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English Tea - Origin of a Winning Tradition

Apr 11, 2008
Whether you are looking forward to a serving of tea at afternoon tea, using English tea can be an fantastically pleasing addition to your party or in some instances even the party itself.

Some individuals might think that these two occasions are both one and the same, but as a matter of fact, afternoon tea and high tea rituals are most certainly not the same thing and originate from totally different origins.

In this article we will explore the differences between each kind of traditional English tea ceremony and discuss their origin, traditions, typical time of occasion and original purposes.

Afternoon Tea

The English tea ceremony tradition goes back to the 19th century England and was began by the Duchess of Bedford. These tea times were the first kind of conventional afternoon English tea rituals that actually started as an in-between occasion when lunch was over but dinner still felt like it was a long way off, and there was a desire for something in-between.

The assortment of tea was typically served with a very small meal of bread and butter, and if it wasn't for this afternoon meal, the Duchess along with her high society of lady friends would have had to wait until well after nightfall for the next meal and this little feast satisfied that hungry space in-between.

Since that time and up until this day, the afternoon English tea ritual has truly progressed to incorporate numerous other foods such as pastries and scones, however the timing of the event has consistently remained much the same.

High Tea

The event of a high tea is very often referred to as a similar event just like afternoon tea is, nevertheless they are very different indeed. It's possible high tea sounds like a more proper term, yet this traditional English tea ceremony is in reality the one that was practiced and was started by the common folk back in 19th century England.

The tradition of afternoon tea was already very popular, however the less fortunate people also required a tradition to accompany their tea time. In place of an earlier tea time schedule, their tea time was set aside to happen closer to dinner or sometimes even in place of dinner. In fact, such was the actual origin of the ceremony itself.

This tradition of English tea was somewhat established so that it could take the place of the rather boring and typical meal with an event of celebration as well as enjoyment of tea, and different than the afternoon tea time of the rich, this event happened around dusk and incorporated much more filling foods such as cheese, meat, eggs and similar items. Additionally, both male and female were included in this meal unlike the afternoon tea ceremony.
About the Author
Listen to Corbin Newlyn as he shares his insights as an expert author and an avid writer in the field of food and drink. If you would like to learn more go to Iced Tea advice and at Tea Gift Basket tips.
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