How to Make Tea

Photo by Woodsy at sxc.hu
Photo by Woodsy at sxc.hu
Photo by Woodsy at sxc.hu
Photo by Woodsy at sxc.hu

Afternoon tea is a pleasant method of entertaining friends. There are three general types of teas: the formal tea, the informal tea and high tea. The accompaniments for an informal tea are simple, a hot bread, thin bread and butter sandwiches and cookies.

The formal tea is more elaborate and served to a larger group. A beverage or two, dainty sandwiches, small cakes and cookies and dainty candies are the usual accompaniments. Formal and informal are the most popular. The musicale, tea dance or garden party are merely elaborations of the informal and formal tea.

HOW TO SERVE TEA

For a small, informal tea, no table is set. A tea cart is perfect. The tea service should be arranged to simplify the pouring, the teapot on the right hand, cream, sugar and lemon in front, and cups and saucers at the left. Small tea plates may be provided for the sandwiches and cakes, with a folded napkin on each plate. If lemon slices or sections are served, a lemon fork or pick should accompany the serving dish. If you like, stud the lemon slices with cloves.

For a more formal tea, and when serving a large group, the dining room table is used. Spread it with the finest linen and place the tea service at one end of the table and the coffee service at the other end. Both beverages are generally offered when large groups gather.

A centerpiece of cut flowers, dishes of dainty mints or candies make the center of the table look attractive. The sandwiches, small cakes and cookies are placed on the table symetrically. Stacks of small tea or salad plates, napkins and spoons, sometimes salad forks, are arranged at each end of the table. In the late afternoon, lighted candles are used, as they always add balance and beauty to a table. The most popular times for a large tea is 4-6 or 5-7. On a bright day, shades should be drawn.

A high tea is a company supper served in buffet style. This type of service is very popular on a late Sunday afternoon and evening from 5-8. For this type of tea, plan a more hearty menu if men are among the guests.

ATTRACTIVE SANDWICH PLATTER

Arrange 6 or 7 roses (or other flowers) depending on the size of the platter on half of a grapefruit or large orange with heavy toothpick or small skewers. Place fresh or artificial leaves between flowers. Place a large doily on the platter and arrange a bouquet of flowers in the center on a smaller plate. Place groups of black and green olives and tiny sweet pickles around the flowers, and on the outside, place finger sandwiches with assorted fillings, using white and dark bread.

When preparing these sandwiches, remove all crusts from sliced bread. Butter all insides of bread well with creamed butter. Fill three slices of each kind and press down a little. Cover with wax paper and a very damp towel and keep in the refrigerator for several hours or longer before serving. With a sharp knife, cut into three or four sections. Arrange alternately around bouquet.

Other considerations to serve could be spiced cake squares, banana bread, date and nut loaf, zucchini bread squares, or one of your own favorites.

RUSSIAN TEA

24 cups of boiling water

4 sticks cinnamon

1 tsp heads from whole cloves, discard stems

The essence is in the heads

Juice of 6 oranges

Juice of 3 lemons

2 cups granulated sugar

DIRECTIONS

Steep 5 heaping tsps of tea, preferably Orange Pekoe, in 2 cups of boiling water for 5 minutes. Do NOT use aluminum or metal utensil as it will cloud the tea.

Add cinnamon and cloves to 24 cups boiling water and boil for 5 minutes, then, add orange juice and lemon juice, also sugar and strained tea. Bring mixture to boiling point. Serve with flask of rum or with preserved ginger, if desired.

Ricky Nelson

Comments 27 comments

Sally's Trove profile image

Sally's Trove 8 years ago from Southeastern Pennsylvania

OK, I want the cat. Any cat who checks out the tea cups is purr-fect by me! Must have been some milk in there, betcha.

This Hub is delightful, with its setting and food suggestions for the different kinds of teas. There's something very old fashioned about it...I like the stylistic approach you took. I feel very prim and proper.

About the Russian tea recipe...that's a 3-gallon pot you're talking about. Are you planning a big party I don't know anything about? :)

Thumbs up!


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago Author

LOL hi Sally,

The cat is charming! I especially loved the music choice for this video.

A large party in the works? well, no, but that's a thought. Seems to me something big should be taking place in October, dontcha think?

I'll supply the ingredients, you can go in search of the flask of rum :)

I happened upon a lovely tea set w/tray, and it got me to thinking,,who entertains like this anymore? Maybe we should consider having a once-a-month tea party. We could even bring our cherished favorite dolls LOL

Thanks for stopping by and your lovely comments


Die'Dre' profile image

Die'Dre' 8 years ago from The Great Pacific Northwest

Wonderful tips for tea parties. I love just sitting down to a cup of tea with friends in the garden. Thanks for the instructions on steeping Russian tea. Loved the cat.


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago Author

Hi Die'Dre'

I don't have a garden, but every day I drive through a park on my way to work, and quite often I'll take my lunch there by the lake. The woods, water, blue skies, breezes and wonderful peace and quiet is my favorite place to escape. I imagine myself living there, and all the splendor around me is mine.

Sometimes I'll go there on my way home, sit with a friend and enjoy a coffee or tea. These things clear my mind and allows me to carry on another day.

I thought the cat was adorable too. You're very welcome for the recipe, and thanks for stopping by :)

Trish


dayzeebee profile image

dayzeebee 8 years ago from Cebu, Philippines

thank you trish for educating me in this area. tea time never looked as pleasing and delightful as you have presented them here. i am inclined to try out the things you've written about and experience them first hand. my gratitude:)


New Day profile image

New Day 8 years ago from Western United States

Obviously, I love cats! But this hub is terrific, nonetheless. Tea time is such a lovely way to spend the afternoon. I so appreciate this wonderful hub. Thumbs up from me. New Day


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago Author

Hi dayzeebee,

I realized when I was writing this that it spoke, to me anyway, of days gone by. I picture this happening moreso outdoors rather than inside. Perhaps in an old-fashioned garden, not those modern sculpted sterile looking ones, or, by a lake with its water glistening.

It might be fun, should you try this out, to take it a step further. Invite some girlfriends and ask them to dress in airy, summer dresses, short or long and big summer hats. You could use a beautiful collection of matching cups and saucers, all different from each other.

I'll be curious to know, should you try this, how it turned out :)

thanks for your comments,

Trish


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago Author

Hi new day,

Welcome, cat lover :)

I'm glad you enjoyed the hub. And, I agree, this would be a really nice way to entertain. It certainly would be different for me, a coffee addict lol. Every now and then I get tired of coffee, and will drink tea. It conjures up for me images of my grandmother serving tea to her company.

thanks for commenting,

Trish


summer10 profile image

summer10 8 years ago from my happy place :)

I loved this! Wouldn't it be beautiful to bring back traditions of yesteryear? Pouring your heart out over a cup of tea, surrounded by friends? It would be such a refreshing change. I love mint in my tea, yum, just the aroma alone is mood alterning. :)


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago Author

Hi Summer,

Yes, I agree. And wouldn't it be nice if we had butlers to serve us? :)

A lot of lovely traditions have gone by the wayside, it's rather sad. I've not tried mint tea, I'll have to give that one a taste. Do you grow your own mint? In my old house, it grew pretty wild, but I never thought to use it :(

Thanks for stopping by,

Trish


Rochelle Frank profile image

Rochelle Frank 8 years ago from California Gold Country

Nice, Trish.

I have to send this link to my DIL-- my granddaughter loves tea parties.


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago Author

Thanks Rochelle,

Littlel girls love it usually, although my granddaughter hasn't done it since she was about 4 or so. She turns 7 tomorrow.

Thanks for stopping by and passing this along, I appreciate it,

Trish


solarcaptain profile image

solarcaptain 8 years ago from california

Love you cat, I have been a fan of jasmine tea, orange tea, and sleepy time tea

when I saw the calming effect it has on those who drink it. Also cats and tea do go together, my back tabby otella just loves to watch me drink tea and likes a nip in her saucer. I have enjoyed high tea at the Empress Hotel in British Columbia and also chinese tea rooms in San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

Thanks, great picture. My camera gave up so I'm trying to figure out how this GE works.


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago Author

hi SolarCaptain

I really don't drink a lot of tea, but I still like it. One tea I love is Chai tea, comes in powder form, and all you do is add hot water. My favorite is the spice and green flavors. It also comes in vanilla, chocolate, raspberry. If I were to pick a traditional tea I do like sleepy time.

How exciting that you had high teas in those places. I was in San Francisco many years ago but at the time I was not into tea much. I can only imagine how nice that was.

The cat here is my rescue from New York, she was a mere kitten then. She is now about 4 yrs old, and is very FAT :) I named her krissy. She's VERY affectionate, but refuses to sit on your lap. Have no idea why, so we try to get her used to it in the few moments she allows herself to be on your lap. We figure if we do it often enough she may come to like it. My oldest cat, Sasha, is nothing but a lap cat. I lovingly refer to her as 'velcro kitty'.

Thanks for your comments and stopping by,

Trish


marisuewrites profile image

marisuewrites 8 years ago from USA

Oh trish, what a lovely hub - I love teas...all kinds, green, chamomile..and my cat loves them too I just laughed and laughed -- The Russian Tea sounds great!! I want to come to tea at your house!! the British have such a comforting custom for their afternoon tea... great hub, trish!!


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago Author

Hi Marisue,,thanks!

Gee, my cats love nothing but cat food! I even tried cat milk and they turned their noses up at it. They also do not eat people food whatsoever, even though I offered them fish or chicken. Very rarely they might lick the empty tuna can but that's about it. Guess these cats are not uppity lol,,,,maybe if I offered them a beer??

I think the next time we have a cold, rainy day I just might have a tea party. You're more than welcome :)

thanks for stopping by,

Trish


desert blondie profile image

desert blondie 8 years ago from Palm trees, swimming pools, lots of sand, lots of sunscreen

The Russian Tea sounds wonderful...I love "high teas" such a chance to break away from normal hectic routine and enjoy the conversation of good friends.


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago Author

Hi desert blondie,

It really is a nice break from an everyday boring routine. Yummy tea, a chance to relax with those dear to you, always a recipe for taking good care of ones self.

It's too bad the American culture doesn't take a hint from other countries by taking daily fiestas, a good way to rejuvenate your body and mind.

Thanks for commenting,

Trish


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago Author

Oops! I meant siestas lol


StayingAlive profile image

StayingAlive 8 years ago from Around the World

I love tea, and I've read your hubs and you seem very sensitve, which I am as well, though I have a fire inside brewing. Ha! We'll see if the blaze goes out or smolders. Men!


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 8 years ago Author

Hi StayingAlive,

I enjoy tea too, mostly when I'm feeling under the weather.  Normally I drink coffee.

Thanks so much for reading my hubs.  I basically write what I feel.  I am by nature caring, sensitive, and sentimental.  Maybe your fire is brewing, I believe mine is smoldering :)

Men indeed!

Thanks for stopping by,

Trish


countrywomen profile image

countrywomen 7 years ago from Washington, USA

I love tea. As they say in India "anytime is tea time" . Have you tried tea with milk? All my friends "mock" me for drinking with milk (Some how I just don't like the green tea's or any other tea without milk). I guess it's all the acquired taste over the years. LOL


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 7 years ago Author

Hi countrywomen,

Yes, I like tea with milk too. I can drink it with or without. I sometimes get the same reaction when I drink coffee. I have to have milk, and they tell me if I were a 'true' coffee lover, I should drink it black. My response is YUKKK! It's awful in my opinion. However, I did try several times, but I can't get past the natural taste of unadulterated coffee.

Thanks for stopping by and commenting, nice to meet you.


Neil74 profile image

Neil74 5 years ago

What is so different with Russian teas? I love tea than coffee.


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 5 years ago Author

Hi Neil,

Well, I'm not quite sure. Perhaps it's the serving it with rum? :)

I enjoy tea occasionally, but mostly I am a coffee addict. If and when I drink tea it's usually when I'm not feeling too well, or, on a rainy afternoon or evening.

Thanks for commenting.


RTalloni profile image

RTalloni 2 years ago from the short journey

Oh me. The cat in the video could have been our little sweetie's twin. We miss her a lot! Thanks for the Russian Tea recipe.


trish1048 profile image

trish1048 2 years ago Author

Hi RTalloni,

Glad you liked this recipe. Glad to share, enjoy!

Thanks for commenting :)

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