Tea completes the trio of elements for afternoon cream tea in England.
I discovered that there are particular afternoon teas, blended to help you unwind after a long day, which are lighter and subtler tasting than breakfast teas, which brace you for the day to come.
To make a “proper” cup of tea, allow one bag or one teaspoon of loose tea per person (plus one extra teaspoon of loose tea for the pot).
Set water to boil in a teakettle.
When it’s nearly boiling, pour some into a teapot (not a coffeepot — the flavors don’t mix well) to warm it. After a minute or so, empty water from the heated teapot and place the loose tea or tea bags in it.
Then, add boiling water into the teapot and let it brew for at least two minutes or longer, depending on how strong you prefer your tea and the kind of tea it is. Cover the teapot with a tea cozy while it’s brewing. Resist the temptation to dunk and swish the bag to speed the process.
Pour the brewed tea (if using loose tea, through a wire strainer) into your best china cups and serve with low-fat milk, or sugar, if desired.
Sit down, maybe in your flower garden, to enjoy the tea alongside a scone loaded with clotted cream and jam! NLR
|Photo courtesy of Nikki Rajala|
“Nowhere is the English genius of domesticity more
notably evident than in the festival of afternoon tea.
The mere chink of cups and saucers
tunes the mind to happy repose.”