When choosing a tea set for yourself or as a gift, you need to pay attention to the material, the items included in the composition, design, drawing and other little things.
The shelves of shopping centers are bursting with dishes, and the assortment in online stores is even greater. Our instructions will help you understand the packaging and the main selection criteria. You will learn why porcelain cups are better than ceramic ones and how they are inferior to glass and glass porcelain.
To understand any kind of dish, you need to learn how to classify it. The division into groups helps to match personal needs with the market supply.
Table tea sets can be classified according to the following criteria:
Number of persons . This parameter determines how many people the set is designed for. First of all, this can be seen from the cups – six cups, which means for six people. The size of the teapot can also vary, but there is not always a connection here. Sometimes a set for two people has more than four or six teapots.
Complete set . The set may include not only cups and saucers and a kettle, but also other items. There are advanced options that include vases, cake holders and other useful little things.
Manufacturing material . For the production of traditional tea ware, a ceramic group is used: porcelain, faience, ceramics. Glass sets and glass ceramics are in fashion – a new practical material.
Style and design. There is also a fashion for dishes. Cups and teapots vary in shape, design, decor. This parameter determines how the new service will be combined with the existing dishes and interior style.
All these parameters are discussed in more detail below.
What Is Included In The Tea Set
The classic European tea set includes cups and saucers, teapot, sugar bowl, milk jug. The number of cups corresponds to the number of persons declared by the manufacturer. The volume of a tea cup is 200 ml. The traditional shape is a bowl expanding upward, which helps the tea to cool quickly.
A teapot is usually made of the same material as other items, but now there are different combinations. For example, the teapot can be made of glass, and the strainer insert can be made of ceramic in the style of cups.
For those looking to get a complete set of tea ceremony utensils, there are extended sets. They may include dessert plates , a cake dish, a vase (for cookies, sweets, croutons, jam), a butter dish for butter .
Other items in tea sets for Oriental, Asian, Chinese tea drinking. Instead of cups, there are various bowls or armdudes – tea cups. Supplements also vary according to national sweets and traditions.
What Material Is Best For Tea Utensils
Tea set items are made not only from materials popular for tableware and coffee sets . There are also non-standard offers, for example, stainless steel and cast iron.
Porcelain is a classic luxury
If you like things that last for decades and do not go out of style, choose porcelain tableware in a classic design. This set is not only beautiful, but also practical. Porcelain is obtained from selected types of clay, improved with additives. The most expensive is bone china , which contains bone meal.
Porcelain products are light and thin, but durable and retain heat well. There are practically no pores in the material, so the cups, for all their elegance, do not break when dropped on a soft surface and minor impacts.
Classic porcelain tea sets in white, showcasing the beauty of the material. Various techniques are used for decoration: painting, perforation, volumetric decorations. Gilding is common. The most durable painting is under the glaze, it does not wear off over time.
It is important to remember that porcelain dishes require careful handling and delicate care. It must be washed by hand without using aggressive detergents. Do not put porcelain saucers and plates in the microwave unless the manufacturer has indicated microwave compatibility.
Faience – availability for every day
It is not always easy to visually distinguish a tea set made of earthenware from porcelain. But connoisseurs quickly see the difference. Faience is thicker and heavier, due to its porous structure it does not hold heat well and is fragile.
The earthenware sets are glazed in different colors, so the line includes both classic white and non-standard colors. Tea ware is decorated, as well as porcelain, by painting with paints, gilding, and volumetric elements.
Ceramics – originality and practicality
Thick-walled ceramics retain heat well – tea in ceramic cups stays hot for a long time. The ceramics must be glazed; it can be brown in natural colors or bright.
Most often, ceramic tea sets are simple in shape. There is no wavy edge, like in porcelain, complex bends. The shape of the circles is more often close to the shape of a simple cylinder bowl. The painting is present, but not always and not to the same extent as in the case of porcelain.
Glass – minimalism and versatility
Transparent glass is fashionable and stylish modern tableware. The minimalist sets include a glass teapot and tea cups and saucers. The glass is easy to clean, cups and saucers can be put in the microwave, and some kettles can be put on the electric stove.
Glass sets delight with a variety of sizes and shapes of cups. The sets also include bowls or armuds. There are sets with a stand for heating the kettle.
When choosing, read what glass is used for making. It must be heat-resistant , resistant to temperature extremes and boiling water. In addition to transparent glass, colored glass is used. For beauty, the services are painted. If the items are decorated with gilding, then it is impossible to heat up in the microwave.
Glass ceramics and glass porcelain – a modern alternative
Glass porcelain and glass ceramics are products of new technologies, resembling porcelain in appearance and glass in terms of production method. In fact, it is heat-treated opaque glass. There is no glaze here, cracks and scratches are excluded. The surface is smooth, resistant to bloom, easy to clean.
Glass-ceramic and glass-porcelain tea sets are strong and durable. They are microwave safe and dishwasher safe. The material does not emit harmful substances. The hardening and absence of pores make the cookware resistant to shocks and drops.
It is easy to choose other serving utensils for the white glass-ceramic set: dishes, plates, crackers. Today this material is actively used by many manufacturers.
Stainless steel – a new approach to tea drinking
Do you often break dishes? Then choose a stainless steel tea set. Mirrored stainless steel looks original and fits perfectly into the design of a modern interior. Stainless steel is an inert material that does not absorb odors, so you can safely brew different varieties without fear of mixing aromas.
But for all the originality, there is a significant drawback here – the metal heats up, you can burn your hands and lips. There are cups that do not heat up in the upper part and in the area of the handles thanks to the bimetallic technology.
What Else To Consider When Choosing A Tea Set
When choosing a tea set in a store or over the Internet, think about how it will be combined with other dishes and whether it will be possible to complement it with items that match the style. If you’re a down-to-earth person, go for cookware from the same collection . If necessary, you can always buy missing or broken ones.
If you already have a tableware set , consider whether you will be taking plates from it for serving tea. If not, then you can not get attached to the design and choose something else.
If you buy as a gift, be careful. It is difficult to please a person without knowing his taste in design. In order not to be mistaken, choose a universal white glass porcelain tea set, it will come in handy for every day and is unlikely to end up in a long and useless storage in a closet. There are beautiful and elegant glass tea sets for sale on Kitchen Kite and also budget friendly. Check out the price and features of this collection from a wide variety of online glass tea sets.