Is Cream Tea a Science?










Traditionally a cream tea consists of scones (preferably warm and baked on the day) and clotted not whipped cream with strawberry jam. Steam Bournemouth Tea Rooms focus on creating that perfect Cream tea, ensuring all products are freshly baked and of high quality, just like it was back in the 30’s and 40’s.


Over the years many have tried to crack the formula for making the best cream tea. In an article published by the Telegraph back in 2015, they claim that a food scientist and baker have cracked the formula for the most delightful cream tea.



Some of the main questions have often been about what type of jam to use or how to make the perfect scone. Does Cream go first? Or maybe the jam? All these questions seem now to have been answered, thanks to the two claiming to have cracked the code.

  1. Ratio: It seems ratio might have been under-rated, and the basis to the perfect cream tea looks to be a ratio of 4:3:3. In easier terms: The total height of the Cream Tea serving should be 4cm, the scone should be 2cm high and the cream and jam contributing to the extra 2cm.

  2. Jam or Cream first? As predicted, Cornish followers would always have the jam on first however Devon followers would vote for cream on first. In this famous study made, the conclusion is that the Devon voters are more practical and in a tasting panel made for this exact purpose, the results showed a 57% preference to the Devonshire style.

  3. Cornish like it hot.
    When studying the ideal temperature for serving the scone, it was revealed that the Devon voters prefer the scone to be at around 50c however the Cornish prefer it in the mid 80c. The scientific ideal temperature however is found to be different, and stands at an average of 27c.

4. Serving the perfect Cream Tea.
    Again, Cornish and Devon mythologies’ differ greatly.
    Devon would have the scones cut within 20 minutes of exiting the oven where-as the       Cornish method would cut the scones within 5 minutes only.

    The differences don’t just stop there, as scone temperature is a key player in how the     cream and jam react.



Finding a perfect Cream Tea house in Dorset:
If you are in the Bournemouth area, there is no need to venture out all the way to either Cornwall or Devon! As right here near Bournemouth beach you can find Steam’s Vintage Tea Rooms, offering scones just as they should be traditionally, and all served in a 1930’s setting.

If Cream Tea wasn't your goal, you can feast on an amazing breakfast, freshly made sanwiches and homemade cakes.
For more information or to make a booking, simply click HERE.