Welcome to my tea blog! Here, have a cup of tea :).

In this blog, I will be drinking a lot of tea, but I am willing to share! I also will talk about my quest to create a comtemplative tea lifestyle and slow things down so that I can enjoy my life more, and about how drinking tea brings peace to my day.

It, truly, is the pause that refreshes, and I am asking myself how I can create more of that and less of the crazy-buzy, hurry-to-get-to-the-next-thing energy that all too often adds pressure and tension to my day.

Monday, June 7, 2010

How Afternoon Tea Began

Afternoon tea, as we know it today, began in the 19th century, around 1840. During that time, it was customary for lunch to be served early, but dinner often did not occur until 8pm or 9pm at night.

According to the story, Anna Maria, who was duchess of Bedford (the 7th one), asked her maid to bring her a tray with some tea and sandwiches. She liked it so much that she invited friends to come have tea with her and eventually began to add pastries and other sweets.

That was when afternoon tea was born and it wasn't long before other women began to host their own quite elegant tea parties. At that time, the tea, the eating, was far less important than the gathering itself. They gossiped, enjoyed each other's company and learned all about the latest goings-on.

It only took a few decades for it to become a well-established custom.

Afternoon tea usually was held between 4pm and 5pm, and women got quite dressed up for it. It became so popular that tea shops and tea rooms opened and fancy hotels began serving afternoon tea, as they still do today in London.