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Did you know that all the different tea times in Britain have a specific name? Pretty neat. Afternoon tea and high tea are sometimes used interchangeably but if you really know your British tea habits, you will know they are nowhere near the same. Afternoon Tea is more for the non-working class or those who have plenty of afternoon time while high tea is for the working class. (aka: most of us busy people)

Afternoon Tea

If you’re like me, you’re snacking between lunch and dinner because it feels like such a long gap of no food. This is exactly what afternoon tea was designed for. Afternoon tea emerged in the early 19th century. This tradition is carried out at 4 pm and everyone sits down with their cuppa & nibble on some sandwiches and scones. Back then, they often ate diner very late back because afternoon tea fulfilled their hungry tummy’s. Then they usually serve dinner as late as 8pm. (I’d be starving)

In today’s day, they simply use afternoon tea as a refreshment, not a decadent meal. Not many have the time to sit down and enjoy many scones & cakes at 4pm. They are working and getting along with life. Ever wanted to try out this tradition? Check out some of the famous tea rooms in Britain.

High Tea

As we said above, many are working during afternoon tea so they have to wait til after work to enjoy their cuppa. Since they are enjoying after work, they are usually very hungry so the meal that comes with the tea is little more hearty. Some may even refer to this as supper because it is basically a full meal.






Coming to you from the UK, this family business has nothing but amazing tasting teas to offer. We decided to add this brand based on your input as our consumers because we had a ton of recommendations to sell it! There are a total of four generations behind this business so they definitely know what they’re doing.

Ahmad Tea opened their first office in 1986 in Hampshire, UK. Anybody ever been? Iced tea & green tea officially became their best sellers around 1998. And by 2000, Ahmad Tea became one of the top 5 leading tea brands across Asia!

If we haven’t convinced you enough how great tea is for the body, maybe they can. You can check out some details on their site regarding the benefits of tea!


We have plenty of different options for you to try based on your personal preference:



Ahmad Tea’s English Tea No.1:Ahmad Tea's English Tea No. 1 Tea Bags - 20 count

  • Black Tea Base with a Slight Touch of Bergamot
  • Imported from UK
  • $3.90/ 20 Foil Wrapped Tea Bags









Ahmad Tea's Apricot Sunrise Flavored Black Tea Bags - 20 countAhmad Tea’s Apricot Sunrise:

  • Black Tea Base with Apricot Fruit Pieces
  • Imported from UK
  • $3.90/ 20 Foil Wrapped Tea Bags










Ahmad Tea's Rosehip, Hibiscus & Cherry Herbal Tea Bags - 20 countAhmad Tea’s Rosehip, Hibiscus & Cherry Herbal Tea Bags:

  • Rosehip Peel, Hibiscus Flower & Cherry Pieces
  • Mainly a Natural Cherry/Wine-Like Flavor
  • Caffeine Free
  • Sugar Free
  • Rich in Antioxidants
  • Imported from UK
  • $4.20/ 20 Foil Wrapped Tea Bags







Ahmad Tea's Green Tea Bags - 20 countAhmad Tea’s Green Tea Bags:

  • Pure Green Tea from China
  • Imported from UK
  • Light Taste
  • Floral Aroma
  • $3.90/ 20 Foil Wrapped Tea Bags








They also offer a decaf evening tea, camomile & lemongrass, raspberry & pomegranate, detox cleansing, and blackcurrant burst.



If you happen to purchase & try any of these teas please let us know how you like them by commenting on the Facebook page, commenting below or leaving a review on the product page on the ETS site! We appreciate your opinion.










By William I. Lengeman III

Is tea under threat in Britain, a country that’s pretty much a poster child for our beloved leafy beverage and which chose it, a few years back, as one of the icons that have formed the nation’s identity? Well, not so fast, Jack. While there are those who decry the influx of outlets dedicated to serving that other hot drink – you know the one – it’s hard to imagine that this most British of customs, one that’s been in place for centuries, is likely to be cast aside anytime soon.

Try out British Favorites Tea SamplerAs in the case of Mark Twain’s fabled non-demise, it’s safe to say that the rumors of tea’s death have been greatly exaggerated. Not that some people aren’t worrying about it. As London’s Telegraph recently reported there are a number of British citizens who are calling for, as they put it, a “return to civilised tea time.”

As the article notes, one Tania Baker, owner of the By Jove! Tea Rooms, in Burwell, has begun to push back against the nightmarish notion of coffeehouses on every corner and is calling for other citizens to join her in fighting the good fight. Baker is drumming up support for tea – as if it needed it – with a petition she will send to the Tea Guild and Visit Britain singing the praises of the beloved custom of afternoon tea.

The article goes on to note that the British still drink a rather respectable amount of tea – in the amount of 165 million cups daily. Coffee, however, appears to be closing in, with an estimated 70 million cups consumed every day. According to figures from the UK Tea Council, 96 percent of the more than 60 billion cups of tea consumed annually in Britain are made using tea bags.

British tea fans can also take heart in the fact that not all is necessarily well in the world of the bean. As an article in the Guardian reported this summer, coffee giant Starbucks reported losses for its British locations. Other popular British coffee chains include Costa Coffee and Caffè Nero.

Don’t forget to check out William’s blog, Tea Guy Speaks!

The English love tea. Yeah, no kidding. A statement like that ranks right up there on the blatantly obvious scale along with such gems as rain is wet and dogs bark. Though tea got its start in China, the English were probably more instrumental than anyone in spreading it to the rest of the world. To help ensure an uninterrupted supply of tea, they also set up tea plantations in India, where total tea production nowadays rivals that of China.

Tea and England have been so closely associated over the past few centuries that the Icons project selected it as one of the cultural touchstones – along with Big Ben, Buckingham Palace, Doctor Who and more – that have helped form the nation’s identity.

While you probably can’t take two steps in England without tripping over a cup of tea, until recently you would not have found much in the way of tea growing there, or at least not tea designed to be sold commercially. This changed in the late Nineties when tea first was cultivated at the Tregothnan Estate, in southwestern England.

By spring 2005 the first tea harvest was ready to be picked at Tregothnan, which has been an ongoing concern for nearly seven centuries. These days, along with such homegrown products as honey and plum jam, you can buy a variety of different teas produced at the Estate, including Classic Tea, an Earl Grey variety and Afternoon Tea.

For more on the history of tea production at Tregothnan Estate, refer to this informative article. For some opinions on four varieties of Tregothnan tea, check out this review, by yours truly. If you’d like to read more about tea-growing initiatives in unlikely locales – in this case, the United States – take a look at this recent article, posted right here at the English Tea blog.

Find more interesting tea facts over on William’s blog, Tea Guy Speaks.

chinese tea cultureIn the East, tea has long been viewed as medium to help achieve enlightenment. Rumor has it that the first tea plants grew from the eyelids of a Buddhist monk who grew sleepy while meditating. The monk was so ashamed that he removed his eye lids and threw them to the ground so it would never happen again.

I personally wish to better understand Chinese tea culture, and come to appreciate it as fully as I can; this involves understanding “Cha Dao” the way of tea. In my experience tea can take you to a peaceful state, from the pensive and meditative practice of making it, to the thoughtful consumption which is occasionally best enjoyed with an empty mind.

One of my favorite things to do is memorize a Haiku, ponder a Koan, or a poem while having a session of tea. Try it next time you are enjoying tea, try and ponder the meaning of this poem.

The Gateless Gate:
“The great path has no gates,
Thousands of roads enter it.
When one passes through this gateless gate
He walks freely between heaven and earth.”

In the west, tea is still used as an enlightenment of sorts, an English tea time to enjoy with company and discuss. Tea has many uses which can be tea meditationconsidered an enlightenment of sorts. It is used to comfort you when you are down, warm you up when you are cold, and heal you when you are sick. Tea can also be inspirational; there have been so many photographs, paintings, or sculptures, done with tea in mind.

So next time you are down, or feeling confused, reach for a cup of tea, and ponder your situation. It might be the time you spent thinking about it, or it might have been the influence of the tea, but surely you will feel somewhat more certain of the problem, and possibly have a few solutions after a nice round of tea.

East India Trading Company

East India Trading Company logo

In China, the custom of drinking tea leaves has been around for thousands of years, at least since the Tang Dynasty (June 18, 618 – June 4, 907) if not earlier. However, tea only migrated into England much later in the 1660s when King Charles II married Catherine of Braganza, a Portuguese princess who enjoyed the pleasures of drinking tea and brought that custom with her to England. Tea was thus experienced by the courts of England in the 1690s onward, however tea did not become a popular beverage until the British East India Trading Company began a vigorous campaign to popularize tea amongst common people – mainly to establish a “return cargo” (a trade) with the East Indies that seemed fair in exchange for their exotic fabrics.

It was in the coffee houses of London in the early 1700s that tea was made popular to the lower classes. By 1750, tea was the most favored drink of Britain’s lower classes. This greatly upset tavern owners at the time, who lost a lot of their alcohol sales to tea. Another entity unhappy with the popularization of tea was the British Government who also lost a lot of taxes on the sales of liquor when tea rose in popularity.

William Pitt the Younger

William Pitt the Younger

Unfortunately, the fine teas in China were in great demand by England, however the Chinese had very little use for English goods, so the teas were paid for in silver bullion – again cutting into England’s wealth and causing great critique from some. In fact, Charles II did his part to try to stop the growing sales of tea in England with several acts forbidding the sale of tea in private houses. These acts were extremely hard to enforce though, as the public resented such efforts to control the sales of tea.

Finally in 1696, a tax was placed upon all teas and all coffee house operators were required to apply for a license. Taxation efforts rose to an absurd 119% tax by 1750, causing the creation of a new industry…tea smuggling. Tea would be smuggled on ships from Scandinavia and Holland, and often smugglers would “cut” the tea with other herbs such as willow or licorice to make a profit. Some tea smugglers would even use old used tea leaves to blend in with their shipment. All of this was effectively ended when in 1784 William Pitt the Younger introduced the Commutation Act, which dropped the tax on tea from 119% to 12.5%

From there, tea flourished in England, with Tea Gardens being introduced in the mid-Eighteenth century, and “Afternoon Tea” being established in the 1800s. In 1864, the first official Tea Shop was opened in England by the Aerated Bread Company, and spread in popularity thereafter. To this day, tea is seen as a symbol of Great Britain, but also – to some extent – British Colonialism. In today’s world, tea is still very much a part of British culture and very representative of British society.

[Editor’s note: Our blog is chock full of great articles on this topic. Use our search feature to find them!]

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Cup of English Tea

Cup of English Tea

From the Arab nations around the world to Zimbabwe, tea seeps through world culture. In North African countries, for example, tea is always shared before business is conducted, thus it is known as “the oil of commerce.” In Japan, the drinking of tea is an element in religious rites, and in WWII Great Britain, Winston Churchill said that “tea is more important to the soldiers than munitions.”

Perhaps the most beautiful notion that accompanies the consumption of tea is the Zen thought that the whole universe can be experienced in a bowl of tea.

Tea drinking, soaked as it is in culture and ceremony, is also an important economic commodity. Countries as far flung as China, Argentina, Turkey and dozens of others grow tea. Tea is also linked to the colonization of various countries.

The British, for example, established tea plantations in India, using Indian labor to plant and tend the tea harvests, thus undercutting the price of Chinese tea while replacing it with their own English tea. But that is not the only way the British benefited from tea plantations. Indians did not drink tea before the British moved in. Then, emulating their colonizers, they began to drink tea, thus providing the British with a massive market. So the very product that was grown by Indian labor in India was then sold back to India at a profit, a typical scenario in the old colonial countries.

Tea is also used for myriad of medicinal purposes that include everything from consuming its antioxidants to losing weight. Some people even believe that the future can be foretold by reading loose leaf tea leaves! We have a lot of topics to cover–because tea, as it turns out, can be dried and then steeped in bags or loose in teapots, taken with milk or without, spiced or not, used for medicinal purposes or simply for the pleasure of its flavors and warm presence. Tea truly does have a big life and a long history.

Reading Tea Leaves

Reading Tea Leaves

Don’t miss the story of tea as it unfolds on our blog. Return to this site or subscribe by clicking on the RSS button. We’ll be covering tea ceremonies, the uses of tea for health, and we’ll even post a recipe here and there. Cookies, anyone?

[Editor’s note: Our blog is chock full of great articles on this topic. Use our search feature to find them!]

© Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2014. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this article’s author and/or the blog’s owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, Inc., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.


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© Online Stores, LLC, and The English Tea Store Blog, 2009-2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Online Stores, LLC., and The English Tea Store Blog with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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