Afternoon tea is the most quintessential of English customs. The concept of “afternoon tea” first appeared in 1840. Afterwards, this pause for tea became a fashionable social event. Traditional afternoon tea usually includes scones served with clotted cream and preserves. Cakes and pastries are sometimes also available, as well as a selection of dainty sandwiches. Tea is poured into delicate bone china cups. Today, this is called “cream tea” but in the average home, afternoon tea now rarely consists of more than biscuit and a mug of tea, often produced using a teabag. Sacrilege!
Quintessential = a perfect example of something very typical
Custom = something done by people in a particular society because it is traditional
Clotted cream = very thick cream made by slowly heating milk and taking the cream from the top
Dainty = something small and good to eat
Mug = cup
DID YOU KNOW?
The British drink over 163 million cups of tea daily, about 20 times the number of cups consumed by Americans.
Britain celebrates the National Cream Tea Day. In 2020 it will be on Friday, 26th June.
ENGLISH IN USE – TEA EXPRESSION
“It’s not my cup of tea” – if something is not your cup of tea then you don’t like it.
Jane: “Shall we go dancing tomorrow evening?”
Bob: “To be honest, Jane, dancing is not my cup of tea. Would you like to go to the cinema?”
“Not for all the tea in China” – Not for any reason or incentive whatsoever; not for anything.
“I love this jacket, I will not sell it, not for all the tea in China”.