Do you need an excuse to get together with some friends and family? Consider a fun, retro idea: throwing a tea party. A tea party creates an excellent event for socializing, putting fun recipes to work, entertaining, and of course, enjoying amazing tea.
One way to enchant the evening is to create a theme for your event. Will you try to recreate the atmosphere of a festive European back alley? What about a Victorian era British dining room? You can even explore more fictitious settings, such as an Alice in Wonderland theme! Themed events always get your guests excited to partake in what will feel like a miniature vacation.
The next thing you need to consider is what kind of tea you will be offering your guests. The first choice you will need to make is whether you will be offering a single tea, a tasting flight, or multiple teas throughout the event.
If you are going to choose a single tea, a black tea, such as Yunnan Dian Hong is an ideal crowd pleaser. It has a robust, malty flavor with a melted caramel texture, and it will taste like the elevated tea that most of your guests will be expecting. It pairs extraordinarily well with desserts, especially chocolate-based.
A tasting flight is a more complicated endeavor, and it is only recommended for smaller gatherings of 10 or less. The purpose of a tasting flight is to prepare multiple teas, pouring them in to their own cups at the same time so that guests can compare and contrast the flavors between each. It is the perfect way to learn about the similarities and differences between each of the teas. There are several different ways to host a tasting flight, and so you will need to consider your audience and your goals.
If you wish to generate some fun, educational discussion, providing your guests with a tasting wheel will really help them figure out what flavors they are tasting. One issue that might arise with a tasting flight is offering foods that can compromise what your guests are tasting. If your party is going to involve a tea tasting flight, we would recommend enjoying the food and desserts after the side-by-side tastings.
The third option is to offer several different teas at different times, pairing them with some kind of food or dessert, much like a prix fixe. To do this well, you will want to decide on which teas you would like to offer. We recommend offering one of each type, such as a white tea like Bai Mu Dan, a green tea like Dragon Well, and a black tea like Keemun Imperial. This will afford your guests a nice sampling of different kinds of teas, and if you pair them with the right foods, it will be sure to be a hit.
Throwing a tea party can be a great way to celebrate summer. Not only does it create a relaxing environment in which you can enjoy the company of friends or family, but it makes for a great excuse to share some wonderful tea with those you love.