I premise this is based on my own experience and is not universal, but since I noticed really positive results in practicing this with girlfriends and friends alike, I thought I could put this out for everyone's benefit and try.
So, let's begin.
If there's something good my mother left me, is the way she prepares and drinks tea - I later discovered she didn't invent anything but very likely took inspiration from George Orwell's essay A nice cup of tea, at least on some points. Although I read it and found it interesting, the method and ways I have developed for myself, taken from those of my mother's, are ultimately quite different.
So, let's see the best way to drink tea with a date, or your romantic partner.
- Get quality tea
It can be Chinese, Turkish, Indian, Ceylonese or Afghani tea - it doesn't matter, as long as it's high quality and not cheap from the discount market. The discount one will just make you taste dirty water that you think it's tea. Be willing to spend a little more, it will be something that your partner and your tastebuds will be thankful for!
That said, and I admit that for true tea lovers that's an heresy on my part, I'm not really particular about the blend and hour you want to drink it: whenever English Breakfast, Irish, Oolong, Earl Grey, Russian Caravan... there's for every taste and preference, so find the one you prefer the most.
- Get delicious pastries
This is another one that true tea lovers won't forgive me.
A proper tea tasting should entail scones, sauces, sandwiches and then pastries, but since this is an experience I reccomend for the middle-late afternoor or early evening, I generally just offer quality biscuits and pastries.
With all the ladies I had the pleasure of sharing tea, the first thing they would get interested in were the pastries I brought, more than the tea itself. But I managed to let them discover how the tea was a treat in itself and the pastries were the perfect match for it!
No sugar, maybe milk
When I set up the table for tea, I never - never - put a sugar bowl. Sugar is banned.
It ruins the taste of tea, or like George Orwell wrote: "If you sweeten it, you are no longer tasting the tea, you are merely tasting the sugar; you could make a very similar drink by dissolving sugar in plain hot water.". This is absolutely right.
I still put little spoons with the cups though.
Why, if there's no sugar available? Because they are still needed to mix better the tea and the milk if you want.
Why no to sugar, but yes to milk? Because while sugar outright destroys the taste of the tea, the milk often compliments it and makes it slightly less bitter to those who don't like a excessively bitter or strong taste.
- Most importantly, have fun
Although it can be fun to teach and learn something new with your date and share such an experience, don't be (too) strict about those guidelines: you want to entertain your date or partner, not annoy them!
Although for me every experience has been different - someone only looked at the pastries, someone else enjoyed more the tea - I can guarantee that it always made for something particular and especially fun to share. Make it a pleasant and bonding experience above all.
Those are my little point for having a fun tea date or simply share a nice cup of tea with your partner. I hope you can find them useful and appreciate them.
Thank you for reading,
I admit that I wrote this a bit to share it on here, and a bit to refresh my memory and go over those points. Hopefully this afternoon tea will go as well as the others!