Afternoon Tea vs High Tea: What's the Difference?

Afternoon Tea vs High Tea: What's the Difference?

When it comes to tea time traditions, two terms that often get mixed up are "Afternoon Tea" and "High Tea". While both involve the delightful combination of tea, savory snacks, and sweet treats, they actually refer to two distinct experiences. Let's delve into the nuances of Afternoon Tea vs High Tea to uncover what sets them apart.

Afternoon Tea

Afternoon Tea, sometimes referred to as "Low Tea", is a dainty and elegant affair that originated in Britain in the early 19th century. This tradition was popularized by Anna, the Duchess of Bedford, who felt the need for a light refreshment in the late afternoon. Afternoon Tea is typically served between 3 pm and 5 pm and includes a selection of finger sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and jam, pastries, and, of course, a pot of exquisite tea.

The Elements of Afternoon Tea

One key element of Afternoon Tea is the tiered cake stand, beautifully adorned with a variety of sweet and savory treats. The first tier usually showcases the delicate sandwiches, the second tier features freshly baked scones, and the top tier is reserved for delectable pastries and cakes. The teas served during Afternoon Tea are often light and aromatic, such as Earl Grey, Darjeeling, or English Breakfast.

High Tea

Contrary to what the name might suggest, High Tea does not refer to a formal, upscale event. In fact, High Tea has its origins in the working-class and was traditionally enjoyed by laborers as a substantial evening meal. High Tea is more of a hearty and substantial meal that is served later in the day, usually between 5 pm and 7 pm.

The Origins of High Tea

High Tea got its name from the fact that it was traditionally served at a high dining table, in contrast to the low, laid-back setting of Afternoon Tea. This meal typically includes heartier fare such as meat pies, quiches, hearty soups, and other hot dishes, accompanied by a pot of strong tea. High Tea is more of a casual dining experience that focuses on satisfying hunger after a day of hard work.

The Setting

Another notable difference between Afternoon Tea and High Tea is the setting in which they are enjoyed. Afternoon Tea is usually served in a luxurious setting, such as a fine hotel or a quaint tearoom, with elegant china and refined decor. On the other hand, High Tea is often enjoyed at home or in a more casual dining environment, emphasizing comfort and nourishment over formality.

Choosing the Right Tea Experience

Whether you prefer the sophistication of Afternoon Tea or the heartiness of High Tea, both traditions offer a delightful way to enjoy tea time with loved ones. The key is to choose the experience that best suits your preferences and the occasion. Whether you're looking for a leisurely afternoon indulgence or a satisfying evening meal, both Afternoon Tea and High Tea have something unique to offer.

At Taste117Mesa, we celebrate the art of tea time and offer a curated selection of premium teas and tea accessories to elevate your tea-drinking experience. Explore our collection and discover the perfect blend to accompany your next tea time gathering.

So, the next time you find yourself debating between Afternoon Tea and High Tea, consider the time of day, the setting, and the type of experience you're looking for. Whichever you choose, it's sure to be a delightful tea time that brings joy and relaxation to your day.

Indulge in the elegance of Afternoon Tea or savor the comforting simplicity of High Tea – whichever path you choose, it's bound to be a flavorful journey through the rich traditions of tea culture.

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