Afternoon Tea, Where Did it Come From and What Is It?

Afternoon tea is a social time, created to relieve hunger between noon and dinner.

Afternoon Tea takes us directly to the United Kingdom.

This British tradition consists of having a cup of tea at 5:00 p.m. accompanied by some typical cakes of the region.

It is not exclusively an hour of tea, but rather consists of a light dinner.

Which is usually prepared upon arrival from work.

Approximately in the year 1840, it became a custom and a social event for royalty and later of all social classes.

It should be remembered that in those years England went through several social movements in labor matters.

The working hours suffered a considerable decrease, then tea time became an excellent opportunity to take some time off, relax and be with the family.

Related article: How To Make Sweet Tea-The Complete Guide.

Afternoon Tea.

Afternoon tea or low tea is one of the English customs par excellence.

It is a typical English early dinner snack, in which everything is snacking, All in abundance and delicious.

Some specific products typical of English gastronomy are served, such as scones, clotted cream, or lemon curd.

Indeed you have ever seen the tantalizing image of a tea served on elegant porcelain tableware accompanied by a tray overflowing with cakes.

Afternoon tea is usually served in translucent porcelain cups called bone chine.

The most British teapot is the bulging brown called brown betty and the ridiculous crochet hat with which they cover the teapot so that it does not cool is called tea cozy.

afternoon tea
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Where Did it Come From?

Afternoon tea has become one of the most distinctive English rituals. This custom dates back to the early nineteenth century and is attributed to Anna Maria Russell, Duchess of Bedford.

At a time when dinner was not served until 9, the Duchess, to combat the hunger she felt in the

middle of the afternoon, began to ask for bread with butter and sweets to be served with the tea.

The habit of having that evening snack spread quickly and, by the end of the century.

Serving and drinking afternoon tea between 3 and 5 pm was already a consolidated custom among the aristocracy and the upper class, synonymous with luxury and abundance.

The tradition has reached our days and, although it is still surrounded by an aura of exclusivity and elegance, it is a whim within the reach of almost everyone.

The Duchess later invited friends to join her in her rooms at Woburn Abbey and this summer practice proved so popular that the Duchess continued with her on her return to London, sending letters to her friends asking them to join her for tea and a walk.

The idea was quickly copied and, before long, the whole high society was taking its afternoon tea or low tea around four, just before the usual walk through Hyde Park.

On the contrary, the middle and lower classes took the “high tea”.

After a hard day’s work, the workers came home tired and therefore ate a copious meal but without luxuries, at five or six in the afternoon, instead of the late dinner.

Related article: Top 10 health benefits of Earl Grey black tea.

afternoon tea
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What is it?

Tea time is between 3 and 5 pm.

A Cream Tea is an “Afternoon Tea” composed only of tea, scones, jam, and cream.

Although it is native to the Southwest of England, you can take it almost everywhere and it is more abbreviated than that.

Please do not settle for whipped cream, ask that they bring you aunténtica clotted cream.

The food, which mixes sweet and savory, is presented on a multi-story tray.

That contains a selection of cold sandwiches and cupcakes.

The usual thing is to start tasting the sandwiches, which are usually of flavors such as salmon with cucumber and cheese or egg with mustard and watercress.

Next, it’s time to devour the scones, some rolls of Scottish origin that are smeared with jam and cream.

Finally, it gives way to a wide variety of snacks and cakes, ranging from fruitcakes, cupcakes, Victoria Sponge, or Battenberg Cake to typical Scottish sweets, such as snowballs.

All this is accompanied by a teapot and porcelain cups where tea is served, usually with milk and sugar.

The range of teas offered can range from half a dozen to more than a hundred.

Some of the teas commonly offered are Assam, a strong body tea from India; Darjeeling, an aromatic tea from India, with a hint of almonds and wildflowers.

Earl Grey, a mixture of black teas flavored with bergamot oil, or Lapsang Souchong, a Chinese tea with a striking smell and taste.

Related article: What kind of tea is good for a cold.

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