Danielle is throwing a "green" tea party and you're invited! Join Danielle as she talks to Grace Grund from Terra Tea Salon and Fair Trade Eco Market about the best eco-friendly teas to buy and as she plans a sustainable tea party. (Nick Scott/MNN)
Danielle: Hi, I’m Danielle Venokur from dvGreen and today we are talking about how to throw an eco-friendly tea party. So, this could be a ladies’ lunch, it could be a bridal shower, it could be a baby shower, but what it is first and foremost is a tea party. So, I’m here with Grace Grund from Terra Tea Salon and Fair Trade Eco Market in Montclair, New Jersey. And she’s gonna help us put together our eco-friendly tea party. Hi, Grace.
Danielle: Can you just tell me why organic, why fair trade, why is this important and how is it better?
Grace: Absolutely. You know, we’ve heard the term “organic” quite a bit. So we know that if you eat something that is grown organically, then you’re not eat – ingesting any chemicals. It’s really better for your body. It’s certainly better for the environment, the planet.
Danielle: How does the pricing come out with the organic and the fair trade? Does it make it much more expensive?
Grace: You know, really, it doesn’t, and I think that you're getting a better quality product for your money.
Danielle: So, with that in mind, what are a few of your favorites here?
Grace: I would say that I’m a huge Earl Grey fan. So, my – one of my favorites is the Enchanted Earl. This is a mother and daughter out of Oregon who decided …
Danielle: I love the packaging.
Grace: … and somebody does these beautiful Victorian drawings for them. So that’s one of mine. I very much like a nice English Breakfast and this is produced by Zhena. She’s out in Ojai, California. So this is a black tea, which is just a plain, you know, sort of typical English Breakfast tea. And this is Sense of Peace, which is one of my favorite white teas. White tea has less caffeine. It’s a very subtle, gentle – so this is lovely for an evening where you don't want too much caffeine. And then I just mention that rooibos, which is not a tea at all, but actually from – it’s a South African red bush, is no caffeine and oftentimes used as a substitute for people who want some kind of tea but don't want the caffeine.
Grace: And it’s full of antioxidants and minerals.
Danielle: Okay, great. Well, thank you so much.
Grace: Enjoy your cuppa.
Danielle: Okay. So, now that we know what kind of tea we’re gonna use, organic and fair trade, I’d love to talk to you a little bit about how you might want to set up your table for your eco-friendly tea party. As always, we love to use – to go to our farmer’s market and use local flowers. And these flowers are all designed in these vintage little teacups and gravy saucer that I got at a Salvation Army. So, you can find really great deals. It’s fun to rummage around and find this stuff and it makes for such a beautiful, really delicate, feminine look. And we have our organic tea sandwiches with organic cucumbers and bread and a nice little cream on there and some dill. And over here, some organic scones.
Danielle: So, when I – when I throw parties together, especially something like an intimate little tea party, I love to give my friends a little gift to go home with. I think the perfect gift for this is something like a tea mint. So these came from Grace’s shop, Terra, in New Jersey, these green tea mints, which are also fair trade and organic. Lots of other tea ideas, you can give little tea satchels. There’s a lot of cute little ideas, but something that’s within the theme, and obviously we want to try and keep it organic, fair trade, and local.
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Danielle Venokur, creator of a Manhattan-based sustainable event planning company, hosts MNN's "The Green Party." In this series, Danielle offers her easy and elegant ideas for hosting intimate gatherings and big events in an eco-friendly way. Danielle has mastered the art of blending stylish and hip while being sustainable and responsible. You can learn about her party style by looking at other chapters of "The Green Party" video series.