As a gluten intolerant individual, cream teas are unlikely to be high on your list of regular meals. You can therefore, be forgiven for not knowing the correct etiquette for how to do a Cream Tea 'properly'. Saying this, as gluten free options improve there is an increasingly possibility of them becoming a part of your annual calendar.
With National Cream Tea day being celebrated on 28th June we want to prepare you so you can be on your best behaviour. We've checked out the National Cream Tea Society's tips and added our own gluten free insights.
Cream Tea Etiquette Tips
- Loose-leaf is best. Not only are they considered 'proper' tea, they're much less likely to include gluten than those pesky tea bags. Brew loose leaves in a teapot, but remember to serve a second pot of hot water – just in case you’ve over-brewed.
- If you don’t want to pour, don’t sit near the pot. The person nearest the pot should pour for everyone. Also don't sit near the pot if you have a weak arm from whisking (speaking from experience) as full teapots are surprisingly heavy.
- Make the perfect brew. Allow the tea to brew for at least three minutes before pouring – time enough for the full flavour to infuse. Saying this, if you've ever had to do a coffee/tea round at work you'll know that everyone likes their tea differently so don't fuss too much...
- Tea before milk. Pour the tea first, followed by milk (so you can accurately judge the required strength) and then sugar. Soy milk, almond milk, coconut milk, oat milk, goats milk are all suitable options too...but don't harp on about your dairy alternatives or the impact that dairy has on your bowls!
- Spoons on saucers, please. Once you’ve stirred, place your spoon on your saucer. Just think of the poor tablecloth...and your instagram pictures!
- No outstretched pinkies! Always hold the cup between your thumb and forefinger. Contrary to popular opinion, sticking your little finger out does not a lady/gentleman make. This is a great point to take a photo looking down into your teacup ready for the gram later.
- Simply break apart. The perfect scone should break apart with a simple twist! Just make sure you’ve got your saucer to catch the crumbs. Here you can test whether the gluten free scone is any good, scones made with our gluten free baking flour will crumble the perfect amount.
- Spoon then spread. If the table is laden with bowls of jam and cream, spoon your desired amount onto your plate first, before spreading them thick on your scone. Be aware to share the spreads, as much as you love jam your friend would also like a spoonful we expect so don't laden your scones too early.
- Jam before cream. While there’s much debate around which goes first (a dispute dividing Cornwall and Devon), etiquette gurus Debrett's say you should spread your jam before dolloping cream on top. And whatever Debretts say, we must follow you see!
- A final word. Never use whipped cream. It’s utterly improper. Plus probably not served with your cream tea, you're aiming for clotted cream (as long as you're OK with the dairy of course, if you're not jam on it's own is just as delicious...)
PS - This is the etiquette but we really think you should simply be celebrating that you can enjoy a cream tea!!! Go for it, drink from the teapot, grab fist fulls of these beautiful, gluten free scones and stuff them in your mouth until your belt needs loosening...or find a happy medium.
Let us know how you're celebrating National Cream Tea day by tagging us on Instagram @oasttohost and order our gluten free baking flour now, perfect for making the most delicious gluten free scones!