Tea Term of the Month: “Afternoon Tea”

TeacupAnna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford, is credited with the origination of afternoon tea in the early 1800s in Great Britian. In Anna’s day, lunch was served at noon, with dinner often put off until well into the evening. As the story goes, Anna decided that a light meal over tea in the late afternoon would be the perfect solution to her between-meal hunger pangs. Given Anna’s social stature, the concept took off among the upper class, proving to be an excellent social venue. The term “high tea” is actually owed to England’s working class, who transformed the afternoon tea into their primary evening meal, serving much heartier fare such as meats, cakes, bread and pies. “High” tea is a reference to the table the working class sat at while taking their tea – tall in comparison to the low, delicate tables at which the gentry took their lighter, more formal tea. Queen Victoria introduced the English to the Russian custom of adding lemon to their tea after visiting one of her daughters in Russia – before that, the English took only milk with their tea.

Try Arbor Teas’ Afternoon Blend Black Tea to have your own Afternoon Tea!

December 20 2009 12:26 pm | Tea Terms

One Response to “Tea Term of the Month: “Afternoon Tea””

  1. Danielle on 10 Aug 2010 at 7:40 am #

    So delicious! It is so interesting how so much of my perception of tea culture is influenced by what I think the British Isle’s does with their tea. I think of Tolkien and Lewis drinking their afternoon tea by a warm fire. But actually tea culture is much much older in the East! I guess I will have to start sitting on the floor with my oolong from now on, to really embrace my tea roots :)

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