Afternoon Tea

  1. #1

    Join Date
    May 2006
    KT, HK

    Afternoon Tea


    just got here a couple of weeks ago, and need somebody to explain to me what is exactly this term "Afternoon Tea".

    In some places in South East Asia there is this thing called "High Tea" where snacks buffet is served between like about 3PM to 7PM. Some hotel's lobby lounge usually has this kind thing.

    So I wonder whether Afternoon Tea and High Tea could actually be the same thing?


  2. #2


    In Hong Kong, if you go to a Cantonese cafe, they have an afternoon tea, which is often a meal/snack but for a lower price, like bowl of noodles plus drink for like 13 dollars or something. Some places will have things like French toast too, usually starts around 4pm. The Chinese cafes have these peak and off peak meal prices, its quite confusing.

    However, High Tea could also mean afternoon tea to alot of people. So I guess it really depends on who you were speaking to. I hope this helps?

  3. #3

    Join Date
    Jun 2006

    By definition, High Tea and Afternoon Tea are 2 entirely different things. Though, in short, in Hong Kong they are used interchangeably. Read on if you're interested.

    Contrary to popular belief (well, popular belief in Hong Kong anyway), "high" tea isn't named so because of the tall tiered stand, nor because it was made for people on the higher end of the social scale (it wasn't - see below). So strictly speaking, teas at hotels served on a stand should be known as "afternoon tea" rather than "high tea".

    History has it that the idea of afternoon tea comes from the upper classes in England, and typically refers to the meal taken mid-afternoon. It could include things like pastries and sandwiches and be served on a tiered stand, as many hotels like to do, although this is not obligatory.

    High tea, on the other hand, is a meal originating from the 'lower' classes, who needed to fill up after a hard day's work. High tea occurs a bit later, around 5pm, and would (traditionally) usually replace dinner.

    Of course, all this is open to discussion. This is just what I've read from various sources over the years. You can probably find out more about it on Wikipedia or something.

    Anyway, in Hong Kong, you can assume that High Tea and Afternoon Tea mean pretty much the same thing. Although local cafés (the Cha Chaan Teng, or Chinese cafés, that Sheeana mentioned) are unlikely to call their afternoon discount meals "high tea".

    Last edited by eat_drink; 06-11-2006 at 10:12 PM.