T Ching is launching a new category: Tea Parties.

But under the current circumstances, I wanted to begin with this Virtual Tea Party prompt. If you’re running low on ideas for sheltering at home, we challenge you to create new ways to share tea.

The first time I heard of a Virtual Tea Party was well before the Internet was so much a part of our daily lives. It was a fundraiser for a hospital. Teabags were sent with formal invitations to enjoy the tea while writing out a donation check. The “advantages” were humorously detailed. We wouldn’t be asked to donate baked goods or help clean up after the event. All the money that would have been spent on decorations would go directly to fill the need. And none of us would have to dress up or try to squeeze it into our schedules. Ta Da! But that was when we were being almost too social with no concern for hugs and handshakes. 

The Corona-19 Pandemic has inspired creative ways for us to maintain physical distance but minimize our sense of loneliness and isolation. Virtual Tea Parties might be something that will add a bit of fun and meaning. T Ching is now adding a new Tea Parties category for our contributors to share their amazing talents. I’m asking them to design virtual parties and also to add virtual suggestions to every theme.

For Starters: 

A virtual tea party can be as simple as two friends sharing a cup of tea while chatting on the phone. Or it can become an elaborate technological event. No matter where you want to be on that scale, the fundamental nature of sharing tea with people who matter to us doesn’t change. And the most important thing is that we share our teatime events in the most positive way.  

Don’t create stress.
KISS
(Keep It Simple Sipper) 

The Internet is the Venue:

In the same way that we plan any event based on the location, the actual location of a virtual tea party is the Internet. And, as much as it can be cold and impersonal, it also offers the opportunity to to connect with family and friends with an immediacy and convenience that was previously unimaginable. 

Virtual Event Tools: 

These are free or mostly free resources at the moment and are more than adequate for most of us. Some have additional paid versions. Use what you have and what you feel comfortable with. Don’t feel like you have to go out to learn a whole new system in the beginning. 

On the other hand, be open to exploring more options if this is something fun for you or if you want to add this to your tea business.

  • Facetime
  • Skype
  • WeChat
  • Zoom 
  • FaceBook Hangouts
  • Google Hangouts 
  • YouTube
  • Vimeo

Don’t forget that a phone call shared over a cup of tea can also be meaningful. I enjoy sending some of my favorite teas to friends to sip while we chat. But equally fun is when we begin a conversation with, “What are you drinking?” With my tea friends, this sometimes takes up a large percentage of the call. With less tea-ish friends, it becomes a sweet springboard to catching up on the details of our lives.

https://www.teatimemagazine.com

Themes: 

There are hundreds of possibilities. Any tea party theme that you can host live can be converted to virtual sharing. But some are probably better suited to you personally and to your guests. One of the most popular resources is Pinterest. But another amazing resource is TeaTime Magazine and their online options. In addition to the magazine, they also publish books with complete party planning ideas. Check traditional party plans and see what you can adapt virtually. 

  • Family Events: Baby Showers, Mother’s Day, Birthday Parties
  • Share your interests: Quilting, drawing, reading out loud, music, poetry, art, learning a language 
  • Tea party with family: Share photos and old family stories – like a mini family reunion
  • Children: Teatime is a wonderful way to explore classic children’s literature


https://www.evite.com

Invitations:

  • Even virtual tea parties can have real invitations sent by mail
  • Canva Graphic Design Application – Canva actually had about a dozen “Tea Party Invitation” templates that are an excellent starting place for you to edit with easy click and drag tools.
  • Evite – electronic invitations
  • Jacquie Lawson  (paid subscription) 

Or — for something really creative — your invitation can be a small gift box: Order matching mugs or cups and saucers to create your own gift box along with a special tea and some goodies. If you don’t want to send baked goods, send the recipes and have everyone on your guest list whip up their own batch. Or you could order teas and matching sets from one of the online tea shops. 

Menu:

  • Offer suggestions that all your guests can create and share
  • Share recipes and perhaps a how-to video
  • Prepare the dry ingredients for baked goods so that your teatime guests can just add the wet ingredients and bake

Decorations: 

Flowers are very nice. A single flower adds a touch of elegance. If you enjoy flower arranging, use this to show off your talents. 

Teaware is also decorative. Share some of your favorites. These may not be your daily-use tea things. In fact, virtual tea parties are a perfect time to dust off things that have been sitting in your cupboards that seldom see light. 

Dressing up can be a kind of decorating. It’s also an activity and expands your theme with a bit of fun. 

Activities: 

  • Arts & Crafts
  • Coloring Pages 
  • Word Games
  • Share Poetry 
  • Share Music


Photo by ThoughtCatalog–2926513

Teatime Video Resources: