Afternoon tea with bread and butter, jam and little desserts on the Rittenhouse Resort, Philadelphia

Tea (in reference to meals, somewhat than the drink) has long been extinct as an umbrella term for several varied meals. Isabella Beeton, whose books on dwelling economics were broadly learn in the 19th century, describes afternoon teas of quite loads of varieties, and offers menus for the “dilapidated-fashioned tea”, the “at-dwelling tea”, the “household tea”, and the high tea.[1]Teatime is the time at which the tea meal is continually eaten, which is late afternoon to early evening, being the identical of merienda.[2] Tea as a meal is associated with Broad Britain, Eire, and a few Commonwealth international locations. Any other folks in Britain consult with their major evening meal as “tea” somewhat than dinner or supper. This article is as a change obsessed on the heaps of kinds of secondary, lighter, meals called “tea”.

As a secondary meal, the timing of tea has moved over time in accordance with the moving later and later of the major dinner. Till the late 18th century dinner used to be eaten at what we now name “lunchtime”, or in the early afternoon; supper used to be a later and lighter meal. Gradually dinner began to migrate, amid unparalleled controversy, till by about 1900 it arrived at its most modern timing in the evening. The earliest “tea” meals were most frequently in the early evening, some three or four hours after dinner, and even later, after a supper and ahead of mattress. The thinker Thomas Carlyle and his wife invited traffic for 7 pm to their teas in the 1850s, even if afternoon tea ahead of dinner used to be also turning into established by this time.[3]

The most popular substances of a mild tea are tea itself, with desserts, biscuits or pastries (especially scones), bread and jam, and perhaps sandwiches; these are the substances of “former afternoon tea” meals provided by costly London inns.[4] However there would possibly most seemingly fair be varied kinds of every drink and meals provided or eaten at dwelling.

Afternoon tea

Afternoon tea is a mild meal in most cases eaten between 3.30 pm and 5 pm. Observance of the custom originated amongst the filthy rich social classes in England in the 1840s,[5] as the time of dinner moved later. Anna Maria, Duchess of Bedford, is broadly credited with inventing afternoon tea in England as a late-afternoon meal whilst visiting Belvoir Castle in Leicestershire. By the cease of the nineteenth century, afternoon tea developed to its most modern draw and used to be observed by every the upper and center classes. It had became ubiquitous, even in the isolated village in the fictionalised memoir Lark Rise to Candleford, where a cottager lays out what she calls a “visitor’s tea” for his or her landlady: “the table used to be laid… there were essentially the most productive tea issues with a corpulent pink rose on the facet of every cup; hearts of lettuce, thin bread and butter, and the crisp little desserts that had been baked in readiness that morning.”[6]

Finger sandwiches: cucumber, egg, cheese, curried chicken, with miniature canapés at tea.

For the extra privileged, afternoon tea used to be accompanied by thinly-sliced bread and butter, aloof sandwiches (customarily cucumber sandwiches or egg and cress sandwiches) and most frequently desserts and pastries (equivalent to Battenberg cake, shortbread petticoat tails, or Victoria sponge). Scones (with clotted cream and jam) would possibly most seemingly also be served (as they are for cream tea). The sandwiches are most frequently crustless, lower into little segments, either as triangles or fingers, and pressed thin. Biscuits are no longer most frequently served. The English afternoon tea blend is medium physique and lighter than English breakfast tea.[7]

On the 2nd, a formal afternoon tea is extra of a varied occasion, taken as a address in a resort.[8] The meals is continually served on a tiered stand; there would possibly most seemingly fair be no sandwiches, but bread or scones with butter and jam, or toast, desserts or crumpets.[9][10][11] Afternoon tea as a address would possibly most seemingly fair be supplemented with a glass of Champagne or a identical alcoholic drink. That is a extra recent innovation.

A much less formal institution is is called a teahouse or tearoom, equivalent to a coffeehouse. These extinct to be licensed in the UK, but these institutions relish declined in popularity since the Second World Warfare. A.B.C. tea stores and Lyons Corner Homes were sterling chains of such institutions, and performed a assignment in opening up potentialities for Victorian females. An inventory of critical tea properties in Britain offers extra examples.

Thé avec des artistes (“Tea with the artists”), Jules Grün, 1929

The custom of taking afternoon tea with bread or pastry used to be also licensed in some continental European areas, although such customs are no longer broadly diagnosed in English-speaking international locations. For instance, Alexandre Balthazar Laurent Grimod de La Reynière wrote in 1804 of afternoon tea in Switzerland:

Vers les cinq heures du soir, la maîtresse de la maison fait elle-même, au milieu du salon, du thé très-fortress, qu’adoucissent à peine quelques gouttes d’une crème onctueuse; de larges tartines de wretchedness beurré l’accompagnent. Tel est le Thé suisse dans toute sa simplicité. Mais, dans la plupart des maisons opulentes, on y ajoute du café, des pâtisseries légères de toute espèce, et dont plusieurs sont même inconnues à Paris, des fruits confits ou glacés, des macarons, des biscuits, du nougat, et même jusqu’à des glaces.[12]: 54

[Towards five o’clock in the evening, the mistress of the house, in the midst of the sitting-room, makes tea herself, very strong and barely sweetened with a few drops of rich cream; generous slices of buttered bread accompany it. Such is the Swiss Tea in all its simplicity. In most opulent houses, however, coffee and light pastries of all kinds are added, many of which are unknown in Paris, preserved or candied fruits, macaroons, biscuits, nougat, and even ice cream.]

A tea occasion is a receive together around this meal – now to no longer be at a loss for phrases with the Boston Tea Event, a mid-December 1773 incident on the beginning of the American Revolution, or the 21st century political circulation named after it.

Cream tea

Devon cream tea, comprising tea obsessed on scones, clotted cream and jam

This snack is associated with the West Nation, i.e. Cornwall, Devon, Dorset and Somerset. It always includes scones, clotted cream, strawberry jam, plus, obviously, tea to drink. Some venues will present butter as a change of clotted cream. In Australia, that is recurrently known as Devonshire Tea.

Evening high tea

High Tea is a title for the evening meal, most frequently associated with the working class, and is mostly eaten between 5 pm and 7 pm. This used to be also in most cases called a “meat-tea” in the previous.[13] In loads of the UK (namely, the North of England, North and South Wales, the English Midlands, Scotland, and a few rural and dealing class areas of Northern Eire) other folks historically name their midday meal dinner and their evening meal tea (served around 6 pm), whereas the upper social classes would name the midday meal lunch or luncheon and the evening meal (served after 7 pm) dinner (if formal) or supper (if casual).[14] This differentiation in utilization is one in all the classic social markers of English (inquire U and non-U English). On the choice hand, in loads of the South of England, the midday meal is quite universally called “lunch”, with “dinner” being the evening meal, no matter social class.

High tea in most cases includes a hot dish, adopted by desserts and bread, butter and jam. Frequently there’ll be frigid cuts of meat, equivalent to ham salad. The term used to be first extinct around 1825, and “high” tea is taken on a high (dining) table; in disagreement, low tea, which used to be extra of a mild snack, used to be served on a low table – what would possibly most seemingly be called a espresso table in North The US.[15][16][17]

A stereotypical expression “You would possibly most seemingly relish had your tea” is extinct to parody other folks from Edinburgh as being somewhat stingy with hospitality.[18] A BBC Radio 4 comedy sequence of this title used to be made by Graeme Garden and Barry Cryer.

Tea damage

No longer a meal as such, but a gamble to “down instruments” (or receive some distance flung from the computer) and relax from work for 10–15 minutes. This would possibly occasionally most seemingly fair happen mid-morning (inquire elevenses) or mid-afternoon. It would possibly per chance probably most seemingly fair equally involve espresso, and almost inevitably, biscuits. Around the 2nd World Warfare, the drinks were served by the placement of work’s tea girl, a region that’s now almost defunct. The British and Irish habit of dunking biscuits in tea has been exported world broad.[19]

Tea as the major evening meal

The term “Tea” is continually extinct amongst the English working classes—specifically these of the North of England—as signifying the major meal of the evening. As adverse to the title, the meal is no longer varied from these eaten as dinner or supper. Extra in overall, a high tea used to be and is continually the final meal of the day for small children, ahead of an early bedtime.

Australian and Unusual Zealand usages of “tea”

In Australia and Unusual Zealand, any instant damage for tea in the afternoon is understood as “afternoon tea”, although this turn of phrase is popping into antiquated. Which potential that, the term “high tea” is extinct to listing the extra formal affair that the English would name “afternoon tea”.[20] In Australia, the evening meal is silent most frequently called tea, whereas the midday meal is now recurrently called lunch. In rural areas, dinner is silent extinct quite most frequently for the midday meal; tea is around 6 pm, and supper is either a in point of fact late meal at evening, or meals served at evening at a social goal, equivalent to town’s annual Christmas dance and supper. These phraesologies relish fallen significantly out of favour amongst children. In every international locations, smoko would possibly most seemingly even be extinct as a synonym for tea damage, especially for fogeys in handbook jobs.

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