Let’s Bring back Tea Etiquette at Teatime for some Everyday Luxury!

Let’s Bring back Tea Etiquette at Teatime for some Everyday Luxury!

Wouldn’t it be fun to have a high tea party for your friends and family for a refreshing change from the customary Lunches and Dinners? And what would make it even more special is, if you add a touch of traditional Tea Etiquette for some elegance and flair to it! So, let’s look at some tips that will help you throw the most elegant and fancy high tea party that will have all your visitors raving about your impeccable High Tea hosting skills.

What time is Teatime?

The traditional time for afternoon tea is four o'clock. Today, most hotels serve their High Tea between three and five o'clock. You can invite your guests through your phone, via a message or voice call, in person, or for a more formal invite, set the mood by sending a pretty invite through e-mail or in person, designed with a calligraphy font, for that special touch.

What should you serve apart from Tea?

Make sure that you have a good choice of teas, such as Earl Grey, English Breakfast and Ceylon Classic, while a Lemon or Jasmine Green tea would add a refreshing twist. Additionally, High Tea is generally served on a platter with tiny sandwiches, pastries, little cakes, scones, jam and clotted cream.

How do you set the ambience?

Set the mood with some light classical music that is easy to listen to and not too heavy on the ears. Choose music that encourages and fuels conversation and ensure that the volume is not too loud.

What tableware do you need?

You will need a porcelain tea set which, apart from the teacups and saucers, includes a teapot, a creamer for the milk, a sugar bowl, a pitcher of hot water to make lighter tea, and a tray to place the lemon slices.

How do you place it?

Place the tea tray and the tea set at one end of the table. Set out the necessary number of cups and saucers and teaspoons on the right-hand side. Remember that plates and tea napkins are placed on the left. Have ready platters of tea sandwiches in fancy shapes, an array of nut breads, cakes, pastries and cookies.

What is the correct way to hold a teacup?

Place the saucer holding the cup in the palm of your left hand and move it forward to rest on the four fingers, which are slightly spread apart. Steady the saucer with your thumb resting on the rim. A left-handed person simply reverses the procedure. A handled cup is held with the index finger through the handle, the thumb just above it to support the grip, and the second finger below the handle for added security. The next two fingers naturally follow the curve of the other fingers. It is an affectation to raise the little finger even slightly.

How do you stir politely?

Well, the most important thing to remember is that stirring a cup of tea has to be done gently and has to be a silent affair by moving the teaspoon in a small arch back and forth in the center of the cup. Once done take the spoon and place it on the saucer behind the cup. The handle of the spoon should point in the same direction as the handle of the cup. The perfect placement is according to the face of a clock by placing the handle of the cup and the handle of the spoon at what would be four on the clock. Never leave the spoon standing in the cup. Never place the spoon on the saucer in front of the cup. Never make unnecessary noise by touching the sides of the cup with the spoon. Don’t let the spoon drop, onto the saucer noisily.

How to correctly use milk, lemon and sugar.

The habit of putting milk in tea reportedly started in France. While milk complements full--bodied Ceylon teas and cream masks the taste of tea. Always remember that milk is poured after tea. Don't put the milk in before the tea as it becomes hard to gauge the strength of the tea by its color.
It’s always nice to use pretty sugar cubes. It also allows one to use elegant sugar tongs, but most importantly it ensures neatness. There's nothing more awkward than spilled sugar granules. Allow the cubes to dissolve in the cup briefly and then stir softly and noiselessly.
Lemon is agreeable with most black teas. Lovers of fragrant Earl Grey, however, say they are best enjoyed plain. Lemon is offered thinly sliced and not in wedges and placed on a dish near the milk and sugar. The tea drinker can then put a slice directly into the poured cup of tea. Don’t place the lemon slice in the cup before pouring the tea. Tea is always poured in the cup first. Don’t ever place a lemon slice which was in your cup on the edge of the saucer, you will have the unsightly situation of your cup resting in a messy puddle of tea.

Have Fun!

While you have graciously greeted your guests and given them some royal High Tea treatment, don’t forget to have fun. Despite the traditional formalities, don’t forget to let go and enjoy the moment, savor the delicate flavours of your Truly Ceylon tea and its aroma, nibble on your scones and let the tinkling laughter of your guests enjoying themselves make this a little celebration to remember, along with your range of Truly Ceylon Teas, which will be the crowning glory at your High Tea Party!