Sunday roasts, going down the pub, obsessing about the weather, complaining, and reaching for a cup of tea during times of crisis are just a few things that make us quintessentially English. Enjoying a cream tea; a variation of afternoon tea can also be included as part of our cultural customs. This inherently English pastime will be acknowledged this coming Friday 24th June during National Cream Tea Day – to celebrate this classic treat I implore you to eat warm scones served with clotted cream and strawberry jam, washed down with lashings of tea. To further enhance your celebration we have enlisted the help of the Cream Tea Society who have compiled some useful cream tea etiquette tips – toodle –pip!
Cream tea etiquette tips from The Cream Tea Society
- Loose-leaf is best. Brew loose leaves in a cup, but remember to serve a second pot of hot water – just in case you’ve over-brewed.
- If you don’t want to pour, don’t sit near the pot. The person nearest the pot should pour for everyone (if you’re clumsy, best make sure it’s not you).
- Make the perfect brew. Allow the tea to brew for at least three minutes before pouring – time enough for the full flavour to infuse.
- Tea before milk. Pour the tea first, followed by milk (so you can accurately judge the required strength) and then sugar.
- Spoons on saucers, please. Once you’ve stirred, place your spoon on your saucer (think of the table cloth).
- No outstretched pinkies! Always hold the cup between your thumb and forefinger. Contrary to popular opinion, sticking your little finger out does not a lady/gentleman make.
- No knives needed. The perfect scone should break apart with a simple twist. Just make sure you’ve got your saucer to catch the crumbs.
- Spoon then spread. If the table is laden with bowls of jam and cream, spoon your desired amount onto your plate first, before spreading them thick on your scone.
- Jam before cream. While there’s much debate around which goes first (a dispute dividing Cornwall and Devon), etiquette gurus DeBretts say you should spread your jam before dolloping cream on top.
A final word: Never use whipped cream. It’s utterly improper.
For further information about the Cream Tea Society please visit: www.creamteasociety.co.uk