How To Serve Tea

Tea has gained its own reputation as being elegant in some circles, and offered as a refreshing yet proper beverage in others.   There are varieties of different traditions when the clock strikes “tea time”, but all have one thing in common: if you wish to serve tea properly, it should be done in a ceremonial fashion.   

The serving of tea process is actually quite easy after you have properly prepared the ambiance you are looking for.  If tea is being served for a more elegant event, it may behoove you to pay attention to how an English tea is served.  In fact, the proper décor and settings are required to ensure your guests enjoy the tea service.  Beginning with an elegant tablecloth, ensure your napkins match and then dust off the quaint little saucers and cups.  Once you have created the proper atmosphere, it is time to prepare to serve your elegant brew.    

Of course, how you serve tea is of the utmost importance.  In a more elaborate setting, the tea should be served from a pot; many beautiful teapots with matching services are available.  Your teapot should always be kept warm ensuring your guests will have a much longer opportunity to savor your efforts, and always present it on an elegant serving tray.  Now that you are ready to pour, never serve tea in hurry.  Tea is meant to be poured slowly. Keep one hand on the lid; this will prevent spills.  Once your guests have been served, sit down and enjoy your splendid afternoon.    

There are many different ways to serve tea, but one of the more casual is serving tea Southern style.  This is certainly not to say that serving tea in the South is not as elegant as other tea serving traditions, it simply has a warmer feel to it.  Ironically, there is nothing warm about the tea; it is served much sweetened and always over ice.  Serving tea that is sweetened is truly called “sweet tea” and you will find it a staple in the South.  This style of tea serving also requires creating the ambiance.

Commonly, creating a bright environment for your guests which includes fresh flowers, with table settings to match the color scheme, is proper.  Once you have accomplished your beautiful presentation, it is appropriate to either serve the tea before or after your guests arrive.  You may serve tea in this style by pouring from a pretty pitcher, or over ice immediately after brewing.  To serve tea in this manner makes for a very sweet, Southern-style afternoon.   

It is not always necessary to serve tea in keeping with ceremony, but with so many different tea-serving traditions, it is certainly a fun way to impress your guests when you serve tea with style.


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