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Coffee Mornings are normally semi-formal affairs, time bound from 11am to 1pm. These are best for bridge groups, charity meetings, book clubs, mah-jongg parties or for just a neighborhood get-together. It is a convenient way of entertaining people during the day, as the food and drinks can be pre-prepared and laid out beforehand. And of course you can also serve tea at a Coffee Morning!
The following suggestions can make your coffee morning an effortless success:
- The menu should have both sweet and savoury items.
- The snacks should to be light and prettily presented.
- You wouldn’t serve heavy snacks like chhola bhatura or pao bhaji.
- Lay the table beforehand with the quarter plates, tea napkins and pastry forks and spoons.
- Set out the cups and saucers, sugar and honey pots, lemon slices on the table or on a tea trolley along with tumblers and a jug of water. The only thing then that has to be brought in are the tea and coffee pots and the milk/cream.
- When serving instant coffee, put just hot water in your coffee pot and serve the coffee powder separately in a bowl. Your guests can then have the option of how strong a brew they want. Similarly for tea bags.
- For brewed coffee, there are any number of different types of percolators in the world. Practically each country has their own special one! We recommend the Cafetiere (French Press), the South Indian percolators or the electric coffee percolators for being the most convenient. But if you are a coffee enthusiast, try any of the others that suit you.
- Different percolators need different Coffee powders to get the best result. The powder for the French Press is coarser and uses about 1 scoop per cup of coffee.
- For the Indian decoction, one tablespoon of finely ground South Indian coffee is sufficient for one cup.
- For the electric percolators the medium ground coffee is best. If you have an Espresso machine, then the finest ground coffee should be used.
- The Cafetiere is fast and can be used to make several cups quickly. With the South Indian percolators, the decoction can be made beforehand and then just milk and hot water need to be added. In the electric percolator, you can brew the coffee a little ahead of time and it stays warm for a bit. Be careful not to let the brewed coffees sit for too long as they will tend to get very bitter.
- For that something extra, you can add different flavors such as vanilla, hazelnut etc. which are easily available in the market, or just some fresh cinnamon powder for that lovely taste.
- It is easy to offer a variety of teas and flavors as plenty of different flavors are available in the market. A variety of options allow your guests to choose their particular flavors, shows your style and makes your guest feel special!
- Leaf teas should be properly and freshly brewed in the tea pot. Don’t let the leaf tea steep for too long as it will lose its flavor and become bitter.
- Ask your guests how they will have their tea as nowadays many people opt for light tea without milk or sugar.
- Keep a tea mum for the used tea bags or a bowl will also do. Used tea-bags lying on the saucer looks sloppy.
- If one of your guests is a tea connoisseur, you can offer them a selection of good leaf teas which can be brewed in individual cups with tea infusers. Remember to keep a suitable plate or bowl for placing the used tea infuser.
- If someone likes masala chai, this can be prepared in the kitchen and served in a tea pot with a tea cosy to keep warm. It is wisest to strain this tea into the cups and serve the sugar separately.
- Masala chai can be made with a ready mix or brewed with cardamom and cinnamon or ginger or whatever you normally use.
Coffee Morning Menu 1 by Just Manners.com:
- Sardines on Toast
- Beans on Toast
- Vole-u-Vent Mushrooms topped with Cheese
- Ribbon Sandwiches (Chicken and Cucumber)
- Small Assorted Pastries (Petit-Fours)
Coffee Morning Menu 2 by Just Manners.com:
- Cocktail Samosas (Keema and Matar)
- Corn Pakoras
- Aloo Bonda
- Masala Papad
- Light Indian Sweets like Sandesh and Shakar Para
Coffee Morning Menu 3 by Just Manners.com:
- Cheese Straws
- Assorted Pakoras (Cauliflower/Spinach/Onions)
- Aloo Tikki
- Cinnamon Rounds