Afternoon Tea Etiquette
Afternoon tea and manners go hand in hand. Displaying proper etiquette for Afternoon Tea is almost as important as the event itself! While there are no set rules for Afternoon Tea etiquette, there are some do’s and don’t for the occasion. The ones we share today might not apply to all, but they are a good starting point for anyone who is new to the world of Afternoon Tea.
Is there a dress code for Afternoon Tea?
While there is no set dress code to follow, you do want to present yourself in a more polished manner with your attire. Men should try to aim for a “smart casual” look, pants or nice denim jeans can be worn with a collared or button down shirt, and a smart shoe such as a loafer can be a good choice. For women, this is a fun opportunity to get all dolled up! Women can wear anything from a dress, to a skirt and blouse, and a nice pair of denim jeans or women’s dress slacks. A delicate pair of flats or even heels can add an extra pop to the outfit!
What type of Afternoon Tea can one experience and what to expect?
Cream Tea: This style typically serves only scones with cream and fruit preserves alongside the tea.
Afternoon Tea: This is the one most of us are familiar with, traditionally tea sandwiches, scones, and an assortment of either cakes or other pastries are served with tea.
High Tea: More uncommon than the other teas listed, this style serves more dense, savory foods and is similar to a regular meal.
Royal Tea: A traditional Afternoon Tea made a little more fun with a glass of champagne accompanying the event!
How to eat scones and the old debate, which comes first: the cream or jam?
If you want to display the utmost class and manners then we recommend breaking off small pieces of your scone and topping it with the desired butter, jam and cream. Now in the matter of the old debate of cream or jam first, ultimately that comes down to preference but there is a little bit of a history behind it. Two areas of England both claim to have invented the practice of Cream Tea, the people of the Cornwall and Devon areas. In Devon they place the cream first and jam second, while in Cornwall they put jam first and cream second.
Can I dip my biscuits in my tea?
The answer to this question is an absolute no! If you are in the comfort of your own home then dunk away but during an Afternoon Tea you do not want to partake in this practice.
Is there a correct way to stir my tea?
The answer is yes, while this might not be an aspect people would notice it doesn’t hurt to know the proper way. To begin, place your spoon in a 6 o’clock position in your tea cup and gently stir the tea towards the 12 o’clock position. While doing this make sure not to hit the side of the tea cup and always take your spoon out of the tea cup. Place the spoon on the saucer to the side of the tea cup. Also, take note DO NOT put your pinky up. This is not only unnecessary but also a little silly.
What tea should be served?
When partaking in Afternoon Tea one should always serve loose leaf tea when available, as this style of tea enhances the experience and produces a more fragrant cup of tea. Our tea experts here at Chado recommend a delicate blend for an Afternoon soiree such as our Blue Flower Earl Grey, Chado Afternoon Black Tea, and Rooibos Bourbon.
Does milk or tea go into the tea cup first?
While there is benefit in both ways, this is completely down to preference just like the jam or cream first debate. Some tea lovers believe that pouring the tea first allows the guest to taste the tea prior to adding extras like milk and sugar. This lets them create their cup of tea based on their personal taste preference. On the other hand some believe that pouring the milk first protects the delicate china from the boiling tea that could crack or damage the tea cup.
Enjoy Afternoon Tea With Friend's & Family!
Whatever type of Afternoon Tea you get to take part in, remember at the end of the day it’s all about having fun and enjoying the company of your friends and family. Want to experience an Afternoon Tea for yourself? Then visit your local Chado Tea Room today!