Glassware – A Brief History of Cups (Coffee, Tea, Mugs)
by Amin Ramjee
Glassware encompasses everything from tableware to drinking ware and decorative ware. To describe each and every item would take a long time. Glassware has been used for centuries to serve food and drink. Today, glassware remains a pivotal element in our daily existence.
Drinking ware which include drinking glasses ranging from cocktail glasses to various goblets, wine glasses and champagne glasses, are integral when entertaining. Let us look into the vast foray of cups, paying specific attention to teacups, coffee cups and mugs.
A teacup is a small apparatus that is handled with the thumb and fingers, one or two at a time. Many are created using ceramic, although those made from glass are widely used around the world. A teacup comes primarily in a set, inclusive of a saucer. A good teacup set comes with its own matching teapot, jug for creamer and milk and also a sugar bowl with a lid. As a basis of comparison, teacups are usually more ample and diminutive than coffee cups, as tea is a beverage meant to be sipped slowly.
Teacups connoisseurs usually covet those which are unique in designs and forms, and always with the matching saucers. In fact, a complete teaset also has teaspoons which bear similar designs to the cups and saucers.
One of the original teacups created for drinking purposes were first discovered in Europe, and were imported from Japan’s Imari port. In the Far East, teacups are more like mini-bowls, as they do not possess handles. The ones inspired by the Europeans’ Meissen, also did not have handles attached.
Teacups used by the Chinese are even smaller than their Japanese counterparts, and can hold only a minuscule amount of tea. These teacups were meant to be used together with the legendary Yi Xing and Gaiwan teapots.
Modern teacups are wider and easier to maneuver.
Coffee cups were traditionally made from glazed ceramic, although just like contemporary tea cups, coffee cups are also popular in glass. A typical coffee cup has an expansive single handle, which enables the drinker to hold the cup carefully while the beverage inside is piping hot. Coffee cups made of glass are thicker, so that they would not break easily when washed.
Espresso and cappuccino cups are used for drinking specific types of coffee, which explains their smaller dimensions. Coffee cups are also widely used as promotional items and available with many slogans and designs, targeted for the mass market. After dinner coffee cups are also accompanied by tiny coffee spoons. Ones which are made of glass are fast becoming coveted items.
Mugs were created sturdier than both tea and coffee cups and utilized to drink a multitude of hot beverages from cocoa to chocolate. Mugs are built latger, and come with handles to house a bigger amount of liquids. Mugs are not used for formal dining however, as they are perceived to be more casual drinking ware.
Modern day mugs are made from bone china, porcelain or earthenware, but the ones made from strengthened glass, such as those from Pyrex have also become drinking staples in many homes.
DiscountMugs.com is a large distribution company based in Miami, Florida. They are web-based and factory-direct which allows them to keep prices lower than the rest of the competition. They also have a huge selection of promotional products from wine glasses and shot glasses to beer mugs and coffee mugs.
Ceramic Japanese Tea Set – Shudei Kyusu Pot & Five Cups
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