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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. 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: Dansk Kobenstyle Porcelain Tea Cup and Saucer Set
Timeless, minimalist design
Handle design fits wider fingers
Larger handle makes it trickier to store
Denmark-based Dansk has been manufacturing durable kitchenware and dinnerware since the 1950s. This set of porcelain teacups and saucers is no exception, with its minimalist design that is somehow both timeless and very trendy. We love the way the black rims along both the cup and saucer highlight the stark white nature of both. We also appreciate that four cups and four saucers come with this set—enough for a light Sunday tea or brunch, but not so many that you won’t have room to store them. Another thoughtful detail: The larger handle design allows room for wider fingers.
What’s Included: 4 cups, 4 saucers | Cup Capacity: 8 ounces | Saucer Size: 5.75 inches | Microwave Safe: Yes | 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, also happens to be great if you prefer the look of transparent glass over porcelain or other opaque materials. With six cups and six saucers, it works for larger families or those who like to entertain, though it may be too large for a single person or a couple. 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.
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: Casafina Pacifica Tea Cup and Saucer
Can buy one cup and saucer at a time
One of the pricier options
The Casafina Pacifica Teacup and Saucer comes in matte black or matte eggshell. Crafted in Portugal from stoneware, this cup and saucer set is both much more expensive and less convenient than the others on the list. It’s also stunning. It feels like a little handmade treasure you picked up in the Hamptons or that your potter friend made for you. We think it's a reasonable price for the quality, and the neutral palate it comes in makes it timeless. It may not be the best pick if you plan on entertaining large crowds, but it’s a beautiful piece to add to your tea collection.
What’s Included: 1 cup, 1 saucer | Cup Capacity: 8 ounces | Saucer Size: 4 inches | Microwave Safe: No | Dishwasher Safe: No
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: Kanwone Porcelain Stackable Cups with Saucers
Many color options
More likely to bump and chip
When you hear “stackable,” you may think of those espresso sets with a little wire stacking rack included. Unfortunately, most larger cup and saucer sets do not include a stacking rack, but they do feature a design meant for easy storage, and this durable set will take up less room than similar options. Coming in black, gray, forest green, navy, white, and red, it looks like something you’d be served a latte out of in a small Copenhagen café. Although stacking sets do face more risk for chipping or breakage, this set is chip-resistant and microwave-, oven-, dishwasher-, and freezer-safe.
What’s Included: 4 cups, 4 saucers | Cup Capacity: 8 ounces | Saucer Size: 6 inches | Microwave Safe: Yes | Dishwasher Safe: Yes | Oven Safe: Yes | Freezer Safe: Yes
Best Budget: Crate & Barrel Aspen Cup and Saucer
Can buy one set at a time
No discounts on a set
You may be surprised to see our budget pick is from Crate & Barrel, which is not known as a particularly budget-friendly shopping destination. Allow us to explain: Though some items in larger sets are less expensive than this cup and saucer, this is a standard price for a cup and saucer, and we appreciate that it allows the opportunity to build a set in whichever size you were hoping for. The classic white porcelain design has clean lines and a modern feel, meaning you won’t have to replace it anytime soon. It’s also chip-resistant and safe for the dishwasher, microwave, and warm oven. In other words, it’s a classic piece that will serve you well for a long time.
What’s Included: 1 cup, 1 saucer | Cup Capacity: 9 ounces | Saucer Size: 6.25 inches | Microwave Safe: Yes | Dishwasher Safe: Yes | Oven Safe: Yes
We chose the Dansk Kobenstyle Porcelain Teacup and Saucer Set (view at Amazon) as our top pick because of its timeless, minimalist design and larger handles, allowing space for wider fingers if necessary. For a beautiful ceramic option with a particularly artisanal aesthetic, we recommend the Casafina Pacifica Tea Cup and Saucer (view at Verishop).
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.