Monday, October 12, 2009

Lesson 1: A Super Classy Bitch Knows Tea

Tea. This is a universal beverage, honey. Get used to it. Most people on this Earth know how to make it and drink it, and especially know how they take it, but it is up to a Super Classy Bitch to know how to work it.

There are a few different types of tea, and you aren't required to know everything about them in order to understand this lesson and execute it properly. This is more about presentation and engaging your guest(s) or whoever you are with, wherever you may be.

Let's talk about the wonderful qualities of tea first. Because it is so widely-consumed, you can have it almost anywhere. Like many people, it is my mother's personal preference over water, so hey, at least you know you can charm the beautiful lady who gave me life at any moment! It is also known to be very good for you if consumed in moderation. It can be served hot or cold, too. All of this is great, but my favorite part of tea is the magic it possesses. It can change the mood of a room in a split second, and this is the very reason why it is important that a Super Classy Bitch understands how to work this super classy beverage of choice.

Cold Tea:
+Great for warm weather, especially hot Summer days
+Goes well with any meal/snack
+Can be infused in a variety of ways: mint leaves, ice cubes with herbs/fruit, fruit juice/slices (especially citrus)
+Presents the best in tall, clear glasses accompanied by a large, clear glass pitcher... Like this!
+Herbal teas go over very well for most guests, but make sure to have black tea available if you aren't sure [See: my mother, lover of all teas Orange Pekoe]

Hot Tea:
+Great for cold weather, especially rainy days
+Goes well with breakfast and dessert the best, but also works as an in between beverage, particularly mid-afternoon
+Can be infused with spices such as cinnamon and star anise, but some people also like to have milk or cream in their tea
+Presentation for hot tea is very important, especially when entertaining! Either go for a mix-and-match set (predominantly for informal gatherings) or use your super classy tea set... Like this!
+Chamomile is best for relaxing, Chai is best for a little bit of energizing, Green tea is great across the board (Trust me, you should know when to use these teas because it is crucial to setting a mood.)

Bitchy Note: When serving tea, always, always, always keep an option for sweeteners (artificial as well as natural) and milk. This is especially important for guests who may have certain aversions to sugar. And do not be offended if your guest takes it plain. Be proud of yourself for making sure they were taken care of in the first place, no matter their preference. [Super Classy Bitches are also thoughtful. Never forget that.]

As for the tea set, this is a Better Have! for a real Super Classy Bitch. The hot tea set is of major importance and here's why: Not only is it there for presentation and to aid in consumption, it is also a conversation piece. This tea set isn't just a tea set like it claims to be, but if all else, this set needs to have a story and personality on its own of how you got it ("Oh, my great aunt gave this to me! Isn't it amazing?!" or "I found this in Thailand when I went to the marketplace. I couldn't resist!" etc.) or where it came from ("It was made by a local ceramics artist. Look at how detailed each cup is!" blah blah blah). No matter the tea set, it is almost a guarantee that you will be complimented on it, so you better have something to say about it! Oh, and use a nice tray! That definitely gives you some points on the presentation end, and this is true for both hot and cold teas.

Also, remember that a formal tea party isn't just about the tea. You need to serve foods that complement it for whatever occasion. I'm leaving that up to you, Bitch, but you can always ask me for advice. (Two words: shortbread cookies. Do it.)

My tea party heroes:
+My friend Lilia Beaman for our friend Siobhan's Bachelorette Tea Party! (See: photo above)
+The grandmother from "Now & Then" and the scene where the girls go to her house to ask about Dear Johnny. (Ok, it was lemonade in the movie, but you know it could have been tea just as well!)
+Mad Hatter. Hands down.

Dishonorable mention:
+Boston Tea Party. While I understand why this took place and the historical significance, that is no tea party I would like to attend. Check, please.

Now, go Super Classy Bitch. Go and have a fabulous time with your tea and impress the world with your skills, be they old or new. Oh, and don't forget to comment so I know how it turned out. It is only polite.

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