A post in which Lucinda proclaims the correct shape for a tea cup

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.

20 thoughts on “A post in which Lucinda proclaims the correct shape for a tea cup

  1. Well, I am a tea in a mug person. Not that I don’t love a fancy tea cup, and yours looks perfect. The austere matches so well. The colours and the small pattern bring it together well. While I like tea in a particular mug I never drink coffee from it. Coffee has to be in another mug, and my herbal teas in a tea cup!

  2. I can attest to the quality you deliver with the perfect sized teacup and the perfect strength tea. Usually served with cake or at least leftover chocolates.
    However, biscuits with bits in them are often fine with me. As long as it’s not chunks of ginger. And no marzipan flavouring or some such nonsense.

  3. I quite enjoy tea in a tea cup, but mostly use a mug. Paul’s mum and step-dad are both potters. His step-dad does chunky, rustic pottery mugs and his mum does beautiful porcelain. My choice is always chunky mug for herbal and porcelain for proper tea with milk:)

  4. Well, I admire your taste. I even have 12 Wedgwood Florentine Turquoise tea cups that fit your description of the perfect tea cup. And lovely, thin bone china mugs. But I’m a philistine when it comes to my tea drinking device. I want my tea hot–very hot–and for as long as possible. I consume so much tea that using a normal tea cup would require 13+ visits to the kitchen each day just for tea. So what do I use? A 16oz stainless steel (inside and out) travel cup (no handle) with a seal-able top. Keeps my tea hot for however long it takes me to drink it, even if I have to set it aside for periods of time. Yep. A philistine. 🙂

    • Oh, Mary, Mary, Mary. I hadn’t even considered such a sacrilegious device. But then again, I am glad you are a tea drinker (of sorts) snd not a coffee drinker. We tea drinkers need go stick together against the rising coffee drinkers with all their Noise and Pomposity. ( Actually I think I have another Tuesday blithering topic.)

      I’m off to search an image of your Wedgwood pattern. The white cup is Wedgwood too.

      • Of course I drink tea!! I grew up in the UK and had a British mum who claimed (tongue in cheek) that “only foreigners drank coffee.” Of course, one of those foreigners was my father–the Yank. I never acquired the taste for coffee, so I will happily stick with you against the bombastic coffee consumers–even if I’m not quite the dainty tea cup user you would prefer. 🙂

      • The Wedgwood service was handed down to me by my parents about 30 years ago. They bought in when we lived in the UK in the 1950s/early 60s. 12 place settings and many other pieces. Absolutely will have one of those cups ready for you should you make it for tea. Anytime! Piping hot, too!

  5. Lovely size and shape. I can’t abide small cups and mugs. Require too many refills. Except green or jasmine tea at Chinese restaurants; then I’m happy to keep pouring. I have one cup of tea a day, often loose leaf, but in a mug! The rest of the day I drink multiple coffees. In big mugs.

  6. That is a lovely teacup but…I think I am a mug tea drinker. Not a thick mug but one that is just the right shape to clutch as I sit on the couch and read my book. A saucer just gets in the way. I do love the way they look though. I do have very strong opinions about teapots too…

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