Etiquette & superstition: things in your tea (particularly butter)

A puzzle: I have found 43 packages of teabags in my mother’s home so far. The 43 packages are split roughly 50/50 between boxes containing 20 teabags apiece and canisters containing 50 bags apiece; however, there are one or two cellophane-wrapped packets that only contain 10 bags apiece. What is the minimum and maximum amount of teabags in my mother’s home?

ETIQUETTE: It’s an affectation to hold one’s pinky out when drinking tea from a teacup.No, it isn’t an affectation; it’s done for balance, and it comes from the ancient Chinese. Yes, it is an affection. Are you in ancient China? No, you’re not. What the hell is your problem anyway, that you can’t balance a teacup with the rest of your fingers?

Aw; let’s not fight. Let’s find something we can agree upon. If you are served tea with lemon, do not put milk into the tea as well, as the lemon juice will spoil it. If your lemon is a thin slice rather than a wedge, you should leave it floating in your tea and not squeeze it against the side of the teacup. The lemon will dissipate into the tea; trust me.

If you are with nomadic Tibetans, it is extremely proper to put butter and salt in your tea, and some milk as well.

SUPERSTITION: If you see a tea stem floating in your teapot, a stranger will soon visit. If you aren’t in the mood for company, butter the tea stem and throw it under the table.

Photo by H is for Home on Flickr
UPDATE – Bonus tea image from Retronaut here (thanks, Mauricio)

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