High Teas and English Tea Parties at English Tealeaves inspired by the English heritage of the owners and perfected over the last 15 years.
Our aim is to give you an enjoyable, relaxing experience with great food and excellent tea!
The Duchess of Bedford is
given credit for “inventing” Tea Parties in England during the beginning of the
nineteenth century. She had hunger pains between a light lunch and the
traditional late evening meal. She solved this problem by asking her maid to
bring a pot of tea and a little light refreshment to her room, and it worked so
well that she asked her friends to join her for afternoon tea. The concept
caught on and all of fashionable London
started to indulge in these gatherings to drink tea, eat finger sandwiches, delicate
cakes and very importantly to exchange gossip and general conversation.
of cookbook fame, told her readers, in 1882, that sandwiches intended for
afternoon tea are dainty trifles, pleasing to the eye and palette, but too
flimsy to allay any hunger that may exist.
As the Tea Parties caught on
they were helped by the silversmiths offering beautiful tea sets, along with
porcelain companies and linen suppliers. These were the upper class Afternoon
Tea Parties, generally at 4 pm, which should not be confused with High Teas. These
were a hearty family meal for mainly the working classes, eaten between 5:30 and
6pm. Sometimes called a meat tea or Great tea they consisted of hearty dishes
and sweet foods. So what were Low Teas? These were the earlier non stylish
afternoon teas, also know as “Little Teas” for the small amount of food served.
The name Low comes from the use of low armchairs to seat the guests.
So what are High Teas and Tea Parties today? In the Denver area there are several places offering Tea Parties of
different types, from the Victoriana style with elegant silver teapots and
china, to the modern Cafes like English Tealeaves. Our approach with our
English heritage is to have good food, finger sandwiches, scones with English
jams and Clotted Cream, decadent desserts and most importantly tea.
We offer a
choice of 125 teas that you choose individually, hot or cold, and we will help
you make your selection and give the history of the tea. You will tire of
drinking tea before we do of serving. We also let you choose when you wish to
have the party as against having to fit into a specific schedule, but allow at
least 2 hours to enjoy the food, tea and your friends.
Clotted Cream for
Clotted Cream is the cream that is served in England with
scones and jam. This is a very delicious rich cream that is unique to Devon,
England and the cream we serve in our Café. Expensive to import but the “real thing”
We serve this in the small unopened jars to show that it is genuine and many
people take some home. Many Cafes try and make it themselves to save cost but
once you have tried the Devonshire original it is difficult to accept
Clotted cream is made by indirectly heating cow’s milk using
a water or steam bath in trays where the thicker cream rises to the surface and
forms “clots”. Perhaps due to the high fat content it is appropriate to called
it clotted (arteries) but it is only a small jar of one ounce that we serve.
There is always the argument, like milk in tea, what do you
put on the scone first. Traditionally in England you put the jam first and then
the cream on top. I love clotted cream so my method is cream jam cream.
If you ever have the opportunity to travel to England I
would suggest that you visit Devon and then further south west to Cornwall. Be
brave and drive your own rental car along the very narrow, high hedgerow roads
where you may have to reverse into special pull offs to let other vehicles
pass. Great coast line and downs (Lorna Doone) full of sheep – Rob – Owner of English Tealeaves