Cream tea is a popular British and American indulgence that has been enjoyed for centuries. It is a simple yet delicious tradition that typically involves enjoying a pot of freshly brewed tea, served alongside warm scones, clotted cream, and sweet jam.
Often served in cafes, hotels, and teahouses across the United Kingdom, it has become a popular item on menus worldwide, as it provides a delightful culinary experience.
Let’s delve into the history of cream tea, explore the elements that make it a beloved tradition, and learn what makes the perfect cream tea at home.
Get ready to indulge in the creamy goodness of one of Britain’s most cherished culinary pastimes in addition to being very popular here in the States.
History of Cream Tea
The roots of cream tea can be traced back to the 1700s in Devon and Cornwall, two counties located on England’s tip. Tea was already a popular beverage in Britain at the time but was typically served with an accompaniment of bread and butter or plain scones.
This changed when locals discovered that clotted cream complemented their scones and tea perfectly.
The recipe was quickly adopted by the locals which led to the beloved combination of clotted cream, jam, and freshly baked scones becoming an official British tradition.
What is served at a cream tea?
Cream tea is a simple yet indulgent treat that requires only a few items. Typically, it is served with a pot of freshly brewed tea and scones with clotted cream and some sweet jam. This is how it is served here in the United States at most tea houses.
The tea itself is an integral part of the experience, with a pot of hot, freshly brewed black tea, such as English Breakfast or Earl Grey, being the traditional pairing. Some people may choose to add a slice of lemon or a drizzle of honey to their tea.
The scones should be freshly baked and served warm with clotted cream and generous helpings of strawberry or raspberry jam. If you’re feeling adventurous, you can also try other flavors such as blueberry or peach.
A key component of cream tea is clotted cream. This thick and creamy concoction is made by heating unpasteurized cow’s milk in a shallow pan and allowing it to cool slowly.
This process causes the cream to thicken and separate from the whey, resulting in a thick, velvety texture. Clotted cream is rich and creamy with an almost buttery flavor that makes it the perfect partner for fresh scones.
A variety of sweet jams are traditionally served with cream tea, with strawberry and raspberry being the most popular. Other options include blueberry, peach, or even lemon curd for a zesty twist.
Add a touch of sweetness to your clotted cream and scones for a delish treat that you can’t get enough of!
Hosting a Cream Tea
Putting together a cream tea is similar to hosting a traditional afternoon tea. It involves setting the table with all the necessary ingredients, brewing the tea, and baking (or buying) scones.
The difference is that cream tea focuses on one type of treat and is often served at an informal gathering or in a café setting. It’s easy to make your own cream tea at home and adds a touch of luxury to any afternoon.
A traditional British Cream Tea is an indulgent and delicious way to relax and enjoy some quality time with friends. With its simple yet flavorful ingredients, it has become a beloved tradition throughout the U.K., Europe, and beyond.
There’s nothing quite like sipping a pot of tea and munching on warm scones with clotted cream and jam.
With this information, you’re ready to create the perfect cream tea experience at home. The charm and simplicity of cream tea have made it a beloved staple of British food culture and it remains a must-try experience for visitors to the UK.
So the next time you find yourself craving something sweet, why not give Cream Tea a try? Your guests or family will be sure to enjoy every sip and bite!