If you have perused our tea collection lately, you may have seen a new addition appear! It is an honor to introduce our brand new tea “Duchess of Bedford.” This velvety traditional black tea is enhanced with raspberries and a subtle hint of rose. It is made most luxurious by a touch of brown sugar, turning even the simplest of teatimes into an elegant affair.
The History Behind Our New Tea’s Name
Afternoon tea is a lovely affair, meant as a respite from the urgencies of life. But how did this deeply rooted cultural tradition begin? Nearly two hundred years after tea became a staple drink in England, Anna Russel, the seventh Duchess of Bedford, is credited with taking tea a step further and introducing it as the elegant afternoon tea we know today.
As the story goes, Anna, who was one of Queen Victoria’s ladies in waiting, often felt weak in the late afternoon and desired something to satisfy her hunger. At that time, luncheon was a very light meal and dinner was often served around eight o’clock in the evening or later. During the long interval between the two meals, the Duchess began to take a small meal in her boudoir with small sandwiches and cake, and drinking only tea at these occasions. Eventually, she invited some of her aristocratic lady friends to the affair.
Then, as gentlemen wished to join them as well, the charming afternoon gathering began to be held in the drawing room, and thus the elegant meal became an important part of British culture as many more took the time to sit and relish the joys of good taste and beloved company.
Visit the tea’s page to learn more about our “Duchess of Bedford” traditional black tea, named for this wonderful, yet peckish woman.
We would like to say thank you to all our guests submitted names for this lovely new tea, and congratulations to the clever guest who submitted “Duchess of Bedford.”