Tea Etiquette

Devonshire’s Cream Tea and How to Eat a Scone Properly

by Debra Kirkham

cream teaCream tea, was invented in Devonshire England and is a shorter version of Afternoon Tea.  Cream tea consists of a variety of teas, scones, clotted cream and jam.  Afternoon tea is a traditional event with a variety of teas, tea sandwiches, an assortment of cakes and scones.  The beauty of both is in joining with others for this delightful occasion filled with fine conversation of inspiration, and enjoy some laugher too!

How do you eat a scone properly?  Do you butter all at once?  There is that moment when we think of freshly baked warm scones with butter, cream and preserves and we can’t wait for our first bite.

  • Break a small bite size piece
  • Butter (just the small bite)
  • Place a little jam on top
  • Repeat and enjoy
Tea Etiquette

The Origin of the China Teacup

By Debra Kirkham

tea tea cupsThere is a little history behind every cup of tea and this one begins without the handle in China,                where the enjoyment of a bowl of tea began.  The saucer was used to keep the tea warm, and was placed on top of the bowl.  In the mid-seventeenth century when tea made its adventure and was imported into England, the British received tea with passionate cheer.  The tea bowl then took shape and was introduced to the handle making the perfect couple to this day, the teacup was created.

“Life is a cup to be filled not drained.”  Anonymous

Tea Etiquette

Afternoon Tea Etiquette

tea by Debra Kirkham

Afternoon tea was meant for discovery and it all began during the early 19th century and was originated by Anna Russell, the Duchess of Bedford.  During those days a midday light lunch was created to get one through without being famished until the normal dinner meal between 7pm – 8:30pm. Anna found this to be an impossible length of time to endure without another refreshment. One afternoon she ordered tea, bread and butter with cakes to be served in her room. She found this afternoon snack to be completely satisfying and sustaining. After some time she like most women, began inviting her friends to join her in this new enjoyable habit with the inspiration of conversation.

Invitations started to make the occasion formal and this new social trend quickly blossomed and was established throughout society in London and then to all the villages of England. The quintessential British meal celebrated in the home progressed into tea gardens and tea rooms and as we see in tradition to this day.

Tea etiquette tips:

•          Be on time

•          Do not take the tea bag and put it in your teacup and bounce to help steep

•          Tea bag should be placed in teapot to steep

•          Do not fill your teacup to the brim so it won’t spill over the edges

•          Do not swirl the tea around in your teacup

•          When standing hold saucer with teacup in the palm of your hands to your waist

•          Hold handle of the teacup using your thumb and one or two fingers

•          Do not raise your pinky

•          Drink slowly without slurps

•          Place tea cup on saucer not on table

•          Eat sandwiches and cakes with your fingers unless sandwich has a full filling then use your fork

•          Place napkin on your lap, and when you leave place the napkin on your chair not on the table

•          Always write a thank you note