You could print these out, fold in half, and prop up on the table at the cafe you host tea time.

🙏🏽 Thanks to Julie (Boston) and Uri (London) for seeding this idea!

Here’s a Google Drive link where you can download the PDFs →

Or just scroll down to see them + other details.

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They’re all black and white, made for normal 8.5" x 11" paper, and they were designed with a few different host personality types in mind. By no means are these required, but if you find them helpful, by all means download them!

Also, if you want other designs of this or have any ideas for other fun placards (or other good ways to make hosts more identifiable at tea time), write a Response Post or email me (ankit at teawithstrangers.com).

A few weeks ago, Julie from Boston messaged me about making it easier to find hosts at tea time.

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Then Uri posted something similar-ish.

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If you received a Welcome note from us, this page is for you.

Please fill out this form by Sunday, October 14!

(It’s the only thing that stands between you and tea time!)

  • Double check to make sure we’re on the same page
  • Submit your Host profile page
  • Schedule your first 2 tea times
  • Find a few locations you can host tea time at
  • Join the TWS Worldwide Facebook Group
  • Follow us at Being a Host on Medium (and get comfortable!)
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Take a second to look at this page first.

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Tea times happen in public spaces. Cafes are usually prime for this, but in some cities, hotel lobbies, parks and parklets, plazas, or rooftops are options.

Here are some considerations while thinking about good places to host tea time:

  • Open when you want to host tea time (this is important to check with cafes for weekday evening tea times)
  • Not loud, but not dead silent
  • Not too crowded. The conversation should have good space, not just figuratively, but also literally
  • Tables for 4 (they’re best for groups of 4–6, as they keep the group close together)
  • Preferably easy to get to (think public transit, parking, etc.)
  • A kind staff that won’t frown upon a group sitting for 2 hours with just a few teas/coffees at the…

Some things you know you need. Some things you don’t know you need.

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The difference between a tea time that “was all right” and tea times that are “wow, just, wow” isn’t some sort of fairy dust. It’s easy to pin it on the attendees or chance, but to a large extent, it’s on how the host shows up.

These Host Utilities exist to make it easier for you to show up. Some of it is generally useful for all hosts. Some of it is meant to support you in very specific situations. Here you go:

Tea time

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Spreading the word about Tea With Strangers

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Becoming a Host

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Understanding Tea With Strangers

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You’re going to be a great host. Let’s make sure you feel like it.

Whether it’s your first tea time or your 25th, it can feel daunting to think about going to a cafe and waiting for 1–5 random people to show up. You don’t know who they are. They could just flake entirely! (It’s very easy to just not do things). What will you talk about?

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Do these sound obvious? Great.

They’re easy to remember, and they’re all important.

✅ #1: Telling people about the tea time helps ensure strangers are at your tea time.

1–2 weeks before your tea time is a great opportunity to remind your friends, communities, and/or the internet-at-large that TWS exists, that you exist, that you’re a Host of TWS, that you have a tea time coming up, why you do this in the first place, and, of course, that they should tell their friends about your tea time. …


Nobody becomes good at something without practicing it.

Hosting tea time is a deeply rewarding way to become a better listener, to ask questions that draw stories, and to find common ground between people or ideas that seem unrelated.

But nobody becomes good at something without practicing it. And if talking to people were all it took to become good at listening to them, asking questions, and finding common ground, well, we’d live in a very different world.

And there’s not quite a “gym” for this weirdly specific skill set — despite how unbelievably important it is for us to live in a world of positive assumptions and understanding attitudes. …


We believe everyone is able to be a great host, but we’re specifically looking for people that *want* to be.

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This is the welcome screen.

New applications will be considered to start hosting in in mid/late August 2018.

  • We accept applications on a rolling basis.
  • We review the applications and invite new hosts to join the community every 1–2 months.
  • We’ll send you a response to your application when our review process begins.
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All the images below are in the Host Application Typeform, but here you have full-size versions.

Here’s all the questions for you to review before jumping into it.

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We are biased towards people who do homework

When reviewing applications, we’re looking for people that we think are genuinely interested in becoming a great host.

Below, you’ll find a few straightforward and a few not-so-straightforward resources to help you make your application a good one.


A repository of art and other collateral we’ve made over the years

These are good to post across your social media presence — Instagram, Stories, or wherever you post photos. Try to be sure to include the link to the website in your captions or in a comment on the photos, as most platforms treat “photo posts” different from “link posts.”

You can also use your host profile photo, add teawithstrangers.com as your “link in bio,” update your cover photo, etc.

These might be relevant:

Cover photos

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“What’s a stranger anyway?” a series of graphics we made when we designed the current version of the website

Illustrated by Megan Park, one of the first hosts in Los Angeles

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“About tea time,” a series of real quotes from hosts about their tea time experiences

Illustrated by Bianca Ng, an artist and ex-stranger / friend of TWS from NYC (we actually met her through a tea time!)

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These last four are a set — one quote, just broken into four graphics.

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And some miscellaneous collateral that doesn’t come in a “set” but we can scrounge up more like this if desired.

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Original posts via our FB page here: “What makes a conversation good?” “Empathy. It makes our world smaller.
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Talking to people about Tea With Strangers—in real life and on the internet—is how we get people to come to tea time.

🙉 Every host has their own story. What’s yours?

Talking to people about what Tea With Strangers is is cool. Sharing stories of why you care about it is cooler.

When you feel like you know your story, share it with people when you tell them about tea times.

Here’s some inspo to help you spread the word about TWS:

Writing Facebook posts about Tea With Strangers (to get people you don’t know to come to your tea time) →

Social Media Friendly TWS Graphics →


A disproportionate amount of our favorite attendees come from the friends and friends-of-friends of our Host Community

It’s not so much about getting your friends to come to your tea time as it is about letting them know it exists (and getting their friends to come to tea times).

Take a second (at least) to think about your story.

This might help:

People learning about TWS will resonate far more strongly with why you’re doing this, why you think it matters, how you learned about it, and your own experience of overcoming the inherent awkwardness that is TWS.

Great shares also often include:

  • A call to friends to tell their friends or tag them in comments
  • Tags to other hosts (find them in TWS Worldwide), the TWS fb page, me, or friends that you think would love…

About

Ankit Shah

👋🏽 Founder of Tea With Strangers. I try to help people who bring people together.

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