Tea time has always been associated with England and we have the vision of English ladies chatting and drinking tea while eating finger sandwiches or scones with butter and jam, late in the afternoon.
As the years passed, we have uncovered several types of tea and we have also discovered its health benefits. That’s why tea has become so popular all around the world and tea parties have made a trendy comeback into everyday modern life.
But do we really know the history and customs of this famous liquid? Well, Confused.com created this awesome infographic that describes everything there is to know about tea and the parts of the day reserved to the tea rituals.
Dating back to the 17th century, tea first arrived in England when Charles II married Portuguese princess, Catherine of Braganza and the new Queen brought her favorite childhood drink with her. Later on, she instated tea as the royal beverage.
“Afternoon tea” or “low tea” was invented in the mid-1800s by Anna Maria Russell, the 7th Duchess of Bedford. Legend has it that she was complaining of “having a sinking feeling” during the late afternoon and resolved the issue by having a pot of tea and a light snack. It was customary to take only two main meals a day, breakfast and a late dinner at around 8 p.m.
Fifty years later, in 1710, Queen Anne changed the tradition when she began to drink tea with her breakfast, rather than the traditional ale. After that, she was known to be very fond of tea, drinking it whenever she could.
In America, “high tea” or “meat tea” is often mistaken for “afternoon tea”. In fact, it was originally a substitute for the dinner of the British working class. During the Industrial Revolution, working families would return exhausted and hungry home. This meal was served on high dining tables.
If you want to know more about this tradition, check out the infographic below. It is full of very interesting facts and you will be able to tell the difference between those two tea experiences.
Click on infographic to enlarge
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Photo credit: HC’s Foodventure/Flickr