Here at Ulster Weavers, we have mugs at the ready to over-indulge in the favourite British drink for National Tea Day on 21st April. There’s no better excuse to invite friends and family, old and new over for a cuppa! Go on, put the kettle on, warm the teapot and enjoy our fun facts about this quintessentially British tipple; you can use them to impress friends and family at your next impromptu par-tea...
It may surprise you, but most of the leaves inside our sacred teabags are bought from an auction in Mombasa in Kenya. Back in the 18th Century there were many discussions about the health benefits of tea and whether it was good or bad for you. In the 21st Century, we know that tea has many health benefits, for example it can boost endurance; specifically, green tea extract has been found to increase metabolism and the body’s ability to burn fat. Drinking tea also reduces the risk of heart attacks and Parkinson’s disease, as well as degenerative diseases, such as Alzheimer’s, that are linked to dehydration.
There are all sorts of traditions attached to our trusty cup of tea; whether as a comforting hot beverage in times of crisis or a decadent treat as afternoon tea or a cream tea.
Afternoon tea was born by Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford when she complained of feeling a little peckish during the late afternoon. A hot cup of tea and light snack was created and served between 3.30pm-5pm to fill the hunger between lunch and dinner and was very popular with the upper classes back in the 1840s. By the 19th Century it was established within the middle and upper classes and nowadays afternoon tea is served in hotels, at any time consisting of sandwiches, cakes, tea and sometimes a glass of bubbly.
The cream tea tradition ignited in the Westcountry in the 1850s when tourists flooded in thanks to the new railway opening. Visitors were looking to relax and indulge and so the, now famous, cream tea came to be; made with only the finest local ingredients. The tea always consisted of strawberry jam and clotted cream on a warm scone. The biggest debate still to this day is how do you make your scone? Cream then jam, or jam then cream? We say at Ulster Weavers, jam and then cream!
Finally, nobody wants a cold tea so if like us, you like to keep your tea hot, our beautiful tea pots and tea cosies are perfect; the cosies come in all different shapes and sizes; simple, decorative or shaped there’s one for everyone.