Hmm. Seems I'm forgetting some little thing ... oh right. The tea. Which means loose tea, not bags, and not supermarket stuff. "Most of the tea sold in the USA is dust!" dismisses Claudio Soberanes. Fortunately Afternoon Tea sells 27 varieties of quality Southeast Asian-grown loose-leaf tea (at about $1 per serving), plus teapots with convenient built-in strainers. Warm your pot, add fresh boiling water to leaves in proportions of roughly one rounded teaspoonful per cup, cover and infuse for three to five minutes, remove leaves (overlong exposure makes the brew bitter), and you have a classic cuppa.
The only possible supplement I can imagine for a holiday tea party would be Bisquets Roses de Reims, hard pink cookies made in the Champagne region of France (available at Cookworks, 9700 Collins Ave., Bal Harbour), which are made for dunking. In champagne, not tea. Which upgrades your Full Tea to a Royal Tea -- a legit Brit category, honest -- and makes all those end-of-the-afternoon karaoke Christmas carols sound infinitely better.
Tea for two or three or eighteen -- do it yourself with a little help from shop friends
305-238-6696. Open Monday 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Tuesday through Friday 9:30 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., Saturday 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.