Psst... We're working on the next generation of Chowhound! View >
HOME > Chowhound > Not About Food >
Jul 3, 2011 10:35 AM

Mugs vs cups & saucers

Hi, this is probably a silly question but I'm curious.

We currently only have a set of mugs (white porcelain that match our dishware). We use the same dishes (including the mugs) for everyday use as well as entertaining. We never invested or requested fine china when we married. We just don't have the space for all of it but maybe someday...

Anyhow, recently I've been feeling that it would be great to have some cups and saucers for dinner with company. The mugs just seem so HUGE (and informal?) at dinner, though they're great for the morning cup of joe and brunches.

Then I started reading how serving coffee or tea in mugs might be an etiquette no-no...particularly outside of the U.S. (and we currently live abroad so it really got me thinking).

What do you use? Do have both mugs and cups/saucers? I expect those who have both china and everyday dishware do.

  1. Click to Upload a photo (10 MB limit)
  1. I have both. We use mugs for every day, and cups and saucers when I do a coffee service when we have a group over. I use my fine china then. But you could just get a set of cups and saucers, with a matching sugar and creamer, rather than invest in an expensive set.

    1. I have both mugs and cups & saucers. The mugs are informal - used for very close family only and it depends on the situation. Cups and saucers are always used for guests and sometimes for family, too. And depending on the formality of the event, the cups might be my fine china or my grandmother's cups, or they might be Fiesta or Harlequin.

      Getting a coffee service is a nice idea. It wouldn't take up nearly as much space as a whole set of dishes. And there are so many choices! As for me, my grandmother collected teacups and I inherited quite a few of them. If I use hers, every cup and saucer is different from the others, they are all vintage, and that is kind of fun, too. Mostly I use those if I have friends over for tea in the afternoon.

      1. We mainly have mugs but I recently bought two sets of white cups and saucers sort of a French style that are great for cafe au lait. One for myself and the second for a friend when they come to visit. My husband has a white mug that is his favorite; he drinks his coffee black.

        1. I, too, have both, but rarely use cups and saucers anymore, except for serving desserts. I don't entertain like I used to and have serious tremors in both hands that make holding a cup and saucer nearly impossible. Enjoy what you have and can afford.

          1. We have and use both and most of our mugs, cups & saucers, plates, platters, bowls, etc. were thrift shop and antique shop finds bought over time. It's always a fun "hunt" to source treasures other people tired of; inexpensive but worthwhile finds.