How to serve afternoon tea at its best?
This question sparked a bit of a debate... but even though there were many opinion, a few things we all agreed on.
While there's nothing wrong with a cuppa and biscuit by the computer, afternoon tea traditionally served is a real treat.
First of all, the tea needs to be made in a proper teapot. There are all sorts of them around, from the really old-fashioned ones to some rather beautiful modern glass numbers.
Use loose tea rather than teabags. You want one teaspoon of tea per cup and one for the pot.
Before you put the tea in, you warm the pot with some hot water. Otherwise, the cold pot will cool the hot water and your tea will not brew properly.
Make sure your water is boiling before you pour it over the tea leaves. Put the pot somewhere warm and leave it for 5 minutes to steep, before pouring out tea. Offer milk and sugar separately.
To make the most of your tea, find some lovely teatime treats like these or try offering dainty tea sandwiches to your guests. Actually, both would be REALLY traditional.
And what aspects of tea drinking could we not agree on? Well, there were two:
- should you put the milk in the cup before adding the tea or pour the tea first?
- Is a tea cosy essential for a proper afternoon tea?
Unfortunately, I simply don't have the answer to those.