Dear Teabauchery,

My daughter will be ten in just a few weeks.  She has asked that I put on a tea party, inviting four of her friends.  The children are going to dress as their favorite character from “Little Women.”  I want the kids to like the tea AND I want it to be good for them.  What tea do you suggest I serve ten year olds?  Any suggestions you have for healthy goodies to serve would be welcome, also.

Mom in Maryland

Hello Mom in Maryland,

Thank you for asking my advice for this important event! There are several different types of teas you may want to consider.  Since your daughter and her friends are going to dress up as characters from Little Women, you could buy one or a few types of tea.

A few days ago I saw Republic of Tea Downton Abbey tea tins sold in a store (they can also be purchased through Amazon, as well).  Your daughter might be interested in the tea (not just for its taste) but for the images of historically dressed characters on the tins.   The three sisters—Mary, Edith, and Sybil—adorn the front of one of the tins (English Rose Tea).  The sisters may not be Meg, Jo, Beth, and Amy, but I imagine they could all be friends (even if though they are from slightly different time periods).child's tea party

If you don’t need a fancy Downton Abbey tin, consider jasmine pearls, or a tea-ball/tea flower that gradually unfolds after coming into contact with hot water.  A glass teapot is ideal for capturing the magic of the flower as it unfurls.  The tea experience becomes more sensory with each enfolding petal, and is quite delightful and unexpected to those who have never seen an expanding tea flower.   

As far as snacks are concerned, I would recommend grapes (yep, grapes), whole grain – or gluten free – crackers with jam and a raspberry on top, or orange/cranberry scones.  It really depends on what type of tea you choose.   Jasmine is rich; rose tea can be mild.  Cucumber sandwiches are the quintessential tea treats – you can skip the cream cheese (although I prefer it).  Hope your daughter’s 10th birthday party is a memorable introduction to the wonderful world of tea.

Alexa Teabauchery

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Editor’s note: Dear Teabauchery will answer reader questions about every aspect of tea, dispensing well-researched – and often witty – advice! You may send your questions to [email protected]

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