A scone accompanied by clotted cream, jam and butter is a very British Tradition, accompanied by a pot of tea. The use of cream and jam together with bread was certainly eaten in Devon as long ago as the 11th century, but the invention of baking powder in the 19th century was the key to the scone and tea was a natural accompaniment. Now you only need to decide if the jam should be on top of the cream as Devon tradition demands or the other way around as Cornwall counters. The traditional ‘Afternoon Tea’ often offers a pot of tea, with a selection of cakes, sandwiches and scones, that we tend to enjoy in a hotel nowadays really began in the 19th century when the 7th Duchess of Bedford, prominent in society and a close friend of Queen Victoria, decided she wanted something to keep her going between lunch and dinner. Her influence was such that soon the upper class ladies were inviting their friends to afternoon tea. These were occasions when the host could use the opportunity to show off her status by offering the most luxurious teas available.
A contrast to the upper class afternoon tea, High Tea usually included a mug of tea, bread, cheese, vegetables and meat. Historically, high tea was not a social occasion but a necessary meal for the working class who burned a lot more calories while working than many of us today.
Referring to the time, 11am, when Brits like to take a mid-morning break and have a cuppa (of tea or coffee) along with a biscuit.
Tea as a cure for everything
The British don’t need an occasion to have a cup of tea but more often than not a simple cup of tea helps our stress levels. We have all grown up hearing the words “I could do with a cup of tea” or “oh, let’s have a cup of tea”. Whether we’re stuck trying to sort out a problem, just back from a long journey, or even just a trip to the shops in a busy high street, a cup of tea allows us to sit back, maybe find a solution to the problem, or just relax.
Would you like to explore the world of tea a little more?
We have put together some taster kits to help you find your favourites, from Britain’s most beloved tradition.
Try the Rooibos Tea Taster Kit, Indian Tea Taster Kit, Wellness Tea Taster Kit or our All Day Tea Taster Kit.