Exploring The Origins of Cream Tea: A Journey To Devon And Cornwall

When it comes to quintessential British traditions, few are as comforting and beloved as cream tea. This delightful combination of freshly baked scones, jam and clotted cream served alongside a piping hot cup of tea, has captured the hearts and taste buds of people all over the world. 

While cream tea is now enjoyed far and wide, its roots can be traced back to the picturesque counties of Devon and Cornwall in the southwest of England. Join us on a journey through time as we explore the regional history and traditions of cream tea, uncovering the charming stories that make this tradition so special.

The Birthplace of Cream Tea

To truly understand the origins of cream tea, we must first step back in time to the early 19th century. The rural counties of Devon and Cornwall were known for their lush pastures, where dairy farming thrived. It was in this idyllic setting that the elements of cream tea began to converge.

Scones: The humble scone, a staple of cream tea, likely has its origins in Scotland. However, it was in Devon and Cornwall that they were first paired with cream and jam. These tender, baked goods served as the perfect canvas for the sumptuous toppings that would become the hallmark of cream tea.

Clotted Cream: Clotted cream, often described as "thick enough to stand a spoon in," is the creamy star of cream tea. It was in these southwest counties that dairy farmers perfected the art of clotted cream production. This thick, indulgent cream was an essential component of the early cream teas.

Jam: Sweet, fruity jam was the finishing touch to the creamy scones. In the West Country, particularly in Cornwall, the tradition of serving homemade jams made from local fruits like strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries became an integral part of cream tea.

The Cream-First vs. Jam-First Debate

One of the delightful quirks of cream tea is the ongoing debate over the proper way to assemble it. In Devon, the tradition dictates that clotted cream should be spread on the scone first, followed by a dollop of jam. In Cornwall, it's the opposite: jam goes on first, followed by a generous layer of clotted cream. This age-old rivalry between the counties adds an element of fun and friendly competition to the cream tea experience.

Exploring the origins of cream tea is like taking a journey through time to the rolling hills and picturesque landscapes of Devon and Cornwall. These counties not only gave birth to this cherished tradition but also nurtured it with their dedication to quality ingredients and a passion for delicious treats.

So, whether you're a fan of the Devonshire or Cornish method for cream tea assembly, there's no denying the magic of this delightful tradition. The next time you indulge in a freshly baked scone, jam and clotted cream, you'll have a deeper appreciation for the rich history and regional traditions that have made cream tea a beloved part of British culture for generations.

Delight Delivered: Discover Cornish Cream Tea by Post

At The Cornish Scone Company, we bring the magic of Cornish cream tea delivered to your door with our selection of Cornish Cream Teas by post. 

Amongst all the options, the Cornish Cream Tea Hamper for Two is the epitome of luxury and convenience. Inside this beautifully crafted hamper, you'll discover everything you need to create a memorable cream tea experience:

Freshly Baked Scones: Our scones are made with love and care, using the finest ingredients to ensure they are tender, flavourful, and perfectly golden brown.

Clotted Cream: No cream tea is complete without the rich, velvety goodness of clotted cream. Our Cornish clotted cream is sourced locally for the most authentic experience.

Award-Winning Preserves: We take pride in offering a selection of award-winning Cornish fruit preserves that perfectly complement your scones and clotted cream.

High-Quality Tea: To accompany your cream tea, we provide you with premium tea leaves, carefully chosen for their exceptional flavour and aroma.

Try Our Small Cornish Feast For The Ultimate Experience

We take pride in offering you a truly exquisite treat: the Small Cornish Feast. It's a delightful package that encapsulates the essence of Cornwall's rich culinary heritage and brings it right to your doorstep. Let's take a closer look at what makes this feast so special.

What's a scone without the perfect accompaniments? That's where Boddington's Berries comes in. We've included two 28g pots of their Strawberry or Blackberry Jam, both handmade in the old-fashioned way. Only the best ingredients go into these jams, adding a burst of flavour and nostalgia to your cream tea.

No Cornish cream tea is complete without clotted cream, and we've brought you the world-famous Rodda's Cornish clotted cream. We take special care to package it in insulated packaging, ensuring it arrives at your doorstep in the finest condition. This clotted cream is a true Cornish delicacy, renowned for its rich, velvety texture and unforgettable taste.

To accompany your cream tea, we've included two Smuggler's Brew Cornish tea bags. It's the only choice that truly captures the essence of Cornwall. The rich, robust flavour of Smuggler's Brew adds an authentic Cornish touch to your tea time, making it an experience to remember. Or you can choose an awakening coffee for an alternative to tea and enjoy a cup of Cornish coffee's Colombian Gold! You can also enjoy a tasty peanut nougat bar from Buttermilk, a bar of 'Kernow' cream tea chocolate, a delicious shortbread, fairings and a bottle of 'Cornish Orchards' orange.

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