High tea is a British tradition that has been customary for hundreds of years. It is still practiced by multitudes of people today due to the enjoyment that comes from it. Many people enjoy different aspects of this tradition and for different reasons. For many people, enjoying high tea is just an excuse to take a break and eat a nice, tasty snack in the afternoon. You can enjoy this tradition at home, in the homes of your close friends, or at a top-notch hotel or restaurant. It is interesting to note that high tea is actually coming back into fashion. The reason for this is that it is very civilized and a great way to meet new friends and socialize in a nice environment. There are also people who use a high tea setting as a way to network as part of their business. High tea should be a time to enjoy yourself, but you should also be aware of the correct etiquette involved when you are taking high tea. This may not be an important factor for all people, but note that you will show your lack of knowledge and manners should you fail to display the correct etiquette skills.
Because high tea is an English invention, it should come as no surprise that there are certain protocols to be observed, and rules to follow. The etiquette is in place to make the occasion more enjoyable for everyone present. Here are some of the most important high tea etiquette skills: High tea time: The correct time for high tea is between five and seven in the afternoon. The “high” part of the title is used to represent the formality of the event. High tea is often a misnomer, especially for people in America, as they assume high tea is afternoon tea. High tea tends to be a little heavier than afternoon tea, however many American hotels advertise “high tea” but serve fancy pastries, cakes and biscuits on delicate china. To ensure that your don’t spill the tea in your cup, the proper way to hold the vessel of the cup with no handle, is to place your thumb at the six o clock position and your index and middle fingers at the twelve o’clock position, while gently raising your pinkie finger up for balance. If the teacup has a handle then you should place your fingers to the front and back of the handle with your pinkie up for balance.
Your pinkie finger should not be upright in the air but instead slightly tilted. This is a graceful way to hold the teacup and avoid spilling. One thing you should never do is to loop your fingers through the handle, or hold the vessel of the cup with your palm. Another point of etiquette is that you should never stir the tea with your teaspoon in sweeping circular motions. Instead, you should place the teaspoon at the six o clock position and slowly fold the liquid towards the twelve o clock position, two or three times in a row. It is important that you never leave your teaspoon in your teacup. When you have finished using your spoon, place it on the right side of your tea saucer. The saucer should always remain on the table. The only time it should be raised is together with the teacup when present at a standing reception. Using these simple high tea pieces of etiquette will ensure you enjoy the experience much more, in the manner than has been giving people pleasure for hundreds of years.