Celebrate the season by hosting a delightful 'just for girls' morning or afternoon tea. It's a change-of-pace party filled with sumptuous, but easy, recipes loved by many and enough variations for you to gather another winter day for more tea and treats. Merry, merry!
Tea the Drink
A trip to a tea shop is an exciting prelude to hosting a tea. If there's not one where you live, go online or check your library to brush up on what teas—black teas, most often—to drink with your savories and sweets. You'll find the world of tea is a little like the world of wine. Who can offer just one kind?
- Teas served in the morning are rich and bright tasting; they wake you up and stand up to the addition of milk and sugar. Most often a blend of black teas, English breakfast tea is widely known, but give breakfast teas from Ireland, Scotland or Wales a try, too.
- Another popular blend of Chinese black tea is Earl Grey. Some call it the quintessential British tea for the afternoon!
- Lovely nuanced Darjeeling, a black tea from India, is another to consider. A specialty tea shop will offer Darjeeling teas picked at different altitudes and different times of the harvest season. See why it's known as the Champagne of teas!
- Chai tea, newer to the American tea scene, has long been a staple in India. It's made from black tea brewed with water, milk, sugar and spices such as cinnamon, cardamom, cloves and black peppercorns.
Tea the Occasion
- Americans take all kinds of liberties with tea times. Teas served at what is typical brunch or lunch times are heartier. In this regard they are more like British high tea or 'meat tea' because they are eaten at the dining—high—table and are a light meal.
- Afternoon teas—or low teas—take place mid- to late-afternoon. The name comes from the fact that these teas are more likely served from a coffee—low—table in the living room! Here are some other ways to offer afternoon tea:
- Cream Tea—tea and scones with preserves or marmalade and Devonshire or clotted cream
- Light Tea—tea with scones and sweets
- Full Tea—tea, savories, scones, more varieties of sweets
More Teatime Ideas
- Gift or Cookie Exchange Lunchtime Tea: Freshly Brewed Tea, Orange-Cream Cheese Biscuits, Slow Cooker Butternut Squash Soup, Double-Decker Apricot Turkey "Pic-wiches," and Chocolate-Dipped Confections
- 'All Hearts' Bake Together Cream Tea: Freshly Brewed Tea, I-Love-You Scones, and Shortbread Hearts to bake and decorate
- Let's Try Chai Full Tea: Vanilla Chai or Chai Tea, purchased ready-to-heat samosas with chutney, Chai-Spiced Tea Cakes, Chai-Spiced Almond Celebration Cookies and Apricot Bars with Cardamom-Butter Glaze
- Book Lovers' Full Tea: Freshly Brewed Tea, Tea Sandwiches, Strawberry-Cream Cheese Biscuits, and Ginger-Orange Pound Cake, in celebration of Jane Austen's birthday (December 16)!
Making Sensational Scones
Please Come to Tea