Tea In Restaurants And Cafes Tips

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Can I create a tea room at home?

Create a Tea Room at Home

If you love tea and you have a small porch, sun room, or breakfast nook that isn't being well utilized, why not create a tea room in your home? Turning the unused space into a welcoming tea room is fairly easy. To make a special place to indulge your tea habit at home, you should:

  • Give the walls a fresh coat of paint. If you are leaning toward a Victorian style tea room, crisp white or soft lavender are good choices. If you want an Asian inspired tea area, bold red or bamboo colored green are smart color choices.
  • Avoid oversized furniture. A small round table set, two comfortable wicker or rattan chairs and a footstool would look great in any Victorian tea area. Garden patio pieces are often a good choice, too. A tea cart or side table is a good idea, since you'll need a place to stash tea tins and extra tea pots.
  • For an Asian inspired room, a low table, such as a glass topped bamboo coffee table, is a good choice. Large floor cushions will give you a more comfortable seating option than the traditional Japanese tea house floor mats.

   
How do I dress for a visit to a tea house?

Visiting a Tea House

You're going to a tea house with some friends and you aren't quite sure of the protocol. Do you have to wear your best dress? If so, you're in trouble because you haven't owned a dress since you were five years old and discovered tree climbing. Will a really nice pantsuit do? Relax. While it is certainly nice to dress up for tea, it is also nice to dress up for church services and weddings and you probably have noticed more than one person at both events in ragged cutoffs and faded t-shirts.

In fact, if you wear a fancy hat, white gloves and a long, full skirt reminiscent of the Victorian era, you'll probably find yourself sticking out like a sore thumb. Unless it's a special event, such as a traditional garden party tea, a pretty skirt and a nice sweater are on the dressy side for most tea house gatherings. A pair of khakis and a sweater or blouse will make a very presentable outfit.

Once you've been to your first tea, you may find that your most important wardrobe concern is whether your waistband is loose, because most tea houses offer quite a variety of delicious sandwiches and pastries to go with their perfectly brewed teas.

   
Are there green tea restaurants?

Green Tea Restaurants

You've noticed some interesting tea shops on your travels, but you aren't interested in traditional British tea blends, so you never bothered to stop in. What you'd like to find are some green tea restaurants, but you're beginning to wonder if they exist. Are you going to have to give up on your quest to find a tea shop serving Dragonwell tea and just settle on drinking a cup of English Afternoon tea at the tea shop around the corner?

Actually, even if they look like they've been lifted right out of a painting of Victorian England, tea shops almost always have quite a few tea choices on the menu. In fact, many tea shop owners believe in encouraging people who seem stuck in a rut to try new teas. This practice is good for business because customers who become more interested in tea will visit the shop more frequently. Also, a customer that tries something new will often head to the shop's store area to buy a tin or box of the tea to take home.

If you just can't handle drinking green tea in a Victorian style tea shop, then you may want to check out Asian restaurants in your area. While some serve green tea that is the equivalent of the lukewarm, badly brewed orange pekoe in restaurants that serve American cuisine, there are some Asian restaurants that serve excellent green tea.

   
Are afternoon teas a good idea for a cafe?

Attracting Customers to Teas

As you look at your empty cafe, you think that it is a shame you don't have any way to draw customers after the lunch hour rush. Your building isn't big enough to offer dinner on a large scale, but isn't there something you can do besides catering to those late lunch stragglers? As you stare into space, you suddenly realize that your adorable cafe would be the perfect spot to hold afternoon teas. Now, you need some ideas for getting people excited about your newest venture.

Offering tea is a great idea for utilizing that empty cafe space, but customers could easily head to the coffee house for a cup to go instead. To successfully draw in the tea loving crowd, you may need to offer more than a cup of tea and a place for quiet conversation.

  • Why not pair your afternoon teas with arts and crafts? Have a local artist demonstrate a project that could easily be completed during that golden time between lunch and school dismissal, or set up a weekly needlework group.
  • Offer a weekly book discussion or encourage independent groups to meet in the cafe.
  • During the summer months, set aside one day a week for a mother/daughter tea, complete with a project that they can work on together.

   
Are there any tips for food to serve with tea?

Food to Serve With Tea

When you have a tea shop, your primary consideration is the tea, right? After all, anyone who comes to the shop is there because he or she loves tea and wants to spend some time relaxing with a nice cup of his or her favorite blend. While tea certainly should be one of the main focuses of a successful tea shop, there is another component that you need to think about: food. A tea shop that serves terrible food is not going to do well even if the owner makes the most wonderful cup of tea on earth.

Food to serve with tea is usually not too elaborate. While traditional tea sandwiches are an obvious menu choice, why not have some fun with updated versions of these foods? Cream cheese cucumber tarts or chicken salad on toast points are both options that use traditional fillings, but look a bit more modern than tiny sandwiches.

Pastries are also commonly found on tea shop menus. Scones, a variety of flatbreads, muffins and small cakes all go well with most teas. Unless the shop has a full time pastry chef, meringues and other time consuming pastries aren't the best additions to the menu.

   
Are there any tips for setting a tea table?

Setting a Tea Table

You've got a thousand and three last minute tasks to get done before the big party. You're going to wash the china, start heating water and ice cupcakes. Thankfully, the guys have offered to set up all the little tables on the patio, so that's one thing off your list. Now, you can stress out about what to put on the tables, instead. Isn't there a guidebook for setting a tea table?

Actually, between etiquette books and tea books, you can find help for every aspect of throwing a tea party. Having Tea: Recipes and Table Settings by Tricia Foley and Catherine Calvert or The Tea Table by Shelley Richardson and Bruce Richardson are both good resources for people who want to set a table properly.

If you aren't worried about creating a perfectly set table, why not have fun with the process? Cover the table with a white cloth. Top it with a second, smaller patterned cloth. Place a plate at each seat and set a tea cup upside down on each plate. Position the tea cup saucer on top of the upside down cup and place a cupcake on it. Tuck the silverware and a colorful napkin in a silverware pocket that you created yourself by cutting a tea pot shape out of paper and gluing a pocket to the front of it.

   
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