Americans love meeting for coffee, but no other afternoon gathering for ladies matches the elegance of a Tea Party with all the traditions that accompany it. The tea must be brewed in just the correct manner to achieve the best taste. After boiling the water, it is important to pour a bit of the hot water into the teapot to pre-warm it. Put tea leaves in the pot and pour the boiled water over them. Put the lid on the teapot and then cover the teapot with a “tea cozy” or towel to retain the warmth. After letting the tea steep for about three minutes, remove the tea leaves. If you would like milk in your tea, add it to your cup before pouring in your tea. Then add sugar to taste. Tea party sandwiches are usually open-faced, easy to eat, and very fancy. Popular varieties include cucumber, smoked salmon, and watercress/egg salad. Every good tea party should include some pastries. Homemade scones in a variety of flavors complete the offering.