There are many different types of cups and saucers, ranging from tea cups and saucers to espresso cups and saucers, and many different types in-between. While many people choose to drink their tea and coffee in mugs, it is still always a great idea to have a set of cups and saucers on hand for those special occasions. Unlike a mug set, a tea cup set has saucers that are placed underneath the cups. These are actually very practical, as they help keep any tea or coffee stains from spoiling your tablecloth and they catch any drips or spills very well. They are also to be used as a resting place for a spoon. So, as you can see saucers are actually quite practical!
The very first cups that were made resembled the Chinese tea cup. They were small and did not have handles. However, people had difficulty holding these cups thus they were soon fashioned with handles. Small saucers were also set underneath the cups. At first, when the very first saucers appeared, people mistakenly thought they were to be used to help cool the tea down so that it could be drunk more easily, thus they would pour a little tea from their cup into their saucer and drink from that! Of course, that is considered quite impolite these days.
When buying sets it is often a good idea to buy either an extra set to keep on hand, or to at least buy a couple of extra cups and saucers. This way, if any of your set breaks you have something to replace it with. It is not always easy to find replacement cups and saucers, especially if they were made some time ago–as even if you find the same design and pattern there are often small differences in color or even in the thickness of the porcelain.
Many people enjoy collecting cups and saucers. These do not have to be antique either; for example, some people love to collect hand painted cups, while others collect cups with animal designs on them, or any other design. It can be a lot of fun to start a cup collection and they are also very decorative items that look great sitting in kitchen dressers or on display behind a glass doored cabinet.