It’s Day 1 of Vegan Month of Food (which will hence be referred to as Vegan MoFo) and for this blog, it will be a month of Vegan Afternoon Tea!
I’ve been obsessed with tea for many years now. The tea itself, and all the yummy things to have with tea. I do believe it started with going to “dim sum” (which some call Chinese-style Afternoon Tea) on weekend mornings with my family when I was little. My love of all different kinds of tea took off during college. I worked at a cafe where they had some fine teas, and after I tried all of those, I had to have ALL OF THE TEAS. Back in those days, I had a full cupboard dedicated to tea. Nowadays, I try to be more practical (seeing as I have less cupboard room as well).
Afternoon Tea is a ritual that truly allows one to savour and celebrate tea. Apparently, it started when the 7th Duchess of Bedford decided to hell with getting hungry between the morning and evening meals! GIMME MY TEA AND NOM NOMS DAMWIT! <–not really how it happened but, kind of. Here’s a more proper history of British Afternoon Tea.
My first proper Afternoon Tea experience happened only a few years ago (during my pre-vegan days). I worked at a hotel and we weren’t normally supposed to dine in the hotel outlets, but we had a special occasion. This hotel was quite famous for their Afternoon Tea and for good reason. We enjoyed a wide selection of tea, featherweight scones with cream, delicious finger sandwiches and petit fours. It wasn’t just the food that made the experience; all the little details: proper tea brewing, gorgeous teaware, wonderful service, delightful ambience, and great company. After that, I was HOOKED.
When I went vegan, my Afternoon Tea options dwindled. The traditional tea wasn’t very vegan friendly. I had a work function where we had Afternoon Tea and they made a special menu for me. Delicious and they did a great job, but it wasn’t the same. I was being offered mini salads, crostini, fruit desserts. All great things, but I just wanted some scones and cream!
After some experimenting (and sacrificing pounds and pounds of flour and vegan butter to the tea-gods), I finally was able to duplicate some of the scrumptious offerings from that first, very magical, Afternoon Tea experience.
Over the month of September 2013, I’ll be sharing these recipes and interesting tea history. Please subscribe and don’t miss a thing!