Tea party china, dessert plates and other accessories are part of the unique charm of serving tea and planning tea parties. Special tea party accessories such as sugar tongs, drip catchers, teabag holders, and linens not only enhance the look of the tea table, but also serve practical purposes that enable us to serve tea in a special way. Trends come and go, but tea has seen a steady increase in popularity in the U.S. since the 1990’s. Along with this trend, comes new interest in tea ware and tea related items. Teapots come in all shapes and sizes and materials range from ceramic, porcelain, iron, and bone china. Trendy art reflects this popularity by featuring abstract tea cups and saucers or teapots.
Many tearooms or tea bars will also section off a part of the store for selling fruity teas or healthy blends of oolong or green tea. Also popular now are electric tea brewers, french tea presses, iced tea makers, mesh balls, flavored sugar cubes, sugar sticks, and tea scented candles.
If you like to read about food, tea party china, and table settings for tea parties, there is even a magazine dedicated to this theme called “Tea Time“, which is available in many fine groceries and is published bi-monthly.
Party Accessories…The Finishing Touch
Add proper elegance to your next tea party with stunning tea party china and accessories. Silver sugar tongs are beautiful, functional, and the only acceptable way to handle sugar cubes at a tea party. Sugar tongs are available in sterling, silver-plate and gold-plate. They usually feature delicate ornamentation and are becoming popular wedding gifts. Heirloom sugar tongs are still available and can sometimes be found in antique stores.
Place cards add intimate elegance to the properly set tea table. They graciously direct guests to their seat and should be beautiful and imaginative. A small spray of flowers with a placecard nestled on top is an easy way to present the place card. Assorted antique broaches can be purchased at a flea market and fastened to the napkin for a stunning individualized look. A miniature tea cup can also hold a placecard or you can purchase any number of place card holders offered by online tea ware retailers.
For easily accessible cream, a miniature teapot filled with cream can be set at each place setting. In addition, a miniature tea cup can be filled with sugar and placed alongside the cream. Your guests will love these individualized servers. Mix and match floral patterns to create a truly English tea setting.
If you’re worried about tea turning cold, use tea warmers that will keep tea hot for several hours. Tea warmers are available in a variety of finishes; gold, silver, or antique white to match any teapot or tea party china. Simply add a tea light to your warmer and place a bone china or porcelain teapot on top of the warmer. The tea will stay hot for three to four hours.
Utilize vertical space and create visual interest by using two-tiered or three-tiered servers. Available in a variety of finishes, tiered servers can elegantly display scones, cupcakes, fruit, and other sweet or savory treats. Make the display colorful with sprigs of parsley and miniature roses tucked between the food.
Lacy tea time napkins call for a napkin ring to complete a sophisticated table-scape. There are many varieties of napkin rings from silver to porcelain to hand-made. But, a white porcelain napkin ring is the most versatile to use for many types of occasions. They can be used with all colors and textures of napkins or a single rose bloom can be added to dress up the look.
Sugar and Honey Spoons
Make your table sparkle with silver or gold utensils such as sugar and honey spoons. Sugar spoons can be purchased new or found at antique stores. A vintage silver piece adds character and enthusiastic appeal to your table. Honey spoons are dainty and practical for adding honey to tea. A gentle bend in the spoons neck allows you to gently rest the spoon on the side of the tea cup while the honey drips into the tea. Petit four servers and lemon forks are also pretty additions to your serving collection.
With elegant tea party accessories, you can assemble a tablescape that will warm your soul and create a sophisticated setting that will dazzle your guests.
Trends in Tea Ware and Tea Party China
Tea is back and becoming more stylish every day. You see it when you go to the local mall and there are little tea shops that sell loose tea, tea ware and novelty tea beverages for the consumer. Coffee is not gone, but tea is making a strong comeback in the community.
You may fondly remember having tea served by your grandmother or mother when friends or relatives came to visit. After years of neglect, serving tea has once again become very fashionable and the new trends in tea ware are endless.
The types, styles, sizes and names of tea ware are varied. The little individual teapot that provides a single serving or the large pot that you make to share with a friend that stopped over is now common. Tea ware is now prominently displayed in many retail stores and you can choose from an endless selection of items.
You can choose from complete matching tea services that include the teapot, cups and saucers, cream and sugar containers, and a tray. Add extras such as dessert plates, trays, tea strainers and caddies, infusers, tea cozies, pedestal cake stands, linens, teaspoons, heavy mugs or other wonderful matching accessories to help complete your tea service.
Using tea ware does not only have to be for formal occasions. Your tea ware was made to be used and enjoyed for many years. So, do not lock it up for special occasions—enjoy it now and every day.
How to Choose a China Tea Set
You made the decision and commitment to host a tea party. You have planned the event, the invitations have been sent out and the food has been ordered. Now, you are wondering how to serve your tea and what you actually need in the way of a tea set, tea service, or tea party accessories.
Start with a little product research. Did you know that silver and stainless steel are the only two metals that will not taint the flavor of tea? And, did you know that aluminum and enamel tea kettles are good for boiling water but not for brewing tea? Also, a ceramic tea pot is best for holding heat and keeping the tea warm.
With so many decisions to make, where do you start? Do you want to purchase your own tea set to use for your tea party and if so, how large should it be? Or, do you want to rent a tea service from a local company?
Your tea set should include a tea pot, strainer and stand, hot water pot, waste bowl, sugar bowl, creamer, tongs and a tray. You may also want to add enough dessert plates for all of your guests. These do not have to be all of the same pattern. English tradition calls for mixing a variety of floral patterns to add visual interest. You should also use a tea pot that is large enough to pour each guest one cup of tea, but one that is not too heavy to lift. The options are wide and varied and there are many different choices available.
With so much to think about on how to choose a tea set and tea party china, you should also consider another factor. Do you want to be able to use your tea set for small and informal family gatherings or for just a quiet rainy afternoon when you are alone with a book? Many tea sets include several sizes of teapots from 1 or 2 cup to 9 cups. Also available are teapots for one.
These are usually stackable with the teapot setting on top of the cup and saucer. For a smaller gathering, consider having a teapot for one available for each guest. Perhaps set one at each place setting. Your guests will love it!