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Using the saucer

Discussion in 'The Connoisseur' started by Imahomer, Dec 5, 2008.

  1. Imahomer

    Imahomer Practically Family

    My Grandmother used to drink her tea, or coffe from a saucer. She would be poured a cup of tea and then pour that into the saucer. I never thought twice about it, but I've only seen it done a couple of times since and only in old movies.

    Has anyone else seen or heard of this?
  2. not using a saucer....but close.

    My family and associated cultural relations, drink tea using a -glass- instead of a mug or teacup, and then tend to pour part of the glass into a bowl and drink the tea from the bowl.

    Sounds terrible bizzare doesn't it? There is even a -graceful- way to hold the bowl with one hand, which I can actually do.

    ...but their tea is -scalding- hot in the cup and the larger surface area of the bowl gets it to drinkable temp faster. At least that is my logic for -why-
  3. Imahomer

    Imahomer Practically Family

    What is the background of your family? My Grandmother was French.
  4. My family are Russian...of the nice peasanty variety.
  5. Imahomer

    Imahomer Practically Family

    Ok. I like the peasant people! :eusa_clap

    It will be interesting to watch this and see if there are many who respond to it.
  6. Ms. McGraw

    Ms. McGraw One of the Regulars

    We were just talking about this at Thanksgiving dinner! My boyfriend's father said several adults he knew when was a young child in western Kentucky drank their tea this way! My mother said she also vaguely remembered family members from that geographical area drinking tea that way. I then mentioned that I had seen on the History Channel that people drank tea this way because the handle on the tea cups became so decorative and delicate they couldn't be used for their intended purpose. My boyfriend's father assured me this could not be the case with the people he was referencing, as they were certainly not drinking from fine china but I still think it could have been a habit learned from an earlier generation who may have had fancier tea cups.
  7. Imahomer

    Imahomer Practically Family

    Wow... that's an interesting read on why they used a saucer! So far we have:

    1. To speed up the cooling process of a hot beverage.
    2. To save delicate handles from being broken.

    Both of those answers make sense to me.

  8. Actually....mine is also probably reason 2 .....I think reason 1 is merely a side benefit...

    I mentioned they used glasses and not mugs....there are thus -no- handles and their hands are on hot glass....

    Traditionally, russian tea glasses had a metal filagree holder called a podstakannik.


    So in the absence of holders....they couldn't hold on to the glass....but were not -sold- on the strange foreign mugs or cups.

    Now its just sort of -what one does-.....
  9. Imahomer

    Imahomer Practically Family

    Thanks for that photo Miss Neecerie. I've actually seen those cups/glasses before, but didn't know anything about them.

    I was always under the impression that my Grandmother did the saucer thing to cool her drink off more quickly. I just wished I had asked her about it.
  10. just_me

    just_me Practically Family

    My grandfather was Russian (also peasant variety). Piece of sugar between his teeth and tea from a glass. No saucer, though. :)

  11. yep.....hehe I was leaving out the charming method of sweetening tea...my great grandma did it too...

    as kids...we always built sugar bridges.... as you wait for them to pour tea....you use 5 sugar cubes in a row...and cram them into the cup...its just right to actually stay wedged there.....across the opening. Then as they pour the hot tea, you get the amusement of watching the bridge slowly melt

    Please note: this only works in cups...
  12. I remember from "somewhere" (my favorite source of information) that this was how tea was originally drunk. You had a big mug of tea, or whatever, and you had a saucer into which you porued a sippable amount. Only later did people start placing the mug IN the saucer, for convenience. I have on good authority (see above) that this is the actual historical fact of the matter.

  13. Nooooo.... This is the wrong favorite source of info.

    Everyone knows it's 'They said.......'

    and when asked who they was....'well you know, them!'
  14. Imahomer

    Imahomer Practically Family

    Them, as in Giant Killer Ants?:eusa_doh:
  15. My great grandmother had some of these (no Russian in our family though), but when she died they were nowhere to be found. I really would have liked to have them. :(

  16. no one in my family has any either......

    I want some....but i want a -set- and those are pricey....so i keep thinking I will bid on random mismatched soviet ones on ebay......but never quite do...
  17. Caity Lynn

    Caity Lynn Practically Family

    If George Washington approved, I'd say it's acceptable.It was done to cool it faster. (This little bit of info was actually in my History book, he used it for an analogy for spreading power or something...don't recall the lesson, thought it was interesting about the tea.)
  18. Lone_Ranger

    Lone_Ranger A-List Customer

    Did you family have a samovar? Heated with dry pinecones, to add a hint of the resin's flavor to the tea.

    Or a crumpled Pravda, as the Soviet era joke goes....

  19. Yes and no.....

    We did indeed all have samovars, in fact I have one in the house as well.

    but the ones they brought are all small coal burning ones...and erm california is not a coal sort of place...so they stopped using them sometime before I was around.....

    but otherwise they make it the same.....smaller pot of condensed tea concentrate into the glass...top up with boiling water from separate kettle.
  20. Cricket

    Cricket Practically Family

    I found this information online this morning looking for stuff under tea culture. I thought it was interesting, but it didn't really give a reason.

    Tea found its way to Persia (Iran) from India and soon became the national drink. The whole part of northern Iran along the shores of the Caspian Sea is suitable for the cultivation of tea. Especially in the Gilan province on the slopes of Alborz, large areas are under tea cultivation and millions of people work in the tea industry for their livelihood. That region covers a large part of Iran's need for tea. Iranians have one of the highest per capita rates of tea consumption in the world and from old times every street has had a Châikhâne (Tea House). Châikhânes are still an important social place. Iranians traditionally drink tea by pouring it into a saucer and putting a lump of rock sugar (kand) in the mouth before drinking the tea.

    Then upon more snooping, I found this in a blog:

    When I used to work on the milk round as a boy, there were a few houses where we would stop for a cup of tea. In those days (I'm talking early 70s), we were usually given tea in a cup and saucer. Working men who were in a hurry needed to cool the tea quickly and this was often done by pouring the tea into the saucer and slurping it up. I learnt this custom from old Bill Bone, a great fellow who was a veteran of World War I. I wonder: would I get away with that in the Tea Cosy on the grounds of traditionalism. Certainly worth a try.

    Once again, the cooling idea came up.

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