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If you follow the blog, you know that I am a little obsessed with tea! You may have read about my visit to one of the last few tea plantations I have heard of in the United States, The Charleston Tea Plantation. It was one of the best parts of my trip to South Carolina.
So, when we drove through England last spring the English concept of a cream tea delighted me. In England, there is a traditional tea time, sort of like a siesta. You take a moment from your busy day to pause in the afternoon, sit down and take time for tea and relaxation. And with their tea, they also eat scones, a not-to-sweet pastry, with clotted cream and jam. It is perfection and definitely my food highlight of my visit to Great Britain.
So, now I am back in the United States and still drink tea daily. Since my family drinks our tea proudly, we still like to periodically take a break and celebrate a traditional tea, complete with scones. But we put our own spicy spin on it, inspired by one of my favorite US-made teas, Bigelow’s Vanilla Chai. The sweet smell of cardamon and vanilla fill the air from the first step of this recipe and the result makes me and my boys happy.
- ⅔ whole milk, near boiling
- 3 Bigelow Vanilla Chai teabags
- 2½ cups flour
- 1 T baking powder
- ½ t salt
- 8 T unsalted butter, cold and cut up
- ¼ cup white sugar
- Brew the tea bags in the hot milk, then put in the refrigerator until cool.
- Heat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Mix together flour, baking powder and salt in mixing bowl.
- Blend butter in, until the mixture is crumbly.
- Mix in sugar and cooled milk with a fork.
- With your hands, form dough into two flattened balls.
- Cut each circle into 8 wedges.
- Top with candy sugar.
- Bake on an ungreased cookie sheet until crisp on sides and slightly browned about 12-15 minutes
- Steep 3 bags of Bigelow Vanilla Chai tea in almost boiling milk.
- Mix together flour, salt, and baking powder.
- Cut butter into little pieces.
- Add to flour mixture and knead together with your hands.5. Mix in sugar and cooled milk with a fork.
- With your hands, make the dough into with two balls for 16 scones or one ball for 8 larger scones.
- Using a knife, cut into 8 equal pie-shaped pieces.
- Arrange on a baking sheet. They don’t spread out too much.
- Sprinkle sanding sugar over the top of each scone.
- Bake for 12-15 minutes, until edges start to turn golden.
That was pretty easy, right? For a proper cream tea, you will also need clotted cream, which is like a cross between butter and cream. To make an authentic one is very complicated, but here is a recipe to try. I used this simple recipe and it was good but did not taste exactly like English clotted cream. If you have a better recipe for easy clotted cream, please let me know in the comments.
Be sure to set a beautiful table and enjoy a tea with your friends or family. It ended up to be quite the conversation when our boys joined us at the table, enticed by the tea and scones.
Not surprisingly, I am raising a house full of tea-drinking boys and we love Bigelow’s choice of teas. I guess we are following the trends because tea is becoming a more popular choice of hot beverages in the US with 27 percent of Americans under the age of 30 drinking it as their hot beverage.
I love that Bigelow Tea is a family affair with three generations involved deeply in the company. And the company has its manufacturing in the United States. Even more reasons to tea proudly! For more reasons to love Bigelow, check out this video or their Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
I would love to hear about the ways that drinking tea has enhanced your life and travels.
7 thoughts on “An English Cream Tea with Vanilla Chai Scones”
I love hearing stories about your time in England. I want to visit so badly. Sounds wonderful! What a nice tradition to take home with you. These scones sounds delicious, I’ll have to try them. Thanks for sharing! #client
Courtney, I hope you get there soon, but a cream tea with Bigelow can hold you over in the mean time. Enjoy!
These look AMAZING!!!! #client
I made these today! They are unbelievably easy to make and so delicious. They hit the spot!
Where I am it’s a blizzard. A perfect day to make treats!!
My favourite Domestic Science lesson at high school (in then-British Hong Kong) was to make “rock cakes” (similar to scones), “Welsh rarebit” and how to serve tea.
Your recipe sounds awesome and I’ll definitely try it.
Of course I’d like to share my travel with teas with you!! We’ve been working on a documentary project about teas around the world!!