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Tea drinking etiquette


Rich ladies soon copied the new custom and afternoon tea developed its own ritual and set of rules. First of all the hostess would bring out the finest porcelain called "the China", which was extremely thin, fragile cups and saucers. This would be carried on a silver tray.

The tea would be served, and the hostess would politely ask her guests if they wanted any sugar or milk with their tea. Each guest took a napkin, and tried their best to balance a full cup, saucer, a plate piled high with cakes, a knife and a napkin without spilling any tea or dropping anything on the floor. That was all part of the fun.

All the guests would exhibit their best social skills, and converse politely on the weather, their homes and the latest society gossip. The women would all be dressed in summer dresses, fashionable hats, and the men would be wearing light linen suits. Everyone was expected to behave with exquisite manners, and there was no slurping, drinking from the saucer, or loud conversation.


Some Food with your tea?


Soon, people started adding special items of food for their guests to enjoy things that are still eaten today. The most typical things are small cakes, crumpets, muffins and scones.

Sandwiches are also popular. And the most typical ones are cucumber sandwiches. These are prepared with finely sliced bread (crusts removed), a layer of butter, slithers of cucumber, and a sprinkle of salt and black pepper. Other popular ingredients for sandwiches include egg mayonnaise, smoked salmon and chicken. Yummy!




1. What country did Britain ship tea from in the 17th century?

2. Could all social classes afford to buy tea?

3. Why did the Duchess of Bedford invent the tea tradition?

4. How did rich ladies organise tea parties?

5. What tasty things are eaten with tea in Britain?

6. What are popular ingredients of sandwiches?

7. What do you prefer with your tea-sandwiches or cakes?




1. the wealthy богатые, состоятельные люди
2. to afford быть в состоянии позволить себе что то
3. to quell the hunger pangs усмирить голод
4. hostess хозяйка
5. finest porcelain чайный сервиз из тонкого фарфора
6. to pile high наполнять чем то, накладывать “с горкой”
7. society gossip светские сплетни
8. exquisite manners изысканные манеры
9. finely sliced тонко нарезанный
10. slither ломтик
11. napkin салфетка
12. to exhibit показывать, проявлять

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