A Teacup vs Coffee Cup: From Now On, There Are No Questions Asked

Teacup vs coffee cup - different names, but to tell the truth, they look so alike. Here are several things you should no longer mistake a teacup for a coffee cup.

Why in the world should we distinguish a teacup vs coffee cup?

In fact, this is a small but very essential etiquette we all should know, especially when we are invited to a British party. People there pay serious attention to the table manner, so try not to make the wrong choice.

This post will help!

Their Shapes Reveal Everything

Can you tell teacup vs coffee cup apart?

The right one is the teacup and the left one is for coffee.

The most noticeable difference between teacups and coffee cups is the shape. While the cups for tea often feature a wide-open rim at the top and a tapered-down base, the coffee cups are usually straight-up and narrower.

Moreover, handles of the teacup are designed to hook on a single finger. The coffee cups’ handles; however, are a bit bigger for two or three fingers.

These differences are for some reason.

  • Tea is often served with boiling water, but it must cool down quickly to a drinkable temperature. The shallow base and wider surface are helpful in this case.
  • Coffee, on the other hand, is not made at such a boiling temperature. Not to mention, it is better to keep the coffee warm as long as possible. Hence, the straight-up shape is the recommended choice.
  • For teacups, the single-finger handles and narrow-down shape also keep us from possible burning. Holding the cup of tea with one finger also adds extra elegance to your table etiquette.
  • In the case of coffee cups, the handles are bigger because you need more support from the index finger to hold these cups. They are often heavier than teacups, with more liquid at a time - we might add.

How to Choose Right Teacups?

“Every Sherlock needs a Watson!” And, good tea does not taste the best without being served in the right teacup.

So, what makes a good teacup?

Different types of teacups


Traditionally, a teacup is as small as 40ml to 80ml. The weight is about 4 to 6 ounces. Such a small size prevents the tea from going cold before you finish it.

Nowadays, the size varies a bit according to the tea texture and what kind of tea you are about to serve. For example, most British teacups go around 5 ounces, whereas Chinese cups are 4 ounces.

4-ounce teacups are ideal when having afternoon tea with guests. The size ensures that you will not feel full right from the first cup.


As we mentioned above, the teacup is often wide at the top and tapered down. This is the most common shape. However, you can also choose taller cups to appreciate the tea’s aroma better.

The shape of the handles is also important. Please make sure it fits your finger and be sturdy enough to hold when the teacup is filled.


Porcelain is the top choice when it comes to the teacup. Firstly, this material will not spoil the natural taste of tea. Secondly, the thickness is right enough to retain the heat for a certain time.

Stoneware is also ideal to make teacups. It is extremely strong and durable. You will want to buy a stoneware teacup for daily tea drinking.

Otherwise, you can pick glass teacups. They are lighter than the porcelain and stoneware cups. Moreover, transparent glass cups look elegant.

Just for your note, the glass material is less durable and resistant to heat.

How to Choose Right Coffee Cups?


If you are addicted to coffee that you drink one after another, then you had better choose a big coffee cup. Nevertheless, coffee has the best taste when it is warm enough. So, do not choose a huge coffee cup, or you will end up having half of cold coffee.


Coffee cups come in different sizes and shapes

Most cups for coffee are straight-up with or without lips and handles.

While the lid is helpful to keep coffee warm and prevent the accidental spillover, it makes the cup a bit bulky. Moreover, you lose chances to smell the attractive aroma of the coffee. Anyway, having a lid or not is up to you.

About the handle, make sure it is big enough to hook two or three fingers to easily hold the hot cup - even when walking around.


Like the teacups, the best coffee cup should be made of porcelain, glass, or stoneware.

The porcelain cups are good at keeping the coffee warm and naturally tasty. However, they are expensive. The stoneware cups are a bit cheaper and as durable as porcelain ones. The glass cups of coffee are eco-friendly and able to recycle. The problem is, it is not good for very hot coffee or other drinks.

Teacup vs Coffee cup: When to Serve?

Hot coffee in the morning

Hot coffee is an effective beverage to wake us up in the very morning. However, this caffeinated drink has been swinging between cherry promises and dire warnings.

How much you love it, you shouldn’t take too much coffee at a time. Otherwise, it keeps you from sound sleeps.

According to several studies, the best time for coffee is somewhere between 9:30 to 11:30 in the morning. And, you should only take 4 to 6 ounces of coffee during this period.

Tea party in the afternoon

The tea, on the other hand, helps us relax after a hard-working day. In other words, take a soothing cup of tea in the afternoon. Hence, it makes sense that the British often have an enjoyable tea time from 4 to 5 p.m.

In addition, you can drink a teacup after breakfast or lunch to support the digestive system and boost energy levels. However, avoid drinking tea in the evening.

The Bottom Up!

Next time, you will never mistake a teacup vs coffee cup, won’t you?

Just look at the top rim and bottom base, and its handle. The shape tells you everything about the teacup and coffee cup.

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