We all love to know the do's and don'ts of life and etiquette, whether to carefully follow them to a tee, or to throw them disdainfully to the wind.
To brighten your day, here are four fun tea facts that will raise eyebrows and noses!
Originally, the practice of adding milk to tea was closely connected to social class. In the early days, poor quality china would crack easily when boiling water was added. To counteract this, cold milk was added first, followed by the water.
As finer and stronger materials were introduced, this was no longer a problem.
Adding milk after water showed that one was in possession of the finest china.
This even became a social divider, with the lower-class being slighted with the phrase "he'd rather milk in first".
In 18th century, demand for tea continually outstripped supply and the tea prices soared. To manage this, and keep prices low, additives were mixed with tea leaves. In 1770, one town near London was cited as producing more than 20 tonnes of additives per year for supply to tea merchants. Additives included twigs, sawdust, and even sheep dung (for added colour and flavour).
Not keen on nasty additives in your tea? Try these beautiful alternatives.
In the late 19th century, afternoon tea, or "low tea" spread beyond the drawing room, where genders absolutely did not mix, into public places such as tea gardens.
For the first time, men and women of class could socialise freely in public without being seen as scandalous.
Let's all pretend we always knew the "high" in "high tea" had nothing to do with little cucumber sandwiches, dainty cakes and champagne. But of course! Such a silly thought indeed.
And naturally, "low tea" had little reference to the earlier part of the afternoon when tea was served.
You can now declare with nose elevating confidence that the "high" and "low" was merely a reference to the height of the table in which "tea" was served.
In the 1840s, the Duchess of Bedford Anna Maria Russell quite unwittingly created a new concept of "low tea", or "afternoon tea", where dainty snacks were ordered from the kitchen to stave of hunger until teatime, which was usually around 8-9pm.
This new afternoon meal, typically served from 3-6pm soon moved from private quarters to the drawing room, where the table was low in height, hence the name "low tea".
In contrast, "high tea" was rather known as the commoner's meal where a substantial meal was served, often in the kitchen, at a high table, and therefore named "high tea".
Now if you're looking for some classy teas to match your classy knowledge, here's some suggestions for you:
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