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Taking Time for Afternoon Tea - A Very British Tradition in Melbourne!

Teatime at Brisk Corporate Catering in Melbourne means cakes, buns, scones and pastries served with copious cups of delicious Tea Drop tea and that’s why it’s such a popular choice when catering for businesses in the CBD. So if you’ve ever wondered what taking tea is all about, we’ve got all the inside info for you right here.

No doubt you already know that we inherit our love for tea from our British cousins and one of our favourites is good old traditional English Breakfast tea. Of course, there are plenty of other varieties to enjoy. Here are just some of the best-known; Earl Grey, Mint Tea, Green Tea (if you’re on a health-kick try our Tea Drop version when you order from us), Ginger and Lemongrass (another Tea Drop favourite we supply) and relaxing Chamomile – great when you need to wind down after a long, busy and laborious work meeting! That list isn’t limited – there are hundreds more great flavours of tea to choose from. Whichever flavour you prefer, next time you pick up that cup think about the history behind it.

Tea drinking has been one of those British rituals practised in the UK for over a thousand years and the first Brits to enjoy their cuppa were ancient monks in Devon. They lived in an abbey and used to eat bread with strawberry jam and clotted cream in the middle of the afternoon. That’s why our British friends love their scones, cream and jam (as do we)! This delicious idea soon gained momentum and was adopted by royalty and nobility who then added in sumptuous freshly baked teeny cakes and delicate pastries to complement their favourite cup. Today, tea is taken almost everywhere in the UK, inside the home, in hotels, in restaurants and in the office, so that’s where we get our appreciation from over here in Oz.

So if you’re menu-planning for your corporate event and you’re planning a tea party you might find it useful to know that tea is usually taken any time between 3.30 and 5.30 but the actual time for tea is 4.00pm. We’d suggest starting your corporate tea meeting at 3.00pm and serving tea around 3.45pm to balance it out but of course, it depends what’s on your agenda!

When choosing what to serve, the Brits love scones so make it thoroughly traditional with our platter of sweet treats containing chocolate eclairs, giant scones, home-made shortbread, gluten free friands and cannoli. The selection may not be entirely British but we promise you – go to any British hotel and eclairs will be on the menu along with shortbread. At Brisk, we like to add in some other ideas too and you’ll find that all our sweet treats complement your tea to perfection. For fruitier choices, add in our sumptuous giant strawberries dipped in milk chocolate and who doesn’t love to dunk their cookie in their tea? Try Butterbing cookies for that dreamy experience! Or choose healthy fresh fruit skewers instead but whatever you do – add in our Danish and sweet pastries, they’re sublime.

Brewing your tea is an interesting debate. The Brits like to add milk first and brew tea so it’s strong enough to enjoy. Once it’s ready, they just add it to the cup. Now, you can add milk afterwards, there’s no rule of thumb but there’s a reason the Brits started this (odd) tradition. In the olden days, the poorer people living in Britain had lots of damaged cups with cracks and chips. The hot tea would scald the cups and make the cracks grow, often splitting the cups in two. Putting in the cold milk first stopped this happening so there’s some sense to it. The wealthier people could afford good quality china so they’d brew their tea, pour it and then add milk so there’s definitely class status attached to how you make your tea!

So however you decide to serve your corporate tea, be sure to make it very British and choose Brisk to supply you with freshly made delicious treats to go with your favourite cups. Your team, customers and visitors will really enjoy the platters we provide. Finally, shhhh, at Brisk we think it’s teatime anytime so don’t limit yourself, our tea platters make great breakfasts too.


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