4 Simple Steps to a Perfect Tea Party

Tea parties seem to be overwhelming to people.  How to make all the tea and the treats?  It needn’t be so complicated.  Sometimes it’s more a matter of how you do something than what you are doing.  So let’s get started!

Tea

If you want to make it super simple and you don’t care so much about the tea as the general atmosphere, then buy about 6 flavors of tea, in tea bags.  I would recommend a chamomile, a black or gray tea, a fruit tea, and a green tea and then a few options that strike your fancy.  I would recommend a brand like Tadin.

If you want “real” tea, then I would recommend you buy loose-leaf tea in about 6 flavors.  Again, I would recommend the same flavors as above.  For your variety options, loose-leaf can offer so many more options like chocolate!  I buy my loose-leaf tea at Chado’s in Pasadena.  If you are not from the L.A. area, then try one of these sites: http://www.letsdrinktea.com/buy-tea-online-shop-review/.

Sandwiches

When I host a tea, I make 3 sandwiches.  I copied these from a recipe book over 10 years ago so I wish I could credit the book but the photocopies do not have the book name, unfortunately.  But thank you book anyway.

Curried Egg Salad Tea Sandwiches

Ingredients

4 hard boiled eggs

1/2 cup mayo

1/2 tsp curry powder

1/2 tsp Dijon style mustard

4 slices of whole wheat sandwich bread

4 slices of white sandwich bread

4 tbsp unsalted butter, softened

springs of watercress or alfalfa sprouts

Salt and pepper

Instructions

  1. Peel and finely chop the hard boiled eggs.
  2. In a small bowl combine the eggs, mayo, curry powder and mustard.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  3. Spread the bread slices with butter.  Divide the egg salad among the white bread slices.  Spread evenly.  Press the whole wheat bread slices on top to form 4 sandwiches.
  4. Trim off the crusts.  Cut each sandwich into 3 fingers.  Garnish each sandwich with a small spring of watercress or sprouts.

The sprouts (which is what I use) and curry are what really make these sandwiches special.

Cucumber and Cream Cheese Sandwiches

This one is from memory so I don’t have specific amounts.  Sorry!

Ingredients

Loaf of white bread

Tub of whipped cream cheese

Cucumber

Instructions

  1. Spread generous amount of whipped cream cheese on to bread.  This is important.  Regular cream cheese is too solid and will tear your bread.  And too little cream cheese will have the same effect. 
  2. Cut crusts off bread.  Don’t do this first, it makes it harder to get the cream cheese on.
  3. Cut each sandwich into 4 triangles.
  4. Cut cucumber into thin slices.
  5. Place cucumber in slightly overlapping layers on the cream cheese.
  6. Place another piece of cut bread on top.

Rosemary Chicken Salad Tea Sandwiches

Ingredients

3 cups cooked boneless chicken, cut into small cubes

1/2 cup mayo

1/3 cup chopped green onion

1 tsp minced fresh rosemary

1/2 cup chopped smoked almonds (optional)

Salt and pepper

8 slices of whole wheat sandwich bread

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened

1 tsp whole grain Dijon style mustard

fresh parsley springs for garnish

Instructions

  1. In a bowl mix together, the chicken, mayo, green onion and rosemary.  Add the chopped nuts.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  2. In a separate, small bowl, combine the butter with the mustard.  Mix well. Spread the bread slices with the mix.
  3. Cover half of the bread slices with chicken salad.  Press the other slices of bread on top.
  4. Trim off the crusts.  Cut each sandwich into 4 triangles.  Decorate with parsley.

Scones

You can’t have a tea without scones.

Cinnamon-Chocolate Scones

Ingredients

3 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1/4 cup sugar

3 tbsp baking powder

1/4 tsp salt

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 1/2 cups semisweet chocolate chunks

1 stick of butter

1 1/4 cup milk

Extras:

Small jar honey

Honey dipper

Preserves

Jam spreader

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Mix the dry ingredients.
  3. Cut butter into pieces and add to the dry mix, continually mixing it in until the mix is coarse and sandy.  You should still be able to see small lumps of butter.
  4. Add milk until almost combined.
  5. Add chocolate and mix just enough to distribute evenly.  Do not overmix.  It is OK to have some flour not mixed in.
  6. Place the dough on to a lightly floured surface.  Knead the dough 10 times to bring it together and smooth it out.
  7. Using a lightly floured rolling pin, roll out the dough 1 inch thick.  Using a biscuit cutter (or cookie cutter, small bowl, etc., if you just don’t have one), cut out pieces.
  8. Using a spatula, transfer to an ungreased sheet pan.  Knead the scraps together just until combined and then start over until all dough is used.
  9. Bake until golden brown, about 15 minutes.

 Decorations

There is so much you can do to decorate.  These food items can be the decorations.  And if you put out nice china, that also is a decoration.  If you are looking for a party gift to go with this theme, I would suggest a tea bag or satchel of tea and a tiny jar of honey.  You don’t have to spend a bunch of money to make a tea party special.  As long as the tea and treats are displayed nicely, you should be good to go!

Invites/Thank You’s

Red Stamp sends out lovely, individualized Thank You’s.  If you take pics at your party, send a pic of each guest as a Thank You with the Red Stamp “Thank You” on top.  People love them.  They have invites as well.

If you have suggestions for a great tea party, leave them below!

 

 

 

 

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