HospitalityBiz India
Hotels FoodService Operations Ministry Associations Equipment Editorial HR Technology Technology Advisory Board Community
Follow us on Facebook Follow us on Twitter instagram
    Home > Views

High Tea vs Afternoon Tea

Friday, June 4, 2010, 10:00 Hrs  [IST]


High tea is usually considered as a tea served in the afternoon, but as per ancient customs it was served for dinner. The origin of high tea was considered to be from England in 1600 by the labourers. For them, high tea was usually a part of the evening meal that was taken after sunset. Farmers and labourers used to have their high tea in between 5 and 7 pm, which was very much closely related to the dinner or the supper. When they returned home in the evening after the routine hard work, they were tired and hungry. A pot of tea along with few little leftover scrap of lunch was what their meal comprised of and which was known as high tea. It was their daily meal tradition and not something which was consumed occasionally. It was considered as a substantial meal which was needed late evening by the farmers and labourers. During the industrial revolution, working families would return home tired and exhausted. The table would be set with any manner of meat, bread, butter, pickle, cheese and of course, the tea. As it was eaten on high dining table rather than a low tepoy table, it was termed as high tea.

High tea was commonly called as meat tea also because various hearty dishes such as meat sandwiches, meat pie, cold meats, bread, cheese, crackers and variety of dessert were served along with the tea.

Afternoon Tea
Afternoon tea is the one that comes to our mind when we think of English tea ceremonies in which rich and snooty women are chit-chatting over a tea. It is supposed to be formal ritualised gathering where tea is served along with thin sandwiches, little cakes, scones etc. Afternoon tea was initiated in mid 1800, attributed to Anna Maria, the seventh duchess of Belford. In those days, lunch was served at noon and dinner was served between 8 pm and 9 pm. Therefore, duchess found herself hungry during those long afternoon hours. So, she started having tea with bread and butter in mid-afternoon. It became a regular occurrence and she started inviting other high society ladies to join her for the tea. Nowadays, hotel, restaurant, tea-rooms and parlour serve afternoon tea along with small figure sandwiches and other fancy tit-bits, in almost, all over the world.

High tea vs Low tea
The word high and low refers to height of the serving table. High tea was served at high dining table where as low tea is traditionally served on a table in sitting room. As mentioned above, high tea was taken in between 5 pm and 7 pm in the evening on the dining table. On the contrary, low tea is taken on a low tepoy or coffee table in between the meals. Even it is not incorrect to say that the afternoon tea is also a kind of low-tea. Many people use the term ‘high tea’ to describe afternoon English tea ceremonies, may be because, it sounds more elite as the word ‘high’ is wrongly equated to high class and formality. But, high tea is much different thing. It was served late in the evening and consisted of full dinner meal for the common people. It was more of a man’s meal than a ladies social diversion.

The author of the article is Arvind Kumar Saraswati, Assistant Professor, Banarsidas Chandiwala Institute of Hotel Management & Catering Technology, New Delhi.

Print News Email News Back
Bookmark to Add to NewsvineNewsvine Bookmark with Digg ItDigg
Add RSS to Add to Google Add to My Yahoo! Subscribe with Bloglines Subscribe
* Name :    
* Email :    
* Message :  
»  Kempinski Hotel Barbaros Bay Bodrum appoints Adnan Yucel as the New General Manager
»  Hotel satellite units being shut after case dip in Kolkata
»  IRCTC introduces ‘Work from Hotel with Nature’ packages from Odisha beaches
»  Hyatt Regency closure: Hotel management blames Yes Bank for blocking account, Holding back funds
»  IHCL announces signing of a 775-room hotel at Bengaluru Airport
»  Noor Mahal Karnal becomes first hotel in North India to vaccinate 100% staff
»  Puri temple to have fourth hotel by November
»  Meliá Hotels International to open a urban hotel in Chiang Mai
»  Absolute Hotel Services announces Eastin Estates, first hospitality brand in Asia for seniors
»  Sheraton Grand Bengaluru Whitefield Hotel & Convention Center appoints Tanmay Vaidya as the Director of Operations
»  Absolute Hotel Services expands its portfolio in Indian market with Eastin Residences and U Resort & Spa
»  Hotel Bookings Surpass 60% Globally Compared to Pre-Pandemic Levels, As Europe Reopens
»  Lords Hotels and Resorts opens its second Hotel in Jamnagar
»  Kempinski Hotel Jinan Makes its Debut in the Heart of China's "City of Springs"
»  ITC Hotels awarded world’s first Platinum level certification under DNV’s My Care Infection risk management programme
»  Hotel and restaurant employees to get priority in Kerala Vaccination drive
»  Pullman & Novotel New Delhi Aerocity appoints Pavan Kumar as the Director of Sales and Marketing
»  Chalet Hotels shuts down Bengaluru’s Marriott Hotel Whitefield for one month, due to surge in Covid cases
»  Absolute Hotel Services expands its footprints in Maharashtra with U Hotels & Resorts brand property at Karjat
»  Novotel Hyderabad Airport introduces “Work from Hotel"
sham lal kesar Jul 2, 2011 6:05 PM
Very good article it give me the clear picturre of high tea, low tea and afternoon tea. article will be very helpful for young working in hospitality industry
Thanks & wish u all the best.
S.L .Kesar
President. Hotel & Restaurant Association Katra
Bishan singh panwar Dec 19, 2010 10:44 PM
good one sir.....
hari Dec 7, 2010 9:25 AM
Great article sir......!informative
Ihm Patna
krishna Oct 29, 2010 1:28 PM
hi there!
great man just keep it up its nice to get ur article .all the best.
Rupesh Jun 11, 2010 11:23 AM
very good article
  The Indian Institute of Architects (IIA) Natcon 2020 virtual event concludes successfully
  Winners of The Park Elle Décor Student Contest felicitated at Indian Design ID 2020
Receive the best of Hospitality content in your mailbox.
Weekly e-Newsletter
Events Calendar

© Copyright 2016 Saffron Synergies Pvt Ltd