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Posted by Sashee Chandran

We at Tea Drops believe that every cup of tea you drink is uniquely yours and would never want to rein in your creativity (or your tastebuds) with shoulds and shouldn’ts of tea preparation. While we are absolutely devoted—heart and soul—to putting only the best and most quality ingredients into our blends, we are far from tea snobs. In fact, Tea Drops was founded on the very concept that delicious tea shouldn’t take a ton of time, experience, or expertise to make. It is our mission to place a cup of tea into the hands of anyone and everyone we encounter.

I do have to say, though, as I delve deeper and deeper into the world of tea, there has been a wealth of knowledge and tradition that I has captivated me. I feel as though I am always learning something new and interesting about tea, whether it’s learning about where certain leaves are predominantly grown or finding out that there are actually teapots designated for certain types of tea.

Along these lines, I decided to look into the world of tea etiquette and as imagined, I was not disappointed. A certain aspect of tea to me is the intrigue of the proper, former tea party. If you’ve ever wondered about the “proper” way to hold your cup or eat your scones, here’s a brief education on tea etiquette.

Invitations are a must:
The invitation gives a great deal of insight to guests on what to expect from a tea party. It outlines whether the affair is indoor or outdoor (hat required) and guests even customarily brought their own cups to large and elaborate tea events in beautiful and intricate boxes. How fun with a DIY resurrecting these tea boxes be? Plus, here's an idea: Slip a Tea Drop into each invitation to get people into the spirit of the event. Alternatively, you can send each guest a personalized mini Tea Drops box. How festive!

 

How to pour your cup: 

Did you know that you are only supposed to serve milk—and never cream—if you are hosting a tea party? This was the first time I have ever heard of this and admittedly I spent three and a half years living in England, where there were many opportunities to duck into adorable tea rooms! If you’re anything like me, you use absolutely anything you can get your hands on to add to your cup whether it’s milk, cream, or sweetened creamer. If you ever want to host a formal tea, however, it is a milk-only affair because tea is too light to carry it. Additionally, nowadays, tea is poured first and then milk is added (to taste) afterwards. The reverse was in effect only back when the hot tea would harm the delicate treatments on the china.

How to hold and maintain your cup: 

How many times have we seen movies with people holding their pinkies to the sky at teatime? This is entirely wrong and even considered rude. The proper way to hold your cup at the tea table is predominately with the pointer finger in the cup handle, the thumb supporting it on top, and the rest of the fingers curled towards you. Lastly, the spoon that is used to silently stir your tea is to be placed on the saucer of your teacup after use, furthest from you and on the right-hand side of the teacup.

 

Scones and trimmings: 

Those adorable miniature knives we get to use at teatime must be used to cut scones or pastries in half. One does not attend teatime to appease hunger, but to socialize, and so bites are to be small and reserved so that you are ready to offer your thoughts whenever they are requested from the group. And while we are on the subject of scones, you absolutely must check out this absolutely divine recipe for the most perfect scones here. 

Formal teatime harkens back to a time of beauty, tradition, and even a touch of romance. While reading up on proper tea etiquette aired quite a bit of my dirty tea prep secrets (I love mixing mine with white chocolate milk powder sometimes!), it made me want to dress up, gather up some friends, and recreate an elegant Victorian teatime affair. I hope these tips and rules have inspired some interest in you, too! Whether you’re unwinding with an well-loved cup of tea on your own or attending an absolutely Downton Abbey-esque affair, we are wishing you many, many happy teatimes!

Sources:
Tea Laden
Tea Etiquette by Karen Cleveland on YouTube

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