A Guide to Tea Party Teas
Are you considering hosting a party of some type, but you don’t want something that is fancy, fussy or involved? Then a tea party just may be your answer. Tea parties, usually scheduled for mid-afternoon, are perfect for catching up with family and friends in a relaxed atmosphere.
Basic Tea Introduction
Teas are basically categorized into 5 types: black, green, oolong, pu’erh and white. These teas are made from the leaves of the Camellia sinensis, an evergreen shrub native to Southeast Asia. The difference between the teas comes down to the degree in which the leaves are fermented or oxidized. Teas, which are available around the world, are available in a variety of aromas, characteristics, and flavors.
Tea Party Teas
The most common teas served at tea parties are black, green and oolong. Here are some of the more popular varieties of each type of tea.
Black tea is the most oxidized of all the teas. The 3 countries with the largest production of black tea are China, India, and Sri Lanka. From China, the most popular teas are Keemun and Yunnan. The most popular from India are Assam and Darjeeling. The most popular from Sri Lanka is Ceylon.
Green tea is made from unfermented leaves. China and Japan have the largest production of green tea. The most popular teas from China are gunpowder, Long Jing (Dragonwell) and Snowy Mountain Jian. From Japan, the most popular teas are bancha, gyokuro, houjicha, matcha, and sencha.
Oolong tea is made from semi-oxidized leaves. From China, the most popular tea is Ti Kuan Yin (Iron Goddess). The most popular teas from Taiwan are Formosa, pouchong and Tung ting.
Another type of tea served at tea parties is herbal tea, although it is technically a “true” tea. This is because herbal tea is not made from Camellia sinensis leaves. There are 6 main categories of herbal tea, based on the part of the plant they are derived from.
- Bark- black cherry, cinnamon
- Flower- chamomile, hibiscus, rose
- Fruit/Berry- apple, blueberry, peach, raspberry
- Leaf- lemongrass, mint
- Root- chicory, ginger
- Seed/Spice- caraway, cardamom, fennel
Tea Party Set Up Ideas
So, now that you know the basics of tea party teas, you probably want to know how to set it all up, right? First, you’ll want to set up a tea station with the different types of tea you’ll be serving. You may want to make cards for each of the types of tea. Also on the tea station, you’ll want to display tea condiments, such as milk, creamer and sugar. How do you display your teas? You should use infusers, since that is how you’ll brew and steep the teas. Libre Tea features an array of infusers that feature a durable polycarbonate, BPA-free exterior and a glass interior with removable stainless steel filter. Here are a couple of suggestions for you:
Mixed Life Set– This 6-piece set of 14-ounce colorful and stylish infusers includes 2- Garden Dance Pink, featuring a bright, fun, feminine design; 2- Lively Leaves Green, featuring an earthy, nature design and 2- Starburst Turquoise, featuring a cosmic, space-inspired design.
Peace Doves– Peace Doves is a limited edition 14-ounce infuser that features an elegant yet simple design. Peace Doves was designed by Kulov, the founding of the Tea Lovers Festival, which was a yearly event held in Los Angeles from 2006 to 2016.
Next, on your guest table, create an individual place setting. Each setting should include a teacup with matching saucer, teaspoon and cloth napkin. Tip- before you place your individual settings, place a plain white lace or appliqued tablecloth and a pretty floral centerpiece.
About Libre Tea
The story of Libre Tea began back in 2006 when Wendy Weir visited China and experienced an array of tea tastings, both local and traditional. Seeing everyone with their “tea thermos” inspired Wendy to bring that convenience to North America. Two years later, she founded Libre Tea. Libre Tea’s mission, according to their Facebook page, is to create “inspiring tea moments with environmentally friendly methods and healthy choices for the people and the planet.”