Tea. Most of us have it when we dine in Chinese restos or when we have sore throats or want to loosen our bowels. Tea is not engraved in our daily lives unlike in other cultures; and thus makes for some interesting get-togethers whenever it is available. More importantly, when it becomes the star of the party, it could provide a different partyphile experience for the common Pinoy partyphile.
Quite understandably, Pinoys are not too familiar with the tradition of high tea or even the concept of tea as a celebratory drink, or a drink to act as a social lubricant; we all run to alcohol for that in this country. More importantly, a lot of Filipinos shy away from tea aprties because they think it is too much work, too formal, or too prissy. We pinoys appreciate no-frills partying after all. But since partyphiles would want to switch it up every so often, a tea party would be a perfect option. The good news is, you may throw a tea party with no frills. Here’s how:
Tea: Tea is available everywhere. You may get your stock from coffeeshops, from groceries, or from speciality stores. However, if you want to have a lot of tea options, you may ask all the party’s attendees to bring their own stash. Steep tea bags in tea pots instead of individual cups to have a taste of all the teas you have. And by the way, the English have their tea with some milk and honey; and although this sounds a wee bit odd for Pinoys who are used to Chinese tea, I swear it tastes soo good. You might want to try it.
Food: Ask all your guests to bring some pasties or sweets with them. Even simple food like cookies, macaroons, and donuts would do well; no matter how un-British they are. Again, Filipinos love no-frills partying. I think, as long as it tastes good with tea, you could most definitely serve it. You do not have to follow British Tea parties to a tee; all you need it for is a little inspiration.
Mood: Since teacups and tea pots are usually pretty and dainty, you could run with this and decorate your table with everything girly and light. You may go with pastel colors and add some cute knick knacks like painted eggs and butterflies or go all white with tea light candles, white table cloths, napkins, and white flowers to keep the table looking clean but not boring. But you may experiment with different decors as well.
Music: Simply play music that suits your fancy. For our last tea party, we played some chill-out house music. I doubt this is what old British matrons listen to when having their tea; but again, throwing parties is all about having fun, and house music, for my group of friends, is fun.
Indoors or Outdoors: The choice is up to you. Although it would definitely be nice to have some tea while the sun is kissing your face, it would be equally nice with air condition. The choice is all up to you.
Games: You could play something lazy like bingo or checkers and give the winner a tea set. This just adds a little more fun factor for your party.
I hope you enjoy your tea party, as we enjoyed our last one. I must admit that Tanduay Ice quickly replaced our teas that night; it still made for a fun experience. So boil some water, steep some tea, invite your friends, and prepare for a different kind of party. P.S. I hope you get through yours without craving for alcohol like we did.
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