Little Big Kitchen: Tea Sampler

It could have something to do with the fact that we’re getting older and caffeinated beverages aren’t wise after a certain hour, or it could be that more than one of us have decided to scale back on soda and sugar, but it seems that more of my friends are drinking tea lately. After one too many times of digging through my massive tea collection to offer my guests a wide selection of choices I decided to take a page from the restaurant book and save one of my tins especially to serve a sampling of tea to guests.

Here are some tips for putting together a thrifty tea sampler of your own:

-In this sampler I include teas that I’m not particularly fond of but I know other people like to drink.

-To build a more diverse sampler cheaply, offer to trade some of your tea packets with a friend who has another kind.

-Offer a good mix between caffeinated and decaf, herbal blends and standards.

-Be sure to include widely liked varieties like green tea, chamomile, or the Captain’s favorite, Earl Gray.

-I wouldn’t include any medicinal or detox teas in this tin.

-Individually wrapped packets are best for this for a couple of reasons: your guests probably aren’t going to want to drink Mystery Tea so clearly labeled packets are helpful and they also help keep the tea scents from mixing with the scents of the other packets.

I think that handing your guests this tin, or better yet, once they know where it is in your kitchen, not only gives you as the host/ess one less thing to worry about, but it also makes them feel more welcome and at home. I love that when my friends visit they know where the plates or the cups are. They know they can always find some sort of drink in the garage fridge or crackers in the pantry. They can open their own beer or wine bottle themselves or find their own mug of tea.  It’s comforting to be in such a welcoming environment and to be in the company of old friends.

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