Etiquettes To Host The Perfect English Tea Party
Tea is the center of most social occasions in British culture. An English tea party needs to be done right, or else it is not English tea. From a formal tea party to an afternoon tea party, it is essential to know the right way to host, serve, and drink tea.
Whether you are a guest at a tea party or the host for high tea, there are certain rules you need to practice and learn before participating in an English tea party.
Let us learn all about English Tea Parties:
What is the Tea Party?
A tea party is a gathering of people over tea and snacks. It is also known as afternoon tea. The host needs to use formal utensils like silver, china, or porcelain in a tea party. The Tea party host decorates the table to make it look pretty using matching cups and plates and cloth napkins. The tea is also accompanied by finger foods and snacks like cake, sandwiches, cookies, rolls or buns, and scones.
Types of English Tea Parties
There are different types of tea events. Some are casual while some are formal, no matter which one it is, the host cannot come wearing sweatpants and sneakers to a high tea party. Even the most casual high tea requires you to dress fancy and look your best.
- Afternoon tea— is also known as Low Tea. The afternoon tea party is organized around a low tea or coffee table in the living room. Such tea parties are done in casual settings than high tea.
- High tea—high tea parties are organized at a higher table like the dining table compared to low tea. You can service small snacks with high tea and even offer more substantial snacks.
- Cream tea— a tea party that is conducted during the afternoon with scones or clotted creams is known as the Cream Tea.
- Royale tea— Add sherry or champagne to any tea party and it will be converted into a Royale Tea.
English Tea Party Do’s
There are some rules to follow during a tea party, so you dont end up looking uncouth. These high tea parties do’s are basic but may seem foreign to westerners.
Read what to do when you are at the English Tea:
Use clotted cream.
Always keep clotted cream. This spread used for scones requires very little effort and makes your tea party so much more elegant. You can use homemade cream or purchase it from the market.
Use loose tea.
Although there is no rule to avoid tea bags, people at high tea prefer loose tea. Loose tea has more pronounced flavors, and it looks more elegant and shows the experience level when using at the tea party. You can easily find loose tea in tea shops, kitchen stores, and any departmental store’s grocery section.
Steep the tea
You need to steep the tea for an appropriate time duration. Let the tea settle well to leave all the flavor, antioxidants, and fragrance in the water. Make sure you do not steep it for too long as it can make your tea harsh and bitter tasting. The ideas tea steeping time is 6-7 minutes.
Feel free to request a specific type of milk.
There are many different types of milk available in the market, like coconut, almond, and soy. If the party is organized in a restaurant, you can demand whatever milk you prefer. If the party you are visiting is organized at home, instead of demanding specific milk, ask for what kind of milk is available.
Replenish the tea.
It is considered bad etiquette to keep the teapot empty. Always start with a clean teapot, and having more than one teapot is not bad either.
Eat the food properly.
Finger foods like fries and sandwiches should be eaten using your hands. The cake should be eaten using a fork. Don’t gulp food in huge bites; always nibble your food in small bites at an Engish party. You dont want to look like you haven’t eaten anything in days.
Take your time.
When you are at an English high tea party, always enjoy the tea with leisure and dont hurry on your last meal. A low tea gives you a golden chance to relax, why not take full advantage of it?
Use a napkin properly.
Always use a napkin to wipe your mouth. You can use any type of napkin, liner, or paper, instead of wiping your mouth vigorously, gently blot the lips.
If you are invited as a guest at a High tea party, always send a thank-you note to the host later.
English Tea Don’ts
Just like there are do’s, there are some don’ts you should never do at a high tea. These little things are very important and are a part of tea etiquette.
Don’t lift your pinky.
Rasing a pinky finger is against the tea party etiquette. Avoid raising a pinky when you drink tea.
Never add the milk first.
Yes, never add milk first to your cup of tea. This holds true, especially when the host is pouring the first cup of tea for all the guests. After the host has poured all the tea, you can add milk. You can put lemon or sugar in the cup first before pouring the tea, as it is totally acceptable.
Don’t add milk to white or green tea.
Never add the milk to gree or white tea. Save the cream and milk for your black tea.
Don’t avoid using a strainer.
When you steep loose tea, the loose tea gets mixed up with the water. You should never forget to use a strainer to strain the tea leaves. Also, do not pick the tea leaves with your hands.
Don’t stir your tea vigorously.
When you stir the tea, always use gentle motions and do not make too much clinking noise with the spoon against the cup.
Don’t leave your spoon in the cup.
After stirring the tea, never leave the spoon in the cup. Keep the spoon in the saucer behind your cup.
Don’t dunk your Scones or biscuits.
You never dip your score or biscuit in the tea when you are at the English tea party. It is rude to do this at a tea party as per the etiquette. Break the cookies into small pieces and spread cream to each bite.
Don’t show up in sweatpants.
Always remember that you should never wear jeans, sweatpants, athleisure, jeans, or sneakers to a high tea party. Even the most casual tea party demands you to come in formal and respectful outfits. A knit dress, skirt and blows, a pair of nicely iron trousers will be very appropriate. A man should wear collared shirts and clean trousers.
The English tea party is a very leisurely and enjoyable occasion, and there is no reason why a person will not like to be a part of it. Now that you know about all the do’s and don’ts of the English tea party take out some time in the afternoon and host a high tea party for your friends.