High tea, low tea, afternoon tea

alt A cup of tea

Tea, I love it. All kinds, jasmine, earl grey, camomile, green tea. I grew up on it and the fact that I am British, well it practically runs through my veins.

I like my tea in the morning, an English breakfast, but it has to be strong because well, that’s how we like it and of course you have to be able to taste it, right? But tea has not always been for morning breakfast time. 

The tradition of afternoon tea started in the early 19th Century when they felt they needed a ‘pick-me-up’ in the afternoons.  Which is not surprising because they only ate 2 meals a day, breakfast and dinner.  So the skipping of that 3rd meal led to a mid afternoon slump and hence the need for afternoon tea. Traditionally, the upper classes would serve a ‘low’ or ‘afternoon’ tea around four o’clock. The middle and lower classes would have a more substantial ‘high’ tea later in the day, at five or six o’clock, in place of a late dinner. A pot of tea and a light snack of  cucumber, salmon, ham, egg salad finger sandwiches and a selection of scones with clotted cream, jam and small cakes is the usual selection. The appreciation of this tradition has grown and a huge revival can be enjoyed the world over.

alt Afternoon tea