Vintage Recipes

About Tea

Tea is used by more than one-half the human race; and, although the United States is not a tea drinking country, one and one-half pounds are consumed per capita per annum. (1918 Fanny Farmer Cookbook)

The best black tea comes from India and Ceylon. Some familiar brands are Oolong, Formosa, English Breakfast, Orange Pekoe, and Flowery Pekoe. The best green tea comes from Japan. Some familiar brands are Hyson, Japan, and Gunpowder.

The stimulating property of tea is due to the alkaloid, theine, together with an essential oil; it contains an astringent, tannin. Black tea contains less theine, essential oil, and tannin than green tea. The tannic acid, developed from the tannin by infusion, injures the coating of the stomach. Children should never be allowed to drink tea, and it had better be avoided by the young, while it may be indulged in by the aged, as it proves a valuable stimulant as the functional activities of the stomach become weakened.

Freshly boiled water should be used for making tea.


Take 3 teaspoons tea, 2 cups boiling water. Scald an earthern or china teapot. Put in tea and pour on boiling water. Let stand on back of range or in a warm place five minutes. Strain and serve immediately, with or without sugar and milk. Avoid second steeping of leaves with addition of a few fresh ones. If this is done, so large an amount of tannin is extracted that various ills are apt to follow.


When tea is made in dining or drawing room, a "Five o' Clock Tea Kettle" (Samovar), and tea-ball or teapot are used.


Follow recipe for making tea. Russian Tea may be served hot or cold, but always without milk. A thin slice of lemon, from which seeds have been removed, or a few drops of lemon juice is allowed for each cup. Sugar is added according to taste. In Russia, a preserved strawberry to each cup is considered an improvement. We imitate our Russian friends by garnishing with a candied cherry.


Follow recipe for making tea and serve hot, allowing three whole cloves to each cup. Sugar is added according to taste.


4 teaspoons tea, 2 cups boiling water. Follow recipe for making tea. Strain into glasses one-third full of cracked ice. Sweeten to taste and allow one slice lemon to each glass tea. The flavor is much finer by chilling the infusion quickly.


Make same as Iced Tea, having three crushed mint leaves in each glass into which the hot infusion is strained.

Glass Tea Cup with Mint Leaves