You've Been Stirring Your Tea All Wrong

You've most likely done it every time. You pour the tea into your cup, add milk, honey, sugar, or whatever else your tea-loving heart desires and then you place your spoon inside. You begin to twirl it around. Every now and then the spoon dings the side of the cup, but just a few more swirls and you finally have what you think is the perfectly made tea. Well, guess what? You're wrong. If the royal family saw this they would be shaking their heads. But that's okay — you're about to change your ways and learn how the royals properly stir their tea.

When it comes to her afternoon tea, Queen Elizabeth never misses. In fact, she sits for it every day. On the off chance that you should ever have the pleasure of sipping afternoon tea with the Queen, it's important to be prepared with all the ins and outs of proper etiquette. Former Royal Butler, Grant Harrold told Business Insider that there are four steps to making a cup of tea fit for a royal affair.

First, you pour your tea from a teapot. Then, you add milk to the cup, always after, never before. Here comes the tricky part. Once the milk is poured it's time to stir, but Harrold says you should never stir in a circular motion. The proper way to stir your tea is back and forth. Doing so prevents what Harrold calls a "storm in a teacup," where the tea splashes and ends up spilling over the sides. Circular motions also run the risk of hitting the sides of the cup which Harrold says is also a no-no. No one at an upscale, classy afternoon tea wants to hear that. Once you get the stirring part out of the way, be sure to quietly sip and enjoy your tea. No slurping. 

One more tip and you will be ready to accept your formal invitation for tea with the likes of the Queen, Kate Middleton, and Meghan Markle: Harrold says you need to put your pinkie away. Royals do not sip their tea with pinkies out. He's "never seen that happen once."