For most people tea gets least priority at tea-time! Tea-time is more of a ritual, which helps one to unwind in the middle or end of a busy day. It is a time to just relax and contemplate by yourself or spend in the company of your loved ones. Of course, hot beverages and scrumptious snacks do fit beautifully into the scene! A cup of hot coffee, tea or cocoa, or a glass of cold chaasor lemonade in the hot summer days, is often a must-have during tea-time. But more exciting than this are the snacks that are served with the beverage. Sandwiches and biscuits, cookies and puffs, pakoras and puris – there is no end to the choice of tea-time snacks that we can pick from. Depending on the season and depending on other circumstances, the snack might be deep-fried or baked, light or heavy, quick or elaborate, readymade or homemade, fresh or from the jar.
Tea-time usually happens sometime between 2 p.m. and 6 p.m. Each one has their own preference. Some families get together at tea-time, so they prefer to have it a little late so that everybody will be back home from school and work. Others like to have their tea with friends at office, so maybe sometime around 3 or 4 p.m. will work right for them. So, depending on the circumstances the time might differ.
And so does the choice of snacks enjoyed with the beverage. On a weekend you might want to make something elaborate while on a weekday, you will just want to pull something out of the jars! So, in the weekend when you find time, stock up the jar snacks so that tea-time will become easier on weekdays. Some people prefer to have a heavy tea in the evening with something elaborate like purior chaat, so that they can just finish with a light dinner at night. Others prefer to keep tea light and have dinner properly. So, it is all about personal preferences.
Tea-time is so enjoyable that people also use it to celebrate a special occasion or achievement. A high-tea party is basically one that is held in the early evenings, where hot beverages and a couple of interesting snacks are served. The focus is on the snacks and the interesting conversations that happen between friends and family! A high-tea is good fun, and easier to host than a lunch or dinner party.