Nowadays, coffee has become a subculture. We all start the day with a cup of our favorite coffee, in a personalized mug, mixed with ice, alcohol, tea, creams, or a dessert.
A bit later, we meet our friends for a cup of coffee, and then look forward to the coffee break at work. In the evening, many of us enjoy a lighter variant of this amazing drink in front of the TV or while reading a book.
To put it simply, we adore coffee and cannot get enough of it. It seems that there is never a bad time for a cup of coffee!
However, did you know that people in the past enjoyed this beverage by sipping it from the saucer? Namely, in the not so distant past, all coffee cups were part of a two-piece set that consisted of a cup and a saucer.
Saucers were invented much earlier, but they became popular during the colonial America period.
Coffee was boiled and served extremely hot, so in order not to burn their mouth, the person being served the saucer and coffee cup would separate the two and pour small amounts of the beverage into the saucer plate. Drinking it from the saucer made it cool enough to drink immediately.
The method was practiced for tea as well.
It was commonly practiced in Russia and Scandinavia, and the Swedish had a tradition known as “dricka på bit” or “drink with a lump. “ They purposely overflowed their cups to sip from the saucer. They put a lump of sugar between their front teeth and drank the coffee through it.
Interestingly, according to the legend, when Thomas Jefferson came to the United States from France during the Constitutional Convention, he asked why the delegates had formed two houses of Congress.
“Why did you pour that tea into your saucer?” asked George Washington.
“To cool it,” replied Jefferson.
“Even so, we pour legislation into the senatorial saucer to cool it.” added Washington.
The practice continued into the 20th century, but it was considered less polite.
Nowadays, the elderly might remember or still use the method, but it is far less common than before.
The coffee is usually served with a saucer for reasons like convenience and neatness, and we usually use it to rest the spoon, to share the pastry with a friend at the coffee shop, to carry the cup, and catch drips.
Many of us don’t even get their coffee served with a saucer!
Yet, you might try it next time you have a chance, and your coffee might be even tastier!