What is the difference between High Tea and Afternoon Tea?

The key difference between High Tea and Afternoon Tea is that High Tea is a meal, while Afternoon Tea is a light snack.

High Tea generally includes tea, sandwiches, and scones with jam and cream, while Afternoon Tea typically consists of tea, coffee, scones, clotted cream, jam, and finger sandwiches.

What does High Tea mean?

High Tea is a meal typically eaten in the late afternoon. It usually consists of tea, sandwiches, and scones with jam and cream.

In Britain, it is customary to serve High Tea with a variety of cakes and pastries.

The tradition of High Tea began in the early 1700s when working-class people would have a light meal at home in the late afternoon before going to their jobs.

What exactly is Afternoon Tea?

Afternoon Tea is a beverage and light snack that usually consists of tea, coffee, scones, clotted cream, jam, and finger sandwiches.

It is a popular tradition in the United Kingdom, where it is often served in tea rooms.

In Britain, it is customary to invite friends or family over for Afternoon Tea in the afternoon or early evening.

High Tea vs Afternoon Tea: What is the difference?

Major differences include –

Food Served

Afternoon Tea typically consists of tea, coffee, scones, clotted cream, jam, and finger sandwiches.

High Tea usually includes heavier fare such as pastries, pies, and crumpets.

Time of Day

Afternoon Tea is traditionally served in the afternoon or early evening (3 PM – 4 PM).

High Tea is generally eaten in the late afternoon or in the evening (5 PM – 7 PM).

So, High Tea is a later afternoon meal.

Location

Afternoon Tea is often enjoyed in tea rooms, whereas High Tea is more commonly eaten at home.

Popularity

Afternoon Tea is more popular in the United Kingdom than High Tea. People in the U.K. often enjoy afternoon tea with friends or family.

High Tea is more popular in Australia, Canada, and New Zealand than it is in the U.K.

Way of serving

Afternoon Tea is typically served on a three-tier stand with the tea, coffee, and scones on the bottom tier, finger sandwiches on the middle tier, and cakes and pastries on the top tier.

High Tea is usually served on one large platter or tray with all of the food items in one location.

Meat

Afternoon Tea typically does not include meat, whereas High Tea often includes meat items such as ham, eggs, fish, bacon, and sausage.

It is not uncommon for High Tea to also include a vegetarian option.

History

Afternoon Tea was originally introduced in the early 1800s as an alternative to a heavy meal at dinner time.

High Tea began as a working-class meal in the late 1700s. However, the two traditions have merged over time and now there is significant overlap between the two.

Today, the main difference between Afternoon Tea and High Tea is the time of day they are eaten and the type of food that is served.

Pricing

Afternoon Tea is typically more expensive than High Tea. This is because Afternoon Tea usually includes a wider variety of items, such as tea, coffee, scones, clotted cream, jam, and finger sandwiches.

However, there is a lot of variation in pricing, and it is possible to find Afternoon Tea and High Tea options that are relatively affordable.

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