27 December, 2013

Morning Tea, anyone?

This morning we had American friends over for morning tea. They asked, "Is Morning and Afternoon Tea an Australian custom?"

It really comes from Britain, but there is no doubt that it is an Australia (and New Zealand) tradition. Both David and I grew up with these between-meal snacks.
Wiktionary says: "A small meal or snack eaten between breakfast and lunch; a period of time set aside for this purpose, taken as a break from schoolwork, work, a conference, etc."
A recent Morning Tea for friends.
Morning Tea is a midmorning snack that usually involves a hot drink, usually tea or coffee. Sometimes it is called "smoko" which originates from people having a cigarette at this time also. It is usually a pretty casual event, but if invited to "morning tea" usually the hosts would make it a more formal event by setting the table with nice dishes and putting an array of sweet snacks on nice dishes.

Afternoon Tea is the same, except around 3 or 4 in the afternoon. That would be the first thing we did after coming home from school: gather around the kitchen bench or the table and have a drink (water or juice for children in my childhood home) and a snack. If there wasn't time to go home (like when I had piano lessons), Mum always provided a snack in the car.

Just to confuse, the large evening meal can also be called tea. If you would like more background on "tea" as a social event in Britain, check out this link.

When everyone's home on the weekend or on holidays we almost always have morning and afternoon tea, but not as formally as the photo shows. Usually just a selection of snacks from the plastic/tin containers that hold them in the cupboard.

1 comment:

Ken Rolph said...

And when you are in primary school the mid-morning break is called little lunch.