You don't have to be of Chinese heritage to host the perfect Chinese tea party. In fact, it's as simple as following these four easy steps:
Choose Your Tea
A tea party is centered around the tea, of course, making it essential you pick the right tea or selection of teas to serve. You can choose from slow-dried yellow tea, barely-processed white tea buds, or even tisanes, made, in fact, from flowers and herbs rather than a tea plant itself. Any black, green or oolong tea will suffice to make your Chinese tea party feel authentic, but, to take your authentic Chinese tea party to the next level, try serving a special tea many of your guests may never have heard of that is grown solely in a single Chinese province.
Considered a type of dark tea, pu-erh tea, is a fermented tea unique to the Yunnan province in China. Not only is it uniquely tasty and delicious, but it also possesses many therapeutic properties, most notably as a powerful antioxidant.
For the highest-quality pu-erh tea free of pesticides and pollutants, choose the Farlong Ancient Tree Pu-erh Tea from Farlong Pharmaceutical, grown in a private conservation area located at a 7,200-foot elevation. There, the young, tender leaves of the ancient pu-erh tree are handpicked for each cup of tea.
Select Your Snacks
Tea is best served with a variety of light snacks that complement the beverage's flavors. A common snack at authentic Chinese tea parties that goes well with virtually all teas is peanuts. You can set these out in small bowls around the table along with bowls of vegetable bites, such as fresh, raw Chinese gourd, ice grass, and bamboo shoots. Consider offering a few sweet treats too to cap off the party as a dessert, such as Chinese sweet potato cake.
Set Your Setting
Ideally, you'll hold your authentic Chinese tea party around a low, uncluttered wooden table close to the floor. Set out thick, supportive pillows as seating, and use an authentic Chinese teapot, cups, bowls, and chopsticks as serving ware. Consider setting out decorative cloth napkins instead of paper ones and playing light authentic Chinese music in the background for extra ambiance.
Prepare Your Tea Right
The final step to making your Chinese tea party as authentic as possible is to prepare your tea perfectly. Key is to prime your teacups with hot water prior to pouring tea into them so that they can maintain their heat. The proper temperature for steeping tea is about 195 degrees. And avoid over-steeping your tea, as that can leave it tasting bitter.
For an extra boost, you can even enhance the tea's therapeutic properties by adding notoginseng powder, such as Farlong Pharmaceutical's Notoginseng Extract, containing at least 75% saponins.