The English don’t just drink tea, they celebrate it! Do like the British, discover with us the tradition of tea time and savor it in peace.
British Tea Culture: Tea Time
For many people in England, tea time is an integral part of the daily routine. It is not just a cup of tea in the middle, but a snack designed according to fixed rules. The tradition dates back to the 17th century, when the British nobility discovered and learned to appreciate tea imported from China, which was expensive at the time. The sunset was consecrated as a typical moment of tea time as a social event in the 18th century, which is why it is also called “the five o’clock tea” or “afternoon tea”. Small gifts are an integral part of drinking tea: tea time snacks are a typical English recipe.
Types of tea recipes and tea time
Spicy varieties like Darjeeling, Earl Gray or Ceylon are served at tea time. To fully enjoy the powerful aroma of black tea, loose tea is preferably used, which is infused in the teapot and remains there throughout the ceremony. If it tastes too bitter, you can add water. It is up to you how much milk, sugar and lemon you add.
Scotch scones are one of the most popular snacks at tea time. These are thin rolls traditionally eaten with jam or cream, a spread made from raw milk or cream. Fruitcakes, crumbles, muffins or shortbread can also be served softly, a kind of shortcrust pastry that is also borrowed from Scottish recipes. For big eaters, teatime consists mostly of sandwiches topped with sliced salmon and cucumber or cheddar cheese. Spicy buns or cakes can also be served.
The most important ingredient: time
At tea time, it is just as important as food and drink that you enjoy your food in peace. Loving preparation, pleasant surroundings and enough leisure for fun are part of it. Tossing a tea bag into a cup in a hurry and gulping down the hot drink in a small bite is not proper English manner. As its name suggests, time is an integral part of British afternoon tea. If you want it to go a little faster, it’s best to bake the treats ahead of time. Butter cookies, for example, keep well in tins. And leftovers from dinner or lunch can also be used as hearty snacks.