Tea service onboard can be anything from a simple cup of tea to an elaborate afternoon affair. It’s important to know what your guests expect before serving them.
It’s also important to at least have some knowledge of their tea culture so that when your Russian guests ask the samovar to be warmed up, you are not completely lost.
Formal English tea service
Traditional English tea is served between the hours of 3:30 p.m. and 5 p.m., and it can be consumed as a light meal. You will need a kettle, a teapot, cups, saucers, beverage napkins and a multi-level serving tray for finger foods.
To prepare English Tea:
Russian tea service
Russians drink tea any time of day and especially after meals. Every tea serving is also accompanied with sandwiches, candies and cakes.
Traditional Russian tea is prepared by using a samovar, a vase-like pot that boils water, either electrically or by using coal or wood. The teapot is placed on top of the samovar as the tea brews.
To prepare Russian tea:
Saudi Arabian tea service
Even though Arabians live in a hot climate, hot tea is a staple. It is said to stimulate sweat glands and thus cool the body down, rather than warm it up. Traditional Saudi Arabian tea is normally a dark blend, similar to an English Breakfast.
To prepare Saudi Arabian Tea:
American tea service
Unlike many countries, tea is not a daily ritual in the U.S., but it is still served in coffee shops, high-end restaurants and kosher hotels.
Most Americans drink tea from tea bags or instant tea powder, and though hot tea is often consumed in wintertime, iced tea is more common throughout the year.
To prepare American tea:
Indian tea service
Indians drink Masala Chai throughout the day. They make it from black tea mixed with milk, sugar and tangy spices like cinnamon, clove, cardamom and ginger.
Japanese and Chinese tea service
The Japanese and Chinese drink black, white, green, pur’erh and oolong teas. Japanese and Chinese tea ceremonies are a work of art.
Angela Orecchio is a chief stew and certified health coach. This column was edited from her blog, Savvy Stewardess, The Smart Girl’s Guide to Yachting. Contact her through www.savvystewardess.com.