The Tao of Tea

Last Updated May 20, 2008 4:35 PM EDT

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Late last week we launched Stirling Performance, our resource for news and commentary on business issues affecting management and leadership in the United Kingdom.

Afternoon tea is, of course, one of the UK's many gifts to the world, along with fish and chips, Fawlty Towers and the Beatles. Like those other great British exports, taking tea is catching on outside Perfidious Albion and even becoming a business-meeting staple in the U.S. and elsewhere -- a low-cost, less formal alternative to the business breakfast or luncheon.

But as with wine, afternoon tea has an etiquette all its own. Do you now, for example, the difference between full tea, high tea and afternoon tea? That it is actually considered rude to extend your pinkie finger when taking a sip? And don't even think of pouring spilled tea from your saucer back into your cup!

In this video, San Francisco-based etiquette guru, Syndi Seid, helps you navigate your way through the rocks and shoals of the afternoon business tea.