Cornish Cream Tea


Welcome to the delightful world of Cornish cream tea, a quintessential treat that embodies the charm and culinary heritage of Cornwall, England. With its luscious clotted cream, freshly baked scones, and aromatic tea, Cornish cream tea offers a moment of pure indulgence and relaxation. In this article, we invite you to discover the origins, components, and etiquette surrounding this beloved tradition. Prepare to embark on a journey of taste and tradition!

The Origins of Cornish Cream Tea

1. A Cornish Tradition

Cornish cream tea finds its roots in the scenic county of Cornwall, located in southwestern England. This tradition dates back to the 19th century when it became popular among the wealthy tourists who flocked to Cornwall’s picturesque coastal towns. Over time, cream tea became an integral part of Cornish culture, cherished by locals and visitors alike.

2. The Cream Controversy

One distinguishing feature of Cornish cream tea is the debate over the order of toppings. Traditionally, Cornish cream tea consists of a split, warm scone topped with clotted cream followed by a dollop of strawberry jam. However, neighboring county Devon has its own take, serving scones with jam first and then clotted cream. The debate continues to spark friendly rivalry between the two regions, with both claiming their way is the correct one.

Components of Cornish Cream Tea

1. Freshly Baked Scones

At the heart of Cornish cream tea are the scones, which serve as the foundation for this delectable treat. The scones are typically made with flour, butter, sugar, and a leavening agent, resulting in a delicate texture and buttery flavor. Whether you prefer plain scones or those studded with raisins or currants, their warm, crumbly goodness is the perfect canvas for the rich toppings that follow.

2. Clotted Cream

The star of the show is the clotted cream, a silky and indulgent spread that lends a luxurious touch to the scones. Clotted cream is made by heating unpasteurized cow’s milk and allowing it to slowly cool. The process forms a thick layer of cream on the surface, which is then carefully skimmed off. The resulting clotted cream is rich, velvety, and slightly sweet, offering a heavenly taste and texture.

3. Strawberry Jam

Completing the trio of delights is strawberry jam, a fruity and tangy accompaniment that adds a burst of flavor to the cream tea. Made from ripe strawberries cooked down with sugar, the jam provides a delightful contrast to the richness of the clotted cream. The combination of the sweet jam, creamy clotted cream, and warm scone creates a harmony of flavors that is utterly irresistible.

Cornish Cream Tea Etiquette

1. The Art of Assembly

When indulging in Cornish cream tea, there is a preferred method of assembly. Start by halving a warm scone with a gentle twist rather than using a knife. Next, slather a generous amount of clotted cream on each half of the scone, allowing it to melt slightly into the crevices. Finally, top the cream with a dollop of strawberry jam, ensuring an even distribution of flavors.

2. Tea Time Traditions

To fully immerse yourself in the Cornish cream tea experience, it is customary to pair it with a fragrant cup of tea. Opt for a traditional English breakfast tea or choose from a variety of specialty teas. Brew your tea to perfection, allowing it to steep for a few minutes before pouring it into delicate china cups. Sip slowly, savoring the harmonious blend of flavors and taking in the tranquil ambiance.


Cornish cream tea is a delightful culinary tradition that showcases the charm and flavors of Cornwall. Whether you find yourself amidst the picturesque landscapes of Cornwall or recreating the experience at home, indulging in a Cornish cream tea is a moment of pure bliss. Let the warmth of freshly baked scones, the richness of clotted cream, and the tanginess of strawberry jam transport you to a world of taste and tradition.

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