So that I'm ready when expecting a visit or impromptu guest, I keep a service tray set on a shelf in my dining room closet, a spacious storage area that my husband built several years ago.
|Convenient to have a tea & coffee service tray|
ready-to-go so you can enjoy your guests without fussing.
Having this tray ready eliminates last-minute fussing:
~ assorted decaf & regular teas: organic green tea is a favorite
~ organic, all-natural honey
~ teabag tongs
~ wooden honey server
~ sugar with spoon
~ sugar substitutes
~ small pitcher for milk or half-and-half
~ a small votive holder & vanilla-scented tea light
(tray above holds a favorite teardrop-shaped crystal votive)
~ or, a small scented candle in your favorite seasonal scent
A wooden honey server and mini "tongs" of sorts (mine is heart-shaped) are two of my favorite tea-serving accessories. I keep them both handy on the tray. Honey is served neatly with the spiral server, which my kids find fun to use. The tongs work perfectly for removing teabags after seeping.
In the closet, next to the tray, I keep a large, wooden dome-topped box (photo below) filled with assorted teas that friends might enjoy. I keep classic regular and decaf teas on hand (Lipton, Irish Breakfast tea) as well as my favorite Yogi teas, which come in exotic and delicious flavors such as Lemon-Ginger and Vanilla-Hazelnut.
Vintage teacups make elegant holders for teabags. Above, I use my great Aunt Helen's pretty pastel-floral teacups to hold the organic green teabags. To hold the used teabags, I use another antique cup from her set. Fun part is, these teacups don't have to match. Although I have several Portmeirion pieces that I treasure, eclectic service is my favorite. A particularly elegant serving piece is the Portmeirion Botanic Garden teapot;
it is classic and vibrant.
The only thing left to do before your friend arrives is to slice some lemon and put out something sweet. You may want to try one of the baking recipes in our older posts - walnut shortbread cookies, pizzelle waffle cookies, chocolate-cranberry biscotti, low-fat blueberry muffins... With this coffee break, we're having my mother's moist and tasty pound cake, made with mini bittersweet-dark chocolate chips.