Hot Tea Know How

by Beth
(Simi Valley CA)

Question: I am thinking of giving my first afternoon tea as a Christmas party for a mixed group of family and friends of different ages (probably about twenty people total).

I am wondering what is the best way to keep the tea hot? Do I need some sort of warmer, or do I just change the tea in the pot often. Also, how do I accommodate people who want weaker tea? If they want to water down their tea to make it weaker, should I send them to the kitchen for the tea kettle?

Answer: Dear Beth,
To keep your tea warm, it is ideal to use a teapot warmer. There are so many to choose from,(glass, stainless steel and cast iron) if you have a pot that didn't come with one.

Another idea is to use a carafe. These are available in different sizes ranging from a small one for personal use to larger air pump carafes. A carafe or an extra teapot is useful to hold the extra hot water for 'weakening' your guests tea.

Carafes come in really handy if you are having a large tea party, or you don't want to have to keep going out to the kitchen to make more tea, so you can make all your tea ahead of time and keep it hot, then refill your teapot(s)when needed from the carafe.

Some teapots hold the heat very well, and may not need a warmer. And, with about 20 people, I would think you will use up your tea and need to make more before it gets cold, unless you end up with not very many tea drinkers.

If you don't like the idea of an open flame, you might also consider a tea cozy which, in and of itself, is very charming.

Sheila,
Your Tea Party Guide

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