Welcome to Tea Time with Liv!

Come in and savor the flavor. Begin your experience or enhance your knowledge of tea. Share a cup with a friend, have an impromptu tea party with your children, or just sit back and relax.

How Afternoon Tea Began

Afternoon Tea was introduced by Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford (1783-1857), one of Queen Victoria's ladies-in-waiting.

In her day, the aristocracy ate a huge breakfast, little lunch, and a very late dinner. Every afternoon, the duchess experienced a "sinking feeling." With breakfast served at nine or ten in the morning, if any, only a small lunch, the Duchess found the need for light refreshments around four in the afternoon.

In the beginning the Duchess would have her servants sneak her a pot of tea and some breads. Eventually she invited friends to join her for an additional afternoon meal at five o'clock in her rooms at Belvoir Castle. The menu included simple foods including small cakes, bread and butter sandwiches, assorted sweets, and tea. This practice became so popular the Duchess continued the tradition by sending her friends cards asking them to join her for "tea and a walk in the fields." The inviting of friends to afternoon tea became a popular practice by hostesses as a social gathering.

The original menu for tea was bread, butter and an assortment of cakes but over time has changed to include three specific courses served in a specific order, particularly if in a three-tiered tray:

Savories on the bottom - Tiny finger sandwiches and appetizers

Scones in the middle- Served with jam and clotted cream

Pastries on the top - Cakes, shortbread, cookies, and sweets

Afternoon tea, because it was usually taken in the late afternoon, is also called "low tea" because it was usually taken in a sitting room or withdrawing room where low tables (like a coffee table) were placed near sofas or chairs generally in a large withdrawing room.

There are three basic types of Afternoon, or Low Tea:

Cream Tea - Tea, scones, jam and cream

Light Tea - Tea, scones and sweets

Full Tea - Tea, savories, scones, sweets and dessert

Olivia Vidal
© 2009
Teaporia by Tea Time with Liv


Tracy DeLuca said...

I love your blog! I am really looking forward to exploring it as I am a tea lover. One of my goals is to try a new herbal tea flavor/ blend each month for the next year or so. I am following from MBC.