Afternoon tea service used to serve as a snack at 4 p.m., in between breakfast and dinner -- this was well before people were eating three meals a day. Nowadays, afternoon tea is served anytime between noon to 4 p.m. I find that instead of being a snack -- the portions are large enough to replace an entire meal.
How could adding boiling water to leaves get so complicated? Pinkies up or down? Conventions abound when it comes to tea service, but it need not be fussy. In fact, some of the traditions actually have interesting roots.