Tea time is anytime; however, there are certain names for special times of the day to take tea.
Tea may be served at breakfast whether it is a hearty breakfast or breakfast in bed. I like to serve a muffin and fruit with tea on a tray to my overnight guests.
Breakfast Tea served on Blue Willow china--you can't be a tea lover and not have Blue Willow!
In Britain, workers take a tea break around 11:00 a.m. instead of a coffee break like Americans. Elevenses is my personal favorite--since I'm always working at home, I take an "Elevenses Break" for tea, crumpets, and jam. Crumpets are fat-free and delish; they are sort of like an english muffin, only softer and sweeter.
"Elevenses" at Miss Janice's Desk (yes, I use a knife and fork to cut the crumpet:-) I love this little teapot for one--I purchased it at the Magnolia & Ivy Tearoom in Destin, Florida (now closed). The tea plate and teacup & saucer is a favorite pattern of mine--Lenox Accoutrements, designed by Anna Griffin.
Full Afternoon Tea
Full Afternoon Tea
Most Americans refer to afternoon tea as high tea because of its regal sound. However, high tea in Britain features heavier foods and is usually served AFTER 6:00 p.m.
The tradition of afternoon tea began in England in 1840. Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford, would suffer from a sinking feeling around 4 o'clock in the afternoon. Bless her heart--I get that also! She would invite friends to her castle for tea, sandwiches, and sweets. Soon afternoon tea became a widespread social practice, complete with rules of tea etiquette. Afternoon tea became known also as "low tea," because it was usually taken in a sitting room where low coffee tables are placed near chairs and sofas. Along with the tea, there are three distinct courses served at a full afternoon tea--savories, scones, and sweets.
Full Afternoon Tea with savories, scones, sweets, and tea
A Cream Tea is taken in the afternoon and served with tea and scones with jam and clotted cream (the clotted cream is a must and the reason for the name).
A Cream Tea served using Lenox Eternal china, my bridal pattern.
A Light Tea is taken in the afternoon and served with tea, scones and jam, and sweets.
A Light Tea using Franciscan Ivy my mama gave me...I think it's a perfect china for tea!
A Royal Tea is also taken in the afternoon and served with tea, savories, scones, sweets, and a special dessert. Champagne or sherry is also served at a Royal tea.
A Royal Tea with savories, scones and sweets
I served a champagne punch at my Royal Tea
A special dessert in addition to the sweets on the tea tray was also served.
A Silver Tea is a fund-raising tea usually given by a Church or charitable organization.
A Silver Tea
This is a heavy meal, not a dainty affair (no tea sandwiches here), and usually held after 6:00 p.m. Tea is served along with the meal.
If you've been following my tea posts for the month, so far you have learned: The history of tea and where it is produced, the varieties of tea and stages of processing, some health benefits of tea, how to prepare your tea, and today you've learned about the names for special times of the day to take tea. I hope you are enjoying National Hot Tea Month. It's a great time of the year to sip a cuppa of your favorite tea or try a new variety of tea!
This weekend I will be featuring a review of a tearoom here in South Florida. For me, this is one of the exciting things about moving to a different state--there's a whole lot of new tearooms to visit!
Tea always makes me feel a little more civilized. No matter where I take tea, I feel a calming charm. Tea conjures up feelings of elegance and gentility.