Hosting a Tea Party for Grown Ups in the 21st Century

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One of the many great things about being an unabashed nerd is that I can have an idea like “Hey, I’m gonna throw a tea party!” and not only do people not think twice about it, they actually sign up to come. Since moving to Boston I have happily discovered that I’m not the only one with crazy tea obsession, nor a love of an excuse to get together and geek out over a nice hot cup.

Back in November 2012 right before the elections I decided to do just this, partly because I wanted an excuse to make some punny political jokes (Eeeyy, Boston tea party), and partly to burn through some of the older teas I had to make room for new ones. It was gonna be part movie-viewing, part lan-party, and all tea.

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It turned out to be REALLY fun. About 10 people showed, and we had to re-brew each several times. Movie wound up never happening – we just talked the entire night, but that was pretty epic in its own right.

I did consult reddit for some ideas. I mean, what exactly do you do for a tea party these days anyway, unless it’s for five year olds?

I decided to start with three hot teas – Harney & Son’s Hot Cinnamon Sunset for a bold spicy flavor, Teavana’s Fruta Bomba for something light and sweet, and Spices & Tea[se] Vanilla Hazelnut Rooibos as the decaf option. I had two steepers on loan from my buddies and one steeper-pot I snagged from the local Asian supermarket. We re-brewed each on average 5-times through the night, which meant I went through one full refill for all three. Various dairy options (cream, milk, almond milk) and sweeteners (honey, agave, stevia, sugar) were all offered.

I made cold matcha and cold-brewed Moroccan mint for people to try. And I had Chaucer’s hot spiced honey mead as a featured liquor (this is why we can’t have nice things… without alcohol). This proved to be a fairly perfect combination, though the cold teas were not as popular.

modern-tea-party-03For food, I made mini-sandwiches (turkey & cheese) and had various munchies – pizzelles, shortbread cookies, waffles with nutella, and grapes with yogurt dip (the latter was a disaster, though).

All in all, it was a really fun night. People got really into the tea sampling aspect of it, actively making sure to try as many as possible. The de-caf option (rooibos, in this case) was great and ultimately proved to be the most popular drink of the night.

I wound up doing another similar party – we had a Lord of the Rings Extended edition marathon the Sunday before Hobbit released that also included knitting / needlework.

Although I wasn’t actually expecting to get through the entire trilogy, halfway through the second movie we realized this had to happen. By the end of the night we had gone through an unprecedented amount of tea and all three full-length films. GO US!

It was another great night and another victory in the “Tea brings friends closer together” column!