Tea on the Front Porch

We have a front porch! Oh, pardon my over exuberance there. But it is exciting. We can stand or sit on it while rain is pouring down and not get wet even a little bit. We can sit on the old porch swing (that is sorely in need of painting — we’ll get around to it some day) and watch birds and kids and cars going by. We can even hold a casual tea time there. Which we did.

The green outdoor carpeting, red tray, and white teawares sort of gave our tea time a Christmas look, but temps were in the low 90s with high humidity! (Photo by A.C. Cargill, all rights reserved.)
The green outdoor carpeting, red tray, and white teawares sort of gave our tea time a Christmas look, but temps were in the low 90s with high humidity! (Photo by A.C. Cargill, all rights reserved.)

The key ingredient in having tea on a porch is, in my mind, seating. We had a couple of options: the porch swing with its peeling paint or a couple of folding camp chairs (with the built-in soda can holder in the right arm). The challenge of the swing was the swinging. It can be tricky to sip from a teacup during such motion. Swing forward … sip—dang! Swing backward … sip—yikes! Most of that last sip went into my lap. I guess those folding camp chairs will be a better option. But that poses a problem with regards to a second key ingredient: a table.

Obviously, for us to use a decent teacup and saucer, we will need a table on which to put them when not sipping since they won’t fit into that soda can holder. You also need somewhere for setting the teapot and that serving plate piled high with our tea time treats. We certainly feel no need to “rough it” by using some steeping cup and serving up our Bakewells in their original box simply because our tea time venue is unconventional (no tearoom, dining room, or lady-in-waiting palatial sitting room).

The best procedure at this point is to steep up the tea. I’m going for that most uniquely blended and flavored tea Buckingham Palace Garden Party. It’s a delicate medium tea with a hint of Earl Grey and Jasmine. A combination of malty Assam (from the estate of Borengajuli), flavorful Dimbula Ceylon (from Hatton), brisk and golden East of Rift Kenya (from Kambaa and Kagwe), along with that oil of bergamot and the scent of jasmine blossoms.

It can be difficult to choose any one treat to go with this tea since it seems to go with just about anything, but as I stated before, Mr. Kipling’s Bakewells are my personal choice — a box for me, a box for hubby. Yum! We like to pile them on a plate and put a cover over them to keep away predatory wasps and bees attracted to the bright colors and sweetness.

Time to sit back in our camp chairs, cups of tea and cakes in hand, and sip and nibble. While doing so, two pre-teen boys walked by with their very heavy-looking backpacks and seemed to be heading home, a cardinal landed on a nearby bush and scoped out the possibility of a crumb or two coming his way and then gave up and flew away, a small cloud in the western sky billowed up briefly into a rather brilliant white mass of water droplets and then spread out again and disappeared, a pickup truck with an old washing machine in the back drove by, and one of the many stray cats in the area lazed past the porch over to the side yard where he laid down and totally ignored us in typical cat-like fashion.

Even after the last of the cakes were eaten and the last drop of tea was drunk we sat and extended what had been one of the most relaxing tea times we’ve had in a long while.

Feeling harried? Does your schedule seem overly full? Have a front porch? Sounds like it’s time for tea!

See more of A.C. Cargill’s articles here.

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2 thoughts on “Tea on the Front Porch

    1. A.C. Cargill

      Sounds wonderful. We thought of screening in the porch while sitting out there sipping out tea but decided against it so we can maintain a true open feeling. But that might change in future. Thanks for reading and have a palatial tea day!

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