Led Zeppelin would scrap a song if they thought it sounded too similar to something they already recorded, but they made an exception for this one. According to Jimmy Page, "Tea For One" is similar in mood to the 1970 Zeppelin live favorite "Since I've Been Loving You
." He explained in a 1977 Trouser Press
interview: "The chordal structure is similar, a minor blues. We just wanted to get a really laid-back blues feeling without blowing out on it at all. We did two takes in the end, one with a guitar solo and one without. I ended up sitting there thinking, 'I've got this guitar solo to do,' because there have been blues guitar solos since Eric (Clapton) on Five Live Yardbirds
and everyone's done a good one. I was really a bit frightened of it. I thought, "What's to be done?" I didn't want to blast out the solo like a locomotive or something, because it wasn't conductive to the vibe of the rest of the track. I was extremely aware that you had to do something different than just some B.B. King licks."