A dish of tea

I don’t know why the phrase ‘a dish of tea’ sprung into my mind – many odd things spring into my mind… But I remember when I was very small, visiting old people – including an old lady we called Auntie heath, and my great grandparents who were born in the 1860’s (yes, 1860’s) Some of these old folk would have been adults in the nineteenth century, and I not only remember them mentioning ‘a dish of tea’ as opposed to a cup, but I also remember them pouring their tea into the saucer, and drinking from the saucer.

When tea first arrived in this country it was made with tea leaves in a pot, poured out and drunk without milk, as they did in China, from small bowls, or cups without handles, small dishes… Maybe this developed into using a saucer in the same way as a dish, and maybe in the old days people didn’t like drinks as hot as we like them now, and to pour the tea into a saucer made it cooler. So… that’s a dish of tea! I prefer a mug…



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