Rodda's Guide to the Perfect Cream Tea
Pepys first mentions tea-drinking in his diary entry, but it was Catherine of Braganza, wife of Charles II who popularised it. Fed up with having nothing to do whilst the men were off hunting and drinking, she began inviting friends to her boudoir for afternoon tea. Later, the wonderful Duchess of Bedford continued this proud tradition, but changed the serving time to 4pm and preferred to sip it in the drawing room
The perfect scone
We even have a study conducted by the University of Sheffield to back this bit up, so listen carefully. According to their research on the perfect cream tea, your scone should be 4-7cm in diameter and the jam should be spread on first (very important!), leaving a space around the edge. Finally the clotted cream should sit proudly on the top. We naturally knew all this already, but it’s nice to have it scientifically backed up. They even created a handy formula to follow to ensure your cream tea is absolutely perfect.
Correct etiquette is an essential part of any truly Cornish cream tea. But don’t worry, we’ll help you through the process.
First, you’ll want to brew your, ideally loose-leaf, tea in an ornate silver pot. Remember to provide a second pot of fresh, hot water so your guests can dilute any overbrewed tea. The person nearest thepot should pour for everyone, so if you’re clumsy, make sure that it’s not you.
The tea should be poured in first, followed by milk and sugar. Once you’ve stirred, place your spoon on your saucer – leaving it in the cup would be most uncouth – and hold the cup handle between your thumb and forefinger – no outstretched little fingers, please.
You’ll need to split your scone in half (by breaking, not cutting),then spread your jam before dolloping some clotted cream on top. Oh, and never use whipped cream; it’s utterly improper