Afternoon Tea Etiquette

Proper Afternoon Tea Etiquette is something to ponder. Is it called Afternoon Tea, High Tea, or simply Tea? That is the question. Depending on the occasion, who you are with, time of day, or food served in the answer. Get your answers here.

Afternoon Tea Etiquette

What is Difference between Afternoon Tea and High Tea

Typically Afternoon Tea is served between 3:00 pm and 5:00 pm and it pertained to the upper class and consists of sandwiches, scones, and pastries. It was served on a lower parlor-style table. High Tea is served later in the day, generally, this was for the service staff. The food is much heartier and was for the staff. They ate at a higher buffet-type table with high chairs. Find out the history of afternoon tea here.

Most Famous Places to Take Tea In The World

Find out more about the 10 Famous Places in the world to enjoy the Art of Tea from The Getty Villa in Malibu, CA to the Erawan Tea Room in Bangkok.

Do’s and Don’ts for taking tea.

  • Call it Afternoon Tea or just Simply “Tea” as the Queen Does
  • Don’t call it High Tea as that was reserved for the staff who ate after they finished working.
  • Hold the teacup by the handle. (Watch Video Below)
  • Stir the tea with a spoon back and forth in the middle of the cup. Never in a circle and don’t hit the sides of the cup.
  • Always dress up for tea. Never Jeans or Tennis Shoes.
  • Milk and Sugar are only for Black Tea.
  • Leave the saucer on the table.
  • Flatware is only used when serving cake with filling. Butter knives can be used for clotted cream and jam. Never dip your own flatware into the jam.
  • Napkins are opened and unfolded on your lap below the tabletop. When you must excuse yourself and are not finished, leave the napkin on top of the chair and push your chair in. This lets the host know you are not finished. Never put a napkin on the plate.
  • Always dab napkin against mouth never wiping.
  • When pronouncing the word Scone as in the biscuit, the proper way to say it sounds like “Skawn” is is a soft A, not a long O. You also don’t cut the scone, you break it apart.
  • Only one person pours the tea at the table. Always in an empty cup through a strainer with loose leaf tea and fill 3/4 full. Next, you may add milk.
  • Sip the tea, do not gulp.

Having Tea with the Queen

Are you planning to have Tea with Her Majesty? Here are 10 things to remember when having tea with the Queen. My favorites are tip 6 and tip 7.

Tea Etiquette Certification

Are you interested in getting certified in Tea Etiquette? You can now take classes online at The Charleston School of Protocol.

The Charleston School of Protocol in conjunction with The Tea House Times is pleased to announce Tea Etiquette Certification, as a tea etiquette certified designation for the tea professional.

This program is the most comprehensive tea program in the world. It is inclusive and comprehensive and designed to take the tea professional and their business to a new level.

*This post may contain affiliate links. If you make a purchase, I get a small commission. Please see my disclosure policy for details

Tea Books

Here are a few Tea Books that will share some etiquette tips.

Enjoy these Beginner’s Guide To Tea:

Tea Recipes: