Learn how to behave at a tea party!

Here are some rules:


Holding the Tea Cup

o    When a tea cup has no handle, place the thumb at the 6 o'clock position and with the same hand use the index and middle fingers opposite at the 12 o'clock position. Slightly raise the pinkie for balance. The pinkie should not be sticking straight up. Pick up a tea cup with a handle by grasping the cup with the thumb in front of the handle, and index and middle fingers to the back. Again, slightly raise pinkie for balance and to avoid spills.

Stirring Tea

o    Do not stir tea in a circular motion. Rather take the spoon and gently lap the tea from the 6 o'clock position to the 12 o'clock position. Mix the tea gently, moving the spoon two or three times. Always remove the spoon and leave on the right side of the tea saucer.


o    When at a buffet, hold the tea saucer in lap with the left hand while holding tea cup with the right. When not drinking from the tea cup, place back into saucer and hold with the left hand. Only hold the saucer with the tea cup when at a standing reception.

Milk versus Cream

o    Milk is served with tea and not cream. Cream is too heavy for tea and will cover the flavor. Always pour the tea first and then the milk into the tea cup to measure the appropriate amount of milk.


o    Adding lemon to tea is a common practice. Thin slices of lemon are more appropriate than large lemon wedges. Serve lemon on a side dish with a small fork. Add the lemon to the tea once tea has been poured.

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