh
- Herbal/Tisanes: French Lemon Ginger, Egyptian Chamomile
Pull Out the Fancy Cutlery
Part of the attraction of a tea party is that it’s just plain “fancy.” To make your tea party elegant, share some “fancy” dishes and utensils. If you don’t have dishes like this, it might be fun to head to your local thrift store to pick out unique dishes.
There is no need for them to match — that could be part of the fun! At the end, guests can take home their dishes if they would like so you do not have tons of mismatched dishes laying around.
Request Old-Fashioned Attire
Finally, to add an extra layer of tradition, you could encourage your guests to come dressed in their Sunday best. This adds to the elegant ambiance. You could also take it a step further and ask guests to come in costume — including old fashioned dresses. (Just consider whether this request might deter some friends and family from attending.)
Tea parties are a great, unique way to get friends and family together and you’ll have an absolutely fabulous summer tea party if you follow these quick suggestions. Go ahead and call all your loved ones together and enjoy a different kind of party on a beautiful day.