Q: Did the British invent high tea?
A: It's an interesting story that goes back to the nineteenth century in England.
It really starts with the Duchess of Bedford and the Afternoon Tea. She had a "a sinking feeling" between lunch and the late dinner and had to have tea (and something to eat) around 5 pm.
The HIGH tea was not a class affair as the working class had tea served with all meals.
A high tea consisted of filling foods such as meat and fish that was known as the "meat tea" or "great tea" and was served to the working men when they returned home.
This "meat tea" or "great tea" was then developed into a late afternoon feast, especially on Sunday, when the upper class gave the servants the day off.
It would appear that High Teas were a combination of Afternoon Tea and to some extent a cream tea, with the addition of the Devonshire clotted cream.
Generally speaking, there seems to be no consensus on where the "high" in high tea came from - some say it was the height of the table and that is also where "low teas" came from, but we have no definite answer.
If you are interested in knowing more about High Teas and the history of tea in England we would recommend the book "A Social History Of Tea" by Jane Pettigrew. The book, written in 2000 and published by the National Trust, is fascinating.
Jane, who is English, is probably the foremost female expert on the History of Tea, Tea types, and brewing. (ISBN 0 0708 0289 X)
Q: Why would I want to have a high tea?
A: It makes a get-together with friends or family more special than just having lunch. It's also a relaxing, affordable treat.
Q: Is there a certain etiquette someone has to have when having a high tea? And what's the proper way to pour tea at a high tea?
A: We want people to relax and enjoy themselves, not worry about doing the wrong thing. Just bring your best normal table manners and you'll enjoy your high tea at Tealeaves.
Q: What are some things I should NEVER do at a high tea?
A: Never pour the tea into the saucer and drink from the saucer! Also, don't make slurping noises while drinking the tea.
Q: What is appropriate clothing to wear to a high tea?
Whatever YOU think is appropriate to wear to tea is fine with us. (Please wear more than the emperor's new clothes). When coming to high tea with us, some people like to take the opportunity to get dressed up, whilst others prefer to wear everyday clothes.
English Tealeaves Cafe
18551 Main Street
Parker, CO 80134
Cafe and Tea Shop Hours Tuesday - Saturday: 9:30 am - 5:30 pm Sunday: 11:00 am - 3:30 pm Monday: Closed