What is next for the afternoon tea experience?

It has long been a discussion topic as to why coffee has performed so strongly in the UK over the last twenty years whilst tea has never quite managed to grab the same attention – even though it is quintessentially British.

The afternoon tea experience though has grown in popularity steadily in the last decade and yet relatively little is known about the breadth and depth of teas from across the world. Research indicates though that there is greater interest and so, EP has been delighted to team up with The London Tea Exchange and UKCC to develop a new afternoon tea experience which can offer something distinctly different, represents the taste of teas from around the world and can engage the market.

EP has been delighted to team up with The London Tea Exchange and UKCC to develop a new afternoon tea experience which can offer something distinctly different, represents the taste of teas from around the world and can engage the market.

The Afternoon Tea Experience

The concept of tea drinking has a history of over four hundred years in the UK as it was first popularised by King Charles II and his Portuguese wife, Catherine de Braganza. In 1840, the afternoon tea as we know it was invented by Anna Russell, the seventh Duchess of Bedford. After complaining of a “sinking feeling” around 4pm, Anna started ordering a tray of tea, bread and butter, and cake to her room around mid-afternoon, and invited friends to join her.

When Anna came to London, she brought the occasion with her and it soon caught on among the great and the good, then skyrocketed with a royal endorsement as her lifelong friend, Queen Victoria, loved the concept. By the late 19th century, tea prices had become more affordable, allowing the burgeoning middle class to partake in the sophisticated afternoon tea ritual. It spread across Britain and even to the USA.

By the 1920s, music was added to the occasion as the “Tea Dance” was founded which attracted a younger generation and created whole new energy around the experience.

Our question, therefore, is given the growing popularity of the concept once again, can it be evolved for new audiences and with a menu of teas which really do showcase the world-class calibre of teas from all across the world?

The London Tea Exchange is already working with many royal families and leaders from across the world. They possess a large portfolio of over 300 varieties of premium teas and rare teas are sourced directly from twenty different countries and includes some of the rarest teas in the world, many of which are exclusive to London Tea Exchange.

Wouldn’t it be quite special to reinvent this great concept, bringing together much of its history along with a global perspective?

EP are, therefore, delighted to be working with The London Tea Exchange and UKCC to look at an evolution in the experience as history has shown that it is not just popular but can appeal to all audiences from the young to the elderly and brings people together.