Best tea cup and saucer

Tea Equipment

In the 18th century, it was common to pour tea into the saucer to allow it to cool more quickly.

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Which tea cup and saucer is best?

Tea is more than just a beverage; it’s a way of life. For those who are serious about their tea drinking, a tea cup and saucer set is a worthwhile investment. It can lend the everyday task a little more ritual, as well as being a must-have for anyone who plans to throw a tea party. The Wedgwood Hibiscus Cup and Saucer is a high-quality tea set with a stand-out pattern, making it a perfect pick for those who want to infuse a little extra elegance into their cup of tea.

What to know before you buy a tea cup and saucer

Shapes

Though there are many similarities, tea cups have some key differences from coffee mugs. Most notably, the shape — most Western-style tea cups have slanted sides, which makes them easy to drink from, but they don’t hold heat as well. Asian-style tea cups are usually (though not always) without handles and often have straight sides like a coffee mug.

Materials

Clay 

Clay cups, until they’re glazed, have a porous surface that can retain the taste of the tea. Glazed cups are easier to clean. Most clay cups are not dishwasher safe and are not the most durable.

Porcelain

Porcelain cups are made of clay fired at a higher temperature to create a more durable material that holds heat more effectively.

China

China is fired at a lower temperature than porcelain, creating a less durable material that’s finer and has a beautiful luster. Bone china is china mixed with animal bone ash in various percentages and then dual fired for a stronger, harder cup with a slightly translucent appearance.

Glass

Glass is environmentally safe and minimalist chic, though not the most durable. Most glass tea cups are dishwasher safe and made of shatter-resistant glass.

Wood

Wood is difficult to break, beautiful and eco-friendly. It’s also a porous material and won’t last as long as many other options. 

Metal

Metal is the most durable material out there for tea cups — shatter-proof, affordable and dishwasher safe. But depending on the metal, it can leave a metallic taste in the liquids it holds.

What to look for in a quality tea cup and saucer

Durability

Some materials, as detailed above, are more durable than others. If you’re on the clumsier side, or regularly have children or other people using your tea cups, a more durable set might be a good option. Materials like metal and wood are the least breakable, but thicker, more durable porcelain will also be tougher to break than a thin bone china or delicate clay cup.

Pattern

Dish patterns have a long and rich history, with many people choosing a single family pattern that they then stick to. There are thousands of tea cup patterns and designs to choose from, from the most feminine of florals to simpler one-color designs. Whether you prefer to mix your patterns or want a matching set, choose a design that goes with your sense of style and kitchen decor.

How much you can expect to spend on a tea cup and saucer

There’s no shortage of cheap cup and saucer sets available, and if you’re looking for a bargain, there are options as cheap as $5 or under per cup. But most high-quality tea cup and saucer sets will run between $20-$50. Extremely high-end options can be as much as $100 or more for the set.

Tea cup and saucer FAQ

Are tea cups and saucers dishwasher and microwave safe?

A. Many modern tea sets are dishwasher safe, but unless they’re specifically denoted as such on the packaging, err on the side of caution. Many are microwave safe as well, but any tea cup or saucer with metal foil as a design element is not microwave safe. Handwashing all dishes, particularly delicate ones, can extend their lifespan.

What’s the best tea cup shape?

A. This depends on your tea drinking preference. Slanted edge cups may be easier to pour into and drink from but will hold heat less efficiently. Straight edge designs, tall and short, will hold heat better and allow you to smell the aroma of the tea, but may be more difficult to drink from. Pick the style that meshes best with your preferred tea.

What’s the best tea cup and saucer to buy?

Top tea cup and saucer

Wedgwood Hibiscus Teacup and Saucer

Wedgwood Hibiscus Teacup and Saucer

What you need to know: With a design inspired by an 1810 Wedgwood pattern, this is a quality bone china cup and saucer set.

What you’ll love: It’s a beautiful teacup from a trusted brand, made of fine bone china with a unique shape and handle design.

What you should consider: It’s not the most affordable, nor is it microwave safe.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Top tea cup and saucer for the money

Bosmarlin Coffee Cup with Saucer

Bosmarlin Coffee Cup with Saucer

What you need to know: This is a sturdy ceramic cup and saucer set that comes in a few colorways and a nice 8.5-ounce capacity.

What you’ll love: It’s dishwasher and microwave safe and sturdy. It has a stylish look that could fit in with rustic, minimalist or classic senses of style.

What you should consider: Some reviewers found that it arrived broken.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

Worth checking out

Prince Albert 100-Year Anniversary 5-Piece Set

Prince Albert 100-Year Anniversary 5-Piece Set

What you need to know: It’s a five-piece 100th anniversary set released in 2006, with an array of Royal Albert’s charming, whimsical designs.

What you’ll love: The cups feature an array of beautiful designs, with each set taking inspiration from a different decade since 1904.

What you should consider: Some may not be a fan of the mix-and-match style of the cups and saucers. They’re not dishwasher or microwave safe.

Where to buy: Sold by Amazon

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Arabella Matthews writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.

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