How to host a coffee morning or afternoon tea in your garden

We're breaking down our process for brewing the perfect cup of joe, discussing how we like to serve a traditional afternoon tea, and sharing some helpful tips on how to host a coffee morning or afternoon tea party...

We recently looked at how to create the perfect spot for morning coffee or afternoon tea with our garden tables and benches, and we want to follow it up with some simple tips on how you can plan, prep and host.

It could be it’s just a simple morning coffee for you and your partner, or you’re having a few friends over for afternoon tea, no matter which, the Lazy Susan team have compiled some fab pointers.

From breaking down our process for brewing the perfect coffee to what food we like to serve with a traditional afternoon tea, we’ve got some helpful tips that will make things run without a hitch and impress your guests.

How to pick the perfect spot

How to pick the perfect spot for a coffee morning of afternoon tea

First up, as we said in our last post, it is all about location. You need to pick the perfect spot in your garden for morning coffee or afternoon tea, even if that means moving garden furniture, think about the following elements:

  1. Location
    Choose a spot in your garden that is sunny but not too sunny and sheltered from the wind but not too shady.

  2. Seating
    Make sure you have enough seating for your guests.

  3. Decoration
    Don’t forget the decor, simple finishing touches such as tablecloth or fresh flowers can make a big difference.

  4. Serving
    Make sure you have enough food and drink for all your guests.

  5. Seclusion
    You want guests to feel relaxed and comfortable, so choose a spot that’s away from any road noise or nosy neighbours.

  6. Greenery
    Big or small, make sure your outdoor space is inviting and filled with potted plants and fresh flowers.

  7. Shade
    If you are having a coffee morning or afternoon tea in the summer, then make sure you provide some shade with a parasol, awning or positioning the table under a tree.

  8. Personality
    To make your garden tea party special, add plenty of personal touches such as handwritten place cards, fresh flowers, or some chic cups and saucers.

With a little basic planning, and shuffling of chairs and tables, you can create the perfect spot in your garden for a coffee morning or afternoon tea. It is a great way to enjoy your garden and relax with close friends and family.

What makes the perfect morning coffee?

What makes the perfect morning coffee?

For us, the perfect morning coffee is always shared with close friends and family. It is the perfect time to take 5, relax and catch up with the people you care about.

The coffee itself is the key to their hearts. It should be freshly ground and tasty. Here are our top tips for making the perfect morning cup of Joe

  1. Choose the right coffee
    If you are unsure what kind of coffee your friends like, ask them ahead of time. Or, if you are feeling adventurous, try a new blend. For Lazy Susan, the quality of the coffee beans is essential. Opt for beans that are fresh, roasted to perfection, and sourced from reputable and ethical sources.

  2. Grind the coffee beans fresh
    Always grind your coffee beans fresh on the morning your guest(s) is coming. This will help to preserve the flavour of the coffee. Coffee grounds should be consistent and sized appropriately for the brewing method you are using to ensure the best flavour.

  3. Use good-quality water
    This is a step many of us are guilty of forgetting. However, the water you use to brew your coffee can have a big impact on the taste. If you live in an area with hard water for example, avoid the tap if you don’t have a filter, and use bottled water instead.

  4. Brew at the correct temperature
    Brewing time and temperature will vary depending on the brewing method and type of coffee bean you’re using. As a general rule of thumb, you want the water temperature to be between 195°F and 205°F (90-96°C).

  5. Brew for the correct amount of time
    A proper brew time will ensure the best extraction of flavour. A perfect cup of coffee will usually take around 3 to 4 minutes to brew. However, the exact time will vary depending on the brewing method and personal preference.

  6. Use the right coffee-to-water ratio
    Also important. The recommended ratio is usually around 1:16, but it can again vary depending on personal tastes.

  7. Serve the coffee immediately
    Coffee is best enjoyed fresh, so once you’ve brewed the perfect cup, it is time to sit back, relax and sip.

Here are some tips for creating a welcoming atmosphere at your coffee morning:

  1. Set up your garden table
    Provide comfortable seating. Make sure you have enough seating for everyone, and that the chairs are comfortable enough to relax in.

  2. Offer a variety of snacks
    In addition to coffee, offer your friends a variety of snacks, such as pastries, fruit, or yoghurt.

  3. Encourage conversation
    Ask your friends about their day, their week, or their plans for the future.

  4. Make it relaxing
    The most important thing is to relax and enjoy the company of your friends. After all, that is what makes the perfect morning coffee.

  5. Make it personal
    If you know your friend's favourite coffee type (flat white, cappuccino, latte, etc.), make it for them. Or, if you know they have any dietary requirements such as oat milk, make sure you have options available that they can enjoy too.

  6. Don’t be afraid to experiment
    If you have a new coffee maker or coffee beans you’ve not used before, try them out first. Get used to it and test different types of coffee.

  7. And have fun
    Put on some music, decorate your garden table, and enjoy each other's company. The more fun you have, the more memorable the experience will be, the more often you’ll do it.

Most importantly, remember that the perfect morning coffee for friends is about more than just the coffee itself though. Yes, it is cortical but it is also about making time to relax and catch up with loved ones.

If you need a couple of winning recipes for your next coffee morning, then the following get a big tried and tested thumbs up from the Lazy Susan team:

Cinnamon Roll Coffee Cake Recipe by Divas Can Cook

This cinnamon roll coffee cake is the best pairing ever for morning coffee. It is moist and fluffy, and it has just the right amount of sweetness with the perfect kind of crumb.

The perfect coffee cake by Preppy Kitchen

What goes great with coffee? Coffee cake! This delicious melt-in-your-mouth coffee cake has a ribbon of cinnamon filling and a crispy topping. Soft with a moist crumb and a bit of crunch on top; it's a perfect breakfast treat!

5 Mouth-Watering Pastries Perfect For Brunch from Tasty

The official YouTube channel of all things Tasty has 5 delicious mouth-wateringly good pastries that are perfect for a coffee morning with friends or family!

What makes the perfect afternoon tea?

What makes the perfect afternoon tea?

Much of what applies to morning coffee and also be applied to afternoon tea but it is typically served between 2:00 pm and 4:00 pm

Of course, you can choose a time that works best for you and your guests. Nothing wrong with morning tea and afternoon coffee! If you want afternoon tea in the morning and morning coffee in the afternoon, then you do it.

To host the perfect afternoon tea for friends or family, our advice is much the same though. Pay attention to the details, from the food and drinks to the table setting and atmosphere.

To host the perfect afternoon tea, we think you need to:

  1. Choose a date and time
    Afternoon tea is typically served between 2:00 pm and 4:00 pm but we think you can do it at any time of the day.

  2. Set the scene
    You want to create a relaxing and inviting atmosphere and we think this is best done by taking the time to set the table with your best china, silverware, and a good garden table centrepiece.

  3. Choose a theme
    A good theme can help you with decorating and narrowing down what food and drink to serve. Some popular afternoon tea themes that we love include; Boho Vintage, Garden Party, Royal Celebration and a Mad Hatters-style tea party.

  4. Prepare the food
    Traditionally, afternoon tea will consist of three tiers of food: Sandwiches, Scones, and Cakes. You can either prepare the food yourself or there are places you can buy such as the Cream Tea Sets from the Cornish Co. Afternoon tea typically consists of sandwiches, scones, and cakes.

  5. Set your garden table
    Use your best china and silverware, and add a personal touch with fresh flowers or a few outdoor candles. We think you should also use a tiered cake stand to display your food, whatever you decide to serve.

  6. Serve the tea
    Offer your guests a variety of teas to choose from, such as black tea, green tea, and a few herbal options. You will also want to offer a variety of milk and sugar, etc. so people can have their brew to taste.

  7. Create a relaxed atmosphere
    Encourage your guests to chat and socialise. Make it fun. With a little planning, you can keep things relaxed and have a good catch-up.

If you want to do a little more research and planning, then pick up a copy of Afternoon Tea At Home by Will Torrent and give the following videos a watch:

How To Host Afternoon Tea At Home with Jamila Musayeva

In this video, Jamila shows you how to host your own afternoon tea party at home for two. If you have a bigger party to host, then you can adjust the number of sandwiches, scones and desserts accordingly.

How to host the best Afternoon Tea with Nikita Amerie

If you're looking for inspiration, then this is a fun video of Nikita hosting an afternoon tea party with her friends.

A whimsical cottage-core garden tea party: Recipes & decor ideas from Haley Post at My Moonstone Kitchen

Haley has some great tips on how to create an outdoor cottage-core tea party -from tea sandwiches and desserts to flowers and decor -  and she has some fab recipes for some fab cucumber Sandwiches, a hummus and veggie sandwich and a wonderful radish crostini.

If you have any photos of your coffee morning or afternoon tea party, we’d love to see a few for our Do Some Good charity campaign. You can tag us @LazySusanFurniture on Instagram or Facebook or Upload them.

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