Exploring, sipping & delighting in all things tea.
Just put the kettle on. One lump or two?

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Guest Post by Betty Bee

As this blog is called The Isle Of Tea I thought I would share with you my love of throwing tea parties. Most women (and maybe a few men) will remember throwing doll's tea parties as children. Lining up teddy and tiny tears and pouring orange squash into plastic beakers. I don't think I ever really grew out of this phase and as Ive grown older my love of a good tea party has only increased.

To my mind there are a few simple rules to the perfect tea party. These are my rules obviously so feel free to ignore them but to raise your daily cuppa up from the routine to the regal it s worth the extra effort.

Rule #1-Make A Proper Space
Whether it's at the kitchen table, on the garden patio or even on a rug in your living room, clear all clutter away and create a beautiful clean space.

Time for Tea

Rule#2-Use A Table Cloth
Using a tablecloth helps lift this from the normal mug of tea and digestive experience to something with a little more cache. I really love old linen tablecloths and these are always for sale at car boot fairs and jumble sales. If you are really lucky you might find one which is hand embroidered. A great tip if you find a table cloth which is made of beautiful thick linen but is no longer a crisp white is to dye it a bright colour. I changed a chewing gum grey table cloth into petal pink in the time it took to put a wash on using a machine dye from Dylon

Tablecloths add a little extra

Rule#3-The Tea Must Be Made From Tea leaves And Made In A Pot
George Orwell famously said "There are 11 rules for perfect tea making, rules from which nobody should dare depart" Whilst I don't think I have 11 here are Betty Bee's rules for a perfect cuppa.

Perfect tea in my spotty Teapot

*Warm your teapot. Pour boiling water into your teapot and allow the pot to be warmed through. Then empty the pot. This means you wont be preparing tea in a cold pot which could lower the temperature of your tea while it brews.

*Use one heaped teaspoon of good quality tea leaves for up to four people. Tea leaves offer a more intense flavour than teabags and seem to have a stronger smell as well. Use boiling water and allow to stand for a few minutes before stirring. Keep pot warm with a tea cosy.

*Pour your milk into your teacup before you pour your tea, never after. There are various theories as to why this is best practice, some say its a throw back to the class system when putting milk in after pouring tea was considered a sign of being working class whilst other argue there is a scientific bias as in high temperatures, milk proteins begin to unfold and link together in clumps. All I know is that it tastes better when done this way around.

*Serve in china cups. Thin china seems to offer the best drinking experience whether its because the rims are more delicate so the sipping more enjoyable or just that it looks so pretty drinking out of china it really seems to add to the flavour.

Rule#4-Serve cake or baked goods
Whether its just a packet of jaffa cakes or a lovely home made confection nothing goes better with a cup of tea than a slice of cake. If you have a cake stand that's even better. You can follow my easy guide showing you how to make one for only a few pounds on my blog, Tales from Betty Bee Towers

Fairy Cakes compliment Tea perfectly

Fill a jug with some flowers out of the garden, invite your favourite people over and put the world to rights.

Two for tea

That's my idea of a perfect tea party. What's yours?

All content (text, photos and other) are the property of Betty Bee unless otherwise stated. Please refrain from copying any material without recognition of the author and a link to the source on this blog.

P.S. Excuse some of the alignment of the photo captions... blogger was not being our friend this evening!

Chin chin...


nikkijoy said...

That's put me straight in the mood for a tea party!! =) x

Lisa-Marie said...

THIS is exactly how to do a tea party. :)

The Beach Hut Cook said...

She's got it. I absolutely agree. I love a tea party and I encourage my teenage boys to join me whenever possible. I lure them with homemade cake. Teenage boys and food? Easy x

Anonymous said...

Hi Betty,

First of all, Congratulations about your Blog(Isle of tea)

I like tea, I love tea time, I enjoy making tarts for teatime.
Betty, I agree with your tea party idea,
I'm English beginner, so, in our teatime we practice English too
Best regards

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