Subtleties and rules of English tea drinking.
Afternoon Tea or Five-o-clock is an English tea ceremony. It is held, of course, in the evening. At present, in England, all the rules of the tea ceremony are very rarely observed, perhaps, except in a few decent tea houses. The crazy pace of modern life has actually completely banished the tea ceremony from English families.
Today I want to tell you about all the rules and subtleties of English tea drinking. And perhaps you yourself want to make a “Five-o-clock” in your life and at least once a week invite guests to your home for an evening tea party. Let’s take it all in order.
How is the serving and tea party going?
For a proper English tea party, a tea table set in a certain way is necessary. It is best to organize a tea party in a large dining room or living room. There should be space around the table, and guests should be able to move freely around the room without touching each other or the table set.
The hostess of the reception only pours tea, and the rest of the guests are completely independent. There should be two teapots near the hostess, so that you can brew fresh tea for newly arrived guests. There is no change of dishes. The table should be covered with a light plain tablecloth, sometimes a dim small drawing is allowed. The tablecloth can barely cover the table or hang from it by 10 -15 centimeters. The table, which has a transparent top, can not be covered.
In addition to a cup and saucer (tea pair), a small flat plate for sweets is placed near each guest. They put cakes, cookies, and sweets there. Individual plates for sweets are arranged so that their edge coincides with the edge of the table, and a napkin is placed under each plate. It is also possible when a napkin holder is placed on the table. Next to the plate of sweets, there is a spatula or tongs, with which guests can take a piece of cake or cake.
Traditional varieties of tea for English tea drinking are Earl Grey, Assam, Darjeeling and various mixtures of them.
According to the rules of English tea drinking, tea should be poured for each of the guests by the hostess or waiter, this happens directly at the tea table. In a cup of tea is not enough for 1 cm, and if tea with milk or cream, then for 1, 5 cm.
Before you put a lemon in the cup, and then a piece of sugar (only in this order!) the cup must be turned so that the handle of the cup is on the left, and after that you can put a piece of lemon in the cup and squeeze the juice out of it. The juice is squeezed out like this: with the back of a teaspoon, it is pressed against the wall of the cup and squeezed out, while holding the handle of the cup with your left hand. After that, a piece of lemon is removed from the cup and placed on a saucer.
Pour sugar from the sugar bowl with a common spoon, this should be done very carefully so that the spoon does not touch the tea. If the sugar is crushed, then it is served with common tongs. Stir the tea with an individual spoon carefully and silently. And in any case, do not start drinking tea without taking the spoon out of the cup, this is a bad idea. After the sugar is stirred, the spoon should be removed from the cup and put on a saucer. Before you start drinking tea, turn the cup again so that its handle is on the right. Enjoy your tea party!