Tea may be served as an accompaniment to meals or with small sandwiches, dainty cakes, or macaroons as an afternoon ceremony. If it is served with meals and is poured at the table, the hostess or the one pouring asks those to be served whether they desire sugar and cream and then uses these accompaniments accordingly. In the event that it is brought to the table poured, the sugar and cream are passed and those served may help themselves to what they desire. Lemon adds much to the flavor of tea and is liked by most persons. A dish of sliced lemon may be passed with the cream and sugar or placed where the hostess may add it to the tea. The Russians, who are inveterate tea drinkers, prepare this beverage by putting a slice of lemon in the cup and then pouring the hot tea over it. If this custom is followed, the lemons should be washed and sliced very thin and the seeds should be removed from the slices. The flavor may also be improved by sticking a few cloves in each slice of lemon; or, if the clove flavor is desired, several cloves may be put in the teapot when the tea is made.
From "Woman's Institute Library of Cookery", Volume 5
Woman's Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences
Pot Late Anglo-Saxon pott; cf. Dutch and Low German pot, Old Nors pottr, also in Celtic languages. Origin doubtful but possible a monkish witticism from Latin potus from drink. From cooking use come to keep the pot boiling, whence pot-boiler, work done for livelihood, pot-shot, for food, not for sport, pot-luck (cf. French la fortune du pot). From drinking use come pothouse, potboy, pot-valiant, etc.
From "An Etymological Dictionary of Modern English" by Ernest Weekley