5 Tips on Proper Tea Etiquette


If you like to curl up on the couch with a cup of tea in your hands, you may want to know that there is a classier way to drink this high-esteemed beverage. In fact, tea drinking is such a special occasion in high society that it comes with its own set of rules. We are going to briefly go over the history of tea drinking, followed by some key tips to drink tea like a proper lady and gentleman.

How It All Started

Tea drinking, especially in the afternoon, is a quintessential custom to this day in places like England. While tea drinking got its start in China thousands of years ago, the classy way of drinking it did not appear until King Charles II and his wife popularized it in the late 17th century. However, the high society enjoyment of afternoon tea did not become widespread until the mid-1800s.

Enjoying a cup of tea became a wildly popular social event towards the late-1800s. Sophisticated women would get dressed up to have their tea in their drawing rooms between 4 and 5 PM. There would even be light refreshments enjoyed with the tea, such as sandwiches, cakes, and pastries.

Today, tea drinking takes on a noticeable less-formal appearance. However, it is still customary to follow proper tea etiquette to show some class.

Tips For Proper Tea Etiquette

To enjoy tea drinking in the way it was meant to be, you will have to follow a few rules. While some of these may seem strange or unnecessary, it will at least get you into the spirit of high society tea drinking. You can pretend you are having tea with the Duchess! To show off your tea etiquette, you should do the following.

1. Keep the Saucer on the Table

If you have a table in front of you while you are drinking tea, you better be sure to leave that saucer on top of it. It is unbecoming to lift the saucer along with your tea. If you are standing or do not have a table anywhere nearby, it is alright to hold the saucer with your teacup.

2. Pinch the Tea Cup's Handle

Using your thumb and index finger, pinch the handle of the teacup. You can then extend your middle finger along the handle's bottom for extra support. 

3. Don't Create a Tea Tornado

Instead of stirring your tea with a spoon in either direction as to create a tornado-like effect, merely give it a half-stir around the cup.

4. Keep the Tea Cup's Handle Parallel to You

You want to make sure that the little teacup handle stays parallel to your body. This means that it will either face the direction of 3 o'clock or 9 o'clock.

5. Do Not Blow on Your Tea

It is impolite to blow a gust of wind at your tea to cool it off. If you notice that first taste is too hot, simply sit it down on the table atop your saucer and wait for it to cool down.

If you enjoyed these tips, how about putting it to use! Sip some of our quality tea blends during your next classy tea social.