OK, I’m being deliberately, stridently definitive with the title of this post, but “My favourite shape for a tea cup” just didn’t have the right amount of certainty and authority.
It’s a given that tea should not be drunk from cardboard or plastic cups.
Likewise, thick mugs are a no-no. Ruins the taste. Fine bone china is a must. It’s not that I will not brook mugs; I have a favourite fine bone mug. Had it for decades. I will be sad if they go out of production. Dunoon.
Size is important. I hate those small coffee cups that you always seem to get at conferences and hotels. Not enough volume. And the tea goes cold too quickly. Also hate oversized cup, especially wide soup-bowl-like ones. Again tea goes cold too quickly and they’re hard to drink from.
Within these parameters – fine bone, not too small, not too big, cup not mug – is a wide range of possibilities.
But this is the perfect shape.
There’s a simplicity that is pleasing. It just looks right.
The photo doesn’t show the shape properly. It’s more rounded than pointy at the bottom. (Note: the saucer doesn’t match as the original saucer was smashed but I couldn’t let go of the cup.) The biscuit hanging was from Japan. Also a perfect biscuit to go with a cup of tea. Not overly sweet, simple flavour, firm, no “bits” in it. (I have a position on biscuits with bits in them.)
Yes, whatever this shaped is called – if it even has a name – this is the correct shape for a tea cup.
If you come over, I have a lovely set of perfect shape cups (slightly smaller than my orange one) that I will serve you tea, loose leaf, of course, from a perfect tea pot. Being some bikkies. Or cake.