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What is the Real History of Afternoon Tea?

What is the Real History of Afternoon Tea?

We often asked why ‘Chateau Rouge’ and why French tea sold in England? Well the answer is really simple, besides being in love with both Paris and London, finding it impossible to have to live in only one or the other, and creating a brand that enables us to have both -  et pourquoi pas!

The real question you may be asking is, if England is known the world over for it’s love of tea and in many ways for creating the ‘afternoon tea’ tradition, then how does France fit into the picture and do they really drink tea in France? The answer is a resounding OUI! Coffee and Paris may well go hand in hand, but would you believe that France was drinking tea before England, reportedly by at least 22 years.

Tea was first imported to France for medicinal purposes, at a time when France and the Netherlands were the biggest importers of teas from China. Doctors in France believed that tea, particularly green tea, could treat all kinds of illnesses but particularly gout, a disease thought to be more prominent in the upper class because they were the only ones who could afford to eat such excessive amounts of meat. And today, more than 350 years later medical research is confirming the same!

Louis XIV reportedly drank tea avidly to help with his gout, quite ironic since he was also the one to popularise drinking coffee after being influenced by the Turkish ambassador to France. Tea may have started out as a medicine, but people soon realised that they enjoyed drinking tea for the flavour. It was then still extremely difficult to source and transport tea, often shipped under perilous conditions, meaning that it was quite expensive to drink and became associated with the upper class. You can imagine at the time of the French Revolution, tea was seen as a privilege of the upper classes and rapidly became the disdain of the masses and out of fashion.

To this day French tea is always taken black, most likely out of habit of drinking it as a medicine, but with a taste for the finer things in life, adding milk will only mask he true taste flavours of each tea. French tea has traditionally always been served at someone’s house, normally between 5 and 7 o’clock in the afternoon.

French afternoon tea is usually accompanied by tea, juices, pastries, petits fours, and biscuits or cakes. Today it is very different story and tea once again is becoming fashionable, as consumers grow an appetite for tasting and experiencing new teas and varieties from around the world, much like we are doing with Chateau Rouge Organic Teas.


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Every Purchase Makes a Difference - Packaging Guide
Every 2 products sold = 1 Tree planted (costing £0.40 - 0.70 per tree over a 5 year period). Proceeds from the sale of each product directly help improve the environment and combat climate change by planting trees in Zambia with WeForest and 1% for the Planet. These are sustainable long term projects that not only focus on planting trees but on supporting the communities affected to help alleviate poverty.
Weights and volumes of  loose leaf tea tins may vary slightly per product. We pack all our tea tins full and weights are dependent on the type of tea and tea leaf size.
Tea bags tin sizes: 17 tea bags tin, 60 tea bags tin or 50 tea bags refill pouches. We pack our tea bags with larger quantities of loose leaf tea. This ensures a full flavour cup and is possible to use 2x per tea bag - for a large mug or small teapot.  View actual tin and pouches sizes here
Our tea tins (2 sizes) come in our new  Chateau Rouge cartons. Where applicable our jams, honey and preserves are packed in similar boxes of two jars. These have also been designed for gift packaging. All our packaging is made from FSC recycled or recyclable card and we only print using 100% environmentally inks.