Finding the perfect space for a tea station at your home is easier than you thought!
B&Bs are all about relaxation, and one of the most relaxing treats you can experience at a luxury bed and breakfast is a cozy cup of tea.
Have you ever wondered why you’ve enjoyed the tea stations at Bed and Breakfasts so much? It’s because the Inns make sure that everything you need is in one small place and the tea stations become a lovely touch to your stay. You can have the same thing at your home if you would like because it doesn’t take much room to plan the perfect tea station. When planning for a tea station, think “UP” instead of “OUT” and begin by using what you already have.
We’ve just created a space for a Tea Station from everything we already had at our B&B. We’ve taken all the thought process of what is needed for a great tea station and thought you might be interested in knowing this information in case you want to make your own.
Guests from all over the world come to the Cajun Mansion and we’ve learned a lot from these guests. Tea drinkers are very particular and they want what they want! We learned that tea drinkers and coffee drinkers are two different breeds and never to mix the two. It’s not ok for a tea drinker to drink their tea from a coffee mug for several reasons. We also learned that tea is brewed at different temperatures; therefore an electric teapot is required with different temperature settings.
The Perfect Place for a Tea Station
Begin by locating the perfect place. It doesn’t take much space; therefore look for an area that has an electrical socket, near your coffee pot or near your stove. The goal is to find a small place to heat your water. An electric tea kettle or a kettle on your stove is your best option for heating hot water. Using hot water from your Keurig machine does not work when making tea for two reasons.
- The water coming out the Keurig tastes like coffee.
- The water coming out the Keurig is NOT brewed at the right temperature for teas.
You’ll also need containers to store your teacups, sugar, spoons, honey, milk, creamer and the tea. Searching for a 2ft by 2ft area on your countertop is the first place I would recommend or a small table near your cabinets. Adding a tray on your countertop or/and adding a small shelving unit on your cabinet top can create the space you are looking for.
Small Spaces – Organize the Perfect Tea Station
Once you’ve collected everything you want to put in your tea station, start thinking about how you will arrange or organize it. The goal is to put everything you need to be condensed into one small space because you want everything to be handy. Stop and think about what you have available to store some of your tea items such as mugs, jars, cup organizers, plastic covered containers, mug racks or a wall hanger for mugs, or even fancy tea cups and saucers. You might even have wall shelves or tabletop storage shelves you can use.
Another option is to hang small baskets to hold tea and infusers or use hooks on the wall between your top cabinets and countertop for your teacups. Adding a lazy susan or a tiered dessert stand works really good also. Just get creative and use what you have at first until you get it just like you want it.
Bulky tea boxes can be stored in the upper cabinets or a cabinet drawer. But remember you can store a few of your favorite tea bags in a small closed in a container with the rest of your tea supplies. Next, you’ll want to figure out how to organize all your stuff.
Medium to Larger Spaces – Organize the Perfect Tea Station
Using a piece of furniture such as a hutch, bar cart, or a chest makes a perfect tea station because they offer more storage. You’ll want a variety of different teas and tea supplies. These pieces of furniture offer drawers and shelves already and all you have to do is stock it up! If you don’t own a piece of furniture, then you might consider buying one from a yard sale, antique market or even one of the local online stores such as facebook marketplace, craigslist or the local buy, sell, trade sites.
There are a variety of condiments that are used with different types of teas. Typical condiments for black tea include milk, sugar, mint, honey, and lemon. You’ll want to skip this step if you serve white, green, or oolong teas – these are best showcased without any condiments.
How to Brew the Tea
As a general rule of thumb, you’ll boil 1 cup of water for one bag of tea (1 teaspoon of loose leaf tea). Whether you are brewing in a teapot or directly in the teacup, you’ll want the tea to steep for about 3 to 5 minutes before you remove the tea bag. Of course, you can adjust this time according to how you prefer your tea.
You’ll also want to brew your tea at the right temperature. Below is a listing of teas and the optimal brewing temperatures. It is best to have an electric teapot with temperature settings to assure you have the right temps.
Suggested Temperature Settings:
White Tea – 160 Degrees F
Green Tea – 150 Degrees – 180 Degrees F
Oolong Tea – 190 Degrees to 120 Degrees F
Black Tea – 200 Degrees to 212 Degrees F
Herbal Teas – 212 Degrees F
Coffee Vs Tea – Tips
Never consider getting your hot water from your coffee Keurig because the water tastes like coffee and tea drinkers recognize the taste immediately! Additionally, never use coffee cups for teacups because they differ in size and you don’t want the coffee odor when drinking tea.
Note that even though you run your coffee cups through the dishwasher, a tea drinker can always smell the coffee smells in the ceramic. As a good rule of thumb, keep our coffee cups and teacups separate.