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).
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.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
I have found that kids like teas blended with fruits. There are so many to choose from. Jasmine is also a wonderful choice if you want to stick with non blended teas. I think the tea tins that are mentioned would be a great addition to the event. I’m confident the blooming teas will delight all of the children although the taste may not be appreciated. Typically lower quality teas are used for these presentation teas as handling them is required during their creation. Using a glass tea pot or even large glass jar will help to put on a terrific tea show for the girls.
I would encourage all of the girls to bring tea into their lives, not just for a party. You can purchase small 2-3 ounce tea cups, at your favorite tea shop, as take home gifts for each guest. That way, she will have something special to drink tea from at home and her mom shouldn’t be concerned about caffeine in such a small cup. It’s less than the caffeine in a hershey kiss.
Thank you, Alexa (Madam Teabauchery!) for this post! May I print it and give it to our local Good Medicine Tea Lounge to use on their bulletin board? Lots of moms go in there – I’ve been approached by two moms in the last few months – and I think it will give this awesome bit of advice a lot more coverage. Thanks also for the healthy snacks!