The 10 Best Tea Cups and Saucer Sets for 2022

Our list includes traditional tea sets, modern ceramics, and more.

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The 9 Best Tea Cups and Saucer Sets for 2022
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Scully and Scully

Tea cups and saucers have taken shape from stoneware since the earliest tea cups came out of China centuries ago. Over time, distinct tea cup designs came out of India, Japan, and Turkey, while bone china and Limoges porcelain were developed much later, in England and France respectively, and became fashionable.

“There was a time in history when the tea cup you served guests reflected your social status,” says Marco Laura, who leads the seasonal tea service at New York City’s Baccarat Hotel as its food and beverage manager. “Tea cups can be collectibles or family heirlooms, hence the numbers on the bottom of the cup that identify more about the product, including who when it was made, who made it, and potentially how many were created.”

While tea has become more casual, it still deserves a better vessel than your favorite coffee mug. read on to learn more about the whys and hows and for our full list of the best tea cups and saucer sets of 2022.

Our Top Picks

Best Ceramic: Höganäs Tea Cup with Saucer 

Höganäs Tea Cup with Saucer

Royal Designs

Pros: Ceramic holds heat well, so it will not burn your hands with extra hot liquids. 

Cons: You won’t be able to find a replacement for this Swedish-made tea cup at most retailers should it break. 

One of the benefits of ceramic is its ability to conduct heat gently and hold onto it longer than other materials, keeping your tea hot and hands cool. Plus, the large handle is comfortable to grip. Use the wooden saucer traditionally as a base for the cup or flip it on top to keep heat in on extra cold days.

Price at time of publish: $15

  • Capacity: 16.9 ounces
  • Material: Ceramic
  • Dishwasher-safe: Tea cup is dishwasher safe; the saucer is not

Best Glass: Pasabahce Turkish Tea Set

Pasabahce Turkish Tea Set

Amazon

Pros: It comes packaged in a set of four and makes for a great host or hostess gift.

Cons: It only serves small portions.

The tempered glass of these tulip-shaped vessels is made to handle small, four-ounce portions of hot liquid and frequent refills, as Turkish-style tea has been served for generations. Simply grip the glass by the wide flute-shaped rim and sip away. The set includes six tea cups and six saucers. While made for tea, they would also be great for espresso beverages. 

Price at time of publish: $19

  • Capacity: 4 ounces
  • Material: Glass 
  • Dishwasher-safe: Yes

Best Bone China: Wedgwood Wonderlust Set 

Wedgwood Wonderlust Set

Bloomingdale's

Pros: Wedgwood is known for its quality, and each of the six tea cup and saucer sets features a unique design. 

Cons: Due to the delicate nature of bone china, you have to be extra careful when washing and drying to prevent scratches and chips.

Many tea sets incorporate delicate flowers into their patterns, and these feature traditional elements from the archives at Wedgwood (considered the standard of English porcelain since 1759) in vibrant colors for a more modern aesthetic. Buy one of each for a tea set that looks eclectic but still uniform. Made of bone China, known for being extra strong as well as elegant, these cups and saucers can easily become heirlooms. 

Price at time of publish: $95

  • Capacity: 5 ounces
  • Material: Fine bone china
  • Dishwasher-safe: Yes

Best Modern: Peohud Teacup and Saucer

Peohud Teacup and Saucer

Amazon

Pros: This striking tea cup is durable and dishwasher safe.

Cons: The bamboo saucer isn’t dishwasher safe.

Featuring a gold-plated handle and  matte glaze brightened with gold accents, this set from Peohud will become a conversation starter after any dinner party. This durable, lead-free set is non-toxic and, unlike many tea cups with gold detailing, dishwasher safe. The rim of the cup is smaller than the body to keep heat in and drips out – but each comes with a lacquered bamboo saucer for extra protection.

Price at time of publish: $30

  • Capacity: 10 ounces
  • Material: Porcelain
  • Dishwasher-safe: Yes

Best Blue and White: Noritake Sorrentino Blue and White Cup and Saucer

Noritake Sorrentino Blue and White Cup and Saucer

Target

Pros: This classic blue and white porcelain set is a great value. 

Cons: It’s not microwave safe.

During China’s Ming dynasty, from the 1300s to 1600s, artisans created  porcelain that remains some of the world’s most valuable. hBlue floral designs were painted with crushed cobalt and only owned by an elite few. When tea became popular in Europe, only the upper class could afford these sought-after vessels. Noritake’s Blue Sorrentino version pairs delicate florals with chic gold rims, and happens to be dishwasher safe.

Price at time of publish: $60

  • Capacity: 8 ounces
  • Material: Bone china
  • Dishwasherafe: Yes

Best Statement Set: Kiyoshi Luxury Tea Set

Kiyoshi Luxury 4-Piece Japanese Tea Cups Set

Amazon

Pros: Not only is cast iron durable, but as a tea set, it’s a stunning conversation starter.

Cons: The cast iron can rust if the enamel chips.

These cast iron cups have rust-proof, enameled interiors, making them excellent heat conductors that will keep tea warm and hands cool. Their exteriors feature a raised dot texture, and the saucers are shaped like leaves. Normally, Japanese tea cups come in two-ounce portions, but we appreciate the size of these four-ounce cups .

Price at time of publish: $28

  • Capacity: 4 ounces
  • Material: Cast iron and enamel
  • Dishwasher Safe: No

Best Porcelain: Philippe Deshoulieres Orsay Tea Cup and Saucer

Philippe Deshoulieres Orsay Tea Cup and Saucer

Bloomingdale's

Pros: This tea cup and saucer would be an elegant addition to any table. 

Cons: Limoge porcelain is sensitive to change in temperature and can crack if it goes from cold to warm too quickly.

Limoges, France, has long produced a delicate porcelain of the same name. Made from white clay found in the French town, the porcelain, known after as white gold, turns shining white and luminous when fired. Made of Limoges porcelain, this tea cup (saucer sold separately) from Philippe Deshoulieres nods to tradition with its intricate, hand-painted gold detailing.

Price at time of publish: $125

  • Capacity: 6 ounces
  • Material: Limoges porcelain
  • Dishwasher Safe: No

Best Splurge: Herend Felicity 60th Anniversary Special Edition Tea Service Set

Herend Felicity 60th Anniversary Special Edition Tea Service Set

Scully and Scully

Pros: This hand-painted tea set can be displayed as a work of art. 

Cons: It’s very delicate and sensitive to temperature changes.

Hungary’s tradition of finely crafted, painted porcelain goes back centuries, andHerend, founded in Hungary in 1826, is known for its delicate, hand-painted detailing, from intricate florals to gold accents. This tribute set is a beautiful example of Herend’s use of 24k gold to elevate its designs.  The set, sold exclusively at Scully & Scully, includes a tray, a teapot, two cups and saucers, two dessert plates, a creamer, and a sugar bowl. 

Price at time of publish: $5,950

  • Capacity: 6 ounces
  • Material: Porcelain
  • Dishwasher Safe: No

Best Floral: Vista Alegre Herbariae Tea Cup and Saucer Set

Vista Alegre Herbariae Tea Cup and Saucer Set

Wayfair

Pros: A unique floral design sets this tea set apart from others. 

Cons: This tea set only comes in sets of two.

The Portuguese art of porcelain crafting goes back generations, and this tea cup and saucer set comes from a porcelain manufacturer, Vista Alegre, founded in Ílhavo, Portugal, in 1824. The Herbariae line  depicts flowers (including local flora) as grayscale drawings, contrasting the daintier, colorful floral motifs often found on tea cups. The tea cups themselves come in shades of mint (the lotus flower), pale yellow (the dahlia), pale pink (the poppy), and black (the thistle). 

Price at time of publish: $154

  • Capacity: 6 ounces
  • Material: Porcelain 
  • Dishwasher Safe: Yes

Factors to Consider

Material

Bone china and other delicate porcelains are relatively durable under the right circumstances.  Extreme temperature changes or liquids heated to above boiling can be harmful. The best way to ensure that your treasured set doesn’t crack is to warm the cup by filling it with warm water as the tea steeps. That way, when the tea is poured, the cup is already up to a warmer temperature and won’t be shocked by the hot liquid. Heartier ceramic cups are less liable to crack, but be gentle whenever possible with them as well. Any tea cup or saucer with gold trim should never be heated in the microwave.

Storing

While bone china plates and tea sets are glazed and fired to resist damage, try not to store them stacked. They may grate against each other, causing tiny scratches in the glaze. Delicate cups or mugs should be allowed to dry fully before storing and not hung from a cup hook, which may weaken the handle.

Care and Cleaning

To ensure the longevity of a tea set, rinse soon after use to remove any residue, and never use rough or abrasive detergents or sponges. Most bone china or porcelain dishes are dishwasher safe, but stick to the gentle cycle and a lower water temperature. Be sure to section them far away from any metal cutlery or other items as they can cause scratches or chips.

Q+A

How do I remove tea stains from tea cups?

“The best way to remove stains at home is to use baking soda and a soft sponge and gently scrub inside and around the edges of the tea cup,” says Laura.

 How do I display tea cups?

For tabletop use, display tea cups “on a matching saucer with the handle at a three o’clock position, and a small teaspoon resting on the saucer,” says Laura. When not in use, consider displaying tea cups in a china cabinet, on open shelves or a hutch, or on a floating shelf (even dedicating a shelf to showing off your collection).  

How should I choose a tea set?

“This is completely a matter of personal preference,” says Laura. “I recommend considering the preferred material for the cup, be it bone china, porcelain, glass, clay, etc. Of course, price is often a factor when deciding which type of set to buy, as they can range in price from $20 to thousands of dollars.”  

What sort of tea is best for which pot or cup style?

“For white, herbal, and green, it's best to use thinner-walled glass or a porcelain pot so as not to burn the leaves. Also, you may want to consider a teapot with a wide opening to observe the expansion and color of the leaves, and therefore adjust the steeping time according to your preference. For black teas and oolongs, you can use unglazed ceramic, and depending on the size of the leaves, an infuser basket or sachet might be needed to catch the smaller pieces,” Laura says. 

Our Expertise

Alissa Fitzgerald is a chef, recipe developer, and food writer with over 15 years of experience in the food industry. For this piece, she interviewed Marco Laura, Food & Beverage Manager of the Baccarat Hotel, to find out what the pros look for in tea cups and saucers. She then used their insights, market research, and her own expertise to curate this list.

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