TeaGuide: Reviews and Ramblings

March 18, 2008

Product review: A gift of tea

Filed under: food,friends,tea,tea accessories,tea gifts,tea party,Tea sites — by JanisB @ 4:11 pm

Tea Party on a Tray
Photo courtesy of Tea Party on a Tray

All my friends and family (and quite a few strangers!) know that I am something of a tea fanatic. Consequently, I often receive gifts of teas, teapots and teacups of all kinds, tea-making accessories, and anything and everything tea-themed. I have to admit that I’ve got more tea “stuff” than most people, but I also admit that I enjoy it all.

I’ve never received anything like the Tea Party on a Tray that arrived here recently. It’s impossible to open the rather sizable shipping carton, look inside, and not feel a smile starting to spread on your face.

TPOT (please forgive the abbreviation!) is a cross between a gift basket and serving tea in your own tea room. Arranged on a gold catering/bakery round, pretty as you please, are all the fixings for your own tea party. As their slogan goes, you “just add hot water.”

Tea Party on a TrayFirst I removed the charming gift card and the tea-and-teapots ribbon, and peeled away the sturdy cellophane wrapping. (At this point, with all the crinkling, the kitties — depending on their personalities — either ran off in fear or came over for a peek.)

A teapot sat in the middle of the “tray,” surrounded by an assortment of teatime goodies. As I was a tea “party” of one, the teapot was actually a tea-for-one, comprising teapot, teacup, and saucer.

With the kettle whistling in the kitchen, I placed the tea sachet (Harney & Sons‘ Paris — does tea get any more elegant?) into the pot and poured the water.

While the tea steeped, I arranged the goodies on a plate: flavoured roasted pecans; dainty little cheese crackers; and Moravian lemon cookies — each package containing enough for my party, and then some. A rock candy stirrer and a package of lemon drops completed the “party.”

So here I was, on a gloomy afternoon, with the wind raging in wild gusts outside, cozy as could be with my pretty teapot, yummy treats, and comforting tea. TPOT even included a booklet describing tea customs, and another with poetry by Earlene Grey. I read through both of these, peacefully, while I sipped.

The pot (and the sachet) yielded enough for a second cupful, which allowed me to sweeten it first with the stirrer and then with the lemon drops. I didn’t expect to care for the addition of lemon to this tea, with its fruity/caramel flavour, but it actually worked quite well.

I don’t think I have to tell anyone how delicious the paper-thin Moravian cookies are, and the tasty pecans perfectly complemented the Paris tea. Clearly some thought had gone into choosing the specific elements of this tea time. (I do have to admit that I don’t eat cheese, and so relied on DH’s review of the Sweetie’s cheese bits, which can be summed up as “mmmmm.”)

To order your Tea Party on a Tray, you first choose the type of “party” you want, then select your teapot by style, theme, or occasion. (They have holiday and children’s tea parties too.) Parties range from the small tea-for-one I enjoyed, to a tea-for-two in many, many styles, to a truly pampering luxury tea party. Individual teas, treats, and a wide assortment of gifts and serving items are also available.

Contents of each party varies, but you (or the person you’re sending it to) will receive enough tea and teatime treats for a tasty and tasteful tea party — whether solo or shared. And then your chosen teapot becomes a permanent, charming, and useful memento. (My tea-for-one is white with gold accents, decorated all over with butterflies. And I plan on using it again.)

I can’t imagine a nicer way to brighten someone’s day than to send them one of the wide variety of “parties” offered by TPOT — unless it’s to bring it to them yourself!

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(We’ll get back to Georgia Teas Part 2 very soon — we’re waiting for one more tea to arrive.)

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