1. If standing, you must lift the saucer with the teacup when drinking.
If seated, you can simply pick up the cup.
2. Pinkies should not be extended (despite what everyone wants to
3. A teacup is not held with both hands. Rather you slip your index
finger through the handle and placing your thumb on the top of
4. Do not lift a tea cup while wearing gloves.
5. No making music! Gently swish your spoon back and forth in the
middle of the cup.
6. Do not leave your spoon in the cup, but place it on the saucer
behind the cup, preferably with the handle of the spoon facing the
same direction as the hand of the cup.
7. Do not swirl the tea in your cup.
8. A cup of tea is not meant to be a thirst quencher or a means to
wash down bites of food; it is to be sipped. (This can prove difficult
if you've been served a very dry scone!)
9. No looking at others over your teacup. Look into the cup as you
10. Fill teacups only 3/4 full.
11. If you've been given a tea bag and not a small plate or saucer to
put your used tea bag upon, it is appropriate to ask for one.
Putting wet tea bag on your saucer will only cause you troublesome
dripping a few moments down the road.
12. Regarding the milk or tea first controversy - according to current
American etiquette - it's the tea.
13. Use milk sparingly at the tea table, or as Victorian mothers
were said to admonish their daughters, "You might be taken for
the daughter of a dairy maid."
And lastly! When toasting, one does not actually clink the teacups (or any glasses for that matter). This was done in the Middle Ages to spill a bit of what had been poured into your cup into another's so you could be sure you were not being poisoned. Unless you find yourself at a surreal Agatha Christie murder mystery/tea, no clinking of cups!
Oh, thank you for these! Very interesting, I only vaguely knew some of them.
The tidbit about clinking glasses together in the middle ages was something I had never heard before--quite curious.
Does anyone else have the urge to have a murder mystery party, now?