Drinking tea is often a shared experience, and comes with many questions about pinkies, spoons, tea bags, and more. Whether you’re drinking high tea, cream tea, or just a “cuppa” with a friend, here are answers to some of the top questions about tea.
“When drinking a cup of tea, do I hold my pinkie out?”
Contrary to common belief, Emily Post was adamantly opposed to the pinkie sticking out because she felt it was improper and rude. Some will argue that the pinkie out is a way of balancing the cup, but the cup is to be balanced with your pinkie and/or thumb supporting the underside.
“Where do I place my spoon after I finish stirring my tea?”
When serving tea, iced or hot, provide a saucer for your guest to place the stirring spoon on. In the southern regions sweet tea is so common that this problem might occur regularly. If no saucer is available, choose one of two options. Place the spoon on the edge of your plate if the plate is still in front of you, or leave the spoon in the glass as you drink. Placing it back on the table after it has been inside of the tea is considered rude.
“I’ve heard that there is a certain way to stir the tea. What should I know about this?”
When stirring your tea never allow the spoon to clink inside of the cup. Gently stir the tea without touching the sides. Also remember to remove the spoon from the cup and place it on the saucer before drinking.
“What do I do with the saucer that is under my tea cup?”
If you are standing while drinking your tea, the saucer is to be held in your left hand while drinking or placed in one’s lap. When sitting at a table, leave the saucer on the table. When the tea is not being consumed, place the cup back on the saucer.