Thursday, June 15, 2006

A Never Ending Tea Cup Collection

As I browsed through the tea cups at a second hand store recently, I realized my family would exclaim, “Not another tea cup!” if I brought any more home. However, this didn’t deter me.

There I’ll find odds and ends and don’t feel I need to buy a matched set of specific number. Dainty tea cups, cups with saucers, and mugs all catch my attention. Some remind me of tea time at my grandmother’s with dainty cups or gazing at my aunt’s collection of souvenir cups and saucers she displayed, but didn’t use.

My mom began to gather tea cups and coffee mugs in her later years. When I packed to move her from her home to mine, as her Alzheimer’s progressed, I came across numerous tea cups…some she’d purchased and more given her by friends and family.

Sharing a cup of tea with family and visitors had been a sign of hospitality for her mother and later for my mom. So the tea cups accumulated.

Sharing Tea Party Ideas

Since I often write about tea, tea parties, and tea memorabilia, readers frequently e-mail me, to share their experiences or ask questions.

One reader told how her club decided to have a tea party with each person bringing a tea cup and sharing information about it. It could be a cup handed down in their family, one given by a special friend, or one they purchased simply because they liked it.

When a lady in a distant state asked me about tea party ideas for an organization whose activities she planned, I suggested that each person bring a tea cup or mug and share the story. It also might be a good idea to have some extra cups on hand in case someone didn’t have one to bring. She thought this an excellent idea; I’m waiting to hear how it turned out.

Seasonal Tea Cups

Now that spring is here, it’s time to pack away the mugs with snowmen on them and other winter scenes. We’ll bring out those with flowers, birds, and other warm weather decorations.

Since, in our multi-generational household, it difficult to find space for saucers in our kitchen closets, we usually don’t use these items. However, I do like to have them on hand occasionally so the grandchildren know this is part of the ritual of serving tea.

(c)2006 Mary Emma Allen

(I'd enjoy having you share your tea time traditions with me. E-mail: )


jafabrit said...

I love teacups but more than anything I love my teapots. I had to stop buying them though (ran out of space LOL).
My husband says I should stop putting the kettle on for a cuppa and just have a tea iv attached to me :) You see I am british born and raised and I like my tea and teatime is very much part of my being.

Anyway, thanks for visiting my blog, and I thought I would visit you and well tea time news stood out, so here I am. waving hello :)

jafabrit said...

ps. the British sandwich association has some great sarnie recipes for those who might be interested in teatime menu ideas.

Mary Emma Allen said...

Thanks, Jafabrit, for visiting my blog and sharing. My daughter and I like tea pots, too, but, like you, have run out of space. (Daughter, son-in-law, and two children live with hubby and me so we can't display all our collections.) I also like to collect anything connected with tea. Thanks, too, for letting me know about the British sandwich association. I write a "Country Kitchen" newspaper column. My readers may be interested in this, too.