"Royal-Tea . . . "
A proper tea service is equal parts ceremony, tradition, and much-needed hydration. And sometimes a snack. And sometimes a meal. Let's examine a few facts . . . a few legends . . . and a few of my personal preferences and rituals.
Let's talk tea . . .
High Tea or Afternoon Tea?
Many fine folks use these terms as though they were interchangeable - though, in fact, each has a very specific meaning. The term 'afternoon tea' refers to a mid-afternoon snack comprised of tea and light nibbles. It is usually served at 4pm and serves as a snack between proper lunch and usually mid-evening dinner. Scones are the perfect fit for afternoon tea - as well as simple sandwiches and cakes. Now 'high tea' was traditionally used a substitute for the evening meal - and thus usually had a selection of much heartier dishes for the meal. So though 'high tea' sounds like a fancier version - usually 'afternoon tea' was used as a snack by the upper class - and 'high tea' by the working class as their evening meal.
English Breakfast or Earl Grey?
English Breakfast. Stop, the end. Only and forever. Seriously. With some Scottish Breakfast for
a wee bit of variety.
Milk First or Tea First?
Pot or Cup?
This really depends on my day. My usual tradition is to make a huge pot of tea if I'm going to be at the house all day - and I'll work my way through it in a hour or so. But, a quick turnaround almost always mean a cup (or frankly, more likely a mug) of tea with breakfast.
What are your rituals around making or serving tea? What's your favourite brand and flavor?