18 Things You Need To Know About Afternoon Tea

Which goes first: cream or jam?

Sian Butcher/ BuzzFeed

Bettys Café Tea Rooms is a Yorkshire institution.

Bettys Café Tea Rooms is a Yorkshire institution.

It provides “Swiss-Yorkshire fare”, and is loved for for its delicious buns and pastries. But above all else, Bettys is known for afternoon tea.

Alas, Bettys is not coming south any time soon. “We’d never have a Bettys outside of Yorkshire,” Ruth from head office says. “All the branches are facilitated by the Harrogate bakery. And we’re very much a Yorkshire brand.”

So we had to go to them. We came to Harrogate to ask Bettys all the afternoon tea questions nobody else could answer. Real hard-hitting stuff. Like, which goes first: cream or jam?

Christopher Bethell for BuzzFeed

When we visit, on a rainy Wednesday morning, there’s already a queue snaking around the shop.

When we visit, on a rainy Wednesday morning, there's already a queue snaking around the shop.

We sneak a peak at the piles of cakes and buns in the café, eyeballing a particularly enticing raisin scone. The queue never lets up – even at 9pm.

“People will come in to buy products to eat in front of [The Great British] Bake Off,” Ruth from head office says. “I was working in the shop one evening, and the shop closes at 9pm. People rushed in and bought medicis after seeing them on Bake Off.”

Christopher Bethell for BuzzFeed

But before we get into the nitty-gritty of scones, it’s time to talk tea. This is Tony Barkataki.

But before we get into the nitty-gritty of scones, it's time to talk tea. This is Tony Barkataki.

Barkataki is a tea buyer with Bettys and its sister company Taylors of Harrogate. He grew up on a tea estate in Assam, and worked as a tea planter before moving into buying. So it’s safe to say that he knows his stuff.

“I was born on a tea estate in India,” he says. “The name of the tea estate was Green Wood. My father was a tea planter and my grandfather before him was a tea planter as well. I worked on the tea plantations for two years. It gave me a good insight into how tea’s grown, how tea’s manufactured, running a huge workforce, and understanding what goes behind just a cup of tea.”

Barkataki was always keen to work with Bettys and Taylors. “Taylor’s have an exceedingly good reputation, any origin you go. Even as a tea planter many years ago I knew about Taylors. They work with growers, they have a commitment to quality. And just the approach of the company – they treat you fairly.“

Christopher Bethell for BuzzFeed


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Puja

I am a self-proclaimed Champion Cook, who gets the confidence to call myself that way from the love and praises showered upon me by my family consisting of a Cute little Daughter and a husband who loves the Internet more than me (LoL..) and who incidentally happens to be the man behind the technical aspects of my blog. I love working from home and the benefits that come from it and that is what prompted me to start my own Blog at http://thetastesofindia.com where I document all my adventures with cooking. Follow me on my journey..

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