Grandmother’s Cambric Tea – Sepia Saturday #129

My Grandmother Pearl Reed Cleage with a pot of tea, early 1940s.

My grandmother always had a pot of tea on the dinner table. My sister, cousins and I grew up drinking cambric tea.  She made it for us by pouring a bit of tea in the cup and filling the rest with milk.  The first time I had chai at an Indian restaurant, it took me right back to my grandmother’s cambric tea.  When my daughters call to say they are on the way over, I put on the water for tea.  Some drink cambric and some drink herbal.  I still prefer cambric, without sugar.

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 More information about cambric tea and how to make it. It’s not that exact but for those who want the recipe click Mr. Peacock: The Comfort of Cambric Tea. Mr. Peacock seems to be pouring his tea from a chocolate pot, I notice.

34 thoughts on “Grandmother’s Cambric Tea – Sepia Saturday #129

  1. I’ve never heard of cambric tea, and I’ve never understood putting milk in tea. It’s a lovely tradition though to offer tea to visitors.

  2. I never knew what cambric tea was. I had something like that when I had play tea parties. The only other tea I remember having when young was iced tea.

  3. I really love chai tea. So I guess that means I would love cambric tea too. Is it just called cambric because you add milk or is it a type of tea?

    1. As far as I know you can use any kind of tea. Sometimes chai that I’ve had at coffee shops or in tea bags is more spicy. cambric tea is pretty bland, warm milk with some tea.

  4. Like so many others, I had heard the term “cambric tea” but I didn’t know what it was. How fascinating, it seems I have been drinking the stuff for years.

  5. I like the fact that you’re having it with china. I inherited the china we used at all holiday meals from my grandmother. I often use it. Why have it if you don’t use it?

    1. Kathy, I must confess, I usually drink out of a mug. My grandmother used china and I thought showing a photo of my out of season Christmas mug full of cambric tea just did not look right, so I poured it into this cup. When I drink coffee, which is rare, I use a cup and saucer. You’ve got me thinking. I could make a small pot instead of a mug and pour it into the cup. Unfortunately, I did not inherit the china.

    1. It pretty much is warm milk and warm tea. It can be hot as you want if you heat the milk. I like cold milk, cambric tea and cafe con leche. Just goes to show. Oh, and I like my soup with stuff in it – chicken, onions, potatoes. Smooth soup can be good too though.

  6. Now I too know what cambric tea is – thank you google! I have to say that once again you have come up with a wonderful picture to answer this week’s theme, with the teapot in a starring role!

  7. I’m surprised to know it has a name Kristin. It’s how cups of tea were/are served to children, in my part of the world 🙂 The amount of milk is gradually reduced depending on the age/taste preference of the child. Adults drink tea either “black” (no milk) or “white” (small amount of milk or cream) with or without sugar. Some like a squeeze of lemon in a cup of “black” tea. “Horses for courses” as they say… Cheers

    1. My grandmother used the same method. Wonder where she got it from, if her mother or grandmother served her tea that way.

  8. In England most of us, I think, drink tea with milk. The arguments begin with the proper way to make tea and even extend to whether you should put the milk in the cup before the hot tea.

  9. What a wonderful photo! It’s awesome how the picture prominently features something (the teapot) that you associate with your grandmother.

  10. I’ve had chai, so I know what you mean. Nice to have the tradition of cambric tea to bring back memories of someone dear to you.

  11. Nancy and I have both been having trouble commenting on WordPress- so this is a test.
    Enjoyed your post , your pretty teacup, your pretty grandmother and all the info.

    1. Glad you enjoyed the post and that your comment came through. Maybe it’s just on sites? this is

  12. Grandmothers and tea just go together. I have never heard of cambric tea. Does that mean with milk? I must have lemon in mine. Beautiful photo.

  13. My mom would have liked this.
    I was raised on tea and started this way,
    but I quickly started having my tea black.
    Still do!!

  14. Grew up with Cambric tea. Mom always mixed 50/50 water and milk, and we added sugar to taste. Sometimes I’d use honey, but she never added any tea. My grandmother recommended warm milk before bed. Today, of course, we have decaf for kids and us light sleepers. I always have cream (I use 2tsp heavy cream, a fraction of the salt in half & half) and sugar in all my teas. Love all the loose teas available, especially, Lapsang Souchong Zhivago.

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