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LUXURY OF HIGH-TEA EXPERIENCE,

ITS TRADITION & ESSENTIALS

Breakfast Set| Cooke & Kelvey

Tea is not just a drink, it’s a ritual. Both in India and western countries, tea-time or high tea as some may call it, is an experience and a tradition. It’s an experience of slowing down, quieting the mind while also a tradition of getting together with your camaraderie to escape from the chaos. At the same time, it’s an affair that involves asumptuous feast, luxurious flat table ware and exquisite decor. Let us walk you down this age-old tradition and help you curate this coveted experience.

Women Taking Tea” (Albert Lynch, 1851-1912)

THE RITUAL OF HIGH TEA

Women Taking Tea” (Albert Lynch, 1851-1912)

High-tea has been an integral part of English culture and is attributed to the 7th Duchess of Bedford, Lady in Waiting to Queen Victoria. One late afternoon in 1840, she ordered a pot of tea along with snacks and effortlessly invented theidea of afternoon tea. Initially, she loved her tea in her solitude and over a period of time, started sending out cards to invite her friends. Other hostesses started liking the idea and started hosting tea parties. Soon afternoon tea became an event for women to socialize, show off their fashionable as well as expensive ‘tea things’ Hosting tea parties became a symbol of wealth. Since then, the task of assembling a tea table full of luxury tea equipment and table ware became imperitive.

THE HISTORY & THE RITUAL OFINDIAN

Naksha Tea Set | Cooke & Kelvey

THE HISTORY & THE RITUAL OF INDIAN

Though the history of tea spans thousands of years and across many cultures, the story of Indian chai began in the 17th century. It was when the British East India Company started taking part in Indian spice trade and realized the potential of Indian tea plantations. However, initially, it was difficult for tea to overtake coffee as the drink of choice with the local Indian community. It was only after the first world war, when tea started pickingup and eventually, by the time India gained independence, it grew to be the national drink of the nation. Till this day, Tea, or “chai” as we call it, is one of the oldest drinks inIndia and the entire southeast Asia. Over the years, it has become an inseparable part ofan Indian daily routine – be it a calming morning hug or a relaxing evening unwind session, chai is more than just a cup of tea. It connects people to the heritage, the habitual comfort and hospitality.

Naksha Tea Set | Cooke & Kelvey

Paul la marine Coffee cum tea set | Cooke & Kelvey

TEA-TIME ESSENTIALS

Paul La Marine Coffee Cum Tea Set | Cooke & Kelvey

Tea-time embodies hospitality, sociability and an affair of luxury. Learning to be a gracious host requires you to navigate decor themes, menus and choosing the right kind of tea. However, there are some luxury tea-time essentials that are rewarding investment for any kind of high-tea. These prerequisites are classic silver ware kettles, milk pots, sugar pots and a tray.

Naksha Tea Set | Cooke & Kelvey

Why silver? Well, as a metal, silver has high thermal conductivity and helps in keeping the tea warmer for an extended time. Some even think that tea tastes better when served with a silver kettle. Perhaps the palatable taste from silver kettle is in comparison to the ceramic kettles that do affect the taste. The kettle here is made with 925 sterling silver and handcrafted by master silversmiths.

Naksha Tea Set | Cooke & Kelvey

Paul la marine sugar pot | Cooke & Kelvey

Paul La Marine Sugar Pot | Cooke & Kelvey

Silver is also the best material to store sugar and milk. It is known for its antibiotic and antibacterial properties, and hence, helps in combating bacteria, fungi and algae. For liquids like milk, especially, a silver container is not just a luxury but a healthier option. In some cultures, people add silver coins in the milk to remove the impurities.
It is no brainer that silver trays are a wonderful way to serve your tea essentials. In fact, there is a whole new word for silver trays, “salvers”. This oval tray comprises 925 sterling silver and features an intricate design on the hems, that took almost a month to create.

Oval Chased Tray | Cooke & Kelvey

Oval Chased Tray | Cooke & Kelvey

Having said that, we do believe that the real key to hosting a high-tea or aquint essential chai session is about having the right kind of table ware mixed with the warmth, comfort and conversations of your camaraderie.