I spoke a little bit about it the other day, but letâ€™s discuss the dynamic of afternoon tea in greater detail, for it is one of lifeâ€™s greatest pleasures.
The Brits and Scots have mastered the introduction of sweets and a bit of caffeinated refreshment to the afternoon, and for that I thank them. To make a perfect cuppa, however, certain rules must be followed. Iâ€™ve been scolded by my mother for not letting my tea infuse, so please donâ€™t be foolish like me, or she might feel it in the air and come find you.
Three minutes. Do not steep for less or your tea will be watery. She gets really mental about this. Milk comes after, unless you are serving a pot of tea, in which case you can add sugar and milk to the cup first, then pour the properly-steeped tea over the combo, which helps to stir it all together. Hey, theyâ€™re nothing if not uptightly efficient in the UK.
If you are not a baker, or have no access to lovely baked goods that are decorated with swirls of whipped cream and what not, at least treat yourself to a little biscuit of some kind. In the UK that means a cookie, and surely you can find a good cookie.
So create a sweet afternoon for yourself. Invite a friend over and take a moment to share a cuppa and a biscuit. Life will taste just a little nicer that day, and it wonâ€™t cost you but a quid or two.
If you are inclined to bake something yourself, I suggest some of the following biscuits:
P.S. If your tea preferences lean more toward spicy goodness, see my Honeyed Chai Tea recipe. In that case, it needs to steep for at least 15 minutes, or Iâ€™ll slap you.