Serving Tea to Guests: Basic Etiquette and Tips

Serving Tea to Guests: Basic Etiquette and Tips

When serving tea to guests, it's important to follow some basic etiquette. Traditionally, tea is brewed in a separate room and brought out on a tray. However, due to modern living spaces, brewing tea in the guest room while conversing is also acceptable. This method allows you to serve the tea hot and cater to your guest's preferences.

Tea Etiquette

  1. Choosing a Tea Saucer

    • Select a tea saucer that complements the teacup. For small and light cups like those used for gyokuro, choose a heavier tin saucer. For thin porcelain, use lacquered saucers, and for pottery, wooden saucers are appropriate. If the saucer has a wood grain pattern, the grain should run horizontally.
  2. Serving the Tea

    • If the teacup has a design, ensure the design faces the guest.
    • When serving both tea and sweets, place the tea on the guest's right-hand side and the sweets on the left. Avoid "passing over" previously served items with new items.
    • Use the same type of teacup for yourself as you do for your guests to maintain uniformity.
  3. Drinking the Tea

    • Hold the teacup with both hands, placing one hand under the cup and the other lightly on the side for a graceful appearance.
    • As a guest, it is polite to drink the tea while it is still warm to show appreciation for the host's effort.

Following these guidelines will help you serve tea with grace and ensure a pleasant experience for your guests.