Tea accessories are often just too tempting and cute to resist, even when they aren’t, strictly speaking, necessary. You can always set them around the house as decorations or put them to a use other than the one intended. Of course, your other alternative is to hold more tea parties so you have an excuse to use them.
Gold sugar tongs (plain or with a rose pattern) are one such item. For hubby and me, our sweetener comes in little blue packets. Also, in our house, sugar, if we use it, is not in cubes. Why on earth would we want sugar tongs, then? For the same reason that I have a fine bone china teapot with matching sugar and creamer that I’ve never used: to create that atmosphere that comes from having tea in a true British-style tearoom. There’s something refined about it, something that can’t quite be put into words, even by someone like me with a good chunk of the 100,000+ words in the English language crammed into her head (saves time looking them up in the dictionary).
A set of six silver-plated tea spoons is another accessory that is definitely optional for enjoying tea. After all, a spoon is a spoon is a spoon. Or is it? There are measuring spoons, mixing spoons, serving spoons, soup spoons, spoons for the table that are called teaspoons, spoons with long handles called iced tea spoons, and on and on. They don’t seem to stir the tea in my cup quite the same as a silver-plated tea spoon — or is that just my feverish imagination? The same goes for a gold demi spoon, whether plain or with a heart (or maybe a little teapot) at the end of the handle.
A few more items that are just great to have around:
- a sugar and creamer set in the shape of giant strawberries,
- a special timer that says “Tea Timer” and has a picture of tea leaves on it (a plain timer won’t do),
- a honey pot in the shape of a beehive,
- a teabag holder in the shape of a teapot (available in four colors, so you might as well have them all),
- a tea ball infuser with a tiny teacup on the end of the chain, and
- a gold-plated teapot warmer.
That last one is admittedly quite useful, but gold plating is above and beyond the realm of practicality, adding its glitter to the teatable and an air of wonderful excessiveness.
Let’s face it, you can get quite carried away with all of the fabulous items available. You will probably even find yourself rationalizing the purchase of a 3-tier chrome finish serving tray. How better to display those homemade petit fours for your teatime guests? And of course you need a variety of cozies for your bevy of teapots. How could you possibly let any of them shiver in the cold? It would be totally inhumane — er, inhu-teapot? — whatever.
Of course, there are some very practical tea accessories, but what fun is that? Drip catchers that fit on your teapot spout keep those drips from landing everywhere or running down the teapot and staining your nice white tablecloth when you set it down. A tipping tea strainer is there to strain your wonderful loose leaf tea and then sits well-behaved on the tea table with any tea drips going into the attached base drip catcher. Tea chests are both practical and decorative. Even those of us who prefer loose teas find them irresistible. Imagine lifting the lid on a Cherry Marbelized Deluxe Tea Chest with an engraved brass plate and finding not teas, but tea accessories!
Hope this inspires you to accessorize your teatime just for the heck of it. The atmosphere will make your tea taste even better. Honest!
Just for the heck of it, head over to A.C.’s blog, Tea Time with A.C. Cargill!