Everyone has those stressful days: deadlines chasing you, parents nagging, bosses hounding, the rain ruined your suede shoes, a bird pooped on you, you dropped your favorite highlight compact and it smashed, they ran out of pearls at your favorite bubble tea store, (I can go on and on).
Okay, the point of that chunk was to show that everyone gets stressed now and then, and I know a cup of tea really does go a long way in relieving stress. It may not fix your problems but it helps. However, if you’re anything like me, you may not be a huge fan of drinking pure tea without any milk or sugar. I have a major sweet tooth and sometimes tea is too bitter for my liking.
So here is where our British influence comes in; let us immerse in the English culture of tea-drinking by adding some small bites to go with our tea. If you’re feeling extra fancy pants, pop your pinkie for added effect!
No, it is not a vertically challenged loaf of bread, it’s a Scottish biscuit/cookie. Fun fact: shortbread gets its name because of the large amount of butter in its recipe and it makes it “short”, which, in pastry language, means crumbly. You can pair shortbread with earthy teas like earl grey and English breakfast to complement its milky-ness. You could even dip the shortbread in your tea for extra flavor.
Scones are a type of cake or biscuit that is drier in texture as compared to a regular biscuit or cookie. They have a crumbly texture and may be quite flaky as well. It comes in both savory and sweet flavors, for example, salted, raison, cranberry, and even cheese. Unlike other cakes and biscuits, the main ingredients of scones are typically oatmeal, barley or wheat. If you can find or bake the perfect scone, it’s lightness will complement almost any type of tea.
3. Tea Cakes
There are so many possible types and flavors of tea cakes that I’m sure you could find something you’d like. Different regions tweak their tea cake recipes slightly; some contain fruit, some are sugared, and some are even toasted and buttered. Usually the slices of cake aren’t too large, so it is perfect for a mid-afternoon snack to accompany your tea. My personal favorite is a light powder sugar tea cake with lavender tea, but you can choose your favourite floral or fruit tea because the flavors almost all complement each other.
Cookies are my personal favorite small bites to pair with my tea because the texture is so crunchy and crispy, yet also a little crumbly. I love Famous Amos cookies and have yet to find a better substitute than that. The sweetness and texture is perfect and they are insanely addictive so pace yourselves. Tip: put a few in a plate so you don’t finish the entire bag in one sitting.
5. Dried Fruit
This is probably the healthiest option on this list that still serves its purpose of adding sweetness to your tea. Dried fruit is incredibly easy to make or buy and it isn’t pricey at all. If you must, choose dried fruits that do not contain additional sugar so you don’t feel very sinful when eating them. You can even steep your fruit or floral tea with dried fruit to add some tanginess. Dried strawberries, lemon, orange and apricot accentuate light teas very well.
If you are looking for dried fruits, Nilufer Tea has great, delicious and all-natural organic dried lemons that you can pair with your teas to give your tongue a tangy dance.
6. Finger Sandwiches
We’re scaling up a little with some fancy finger sandwiches. Perhaps it is of the sandwiches’ finger-size, but they have a fancy and elegant feel to them. Some cucumber, egg mayo, or maybe a little ham and cheese can satisfy the midafternoon munchies. Serve it on a silver platter with pretty tooth picks at your next tea party and you’ll have everyone ecstatic.
7. Mini Lemon Bars
This one goes out to those who love a little sour mix in their desserts. Lemon bars are popular hits at bakeries and for good reasons too. They have a perfect balance of sweet and sour, and when paired with a hearty cup of earl grey or English breakfast tea, you’ll realise a sense of serenity and calmness. It’s a perfect pick-me-up snack that also packs in a ton of Vitamin C thanks to the lemons!
8. Mini Creampuffs
Last but not least, mini creampuffs! It’s a little indulgent but you deserve a treat on cheat day every now and then! The cold, rich cream filling will balance out your hot tea. Trust me, a few bites of mini creampuffs and the stress will just melt away. This could complement floral and milky teas.