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The history of coffee cups

Views: 110     Author: Site Editor     Publish Time: 2023-01-10      Origin: Site


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Coffee was first widely used by doctors in Arab countries as a medicine, and then gradually evolved into a functional drink and was popularized. The utensils recorded in historical data between 1200 and 1300 are mainly pottery bowls and pottery dishes.

In the 17th century, coffee drinking habits spread from Arabia to Europe. During this period, Turkish-style ceramic coffee cups were widely used. Subsequently, porcelain cups spread from China and Japan to West Asia and then to Europe became popular. Porcelain cups in this period were mainly tea cups, without handles, and needed to be used on a deep-shaped porcelain cup. Later popular styles were divided into: the edge of the porcelain cup protruding upward is called "European", and the flat ones are called "American". 

The reason why the deep shape with the edge of the porcelain cup protruding upward is called "European" is because at the beginning, when Europe replaced the tea cup (with the supporting tea cup) from drinking tea to drinking coffee, the hot coffee was poured into it. Cool down quickly in the porcelain cup, and then drink directly with the edge of the porcelain cup. Of course, at this time, the French press, best coffee maker or thermos flask were not invented. People can only use simple tools to make coffee.

The handle on the coffee cup evolved into a familiar style, and the porcelain cup became a shallow saucer, which began in the late 18th century. At the end of the 18th century, with the increasing popularity of coffee in European aristocratic society and the development of European porcelain-making technology (especially the MEISSEN company mentioned below), customized styles began to increase. At first, these nobles proposed to the porcelain company to make custom mugs (with handles), and gradually formed an independent style different from tea cups. Of course, because coffee cup with handles is more convenient to use, there are more cups with handles for scented tea and black tea in Europe.

coffee cup

The introduction history of porcelain coffee cups (substitution of tea cups) in West Asia and Europe is briefly described as follows.

At the end of the Ming Dynasty and the beginning of the Qing Dynasty, due to civil wars and turmoil, the export of porcelain in Jingdezhen was suspended. In 1657, the trade between the Netherlands and China was completely terminated, and Europe began to seek ceramic vessels from China to Japan via the Korean Peninsula. In 1616, Imari-yaki porcelain in Arita-cho, Saga Prefecture, Japan became popular, especially the famous Kakiemon (formerly known as Saemon Saemon, 1596-1666. Chinese glazed enamel was taught by Chinese porcelain craftsmen living in Nagasaki) Applied to ceramic kiln technology) the original persimmon red (vermilion red) color drawing pattern makes the development of porcelain technology enter a new stage. These substitutes for Chinese-made porcelain are also very popular in Europe.

European countries followed the example of Jingdezhen in China and Imari in Japan to make porcelain, but they failed due to the difference in clay and the immature firing technology of high temperature. In 1709, Germany's MEISSEN succeeded in imitating Kakiemon. The pattern painting was basically oriental at first, and then developed its own design style. Soon after, glass coffee cups were also used.

Since then, MEISSEN's technology has spread to European countries such as the United Kingdom, France, and the Netherlands, and brand companies for making porcelain have been established in these countries. At the end of the 18th century, a modern coffee cup was gradually formed.

After the introduction of Western coffee culture in Japan, based on the coffee cup styles popular in Europe, a variety of low-temperature ceramic coffee cups were produced. In this period, the tools for making coffee are also more advanced, such as, commercial coffee machines known as best French press.


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