Foods to Serve At Tea Time

by BuckHawk

The best types of foods to serve with different types of tea time including foods to serve children.

Serving Foods with Tea is Appropriate

No matter what kind of tea time it is.

Whether you are hosting a formal afternoon tea, enjoying tea time with a few friends or just relaxing with a cup of tea, serving up the right foods will add to the pleasure. You will want those foods to be just the right touch. Tea time is a special occasion, so make the foods special.


That certainly doesn't have to mean anything elaborate. But, it does mean the right kind of foods. Tea time is a relaxing time, different from grabbing a quick cup of coffee to get us going in the morning. So brew up your favorite cup of tea, sit back and relax while you see about the right kinds of food to serve up at tea time. Visit Whimsical Teapots and Tea Cups, a site all about tea time, to find recipes, favorite teapots and cups, specialty teas, books about tea, even learn how to brew the perfect pot of tea.


Finger Foods At Tea Time

Simple to Elegant

Tea time is traditionally between meals. Whether it's mid-morning or mid-afternoon, a light snack works to stave off hunger during those inbetween times.


Tea time foods should always be finger foods. Forks, spoons and knives don't work well while drinking tea. The size of the foods should be appropriate for a bite or two and able to rest on the saucer beside the tea cup. Think in sizes of about 2 inches. Even if you are serving tea in mugs rather than cups and saucers, small finger foods are the best option.


Shapes can be just about anything your heart desires. Squares, triangles, circles, stars, and yes, even hearts work well for the finger food shapes. Get out your cookie cutters when preparing tea time foods.

A variety of shapes work well, but don't be afraid to think in terms of themes. Imagine tea time in February with all heart-shaped foods.


Tea Time Deserves Beautiful Tea Service

Complete sets for your tea time
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Flavorful Foods at Tea Time

Small doesn't mean tasteless

The kinds of foods you serve can be either savory sandwiches, sweet biscuits or both. Just because the foods are meant to be a light snack, they don't need to be light on taste. Flavorful foods are always welcome.


Finger sandwiches are an easy option for an afternoon tea time. Place your favorite spread between two slices of bread and cut the sandwich into quarters. Traditionally, the crusts are removed for finger sandwiches. Removing the crusts also makes a delightful presentation for guests.


Open-faced sandwiches don't work quite as well. They are harder to handle with just your fingers. And a bit messier, too.


Sweet biscuits, biscottis and cookies work well for the sweet side of tea time. They don't have to be elaborate recipes. They can be as simple as store-bought shortbread cookies. But, easy recipes abound for delicious scones and tasty biscuits. So you can add your own touch when sharing tea time with guests.

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Share Tea Time With Children

Food options for the younger set

Include your own children and your guests' children when enjoying tea time. Even if they aren't tea drinkers or too young to be introduced to tea, they can always enjoy their favorite juice or milk in a special cup like the grown-ups.


Peanut butter and jelly sandwiches cut into fun shapes are typically crowd-pleasers for the younger set. But, you don't need to limit yourself, either. Test out other sandwich options for children and always allow them to taste the foods the adults are enjoying.


My own children were introduced to afternoon tea at an early age. They learned to sit still for more than a few seconds, learned that they liked Cucumber Dill sandwiches and learned to enjoy a peaceful conversation. They also carried this tradition on to their own children. Which means, I can enjoy afternoon tea with my grandchildren. It is such a special time for us.

Updated: 01/31/2012, BuckHawk
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Angel on 01/31/2012

I have tea with my daughters all the time. I love tea!

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