Afternoon Tea Week is the perfect celebration of one of the nation’s favourite traditions and everyone at Kara, a leading sandwich wholesaler, are on board! This year, it’s taking place 10th-16th August 2020 and whether it’s a five-star hotel or an independently owned coffee shop, it’s a great excuse to celebrate on the nation’s favourites.
This year, why not extend Afternoon Tea Week for the whole of August so that it runs in conjunction with the Eat Out to Help Out campaign?
So what is afternoon tea?
This tea-related ritual was introduced in Britain in the early 1840s. It evolved as a mini meal to stem the hunger of an evening meal which was typically served at 8pm. It’s composed of sandwiches (usually cut into ‘fingers’), scones with clotted cream and jam, sweet pastries and cakes. Scones were not actually introduced to the afternoon tea offer until the twentieth century.
What tea is the most popular?
According to research commissioned by The Grocer last year:
- More than one in ten consumers drink tea at least 6 times a day with consumption being the highest amongst 35-44-year-olds.
- Black tea is still Britain’s go-to cuppa, but fruity, herbal and decaf teas are driving growth in the tea market.
- Breakfast tea is the most popular black tea blend (45%) with this blend universally loved across all demographics.
- London has the highest number of tea addicts with nearly a quarter of consumers describing themselves as being dependent on a brew and 25-34-year-olds being the most dependent on a cuppa. 32% of consumers say they don’t feel able to start the day without a cup of tea.
- The majority of consumers think that ethical tea is important. they genuinely care how their tea is sourced. younger consumers are leading the way with an increasing focus on ethical trading. this group are also more concerned about sustainability too.
10 Fun Facts
- Afternoon Tea was introduced in the 1840s by the Duchess of Bedford who often found herself hungry in the afternoon. She asked for a pot of tea and a snack to be put out and she then began inviting friends to join her.
- During the 1880’s upper-class and society women would change into long gowns, gloves and hats for afternoon tea.
- The terms ‘low tea’ and ‘high tea’ refer to whether the tea is served on low or high tables. Low tea is the posher option.
- It’s typically served between 2pm-5pm and High Tea between 5pm-7pm.
- Until the mid 18th century, ale and gin were the drinks of choice. Once tea came along, fashion changed and tea became Britain’s most popular drink.
- Scones were not included in afternoon tea selections until the early 1900s.
- According to the UK Tea & Infusions Association, 165 million cups of tea are drunk in the UK each year.
- 98% of people take their tea with milk but only 30% take sugar.
- The world’s largest tea bag was created in Saudi Arabia weighing over 550lbs.
- Jam or Cream first? Well, it depends where you’re from. In Cornwall it’s jam first, then the cream and if in Devon it’s the opposite!
Top 10 sandwich fillings to use
According to Afternoontea.co.uk, the favourites are:
- Smoked Salmon & Cream Cheese
- Egg Mayonnaise & Cress
- Chicken & Mayonnaise
- Cucumber & Cream Cheese
- Cheese & Chutney
- Ham & Mustard
- Prawn & Mayonnaise
- Beef & Horseradish
- Tuna & Mayonnaise
- Roasted Vegetable & Cream Cheese
Latest Afternoon Tea Trends
It’s reported that Instagram has saved the great British Afternoon Tea. It’s thanks to the boundless opportunities to capture show-stopping mouth-watering images. Afternoon Tea has exploded in recent years and diversified beyond the traditional sandwiches and scones. For example:
Vegan Afternoon Tea – with the vegan trend on the up, it was only a matter of time before afternoon tea followed the trend. There are lots of ways to make popular swaps on popular dishes like swapping egg and cress sandwiches with a tasty chickpea alternative. Take a look at our recipe idea here.
- Gent’s Afternoon Tea – dainty cakes and finger sandwiches are swapped with Scotch Eggs and butties.
- Themed Afternoon Tea – from Mad Hatter’s Tea Parties to Harry Potter and Charlie & the Chocolate Factory inspiration
- Chicken Afternoon Tea – with wings and burgers (a la Yard & Coop)
- Gluten-Free options – which can be created along with Genius Gluten-Free Bread.
Kara, an expert sandwich wholesaler, can provide a range of products to create a stunning afternoon tea selection. From sourdough bloomer bread to make smoked salmon sandwiches to Extra-Thick Wholemeal Bread that works well with cucumber and cream cheese. Then there are sultana scones, chocolate tray bakes and even doughnuts that can all be used for quality shortcuts.