Make Your Next Party a Tea Party
The difference between afternoon and high tea, teatime tips, and tasty pairings
From the LifeMinute.TV Team
May 19, 2023
If you are looking to host a get-together this summer, a bridal or baby shower, or just a posh soiree, a tea party is sure to please. The British tradition of scheduled tea drinking goes back to the 1800s, with tea first imported into the country by China in the mid-1600s. Tea was customarily consumed after dinner to aid digestion. The phenomena of afternoon tea began as dinner times started to shift later and later. A small meal was eaten in the afternoon to hold people over until dinner. Tea was so beloved that many were impatient to wait till night to drink it. They began sipping it with their afternoon meal.
Afternoon tea is also known as “low tea” for the low chairs and tables and is accompanied by light food such as scones and tea sandwiches. High tea is typically served at a high table at the end of a long workday with a more wholesome meal of meat, potatoes, bread, and eggs; we took this route and added quiche to the menu.
Make sure you have your teas on hand no matter what tea party you choose to have. Assam, Earl Grey, English Black, Darjeeling, Mint, Chamomile, and Lavender are most frequently consumed.
Check out some of our fave recipes to try for yourself.
Cucumber Sandwiches (this is one of the most traditional and super easy to make; we did a batch with smoked salmon and one without)
1 cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
1 (8-ounce) package cream cheese, softened
1⁄4 cup mayonnaise
1⁄4 teaspoon garlic powder
1⁄4 teaspoon onion salt
1 dash Worcestershire sauce
1 (1 pound) white bread, crusts removed
½ pound smoked salmon (optional)
-Cut sliver thin cucumber slices.
-Mix cream cheese, mayonnaise, garlic powder, onion salt, and Worcestershire sauce until smooth in a bowl.
-Spread cream cheese mixture evenly on one side of each bread slice, about 1 tablespoon full.
-Add on 2-4 cucumber slices.
-Stack the other half of the bread slices spread-side, and slice them into circles or triangles. If you don’t have a cookie-cutter mold, use a shot glass. Make sure you press firmly.
4 large eggs
1/2 cup whole milk
1/2 cup heavy cream or heavy whipping cream
1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper
1 cup shredded cheese such as feta, cheddar, goat, or gruyere
Up to 2 cups meat of your choice (bacon, ham, sausage)
-In a large bowl with a handheld or stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, beat the eggs, whole milk, heavy cream, salt, and pepper together on high speed until completely combined, about 1 minute. Whisk in add-ins and then pour into crust.
-Bake the quiche until the center is just about set, about 45-55 minutes. Don’t over-bake. Use a pie crust shield to prevent the pie crust edges from over-browning.
-Allow to cool for 15 minutes. Top with optional toppings before slicing and serving, if desired. Or you can cool the quiche completely before serving.
All Butter Pie Crust
2 and 1/2 cups (313g) all-purpose flour, plus more as needed (spoon & leveled)
2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup (230g; 16 tablespoons) unsalted butter, chilled and cubed
1/2 cup (120ml) ice water, plus more as needed
-Mix the flour, sugar, and salt together in a large bowl. Add the cubed butter on top.
-Use a pastry cutter, food processor, or two forks, and cut the butter into the dry ingredients until all flour is coated.
-Measure 1/2 cup (120ml) of water in a cup. The dough will feel moist.
- Place pie dough on a lightly floured work surface. Use floured hands and fold the dough into itself until the flour is fully incorporated into the fats. Form it into a ball. Divide dough in half. Using your hands, flatten each half into a 1-inch thick disc.
-Wrap each disc tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 2 hours and up to 5 days before using it in a pie recipe.
-On a floured work surface, roll out one of the discs of chilled dough with a rolling pin, start from the center of the disc, and work your way out.
-Carefully place the dough into a 9-inch pie dish. Tuck it in with your fingers, making sure it is completely smooth. Fold the excess dough back over the edge and use your hands to mold it into the rim. Crimp the edges with a fork or use your fingers.
-Pre-bake the crust in a preheated oven at 375°F (190°C) until the edges start to brown, about 15-20 minutes.
Pasta or Quinoa Salad
1 pound pasta or quinoa
1 (16-ounce) salad dressing
2 cups cherry tomatoes, diced
1 green bell pepper, chopped
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1⁄2 yellow bell pepper, chopped
1 (2.25-ounce) can black olives, chopped
1 can artichoke hearts
8 ounces of your favorite cheese; we used feta
-Cook pasta or quinoa, rinse it under cold water, and drain.
-Mix all ingredients together.
-Refrigerate and let marinate overnight for optimal flavor.
Tuna Egg Salad
1/2 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon paprika
3 (5-ounce) cans tuna (drained; we used a combination of chunk light and solid white albacore)
1/4 cup celery (finely chopped)
2 tablespoons pickles (finely chopped)
2 tablespoons white onion (minced)
4 large hard-boiled eggs (diced)
Sea salt (to taste)
Black pepper (to taste)
-In a medium bowl, use a fork to whisk together the mayo, mustard, parsley, and paprika until smooth.
-Add the tuna, celery, pickles, and onions. Stir together, breaking apart any large pieces of tuna.
-Fold in the diced eggs.
2 cups all-purpose flour
⅓ cup sugar
1 teaspoon baking powder
½ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon baking soda
8 tablespoons unsalted butter, frozen
½ cup whatever you like to make it (such as fruit or chocolate chips)
½ cup sour cream
1 large egg
-Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C).
-Line a baking tray with parchment paper.
-Mix flour, 1/3 cup sugar, baking powder, salt, and baking soda in a medium bowl. -Cut or grate butter into flour mixture
-Toss in fruits, nuts, chocolate, or butterscotch chips (whatever you like)
- In a separate small bowl, whisk sour cream and egg together.
-Stir sour cream mixture into flour mixture using a fork until large dough clumps form.
-Place dough on a lightly floured surface and pat it into a circle, about 3/4-inch thick. Use a sharp knife and cut into 8-16 equal triangles; to make 16, the last cut is a circular motion (see video).
-Place dough on cooking sheet about ½ inch apart.
-Bake scones in preheated oven until golden, about 15 to 17 minutes. Cool for 5 minutes; serve warm or at room temperature.