Again a passage in contemporary literature shows that it was a lack of good manners to take much cream or sugar in one’s tea. Says a lady of quality to her daughter: “I must further advise you, Harriet, not to heap such mountains of sugar into your tea, nor to pour such a deluge of cream in. People will certainly take you for the daughter of a dairymaid.”
Certain other customs may be remembered in this country among us who had grandmothers trained in the ceremonies of a later day. One of them consisted in putting the spoon in the cup to show that no more tea was desired; another was that of turning over the cup in the saucer for the same purpose.
Etiquette also demanded that the tea should be tasted from the spoon, and that the hostess should then inquire, “Is your tea agreeable?” Certain scrupulous old ladies ask that now, and the question savors of a more sedate and gentle day than this.
— St. Louis Republic, 1899