Tea & Coffee – Building Your Service On A Budget

Creating A Tea or Coffee Service On A Budget

Creating A Tea or Coffee Service On A Budget

How To Create A Beautiful Table ~

It really doesn’t take a lot of expense to build a beautiful coffee or tea service. Your tea service does not have to match. It actually makes for a more interesting service if it doesn’t. And each person who regularly comes to your afternoon tea will begin to develop a liking to one particular cup in your collection.

One of the best places to find new additions to your service collection will be thrift stores, flea markets and some antique stores. Though they can get kind of pricey. And check out your local Goodwill. You might be amazed at what some people will give away thinking they have no use for it anymore.

There are some things to think about in order to create a lovely and complimentary service. Begin with picking 2 or 3 primary colors that will define your service. Pink and blue, or yellow and green, perhaps you’re like me and you have an affinity for pink and green mint.

Next pick a theme. I’m partial to flowers. You might have a connection to berries, or birds. Whatever draws your interest can become a theme for your collection. Allow your service to be a reflection of you, your personality and your style.

Don’t assume your service needs to be pink on white. A lovely collection will have a variety of white cups with pink flowers, or pink cups with darker pink flowers, or pale mint cups with dark pink flowers. Oh the variation is wide and long for the choices you can find. Let your heart go on an excursion and explore the possibilities.

teaservice2To start a collection you need some basic items before you hold your first afternoon tea. You need a pot of course. Make sure you find the right kind of pot to go with your event. There’s a difference between a Coffee, Tea and Chocolate pot. You’ll need a serving creamer, a sugar bowl which can come with a top, or simply be a small bowl.

At a minimum you’ll want four cups with four saucers. If you mix and match the cups and saucers, make sure the bottom of the cup fits in the molding of the saucer. Nothing worse than giving a guest a wobbly cup. 

Finding additional saucers that might look nice in your collection, can build your collection for future finds. But until you have a cup to go with them, they can be used as part of your dish service.

For Afternoon Tea you’ll want a bread plate and a salad plate. You’ll want two plates per setting for your guests to place their selection of goodies onto. Scones and sweet desserts go on the bread plate. The salad plate is used for your tea sandwiches and other goodies, such as fruits and fresh veggies.

As you build your collection you can provide your guests with two bread plates. One for their scones and jams, and another for their desserts. If you’re going to provide some type of pudding or ice-cream with your tea, you should include the soup bowl as part of the place setting.

Here’s a quick list of what you need at a minimum for each setting and the table. This doesn’t cover the serving plates for your menu items. So keep a look out for two and three tiered serving arrays and large plates that you might use as serving platters.

  • Dinner plate, 10 1/2″ diameter
  • Salad plate, 8 1/2″ diameter
  • Bread and butter, 7″ diameter
  • Soup bowl, 8 1/2″ diameter
  • tea / coffee cup
  • saucer
  • water glass
  • tea / coffee / chocolate pot
  • sugar bowl
  • small plate for lemon slices
  • a creamer for milk
  • a creamer for honey
  • a saucer to sit the honey cream upon


For High Tea, you would use all of these items per setting. And we haven’t even talked about the wine and water glasses! We’ll save that for a later post. Right now, focus on building your Afternoon china setting. 

VR-Hanko ~ All Rights Reserved ©

 © 2013 Victoria’s Rose ~ All Rights Reserved.

One thought on “Tea & Coffee – Building Your Service On A Budget

  1. Thank you for sharing this. I’ve wanted to get into holding tea parties, but had no idea on how to get started.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s