In my last blog I promised to share ideas on how to incorporate tea into your holidays, and tips on how to do so. Following are a few broad suggestions on how to incorporate tea into your holidays.
Provide tea as an option anytime coffee is served. In many households it is common to serve coffee alongside dessert following a festive or formal meal. Tea can also be a beverage option. Just as people may have the option to select from a plethora of desserts - apple or pumpkin pie, cupcake or cheesecake - tea or coffee should also be a choice.
How to do it: offer one type of tea. Depending upon the time of day a black tea, decaffeinated black tea, or rooibos.
Pro tip: be sure to remove the tea leaves from the pot after steeping. The tea can also be steeped in a different vessel then transferred to a teapot for serving.
It's the thought that counts: offer a selection of sweeteners & cream, such as sugar, honey, milk, and dairy free alternatives. These same items can also be used in coffee!
Have afternoon tea. The tradition of afternoon tea began as a way to combat afternoon fatigue and provide sustenance until dinner. A cup of tea and a light snack not only provided a needed energy boost, but also became a means of socialization. Afternoon teas can range from a snack to a light meal and formal to casual.
How to do it: brewing 1 tea is simplest. For serving larger groups you may need several pots of tea. This could be the same tea, or different teas within the same tea type (black tea). Just know that if you have more than one tea selection guests will likely want to sample the different teas, thus you will need more of each tea.
Pro tip: Flavored or blended teas can themselves be a treat, eliminating the need for an added snack.
It's the thought that counts: do some planning and think through what your goal and purpose for the occasion is. Afternoon tea is vast and there's so much that can be done - from theme, food, and formality. It can be whatever you want it to be.
Tea as a nightcap. Nothing says relaxation like a warm, comforting beverage! There are more nighttime tea options than Chamomile. Try decaffeinated teas, rooibos, and honeybush. Flavored teas and blends can do double duty by fulfilling those evening cravings for sweets or snacks.
How to do it: infuser baskets are perfect for brewing just 1 or 2 cups.
Pro tip: consume your tea 60-30 minutes prior to going to bed.
It's the thought that counts: whenever you're making tea for yourself, ask if others would like some. Overnight house guests will appreciate the hospitality.
No matter if you choose to try one of these suggestions or one of your own ideas, forethought and planning are the keys to success.