It’s no secret that tea is one of the most popular beverages around the world. Even though we cannot pin point the exact moment in history when tea became popular, we know that the idea of afternoon tea is attributed to Anna, Duchess of Bedford, who suffered of so called hunger spells between lunch and dinner, so she served tea and cake or bread and butter in between. The year was 1840, and her habit quickly became a full-blown social event in English aristocracy. By 1920, the afternoon tea craze had reached an impressive height: lots of guests, expensive tea and teacups, music and servants. The craze began to fade over the years, as the numerous changes in the social and economic climate altered the lifestyles of everyone, including those of aristocratic descend. Over the past few years however, the afternoon tea has become “trendy” once more. You may never know when you’re invited to such a tea party, so it would be best to know your tea etiquette.
Basic Rules of Afternoon Tea Etiquette
Afternoon tea consists of a ritual of eating ( typically scones, cakes and or sandwiches) and drinking tea. This should be done in a dainty manner, not glugging the tea and eating too fast. Scones should always be broken and not cut and served with jam, butter or clotted cream. Cakes and pastries should also be eaten by hand, not with the use of a fork and knife.
If you’re offered milk to add to your tea, you should always pour it in after the tea, so you know when to stop adding- based on the change of colour. You can add milk or lemon, but never both.
Don’t string the teabag on the teaspoon, just pick it up and move it on a saucer. Also, you should never leave your spoon inside your cup, but place it behind the teacup on the saucer. Another important detail is that you can use your spoon to stir in the tea, but you should it only 2 or 3 times, without clinking the cup. And, as importantly, never put your finger through the handle, place the cup on the palm of your hands or wrap your hands around it. Instead, hold the front and back of the handle.
Afternoon tea is a great way of spending some quality time with your friends, in a more elegant manner. How many of these rules did you know of?
References: tealaden.com, coffeeandtea.wordpress.com
Photos source: pinterest.com