Posts Tagged ‘plastic tea cups and saucers’

Collecting Tea Cups and Saucers

Friday, June 4th, 2010

Everyone is familiar with the tea cup and saucer. A very traditional piece of crockery, it has been in wide use in households for hundreds of years. A tea cup is smaller, and usually much more finely made, than regular coffee cups or coffee mugs. It is often made from a very fine porcelain and it has a small handle on the side that is used to hold the cup up to the mouth while sipping tea. Every tea cup has a saucer, which the cup is placed upon when not actually drinking the tea. The saucer is useful in catching any spills, although a properly poured tea should never overflow! Both the tea cup and the saucer are usually decorated with either a subtle design or something more extravagant.

Traditionally many tea cups were made from white porcelain and designed with a small decorative band around the rim of the cup and the outer edge of the saucer. Other cups and saucers are richly decorated with floral patterns. Usually inexpensive tea cups and saucers are made from cheaper materials and are not the finer porcelain tea cups and saucers.  If you are looking for something suitable for a gift, for example, you can find quite a range of different priced boxed tea cups and saucers set of 4 or set of 6. Cheap tea cups are good to have on hand for more casual settings, when you want to have a cup of tea yourself rather than showing off your tea collections. Of course if you are enjoying a cup of wulong tea you would use a totally different Chinese style tea cup. It is a smaller cup without any handles, you simply cradle the cup in your hand and sip your green or wu long tea delicately from it.

Usually tea cups and saucers are sold in sets of four, six or eight with some teacups and saucers cheap and other sets more expensive.  They come with matching cups and saucers and are either sold alone as a set, or combined with a porcelain or silver teapot, milk pitcher and sugar serving bowl as part of a larger porcelain or silver tea set.  A word of caution, if you do buy a set of tea cups and saucers it is a very good idea to purchase extra pieces and set them aside somewhere. Invariably a piece will eventually break, and it can be very difficult to track down a piece that matches your set perfectly years later. It is much better to buy extras when purchasing your initial set. Even sets with the same name or model number may differ slightly to a point that it is noticeable when you use them, if they are bought even twelve months apart. This is because while the same pattern and mold is used there are often subtle differences during the manufacturing process which can slightly alter the appearance of the cup or saucer to the point that it does not exactly match.

There are a couple of different designs of tea cup. One traditional kind, usually made from very fine porcelain, has a small pedestal on the bottom of the cup which is made to fit exactly into a small indented circle on the saucer.  You can also find flat footed cups without any pedestal and they sit firmly down on the saucer, again usually inside a small circle. While both types of cup are traditionally used for serving tea, it is perfectly acceptable to serve coffee in them as well.  In fact, in a formal setting you should not use coffee mugs for serving coffee but rather use tea cups saucers instead. Of course there are also plastic tea cups and saucers, but they are normally used for picnics or very casual tea drinking. Tea mugs are a more recent style of cup, which resembles coffee mugs.

Many people have special preferences when it comes to drinking tea. While this may be out of habit more than anything else, it can greatly add to an occasion to bring out your fine china tea set to serve tea to guests.  Matching tea cups and tea saucers are also fantastic for decorating your kitchen or dining rooms.  Set your best tea set in a cupboard with open glass doors so that all can appreciate their beauty! Remember, though, if you only use your best tea cups and saucers set upon occasion you should rinse them out with hot water before serving your tea in them as they will become quite dusty over time.

Collecting vintage or antique tea cups and saucers is a favorite pastime for some people, as fun even as assembling your vast tea collection. While these collectible cups and saucers can be bought online, it is a lot more fun to actually try to track them down yourself. Typically you can find great deals on vintage pieces at garage sales, school or town fairs, in second hand shops or antique stores.  You may even find some antique cups and saucers tucked away in a box when you help your great grandmother clear out her attic!

If you are part of a planning committee and you regularly entertain or have functions for your members, you may want to look into buying tea cups wholesale. It is certainly much cheaper to buy bulk tea cups and saucers rather than buying them in individual sets.  A quick search for ‘teacups for sale’ on line should soon lead you to some wholesalers who can provide you with plenty of matching sets of teacups and they may even have matching tea pots at a reduced price as well. These ?cheap tea cups and saucers are perfect for this type of use.  New on the scene, tea k cups are  also fairly easy to use for such occasions, although k cup tea is a bit more expensive than simply buying bulk tea cups and saucers it is nevertheless very convenient to use k cups tea at times.

Whatever your preference when it comes to drinking tea and coffee, every home should have a nice china tea set. If it is taken care of it can be passed down from generation to generation, along with many memories to go along with it. Of course, no matter what sort of cup tea is served in, it can still taste great but there is something special about drinking from a tea cup saucer and fine tea ware that makes it even more special.