The world’s second-most consumed beverage after water has been responsible for shaping history and continues to shape lives. “Tea is all about taking your time and, as time is a luxury, tea has metamorphosed into a luxury of its own accord,” says Taha Bouqdib, President, CEO & Co-Founder of TWG (The Wellness Group) Tea. “We want to change people’s perception of tea so that they see it as dynamic, stylish and contemporary. We are modernizing the concept of tea and mixing it with fashion and lifestyle.” U.S. tea is predicted to grow into a $10 billion market by 2022. Whether it’s a casual get-together with friends or a formal bridal tea, a tea party is always in style, and a perfect way to bring people together and enjoy a great time. The days of pinkies-in-the-air and lace tablecloth teas are long gone. A tea tasting is a great way to spice up a stale get-together. Similar to a wine or coffee tasting, you can offer a sample of herbal, floral, white, green, oolong and/or matcha teas. Print out some information from the internet on each to spark discussion and introduce newbies to the blends. Or you can choose one type of tea and serve it hot, iced and as a cocktail (an easy cocktail is tea, champagne and a dash of fruit juice). Using a clear glass pot adds an additional visual element to the process. Similarly, tea can be used instead of wine at dinner and paired with a favorite dish, and always be sure to provide guests with tidbits about the health and digestive benefits of the blends served. They’ll note the great taste on their own and pass on their recommendations to others.
If you thought playing with the shakers and other cool gadgets from a home bar were fun, you haven’t seen anything yet. Every great tea starts with the tea pot or kettle, but which is the best? There’s traditional ceramic, always in vogue, glass, and a wealth of electronic options to agonize over. Sizes range from large to solo, as tea drinking is often an individual pleasure during the day. Moving from tea bags to loose-leaf tea infinitely broadens your tea-drinking horizons. There’s also a world of strainers and infusers to choose from, or you could opt to let the tea leaves breathe with a “jumping” pot that bounces the leaves around. Next, it’s time to look at teacups, which is where your inner collector may emerge — just like “casual”, “good”, “holiday” and “very special occasion” china, you don’t have so stop at just one set!