Saturday, September 28, 2013

Autumn Tea in the Parlor

Yesterday I welcomed autumn with an afternoon tea for my friend Lane who has been going through very stressful times.  She definitely needed something to help her relax and spend a few peaceful moments...enjoying the tastes of autumn.  Her mother and her mother-in-law are both critically ill, and...her grandmother is in the final stages of Alzheimer's.  She travels 240 miles to Miami to visit these ladies and on top of that, she is raising three children.

I gathered together the tea accoutrements in the kitchen...

The teapot is being  "warmed" with hot water from the tap.  I chose to serve Trader Joe's Pumpkin Spice Rooibus tea.  Rooibus tea is produced in South Africa and this pumpkin-infused tea has a sweet and nutty flavor.  Rooibus tea is caffeine-free and high in antioxidants, rich in vitamins, and natural minerals.

Pumpkin pastries from Starbucks...pumpkin cake, pumpkin & cream cheese muffins, and pumpkin scones.  They were all delicious!

Tea in the Parlor is also called a "Low Tea."  Tea may be served in the parlor/living room with guests sitting on the sofa and the coffee table or tea table used to hold the tea tray.

Lane decided that she would like a "Tea Etiquette tutorial," so that is how we spent the afternoon.  I explained to her everything she needed to know...from taking your seat to leaving the room.

There are three forms of tea:  Loose tea, tea sachets, and teabags.  I really love tea sachets because they have the full tea leaves and remain convenient to use.  The boiled water is poured over the tea sachets into the teacups and steeped for 3-5 minutes,  When the desired strength of tea is achieved, the tea sachets are placed onto the teabag caddies.

Tea plates with treats may remain on the table or placed on top of the napkin on your lap.  The tea cup and saucer may also remain on the table or may be held in the palm of your left hand.  Remember that the teacup and saucer are never more than 12" apart {never pick up the teacup from the table without the saucer}.

A "Low Tea" is an easy way to host afternoon tea and a gracious gesture of hospitality.

Pursue and practice hospitality.
~ Romans 12:13


Heather said...

Thank you for sharing your tea etiquette with us Miss Janice! How sweet of you to pamper your friend while she is going through some hard times. The Trader Joe's pumpkin spice tea sounds like just the thing to celebrate fall, I may have to pick some up next time I visit my local TJ's!

Meghan said...

Miss Janice, you amaze me. I hope your friend also found some comfort in your company as well.

Donna said...

What a good, caring friend you are. I know what it was like to care for one relative, let alone three. Your friend definitely has her hands full and you are so sweet to show her some special attention. You are the best, Miss Janice!

elizabeth said...

Miss Janice you are such a beautiful person. What a wonderful friend you are. Praying for your friend.

annie said...

Miss Janice,
Adding Lane to prayers. So many going through all manner of trials lately.
Its wonderful she has a good friend who cares.
I will have to try the Rooibus tea. Have heard of it, but never tried it and did not know it was healthful.
I hope Sunday is being good to you.

Rose Chandler Johnson said...

Miss Janice, you are a dear. What a lovely gift for your friend. I'm glad you shared this with your readers. It's such a treat.

pinsandnoodles said...

Tea with friends is one of the most nurturing things I can think of ... to come away having learnt something makes it so much better!

Rooibos tea is one of my favourites. My dad is South African and I have been drinking it as long as I can remember. I always make it with loose leaves (using a mesh tea infuser ball, if I'm drinking by myself and not making enough to use a teapot) and find a very few leaves - to make a bright, reddish-amber coloured tea - make for an almost creamy-tasting tea.

My thoughts and prayers are with your friend.

MandySue said...

I love tea and I love this idea! Thanks Miss Janice for the reminder that entertaining doesn't always have to be elaborate and stressful.