When you’re gulping down your morning’s coffee while trying to pack your bag, answer work emails and put on makeup, of course you’re not thinking about the best approach to grasping the mug. (Or, OK, you were cupping it like …. a cup for the Insta.) But still, it turns out, you’ve probably been doing it wrong.

Myka Meier, Founder & Director of Beaumont Etiquette, explains the ~correct~ way to hold a coffee mug: “Loop your index finger into the handle and keep your thumb on top of the handle. Your remaining three fingers—middle, index and pinkie—are tucked into the palm of your hand.”

This is how you’re supposed to hold your coffee cup.

The proper way to hold a tea cup is totally different because, as Meier explains, “A coffee cup is much larger in size and weight than a tea cup and often contains more liquid, therefore requiring more support from your index finger.”

For tea: “You never loop your index finger into the handle. Instead, your index finger should meet your thumb through the handle as if you were pinching, and your middle finger should support by being placed under the handle. Think ‘pinch and support!'”

And this is how you hold tea. Note the supporting middle finger.

However, for both coffee and tea, the handle of the cup should remain at 3 o’clock when you drink and when you place the cup down. That way, if you’re wearing lipstick, it leaves just one mark on your cup, not a ruby ring around the whole thing.

When you stir your drink, you should move the spoon forwards and backwards. “You never want to create a “whirlpool” effect — therefore you never stir clockwise or counterclockwise, and instead simply “12 o’clock to 6 o’clock,” explains Meier, who is teaming up with New York’s iconic Plaza Hotel to launch The Plaza Hotel Finishing Program, an international finishing program for adults which launches in 2017.

Last but not least, if you’ve secretly been thinking raising your pinkie finger makes you look super sophisticated and fancy, just stop.

Meier adds: “Never pinkie up! Ever!”

From: Town and Country