Monday, September 29th

Let’s Do Tea: 5 Things You Didn’t Know About Afternoon Tea

Come and share a pot of tea,
My home is warm and my friendship’s free.
Emilie Barnes

The scene plays out the same in many houses: a child sits around a table having a “tea party” with their stuffed animals, dolls, and playmates.  But when did the ritual of afternoon tea first start? Who began the tradition and why? To answer these questions, here are:

5 Things You Didn’t Know About Afternoon Tea

According to British legend, Anna Russell, the 7th Duchess of Bedford in the early 19th century, became hungry in the hours before a late night dinner. She called for tea and snacks, thus setting off a 200-year old tradition.

Tea was first sold in England in 1658, but cost as much as £4 per pound – in today’s money, about £131!

According to the Dictionary of Daily Wants (1860), a mid-Victorian era dictionary, the preferred tea blend for the average British householder was, “two-fifths black, two-fifths green, and one-fifth gunpowder (a type of green tea).”

The Victorian custom of the “morning call” – when a lady would visit another lady’s home as a social obligation – entrenched the afternoon tea as tradition since such calls were paid at house too early for a glass of wine.

Afternoon tea in the UK is also known as “low tea.” At an afternoon tea, dainty cakes and crustless sandwiches are served. A high tea is basically what working class families in the North of England called a hearty meal eaten just after 5 PM.

BONUS: By the way, it’s not good etiquette to stick up your pinky finger when drinking from a tea cup. It’s a misinterpretation of 11th century manners.

At Greeting Card Universe, we offer unique Tea Party Invitations as pretty and sweet as the cakes you’ll serve your guests. Order on-line and we’ll mail your invitations the next business day. Or choose in-store pick-up, usually in 1 hour, at most Target and Bartell Drug Stores.

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One Response to “Let’s Do Tea: 5 Things You Didn’t Know About Afternoon Tea”

  1. N’oatmeal implies there’s “no oatmeal” in it but it produces a mock-oatmeal effect as a recipe result Enjoy!

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