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Holding Tea Cup Proper

Pinkie in/ Pinkie out

history & answer

The raised pinkie developed as a sign of elitism, distinguishing upper and lower class. Since the times of ancient Rome cultured person would eat with 3 fingers, a commoner ate with the whole hand, or all five fingers. This 3 fingers etiquette rule is still considered the proper way of picking up food with the fingers and handling various pieces of flatware. The pinky “up” misconception descended from this dining etiquette of the 3 fingers vs 5 fingers practice, but as a misinterpretation it can show a lack of etiquette. So relax those pinkies, following the natural curve of your ring finger into the palm of your hand.

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 Tea Etiquette

how to hold a teacup

How to hold a teacup and saucer properly is not as hard as it may seem. Take the saucer in your non dominate hand and with the palm of your hand move it forward to rest on the four fingers, which are slightly spread apart. 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

Note: It is considered inappropriate to cradle your teacup if the cup has a handle. Also swirling the tea around in the cup is also considered a faux pas.

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Tea Party

english "Low Tea" service

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If hosting a low tea in honor of a special guest it is the duty of the host to introduce each arriving guest to them. Since you will be busy tending to your guest of honor, you may want to invite a close friend or two to be "pourers" and have them alternate preparing and dispensing tea. Being asked to be a “pourer” is considered a great honor and implies that the host has great trust in them. Pourers are the guardians of the teapot and as such are revered with great respect.Serving a traditional English Style Tea Service is a great way to get together and catch up with friends and family or to honor a particular person. Usually served at 4:00 in the afternoon, the English “low tea” is usually accompanied by small sandwiches, scones and sweets.  

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