Cream Tea 101

Cream Tea 101

June 26, 2024

National Cream Tea Day is here and there’s no better way to celebrate than enjoying a cream tea. Indulge in freshly baked scones with clotted cream and jam, paired with a comforting cup of tea. It's a wonderful way to gather with friends and family, savor good food, and create cherished memories together. Never heard of cream tea before? Read on and discover this long-standing English tradition.


What is Cream Tea?

Cream Tea is the name of a relaxed meal that often takes place in the afternoon to replace lunch or it can be a sweet treat to have before dinner. Don’t get fooled, cream might be in the name, but believe it or not, no cream is added to the tea, the sole purpose of clotted cream for Cream Tea is to be enjoyed on a scone with jam. Clotted cream is a thick cream that is made by heating full-fat milk on a stove and allowing the cream to rise to the surface creating “clots”. The taste of clotted cream has been compared to the flavors of high-quality unsalted butter, but with nuttier notes because the cream has been heated. Most tea fanatics would never add clotted cream because its richness would overpower the flavor of the tea. Cream tea can be confused with Afternoon tea which is actually a larger meal that consists of a larger spread containing finger sandwiches and other small pastries.


Cream Tea Methods

There are two main methods to enjoying Cream Tea:

Devonshire cream tea

  • Tea is served with split scones with clotted cream on the bottom and topped with either strawberry or raspberry jam.

Cornish variety 

  • Tea is served with split scones with strawberry or raspberry jam first, followed by clotted cream on top.

Teas for Cream Tea 

You can’t have cream tea without tea! Here are some of our favorite teas to enjoy with cream tea:

Black Tea

  • Art of Tea’s Earl Grey Creme is an homage to classic black tea with a creamy finish.
  • Feeling rosy? Art of Tea’s Rose Black Tea is black tea with dried rose petals to create a bright floral black tea experience.
  • Onyx’s Tealight Black Tea Blend is a mixture of black tea, cinnamon, vanilla, and honey. We guarantee it is as comforting as it is sweet with a creamy finish.

Herbal Tea

  • Firebelly Tea’s Downers Collection consists of 3 herbal teas that are perfect for winding down at the end of the day and will pair splendidly with split scones with clotted cream and jam.
  • Onyx’s Lavender Chamomile Rooibos is a silky blend of American Lavender, Egyptian Chamomile and South African Rooibos to create a relaxing tea experience.
  • The Qi’s Royal Chrysamthemum Tea is made from whole dried Chrysamthemum flowers that bloom as it steeps right before your eyes.


Clotted Cream Scones

Clotted Cream and Jam on Scones

If you’ve never had one, scones are fluffy buttery biscuit-like cakes that can be made with various add-ons such as chocolate and fruit for extra texture and flavor. You can find them at your local bakery or we recommend this easy 20-minute Classic Scone recipe that is sure to impress all of your guests at cream tea.

Once you have acquired or created your scones, you will need to serve them with the clotted cream. As previously mentioned, clotted cream is a must for cream tea. However, homemade clotted cream is not a quick culinary endeavor. Typically, a good clotted cream can take up to 12 to 24 hours to make, which is why it’s a good thing you can find it in supermarkets or order from online tea supply stores such as English Tea Store. For the adventurous crowd, here is a recipe for home-made Devonshire Clotted Cream.

A good red jam is the way to go when enjoying clotted cream scones. Take your pick of strawberry, raspberry, blackberry, or boysenberry jams. You really can’t go wrong with any of these jams as they will certainly pair nicely with tea.

Once you have your scones, clotted cream, and jam selected, you’ll need to know how to properly assemble them for presentation:

  1. Using a knife, split the scones like you would for a sandwich roll. Depending on whether you eat yours the Devon or Cornish way, take a spoon to place a good-sized dollop of clotted cream on the scone.
  2. With your jam of choice, add however much jam you like on top of the clotted cream (or vice versa).
  3. Enjoy!

Now that you have all the know-how on Cream Tea, it’s time to get your friends together to bask in this lovely summertime weather while you enjoy a good cup of tea with clotted cream scones. Just remember that tea is best served at the perfect temperature in an Ember Mug 2.

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