My experience :
Only after coming to USA , I realized that there exists something called a coffee mug (may be that became popular in India too nowadays, but I was unaware of it then).
We grew up drinking coffee or tea out of a stainless steel tumbler (or a dabara set - a tumbler sitting on a SS cup). Amma would make n number of coffees everyday for our big joint family and also for appa's clients. After marriage I started my tea legacy with a lot of cheer. If there is a guest, I would take out my pretty China tea set (a porcelain one, not too expensive but cute) , which we had bought fondly from a T.Nagar Saravana stores and would enjoy that moment. Carrying those tea cups and saucers here was not an option at all (and so my tea times would be achieved with some regular coffee mug). Anyways having some coffee is a must everywhere and so I too got introduced to all kinds of Walmart / Target / dollar tree mugs. (Trust me, they are good enough for regular household usage). Then after some years I convinced Xavier to buy me a cute tea cup and saucer set and that's how I got that cute little set (see below).
If you are more interested in knowing about English formal tea , you will find this link interesting. .
|Traditional stainless steel coffee dabara set and a porcelain tea cup and saucer set.|
My teas are more of a typical Indian style ones (my masala tea recipe).
|Indian style spicy masala tea !|
Coffee cups, tea sets and tumblers (India)
When it comes to comparing the various coffee mugs and tea cups, sky is the limit. But my article would surely give a rough idea for a novice.
|200 ml tumbler coffee set, 6 oz (180 ml) tea cup and saucer set along with a 12 oz Walmart coffee mug. That 12 oz coffee mug is called a medium size mug. More bigger mugs (14 oz) can be used for having black coffee.|
|Indian stainless steel tumblers :Buttermilk tumbler 600 ml, lassi tumbler 350 ml, measuring tumbler or water tumbler 200 ml, coffee tumbler 180 ml|
|Cups : 6 oz, 12 oz , 14 oz|
|A BIG cup for fun on display in Shoprite. I think this would be used as a candy serveware.|
Various sizes (USA) :
*The easily available , 12 oz (350 ml) mug is often called as standard mug or medium .
(They are not considered as formal tea cups, but giving a hot cup of tea in any cup with love is adorable in my view).
Walmart's Mainstays brand (the blue band mugs and white ones) are quite popular to start with.
Corelle brands are more worthy and unbreakable. So it is a good choice (IMO) if we want our mugs to last long. There are more expensive brands like Lenox, pfaltzgraff etc.....the list is endless.
* When it comes to fine dining (tea parties), a formal tea cup and saucer set is necessary. which varies from 6 oz to 8 oz.
* A formal tea serving session requires : A serving tray, napkins (small), cup and saucers, spoon, tea pots, sugar and creamer pots, sugar handling tongs. An afternoon tea in English style should be served with some sweets and savory snacks of small servings. In some novel I read that English ladies (people) would reserve some fine topics (without hurting anyone) to talk while having tea in their parlor....some would knit, some would share a recipe , some would read a book loudly .....how lovely . That's a distant dream !
*One of the most beautiful thing most of us have enjoyed in the past is the 'little girl's tea set'. I can only imagine an Alice in wonderland kind of tea party I used to enjoy in my childhood with my toy tea set :) . Nothing can replace those memories.
* One more version is : The Cappuccino cups (Demitasse cups / tasting cups) range between 2 oz to 5 oz.
* I am sure there exists much more varieties of tea / coffee / hot drink traditions all over the world. I would say that the tea in chaya shops of Tamilnadu and Kerala are the best along with a vadai ,bajji pakora:)
But cooking with love and serving with smile is much important than these fancy pots and pans and traditions. Nowadays we can buy any kind of tea set from internet, but the hardest part is finding a friend / moment to share this tea :) I always love my morning tea time with my husband. I guess tea traditions were invented by our ancestors to improve our socializing skills. So let's make use of every opportunity to take out our fine dining ware and cherish those moments !
Update (Nov 2017):
And then I bought this beautiful vintage (but new) corelle cup & saucer (almost 8 oz) and I LOVE it very much:)
|Photo courtesy : seller's image|
Happy tea time!