Following in the tradition started by Anna, the Duchess of Bedford, tea parties are gaining popularity today, in the 21st century, as they did when first hosted by Anna in the 17th century. While the setting and surrounding of a modern day tea ceremony is likely to be very different from a Victorian style European tea ceremony, the basic structure is very similar to the classic ceremonies.
Tea ceremonies are traditionally held in the afternoon. Low Tea ceremonies are the most typical type of modern day afternoon tea celebrations. Traditionally a Low Tea ceremony is held in the afternoon and consists of small sandwiches, light desserts, occasionally a small cake, and tea. Alternatively, High Tea traditionally was a full meal of the working class that was accompanied with tea. Tea celebrations can be used for a variety of occasions: showers, birthdays, family get-togethers, or just an excuse for friends to share a cup of tea.
In order to be well versed on the primary facets of afternoon tea feel free to browse the links below detailing information on tea preparation and accompanying food recipes that go very well with an afternoon tea.
- For information on the different types of black tea, oolong tea, green tea, and white tea refer the Tea Types page.
- For information on the correct preparation of the different types of tea refer to the Preparation page.
- For information on recipes and recommended food accompaniment refer to the Cooking with Tea page.
- For information on tea programs and tea retailers carrying Four Star tea refer to the Tea in Food Service page.
To learn more about the evolution of tea celebrations feel free to browse our Social History of Tea presentation and summary below.