Surprise your loved one with “tea for two”!

Roses. Image: AntiqueClipArt.com

“There are people who have money, and there are people who are rich.”  Coco Chanel said that many years ago, and it’s no less true today.  While expensive luxuries indicate your eagerness to spoil and treat your beloved, investing your heart and your effort in something can produce a much more satisfying result than simply throwing money at the situation.  Why not skip the crowds and inflated prices in the fancy restaurants this Valentine’s Day and eat in for a change?  Plan a romantic, luxurious breakfast, afternoon or evening tea for two, and who knows how the day might end?  Many traditional aphrodisiacs, like chocolate, go very well with tea.  Here are some suggestions, but be sure to use loose-leaf tea for this elegant meal:

Champagne
Orange-blossom scented tea
Rose-scented black tea
Jasmine green tea
Rose tisane

Caviar on toast
Crab-stuffed Mushrooms
Prosciutto Phyllo Roll-ups
Roast Beef & Pear Crostini
Cheese Souffles

Aztec Chocolate Bread Pudding
Chocolate Fondue
Black Forest Crepes
Wonton Kisses
Cinnamon Love Knots
Red velvet cupcakes

If you have the time, breakfast in bed is a completely romantic way to serve tea to your loved one.  Darjeeling tea, which is known as “the Champagne of tea” for its pleasant astringency, can be substituted for real Champagne in the morning and afternoon.  Float a few edible rose petals in the cup for extra romance and flavor; a friend with a rose bush in their garden is a good source for edible rose petals, as long as they don’t use pesticides or spray fertilizers.

You could also give tea and/or tea-related items, instead of – or in addition to – the traditional flowers and chocolate, for a much more personal and meaningful gift for your favorite tea-lover.  To get the red velvet cake in the menu above, you can go to a local cupcake bakery or simply buy a cake mix and bake them at home. Duncan Hines makes a red velvet cake mix that is available at local Safeway stores, and is recommended by the members of the Afternoon Tea Across America internet discussion group.  Make or get some cream cheese frosting for the cake, and you’ll have a festive and tasty dessert.  Finish the table with a bouquet of roses — garden roses are more intimate than expensive, long-stemmed red roses — and you’ll have a romantic table for two!

Copyright 2011, Elizabeth Urbach.

For more information: “Where to go for tea on Valentine’s Day”
“Chocolate and tea: the perfect match?”
“Gift ideas for the San Jose tea-lover”
“Use tea as a holiday champagne substitute”
“Tea 101: How to brew a pot of hot tea using loose tea”
“Is it too warm to sleep?  Try soothing orange-blossom mint tisane”
“How to use edible flowers for tisanes”
“Tea and food pairings for black teas”
“Review of The Republic of Tea’s Orange Blossom White Tea”
“Review: the Royal Wedding tea from Lisa’s Tea Treasures”
“How to make rose-scented sugar for tea”
“Valentine’s Day tea party plan”

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