Teafull of style and etiquette

When it comes to being stylish – it is right to point your ring and pinkie fingers while sipping tea? Where should you keep your spoon after stirring in the sugar and how can you do so without making too much of noise?

We all have drunk tea in one form or another – black or with milk – different cultures around the world have a different set of etiquette and manners that go with drinking tea. With travel time between countries becoming increasingly less, a neutral, global set of manners has evolved. Frequent travellers respect and follow the local set of manners while sipping their cuppa tea.

In India, in some societies, people show their pinkie finger when they want to go to the toilet. You certainly wouldn’t want to do that while sipping tea! Would you? Never leave the saucer on the tea table and pick up the cup! Always hold them in your hand. The most comfortable and correct way to hold the teacup is to hold the handle with your thumb and forefinger, keeping your other fingers casually pointed downwards.

It’s also been noticed that people make a lot of noise while stirring the sugar in tea. The right way to add and stir sugar in your cup is to put the sugar with the spoon from the sugar bowl into your cup. The spoon to be used is the one from the sugar bowl. Put it back into the sugar bowl.

If sugar cubes are being used, use the tongs from the bowl to pick up the cubes, put it in your cup and put the tongs back into the bowl. Do not leave them on the table. Make sure the spoon/tongs do not touch the liquid in the cup and get wet. Pick your own teaspoon and stir the contents with the least amount of noise. The best way would be to stir it back and forth instead of in circles.

Rest your spoon onto your saucer after stirring. Sugar in packets should be opened by slitting the top left hand corner at an angle of 45o. Put the bit of paper into the ashtray or at the side of the container in which the sugar packets are placed. Stir the contents noiselessly and sip your tea at a leisurely pace, without making the slurping noise. Cheers!

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