The UK and Japan each have a particular tea culture.
In the UK….
Once filled, holding a handled teacup correctly ensures grace while avoiding spilling hot tea. One’s fingers are placed to the front and back of the handle with the pinkie finger tilted slightly up for balance. It is rude to loop fingers through the handle or to hold the body of the cup with the palm of the hand. Tea should always be sipped with elegance to show good manners.Practicing at home before attending a public party might be a wise choice when one is unfamiliar with having afternoon tea.
You sit in the seiza position if everyone else does, although you may be told you can sit in a more relaxed position. The tea bowl is handed to you with its most beautiful side facing you. Pick it up and briefly admire this front face of the bowl and then rotate it 180 degrees in two turns of 90 degrees each so that the front now faces the tea server before you drink. Drink the tea slowly in three sips with a short pause between each one to savor the taste. After drinking, you should say “Kekko na o-temae,”(means it was delicious, you are a good cook. ) then wipe the place on the rim that you drank from with your index and middle fingers, and then wipe them on a folded handkerchief-like cloth you prepared in advance.
Did you know this manner?
Would you like to hold a tea party in our class?