Given the size of the teacups and the handle, it was not possible to get all the fingers to form a perfect hold. The ale mugs, being much larger in size, did not pose such a problem. Was it appropriate to hold the handle of the teacup with just the thumb and top three fingers? If so, then what was the right posture for the ring and little finger? While some may consider this obsessive, attention to detail has always been imperative to the British way of life.
Driven the logic, the first obvious solution was to pour the tea into a flat vessel for it to cool faster and to drink from it. According to historian and tea sommelier, Jane Pettigrew, the Chinese too had developed small dishes to avoid the handling of hot clay cups of tea. And that is how the saucer came to complement the teacup in England as well. The practice of pouring out the tea into the saucer and sipping it as it cooled did not live for very long. The practical, yet noisy practice, was soon cast aside.
The problem persisted.