Informal Afternoon Tea
The Informal Tea is usually attended by no more than ten guests.
It is held between two to five in the afternoon and can take place
in the living room or dining room. During warmer weather, you might
consider having your tea on the lawn or patio.
Teas to Serve
Traditional teas will compliment most foods that you choose to
serve your guests. For those Informal Tea who may be caffeine
sensitive, many traditional teas come in a decaffeinated form.
Bigelow Tea is a Specialty Tea company. We carry a delicious
assortment of traditional teas along with flavored teas. Flavored
teas are black teas with added flavors.
. Herbal teas do not contain tea. They are a combination of
herbs, spices, flowers or fruit and are 100% caffeine free.
Making the Perfect Cup of Tea
Run cold water from the tap for at least one minute to clear
stale water from the pipes and aerate the water. Do no re-use water
sitting in your kettle. Perfect Cup If you live in an area where
the water is heavily treated you can use bottled water. Be sure to
shake the bottle to aerate or oxygenate the water, or your tea
could have a flat taste. It's the oxygen in the water that opens up
the tea leaf for full flavor extraction. Bring your teacup or
teapot to the kettle while the water is boiling. If using a teapot,
pre-warm it by rinsing with hot water. A cold pot could take away
from the brewing process. When the water comes to a rolling boil
(do not overboil) pour it over the tea bag or tea leaves. Use one
tea bag or one-rounded teaspoon of loose tea per cup. If you like
stronger tea, add an extra bag for the pot. Make sure you do not
over-brew the tea. Follow the package directions, or you could get
a bitter taste. Green tea is more delicate. Bring
the water to the boiling point (185 degrees) and not to a rolling
boil. For iced-tea: prepare as hot tea, but use 50% more tea to
allow for melting ice. Let the tea cool, then add ice before
serving. Bigelow makes iced tea bags that contain a
special blend of tea for brewing.
The Table Setting
The table should be set with a cloth tablecloth (linen is nice
if you have one) and napkins. You can serve buffet style or guests
can be seated around the table. The food can be arranged Table
Setting around a centerpiece that can be a small vase of flowers, a
basket of seasonal fruit, or food that is placed on a three-tiered
cake stand and used as the centerpiece.
If you serve buffet style, the tea service should be at one end
of the table and the food arranged at the other end of the table.
The guests are served tea by the hostess and help themselves to the
food. Make sure you have a dish to deposit the used tea bags.
items you will need for your table are teapots (you might want
to use more than one if serving more than one flavor), teacups,
plates, teaspoons and cake forks, cloth table cloth and napkins, or
pretty paper napkins, a dish for used tea bags, strainer if serving
loose tea, pitcher of milk (do not serve cream as it could cause
the tea to curdle or alter the taste), small plate for lemon
slices, sugar or artificial sweetener, and a dish for the used tea
bags and loose tea. Follow the tea package directions. If your
guests are choosing their own tea bag, place several flavors or
types of tea into a basket or tea chest for their selection. You
will need to provide the hot water with an extra pot as backup.
- Fruits such as strawberries
- Small pastel frosted cakes
- Light deserts
See our online Recipes for more ideas!
- Chinese Oolong
- English Teatime
- French Vanilla
- Lemon Lift
- Green Tea
- Perfect Peach Herb Tea
- Mint Medley Herb Tea
- Orange & Spice Herb Tea
- Red Raspberry Herb Tea