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Tea for 2 - Tea Etiquette

Updated on January 27, 2018
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I was previously a writer on Squidoo 2008- folded. I write about entertainment, crafts, writing, beauty and anything else that inspires me

A Trip around the world

Tea comes from all over, African Rooibos, English or even Irish Breakfast or afternoon teas, Hibiscus tea (now I don't know if those flowers grow anywhere other than Hawaii but I LOVE the flavor) Some other favorites I have tasted was a banana one someone sent me, Goji Berry is another favorite. Twinnings, Bigelow and here's another, but can't remember the name now are my favorite brands.

Aside from the casual tea 'aficionado', what is the basic tea etiquette around the world? Here are some of what I was able to come up with. Sadly as far as English customs go, I could not find much, I even wrote the Queen but not even one piece of etiquette was in it. Though I did at least receive a reply.

January Natational Hot Tea month

Haven't read my original Hot Tea January page?

Don't worry there's a link to it at the end to see what you missed.

Thank you for reading.

Come join me for tea

Wish you Were here
Wish you Were here

English Tea ceremony & Etiquette

-Afternoon Tea time 2-5 High Tea dinner time 5-7

-you are not supposed to clink or scrape the teacup with the soon

-another no-no is holding the cup in hand or putting your finger through the handle, holding it from the bottom or sides.

-be sure to always leave your napkin in your lap, should you get up, leave the napkin in your seat.

-Do not blow on the tea if it is too hot

-take small quiet sips of the tea

- if you like milk with your tea, pour the milk into the cup before tea is served.

-fill cup 3/4 full (of tea)

if you have food with your tea

it is fine to eat most foods with your fingers and taking small bites, but please be sure to use proper utensils when eating 'messy' foods.

The English Tea Ceremony

Afternoon tea Etiquette

Making an English Cup of Tea

Tea Menu

Tea & Crumpets...

a Selection of 'Dainty' finger sandwiches are served these could be :

cucumber & cream cheese ~ Honey Roast Ham ~ Mature cheddar cheese

Scones served with cream jam jelly or marmalade

and 1 or 2 teas

There may be also a few 'levels' on the menu like a

traditional- with scones finger sandwiches & tea

Luxury - same as above but also with an assortment of sweet or

Champagne Tea - all of the luxury plus a glass of champagne.

Tea the Brit way

Searching for first hand accounts

The Search for a first-hand account from Friends

I thought I'd ask a friend in England for the first account of their ceremony For this part.

I'm going to request a picture, and the steps of what they do. (as well as what their tea times are.)

Sadly my friend Jane (Thank you for your help!!) is more of a Coffee person as well as her family. But she DID send this along:

Don't think we have tea shops over here anymore, not like the old-fashioned traditional ones. You might find them in certain touristy villages (quaint shall we say!), but I wouldn't know where to start in B'ham. It's full of coffee houses and pubs! I did once hear an actress on tv say that tea should be served in a china cup and you should always put the milk in first, and then add the water. That might have just been her preference, but as I said, I don't drink it, and my family is not huge drinkers of it.

Have you heard about tea reading?? Back in the old days! (and probably still some do it) you had people who claimed they read your future by how the tea leaves were left in the bottom of your cup (when people used tea strainers and not tea bags).

Remember divination class in the Harry Potter movies? I believe it was the Prisoner of Azkaban Harry kept seeing a black dog. In divination class, a dog or 'Grim' as it was called was seen in his teacup and is supposed to be a bad omen or death omen.

I got the following from a google search

Brew a pot of tea and add leaves directly to cup without a strainer. A large leaf tea works best.

  1. While drinking the tea, reflect on a question you wish the leaves to answer.
  2. When done with tea, swirl the teacup three times in the direction away from yourself.
  3. Turn the cup up-side-down into its saucer.
  4. Allow the leaves to tell their story.

Tasseography learn on wiki

Tea Leaf is also cockney rhyming slang for 'thief'.

More Cockney slang

Cockney rhyming slang is how traditional Cockneys (Londoners, usually from the East End) speak, they throw in these sayings in day to day speech

'dog and bone'= 'phone',

'plates of meat'=feet',

Butchers Hook'= look.

This has been incorporated into almost all English everyday speech, it's quite common to hear any Brit say things like 'take a butcher at this' etc. Although 'dog and bone' and 'plates of meat' are quite old-fashioned sayings're more likely to hear someone call someone a 'James Blunt' if they don't like them!! There you go, can't tell you much about tea, but I can tell you about how we speak! I just thought the 'tea leaf' saying might interest you, but I kind of got carried away there.

Oh, you can still go for traditional 'cream tea's' in some places (The Ritz in London for example) where they serve up pots of tea, and then cream scones. Here's a link to a tea room I just found

Miss B's tearooms

I thought this might interest you as well, there is actually a video on how to throw a tea party! Although on saying that, I just had a quick look and she's American that's doing it, so traditionally English? Maybe how it's perceived, I don't know.


The next friend I tried was Terry on Facebook

Not sure if there,s such a thing as a tea-house anymore in Newcastle, it is not a particularly big city-but I,m sure London will still have some restaurants that serve expensive/ specialty teas. The larger hotels up here(and some village type cafes) serve an afternoon tea that's always accompanied by scones/cakes-very popular with older women. The phrase Tea-time now has nothing to do with Tea as such. It's a general time of the day when families would have an early evening meal(between 1500-1700 roughly). Try the website for Lambton Castle Hotel in Chester-Le-Street, County Durham, NE England. I believe they specialize in old-fashioned afternoon teas. hope this helps, never had anyone ask me about tea before!

from the sound of it to me, it sounds more like Starbucks in the U.S. is the new 'tea & coffee' ceremony.

So with that, I guess I'll have to ask in my post reply to my other English friend if she would know, and if there would be any tea houses in her area still.

Royal York afternoon Tea

High Tea

How to host a proper High Tea

Tea Ceremonies & Etiquette

Japanese Tea Ceremony

Japanese Tea Ceremony

The Japanese tea ceremony is also called a Chado, Sado or Chanoyu There can be three dimensions to it, that's social, religious and stresses aesthetics.

I remember in one of the Karate Kid movies they showed one. The part they showed was after the dishes were cleaned, and the water boiled.

before serving. (I don't recall seeing this in the movie but in my research to double check ) You are supposed to serve a 'sweet treat'

(the sweet & the bitter compliment each other as a sign of Harmony)

*Mix Powdered Matcha (a bitter green tea) and water to make a frothy tea

*serve the tea to guests.

When you are accepting the tea

1- you bow when you receive the cup of tea (the cup of tea is called a Chawan)

2- Take the Chawan with your right hand then place it in the palm of your left

3- turn 3 times CLOCKwise before you take a drink

4- Make a loud slurp when the tea in your cup is gone to let your host know the tea was well enjoyed.

5- Wipe the part of the cup your lips touched with your right hand

6- turn the cup counterclockwise when returning it to host

Everything you need to know for a Japanese Tea Ceremony Etiquette for guests, Types of ceremonies (There are a few) and much more information.

Wiki Japenese tea

Chinese tea ceremony

Chinese Tea Ceremony

In essence, you should savor the flavor of the tea. When describing the merits of the tea, you take into consideration the color, flavor, taste (wouldn't that be the same thing?) & shape. (this most likely with loose tea)

For the wedding ceremony, 2 red dates & 7 Lotus seeds are used in the tea. This is to wish the couple children early in marriage as well as harmony between the two houses.

Carbon is the best to boil water for tea

The tea sets are Exquisite beauty & elegant charm go into the design of the tea sets, which makes you immediately draw a breath.

Chinese Tea culture on wiki

Chinese wedding Tea ceremony

Global Tea Etiquette


Never serve a tea bag in a cup, brew the tea in a pot.

never overload your plate (take 2-3 cookies or 2 pastries or 1 scone)

Various cultural tea etiquette

Tea Etiquette

Don't Forget the Crumpets! - & other Dunkable delectables

Lorna Dunes & Walker Shortbread cookies are my favorites. As for the Duchy, I have not tried them.

I've also added a little decoration option or two in case it's needed. Why you ask...

I remember in school a few times having a day where we all brought in something made from our nationalities. I had 3 options... Zeppoles (or anything Italian) Perogies & Kielbasa or Kuchiki (not sure of the spelling) for Polish or Cuscus for Lebanese. The go-to was usually Zeppolies as it seems to be a favorite at Festivals and so forth. I do remember one of the times I brought them in someone shouted all excited that I had brought them in and I don't think I even got one off the plate. Better for them because once I get might not get one


*Global Tea Etiquette

*Big Ben postcard scan by me Postcard a friend sent

Go to the main Page ~ Hot Tea January

Guestbook & credits

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    • Zodiacimmortal profile image

      Kim 4 years ago from Yonkers, NY

      @Adventuretravels: Thank you much! Did you check out my other tea related lens (I think I included it on this lens. IF not jsut look up HOT TEA JANUARY

    • Adventuretravels profile image

      Giovanna Sanguinetti 4 years ago from Perth UK

      I love this lens because I love tea and all it's rituals. Good show!!

    • Zodiacimmortal profile image

      Kim 4 years ago from Yonkers, NY

      @favored: Thank you for checking out my lens! I LOVE SHortbread cookies as well, & I can't find the crumpets we used to get in Trader Joe's anymore

    • favored profile image

      Fay Favored 4 years ago from USA

      Thank you for this article. I enjoy tea all day long, but high tea is special. My husband loves Walkers shortbread cookies, but we both like the English crumpets.