I shared this poem in May 2007 and wanted to repost it. This is still the most common misunderstanding about afternoon tea. Google sends me a daily email alert of all tea-related news stories. Community groups announce “High Tea” often. And those of you from the search engines, please take note!

High Tea vs Afternoon Tea

High Tea (essentially It’s Supper)
Beans on toast and leftover roast,
the last meal of the day.
Jeans and shirts, or comfy old skirts,
Slippers are quite okay.
Tea that’s black, the pot with a crack,
placemats for everyday.
Neighbors, mates, or long-standing dates:
Pets won’t be in the way.


Low Tea (Indubitably a Party)
aka: Afternoon Tea


Cakes and tart and scones shaped like hearts,
an afternoon affair.
Frocks and pearls topped with hats and curls,
Perfume applied with a flair.
Fine Earl Grey, a fresh bouquet,
The table set with care.
Invited guests (some dear, some pests).
Manners? Beyond compare!

Poems by J. Camille Korsmo. First appeared in Tea a Magazine Autumn 2005.
Reprinted with permission from the poet.

Did you ever call afternoon tea high tea? Please post a comment and let us know how you learned differently. Was it here?