Happy St. Patrick’s Day tea party sign and decorations, shamrocks, and green bow tie

The New Tradition That Celebrates Your Rich Irish Heritage

Whether you’re Irish or not, St. Patrick’s Day is a ton of fun. And while beer and shamrocks get all the special attention, you shouldn’t overlook Ireland’s most popular drink. No, not beer — tea!

Among the top tea-drinking countries on the planet, Ireland comes in only second to Turkey. The average person in Ireland drinks about 1,208 cups of tea a year or about 3.3 cups a day. So, if you want to celebrate all things Ireland you need to switch out that pint of beer for a cup of strong black tea and host a St. Patrick’s Day tea party! 

Have a few people over for some laughs, tea, and treats. At the very least, you can send your guests off to celebrate the beer-drinking evening with full bellies and a spot of caffeine to get them through the night. 

How to Host a St. Patrick’s Day Tea Party

St. Patrick’s Day tea mug with whipped cream and a plate of shamrock cookies

This year you want to switch things up a little bit — the best way to do that is with a pre-evening St. Patrick’s Day tea celebration. What is more Irish than enjoying your favorite people while drinking a hearty pot of Irish breakfast tea

Hosting your own St. Patrick’s Day tea party is easy — with a little planning and prep you’ll have it all figured out in no time. Here is a short checklist: to guide you:

  • Pick the type of tea party & theme of your tea event
  • Finalize your guest list and send the invites (and get confirmations!)
  • Plan your tea and food menu
  • Gather party decorations & decorate the day before
  • Prep sandwich fillings 1-2 days before
  • Make sandwiches and scones on the day of your party
  • Enjoy the festivities! Huzzah!

3 Types of Tea Parties for St. Patrick’s Day

You already have a few invitees in mind. But, do you want to host an intimate tea or a bigger gathering? The type of tea party you host will depend on the size of your guest list. Here is the breakdown and best practices for three types of tea events:

1. Afternoon Tea - 2 to 6 people

The traditional afternoon tea is always a memorable showstopper and one your guests will talk about for ages. But, it’s the most time-consuming and detailed to prep and it can get complicated if there are too many people to serve.

Afternoon tea has a lot of little details like finger sandwiches, scones, cream, jams, desserts, savories, and tea with all of the fixings. This is why you should keep an afternoon tea between two and six guests and invite your most cherished friends. 

2. Cream Tea - 4 to 20 people or more

If you want to host a lot of people, a cream tea is the perfect St. Patrick's Day tea event for you. Because a cream tea requires only scones and tea, the limited menu is great for a large crowd — all you need is the space and enough scones and tea to keep your guests happy.

This can be a sit-down event or a stand-and-mingle event. Make the setup easy especially if you have more than 10 guests — and use a buffet table to display all of the food and drinks. Your guests can help themselves and you can enjoy the party, too.

3. High Tea - 4 to 8 people

If you or your guests prefer a hearty Irish meal instead of a delicate tea, a St. Patrick’s Day high tea will be the perfect event for you. High tea is no more than dinner served with a big pot of tea on the side. Corned beef or a rich slow-cooked stew is a fantastic pairing for a strong pot of black tea

Unless you can accommodate a lot of people, you should probably keep your St. Patrick’s Day high tea between four and eight guests. Consider serving your meal in courses for an extra special touch. You can start with potato leek soup, move to the main course, and finish the evening with a delicious dessert and full happy bellies. 

5 Creative St. Patrick’s Day Themes for Your Tea Party

St. Patrick’s Day tea party theme woman with green shamrock glasses

Take your tea party to the next level with a theme. Here are some creative St. Patrick’s Day tea party ideas to inspire your decor and menu:

1. Green All Over

You can never go wrong with an all-green-themed St. Patrick’s Day tea party. But, don’t stop at the decor! You can also switch out that red velvet cake for a green velvet cake, or create a menu that has a plethora of green goodies. A green dress code is a must — offer a prize for the greenest guest at the party.

2. Gold and Glitter

If the green theme seems a little too obvious and overdone, try adding a little flair and elegance to your tea event with a gold color scheme instead. Use decor that’s inspired by that Irish pot of glittering gold at the end of the rainbow. The best part? — You can recycle a lot of this decor for birthdays and New Year’s Eve celebrations!

3. Going Green

If your circle of peers is all about health and environmentalism, a “going green” tea party may be the perfect twist for St. Patrick’s Day tea festivities. Buy single-origin organic teas in compostable bags. Gift your guests environmentally conscious borosilicate glass tea cups. Offer a healthy menu with fresh vegetables and food that makes them feel good about their health and a green planet.

4. Booze and Guinness Infusion

Tea and beer? — Yes, you can have both at your St. Patrick’s Day tea party! Add Guinness to your roast for your evening high tea. You can also make Guinness-infused cakes or desserts that your friends will love — this is especially true for anything made with chocolate. And you can add a little touch of Bailey's Irish Cream if your friends are the booze-happy kind of people.

5. Traditional Irish Flair

Keep your tea party straightforward with a traditional Irish menu for an evening high tea. Make Irish soda bread, corned beef with cabbage, colcannon potatoes, and an Irish apple cake. You can’t go wrong by sneaking in a little splash of Guinness as you prep your main course or dessert. A hearty pot of hot black tea is an excellent pairing for all of these strong flavors.

St. Patrick’s Day Afternoon Tea Menu Ideas

St. Patrick’s Day tea sugar cookies on green pedestal

High tea and cream tea are fabulous St. Patrick’s Day tea party options, but the most complex and time-consuming menu will be for an afternoon tea party. Traditionally, afternoon tea has scones, finger sandwiches, and desserts. Here are some delicious ideas for menu planning: 

Choose Your Tea

A hearty Irish breakfast tea is the preferred choice because the Irish love strong fresh tea — but, it might not be a great option for those who have a delicate palate. Other tea options include English breakfast or Darjeeling, which aren’t as strong but offer a great flavor that pairs well with every kind of food and dessert. Serve your tea with whole milk and sugar on the side. 

If your guests need to limit caffeine, go with decaf or caffeine-free tea. Herbal teas aren’t made with real tea, and they’re naturally caffeine-free. You can also decaffeinate your own tea at home if you want to stick with those authentic black tea flavors, but be aware that there are still trace amounts of caffeine in decaffeinated tea! 

Bake Your Own Scones

There’s nothing quite like biting into a warm freshly-baked scone smothered with Devonshire cream and jam. Consider serving two kinds of scones at your afternoon tea so your guests have some options to choose from. Here are a few flavor ideas:

  • Irish Soda Scones
  • Currant or Raisin Scones
  • Irish Cream Scones
  • Blueberry Scones

Create Your Finger Sandwiches

For your St. Patrick’s Day tea, you want to have at least three sandwich flavors for good variety, but no more than six so you can keep your sanity. Prepare the fillings ahead of time but make your sandwiches right before your event — you can store them in the fridge in a sealed container. The sky is the limit when it comes to finger sandwiches and here are some Irish flavors to inspire you:

  • Cucumber and Herbed Cream Cheese
  • Smoked Salmon and Capers
  • Chicken Salad with Celery and Roasted Pecans
  • Egg Salad with Dill
  • Beef and Swiss Cheese with Ground Mustard
  • Watercress and Butter
  • Cheese and Ham Toastie

Make Your Sweets

You might not have to create everything from scratch, and this is especially true for your desserts. As you get closer to the event, try keeping a lookout for petite Irish-themed desserts that can be can be eaten in a few bites. A local store or bakery might have the perfect variety so you have a few less things to prepare. 

But, if you want to make your own sweets, here are some ideas:

  • Mini Shamrock Sugar Cookies
  • Rustic Shortbread Cookies or Millionaire Shortbread Bites
  • Green Velvet Cupcakes with Cream Cheese Frosting
  • Chocolate Guinness Petit Fours with Chocolate Ganache
  • Mini Chocolate Whoopie Pies with Mint Frosting
  • Irish Bread Pudding Bites with Whiskey Glaze

Bring Your St. Patrick’s Day Tea Party to Life

How excited are you to host a St. Patrick’s Day tea party? You can gather all of your tea essentials for your Irish tea party at Teabloom. Here, you will find all of the cups and teapots you need to host that perfect tea party your loved ones won’t stop talking about. They just might want it to become the new annual tradition!

Explore a wide variety of delicious organic and kosher teas. Take a look at borosilicate glass teaware that is beautifully made with your health in mind. Find precisely what you want so you can enjoy your favorite teas every day with Teabloom.