Tea Concentrate
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The Question is: How Do I Make Tea For A Large Group?

It’s the beginning of the week and that means it is time for another Dear Tea Party Girl post.  This week we answer a question that many of you may have wrestled with in the past.  How do you successfully make tea for a group and should you use teabags to do it?

Dear Tea Party Girl

“Dear Tea Party Girl,

I enjoy your website. It is very helpful.  I’m helping in the kitchen for a fund raiser for Adult Day Care organization in my community. I’ll be in charge of the tea making and serving (with help of course). There will be 120 guests. I know the group has water urns for tea that have not been used to brew coffee, but they want to use tea bags to make the tea, I assume in the urns. They will be serving both Earl Grey and Herbal teas.  For a 50 cup pot, how many tea bags to brew the Earl Grey for 120 guests? How long should the bags be brewed?

I would very much appreciate your advice.

Thank you,
Confused but Excited”

The Answer is: Tea Concentrate

Dear Confused but Excited,

Making tea for a large group is best done by creating and using a tea concentrate.

Your tea concentrate is made ahead of time and is poured into the pots that are then filled with boiling water.  The result is a mess free, consistent cup of tea for each and every guest.  You’ll be pleased to know that it is easy to make.

If you plan to serve more than one type of tea, you will need more than one tea concentrate made in advance.

Below is my personal recipe.

Tea Concentrate

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Tea Concentrate For Groups

Traditional Tea Party Black Tea

In this context we’re talking about using black tea such as Early Grey, English Breakfast or Assam. You can select any kind of black tea prefered with the understanding that the tea party attendees will be drinking it in the traditional way, from fine teacups and saucers, with or without milk and sweetened to taste, or lemon or honey.

Other types of beverages can be made with tea concentrate – such as iced tea. And other types of teas can be served in greater quantities for groups, such as green tea or chai tea. However, we shall discuss them separately.

So, back to our black tea method for producing a concentrate.


25 servings = 1 quart water / 1/2 cup loose tea or 25 bags

50 servings = 2 quart water / 1 cup loose tea or 50 bags

100 servings = 1 gallon water / 2 cups loose tea or 100 bags


Make teabags with loose leaf tea using large cloth tea filter socks (these can be ordered from Amazon at this link: Cloth Tea Filter Socks)

Bring water to the boil in a large pot and then remove from heat. Add the tea bags or the tea socks and steep for 3-5 minutes. Remove the tea.  Let the tea cool and then pour into pitchers and refrigerate.

This tea concentrate can be made up to 3 days in advance. Be sure to make it and test it before serving to a large gathering.

You can use the tea concentrate in the individual pots or in large water urns which have NOT been used for coffee.

Using a 45 cup urn = 90 Tblsp or 5 1/2 cups of concentrate. Fill urn with water and heat, then add tea concentrate. If making iced tea, pour in cold water and tea concentrate in urn, add some ice. When serving, pour over ice in cups.

1 lb of tea should serve at least 200 people or more.

The fresher the tea the better!

Enjoy your group gathering.  I know it will be a success!

Tea Party Girl

One of Our Laden Tables for a Large Group of Guests
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