Hello, All! I've had some very enlightening comments on my previous post about a tea tasting that I did recently! The enlightening part is that the phrase "tea tasting" is being interpreted to mean"tea party" while the two are quite different. Here's my attempt to explain the differences.
Tea Party - Traditional British-style afternoon tea, often with three courses (savories, breads, sweets). Brought into fame by Anna, the Duchess of Bedford. This can be a very fancy affair, but it can also be a very humble and simple event. Both varieties - and all those in between - are lovely. I've written before about hoping more men in the US will learn to enjoy this experience, as they do in Europe.
Tea Tasting - Very much like a wine tasting. The emphasis is on the tea itself - the variety, where and how it is grown and processed, the look, flavor, aroma, body, finish. I don't serve food during the tea tasting so that it does not interfere with the tea. These are unfrilly events - I tend to use glass teapots (to showcase the steeping leaf) and handleless cups. This is the type of event I blogged about yesterday. I find tea tastings to be a great way to introduce men to the joys of tea because tea tastings are unfrilly and unpretentious.