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If you didn’t grow up enjoying tea or coffee out of a cup and saucer set, it may feel unfamiliar. In fact, tea in the U.S. doesn’t have near the same gravitas it does in other countries, including Britain. But, once you start incorporating more tea times into your life, you’ll likely be hooked.
Made from durable bone china, the Brew to a Tea Floral Tea Cups and Saucers Set is our top pick since the 6-cup set is very floral and very affordable. If you're looking for a neutral set that's within your budget, check out the New Anchor Eileen's Reserve Fine China Pure White Teacup and Saucer, Set of Four.
For one thing, serving tea or coffee to friends with a small pastry spread feels thoughtful, but is much easier than throwing a dinner party. Serving tea and snacks, like Jammy Dodger biscuits or tea sandwiches, is an elegant, low-commitment way to entertain, and having cups and saucers around makes it feel all the more thought-out.
Here are the best cup and saucer sets.
Best Overall: Brew to a Tea Floral Tea Cups and Saucers Set
Made from bone china
For a charming tea set that’s both structurally sound and beautifully designed, look no further than the Brew To A Tea 6-piece cup & saucer set. "If you’re looking for a vintage-style set, this set comes with six cups and saucers in beautiful colors with a bold flower motif. They’re made from bone china, making them feel dainty but also ideal for holding tea," says Andra DelMonico, lead interior designer of Trendey, who calls this set out as one of her all-time favorites.
The 8-ounce size of the cups offers plenty of room for tea with milk or cream, and the saucers feature helpfully lifted rims to make cleanup a breeze. These sets are dishwasher-safe, although not microwave-safe. Amazon reviewers mention that the sets are well-packaged, reducing the odds of in-transit breakage. Finally, the price is highly reasonable for the number of cups and saucers that you receive, making this set an excellent choice for tea novices and aficionados alike.
What’s Included: 6 cups, 6 saucers | Cup Capacity: 8 ounces | Saucer Size: 5.8 inches | Microwave Safe: No | Dishwasher Safe: Yes
Best Glass: Crystalia Small Turkish Tea Set
A full set
Easy to clean
Too big a set for some
If you think the British are obsessed with tea, allow us to introduce you to Turkish tea culture. This set, modeled after Turkish sets with their signature curved glasses, "is made entirely of curved, transparent glass—perfect for those who don't like the look of porcelain or opaque materials," says Grace Baena, interior curator and director of operations of Kaiyo.
This set includes six cups and six saucers, which, according to Baena, "makes it great for a larger family or for those who entertain often." That said, a single person or a couple may find it too large for their needs (and their storage capacity). It’s also worth noting that, while Americans like our portions on the larger side, this is crafted for a more standard Turkish tea serving size of just under 5 ounces. But the Crystalia set is "dishwasher and microwave safe, making it stylish and convenient," says Baena.
What’s Included: 6 cups, 6 saucers | Cup Capacity: 4.9 ounces | Saucer Size: 4.7 inches | Microwave Safe: Yes | Dishwasher Safe: Yes
Best Japanese-Style: Toptier Enameled Cast Iron Tea Cup and Saucer Set
Holds heat well
Can buy one set at a time
Cup gets very hot
It’s important to note that this set is Japanese in the same way that Taco Bell is Mexican, which is to say not at all. For a true Japanese tea set (which does not traditionally include saucers), we recommend buying from a Japanese-owned tea company, like Ippodo.
But, if you’re looking for a cup and saucer set closer to that aesthetic, this hybrid is the closest you’ll get. Made with heat-retaining enameled cast iron, it features a raised dot pattern in a light green color. The cups hold a little over 3 ounces, which is traditional for Japanese-style teacups. The biggest drawback is that, while the cast iron will keep your tea quite hot, it may actually make it too hot to hold at first. Depending on your heat tolerance and how long you can wait for your tea, the cast iron may or may not work for you.
What’s Included: 1 cup, 1 saucer | Cup Capacity: 3.4 ounces | Saucer Size: 4 inches | Microwave Safe: No | Dishwasher Safe: No
Best Ceramic: Le Creuset Cappuccino Cups and Saucers Set
Sturdy and colorful
Dishwasher-safe and microwave-safe
Comes with a 10-year warranty
Might be too small for some
It’s no surprise that Le Creuset has been a top purveyor of kitchenware for nearly a century; this brand basically defines the popular “French country” style of decor, and its products are renowned for their solid, reliable construction and attractive design.
The Le Creuset cup & saucer set is no exception. Made of sturdy ceramic stoneware with a colorful enamel coating, these cups & saucers hold 7 ounces of tea and can be washed in the dishwasher and reheated in the microwave. The biggest negative involves the set’s size and price. It's a bit pricey for just two cups and two saucers, so this option may prove prohibitive to those with a penchant for entertaining). However, these timeless pieces are an excellent investment known to last a lifetime, and Le Creuset offers a 10-year warranty to further establish this set as a worthy purchase.
What’s Included: 2 cups, 2 saucers | Cup Capacity: 7 ounces | Saucer Size: 6 inches | Microwave Safe: Yes | Dishwasher Safe: Yes
Best Budget: New Anchor Eileen's Reserve Fine China Pure White Teacup and Saucer, Set of Four
Safe in microwave and dishwasher
Made from bone china
Cups on the smaller side
This dainty but sturdy bone china set is a perfect choice for tea drinkers who want to save a few dollars without compromising on style or general quality. For less than a pizza, you’ll get four cups and saucers in a pure and perfectly neutral white hue that can easily fit into countless decor schemes, but with scalloped edges and contouring to give these sets some personality. These are produced from synthetic bone china that should be able to withstand a clumsy hand.
The cups and saucers can be loaded into the dishwasher for quick cleaning or popped in the microwave for a speedy reheat, and they can even be put in the freezer without the risk of cracking.
What’s Included: 4 cups, 4 saucers | Cup Capacity: 6 ounces | Saucer Size: 6 inches | Microwave Safe: Yes | Dishwasher Safe: Yes
Best Bulk: Elama White Cafe Teacup and Saucer, Set of 12
The lowest cost per unit on the list
Unlikely to go out of style
A little generic looking
If you’re looking for a bulk option for teacups and saucers, we like the Elama Cafe Teacup and Saucer Set. It comes with six cups and six saucers at the lowest price on the list, meaning if you really need them in bulk, they’re still available at a reasonable price (in fact, this is less expensive per unit than most of the much larger sets we found). The design is a step up from the classic diner teacup and saucer, without being too trendy or out there, and the cups and saucers are light, yet sturdy.
What’s Included: 6 cups, 6 saucers | Cup Capacity: 8 ounces | Saucer Size: 4 inches | Microwave Safe: Yes | Dishwasher Safe: Yes
Best Paper: Gift Boutique Disposable Tea Party Cup and Saucer Set
Good for outdoor use
Odd amount of cups to saucers
Not appropriate for very hot drinks
For most occasions, it is both more environmentally friendly and more sensible to use dishware that will last a while. But, maybe you’re throwing a birthday party or an afternoon tea picnic. For those occasions when it makes more sense to bring paper supplies, we recommend the Gift Boutique Disposable Tea Party Cups set, which comes with 24 teacups with handles and 12 flower petal-shaped paper saucers. We don’t love that each cup doesn’t come with a saucer, but the pattern is charming and feels appropriate for a tea theme. The cups, perhaps confusingly, don’t hold up to very hot drinks, but if you’re picnicking or throwing a party, you probably won’t be serving steaming hot tea anyway.
What’s Included: 24 paper cups, 12 saucers | Cup Capacity: 5 ounces | Saucer Size: 5 inches
Best Stacking: Sweese Porcelain Stackable Espresso Cups with Saucers and Stand
Includes a storage stand
Stand could be sturdier
Stackable cup and saucer sets are a great buy for space-conscious (or absentminded) tea enthusiasts because they give you a built-in storage option for your tea drinkware that keeps each piece of the set in the same place. Stefan and Meagan Bucur, home improvement and interior design experts of Rhythm of the Home rave about this affordable racked set from Sweese. "This cup and saucer set is fantastic for people who want to save space but not compromise when it comes to style," says the Bucurs.
The set comes in your choice of 5 different colors, but the Bucurs favor the light blue version, which "can create a very stylish compound when added next to a vertical vase with dusty rose flowers." The Sweese set is microwave-friendly and dishwasher-friendly, and the largest size accommodates 8 ounces of liquid, which is plenty of room for a reviving cup of tea.
What’s Included: 4 cups, 4 saucers, 1 metal rack | Cup Capacity: 8 ounces | Saucer Size: 5 inches | Microwave Safe: Yes | Dishwasher Safe: Yes
The Brew to a Tea Floral Tea Cups and Saucers Set is a traditional set made of bone china which is large enough for entertaining and has a beautiful gold rim. For a beautiful ceramic option that can be an heirloom for generations to come, the Le Creuset Cappuccino Cups and Saucers Set is a worthy investment.
What to Look for in a Teacups and Saucer Sets
If you grew up in America, you're likely used to sipping your caffeinated beverages from a mug, perhaps with a cheeky saying on the outside. As such (close your ears, British friends), a cup and saucer isn’t strictly necessary, even if you're a big tea or coffee person. But, that just means that you get to have fun with it. Find a design that sparks joy and will make you excited to use your cup and saucer set.
Your cup and saucer set should fit your budget. You can find them at under $20 for one set or over $100 and beyond. If you enjoy entertaining, think of the pricing by the number of pieces you’ll want. It’s nice to have at least two cups and two saucers, but you may want more if you plan to have friends over for tea or coffee often.
No cup and saucer set will last forever, but it’d be nice if yours lasted through as many afternoon teas as possible. Read reviews from folks on the durability, Specifically, look for reviews from people who have had the set for a while, rather than those who just got theirs and say something like “I haven’t used it yet, but it’s beautiful.”
What's the point of a saucer?
A saucer offers a barrier between a hot beverage and the surface you’re resting it on. Think of it as a fancy coaster: It prevents drips from reaching the table or the temperature from warping it. It’s also a very convenient place to rest a spoon or cookie. In the 18th century, though, the saucer was actually used as the drinking vessel. Pouring the hot beverage onto it cooled it down, while the cup stayed warm and waiting.
How do you drink tea using a cup and saucer?
If you’re at home, do whatever’s most comfortable. Should you be invited to high tea, the most proper method is to raise the teacup to sip from while the saucer stays on the table. If you’re more than a foot away from a table, hold the saucer in your left hand and sip from the cup using your right hand. It’s considered rude to let your eyes wander as you’re sipping your tea. Instead, stare directly into the cup.
How do you display a teacup collection?
The most traditional way to display a teacup collection is a china cabinet. Some prefer the more modern method of floating shelves. There are also stands you can buy where the saucer is displayed vertically directly behind the upright cup.
Why Trust The Spruce Eats?
When writer, podcaster, and professional cheese nerd Christine Clark isn’t writing or teaching a cheese class, she’s fueling up with a cup of tea or coffee. She aspires to own a vintage wooden display cabinet for all her teaware.