Wednesday, 7 April 2010

cream tea and the tea mother

Cream tea

‘Who’ll be the tea mother?’

When I first started getting interested in tea, I met some friends who’d gone on and on about cream tea. I’ve since found out, and it’s worth describing. It’s important how this is done, so I plan on going into a bit of detail.

I can already hear several of you saying not so softly under your breath, ‘What’s the point, Lahikmajoe? Why can’t I just go back to enjoying my simple tea bag? You’ve ruined my tea drinking.’

Maybe when you hear about cream tea, you’ll feel differently. Maybe not. To be honest, when I finally had the opportunity to try it, cream tea turned out to be simply tea with scones, fresh strawberries (or simply strawberry jam) and Devon clotted cream. If you like those things, you’ll enjoy this. Supposedly, the origin of the cream is rather important. The fat content of the cream and the way it’s clotted has everything to do with why people rave about this.

Back to the story. My friends invited me over so that I could finally try it, and I gladly accepted. The first question they asked when I arrived was, ‘Now who’s going to play tea mother?’ I somehow controlled my first response, which was unflattering, and instead I simply asked, ‘What’s a tea mother?’

‘It’s whoever’s going to pour the tea,’ he responded. Oh, ok. I let one of them be tea mother. Each of them is more maternal than I’ll ever be.

So, if you get the opportunity, try cream tea. If you don’t like strawberry jam, scones, clotted cream or tea, then don’t bother.


  1. Tea mother? New term to me. How sexist, ha ha. Why not tea father, the provider, the one who provides you with your drink? Just a sexist thought.

    Perhaps gender plays a more profound role than we realized. Do more women drink tea because they are the "nurturers"? I see my thoughts wondering off into psycho-analytic land..But not today, another time.

    Well for now, I will just dwell on your cream tea. How delightful! I love it. As long as no one spoons dollops of cream into my tea.

    Humbly yours,

  2. The friends I wrote about were not at all effeminate, but they took good care of me tea-wise.

    I really like all these things: scones, strawberries (in fruit or jam form), Devon clotted cream and #tea, of course. If I can find some decent cream, I'll have cream tea tomorrow.

    Cheers Jackie.