Time for Tea

Tea set ready for use

There's Always Time for Tea

Vintage Illustration of Alice in Wonderland tea party

Tea, in all its many varieties, is the second-most widely consumed beverage (right behind water) and is thought to have been discovered all the way back in 2737 BC by Chinese Emperor Shen-Nung.

Nearly 4,800 years later, tea has found its way into parties, into ceremonies (cha-do, the art of the tea ceremony), and nearly every home in the southern United States.

Tea proffers numerous health benefits to those who drink it consistently. Tea’s abundant supply of polyphenols help reduce inflammation and fight cancer. Green tea, in particular, is home to large amounts of  catechins- natural antioxidants that help prevent cell damage by reducing the formation of free radicals, which play a role in aging and other diseases.

The varieties of tea lining supermarket shelves seem endless these days, and there’s always a new flavor to try. Gathering one’s friends around some scrumptious morsels and a steaming teapot of your favorite brew is a wonderful way to while away an afternoon. All you need is the right setting, utensils, edibles, tea and friends. We can’t help with sending out the invites, but we can help you with the rest.

Setting the Tea Table

Victorian Tea

Prim, Proper and Pretty

You love all things pretty and princess-y, and your tea set and decor should reflect your refined, genteel palette. If Queen Victoria is your style-setter, then these tea sets are for you. 

The design is set via electroplating, so the color won’t fade or rub off. The manufacturer offers refunds, allows returns and will replace sets discovered broken upon arrival. For under $70, this set comes with:

  • Teapot (1000mL capacity)
  • 6 teacups (6.1 oz. capacity)
  • 6 plates (4.8″ diameter)
  • Metal stand

Pictures don’t do this porcelain tea set justice. Upon closer inspection, there’s a pale-gray Arabic design serving as the background for blooming blue flowers on one side of the teacups and teapot, and a fleur-de-lis and crown on the other. The set is returnable should something be broken or it just isn’t what you expected.

For $75, this dishwasher-and-microwave-safe tea set arrives with:

  • A beautiful tea pot (48 oz.) 
  • 4 lovely tea cups (8 oz.) and saucers 
  • an elegant sugar and creamer set 

Mom (or Dad) and Daughter Tea Time

It’s just you, your little princess, and all her stuffed animals. While it’s not a great idea for Buttons the teddy bear to drink actual tea, these little tea sets are perfect for tea party play dates.

This children’s tea set comes in five design/print options, with a price tag of less than $35. The cups, plates and utensils are the perfect size for little hands to hold securely, and sturdy enough to withstand those “oops” moments. The one seen here features:

  • Quality porcelain ceramic tea set in fabric-lined basket
  • Set contains: Teapot, creamer, sugar bowl, 2 cups, 2 saucers, 2 plates, 2 forks, 2 spoons.
  • Butterfly and Rose design with pink gingham fabric lining

 

Does your child love pretty pink butterflies? If so, this 23- piece porcelain tea set speaks her language for just under $30. This set is made for little fingers to grasp onto to minimize drops and while imagination and creativity soar during her tea party.

Note that this set is designed for children aged 8+ and not recommended for children under age 3. Set includes:

  • 4 tea cups (1.25″ tall), saucers, spoons and napkins
  • classic tea pot, lid and tablecloth
  • sugar bowl with lid and a creamer
Japanese tea setting

A Taste of the Orient

Cha-do, or “way of tea,” is considered a true art form in Japan. More than brewing and pouring tea ritualistically, the way of tea holds philosophical meaning as well. It can take a lifetime to become a true master of the tea ceremony, but you can begin practicing with these sets. (Note that most Japanese tea pots are not for boiling water in, only for steeping your tea.)

This 7-piece starter kit includes everything necessary to make matcha tea while performing the meditative Zen practice of the Japanese Tea ceremony.

For less than $40, this set contains:

  • Handmade matcha bowl, bamboo scoop & whisk
  • Scoop holder
  • Ceramic whisk holder
  • Tea sifter
  • Tea towel

For those accustomed to large mugs of tea, this set will shock you. The teacups hold a mere 50 mL, and the teapot holds 6.0 oz. max. So, why get it?

Because this isn’t for Western tea drinking. Tea is meant to be steeped in the teapot, so don’t boil water in it. You hold the teacups in the palms of your hands and savor the flavor instead of chug it down. Using this set is a process- a ceremony- meant to slow you down and help you find a moment of zen.

This set includes:

  • Teapot
  • 4 Teacups
  • Tea can, tray, towel & clip
  • Portable travel bag

Regardless of whether you prefer oolong, green, matcha, rooibos, or herbal tea, or you like it sweet or unsweet, in a mug or dainty tea cup, there’s no reason not to make the whole process enjoyable and stylish. Hopefully, you’ve been given a spark of inspiration to pour yourself- and maybe a few friends- a cup to sip and savor.

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