Afternoon Tea or High Tea?

10/15/2021 — By Mark Butterworth

As I settle in for the evening, hot cuppa in hand, I was compelled to write about a topic close to almost

every Brits heart. Tea Time. Did you know that all the different tea times have a specific name?

High Tea and Afternoon Tea are often used interchangeably but if you really know your British tea

habits, you will know they are nowhere near the same thing.

Afternoon Tea

If you are anything like us, you like to “snack” in the hours between Lunch and Dinner… its such a

long wait, isn’t it? That’s what afternoon tea was made for! This is the time you would set out a tray or

two with a large tea pot and snacks to nibble on. Cucumber sandwiches, Scones with Jam and

Cream, A sausage roll or two! Afternoon tea was first noted in the early 19 th century. Like many of us

growing up, dinner was usually served much later in the day, so Afternoon Tea being served at

around 4pm was common practice if Dinner wasn’t being served until closer to 8. Would anybody else

be starving if it wasn’t for Afternoon Tea?

High Tea

Unlike Afternoon Tea, many working class people are still at work when Afternoon Tea is being

served. High Tea is used to describe a working-class meal served at a “high” table at the end of a

long workday. After a long day at work, most people would be extremely hungry and therefore Tea

would be served with “supper”.

So, as you can see, both are very different and serve completely different purposes.

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