Friday, February 8, 2013

Small Celebrations - A Wonderful Invention

We're celebrating the small things weekly. This week I'm celebrating a wonderful invention that has saved the world a lot of pain. What is is? Well, let's not get ahead of ourselves.

We have, here, a photo of tea cups, as the Chinese used them: They certainly are pretty - I love the color, but in one way you could say that they're lacking. Still, this is the shape of teacups over the course of millennia. Even in eighteenth century England, when tea really took off. Here's a depiction, by Hogarth, of a family in which two members are enjoying a cuppa. Looks just a little awkward, doesn't it?
It is awkward. I've burned my fingers, slopped hot beverages on my lap, scowled at a high level of nearly boiling water and shaken my head.
Awkwardness doesn't count for much if you are dealing with a fad, which Tea has always been, not that I'm complaining. I drink a cup or two in the morning. Strong, hot, laced with milk. I love the stuff.
But, you see, I am the beneficiary - along with most tea and coffee and hot beverage drinkers - of an invention that revolutionized the drinking of hot things. The Cup Handle. the invention that is this week's small wonder. Here is a sample in all its European glory (though I did see samples produced by the Chinese):
Look at it. It's elegant, balanced, decorative - and practical. You won't be putting those burned fingers in your mouth and wincing. I never realized how wonderful this was until I thought about it (and went to a top-notch Vietnamese restaurant that had the old style cups, ending up with my fingers in my mouth, eyeing the elegant white porcelain cups with raised eyebrows). Yes, they're a great invention, and they are this week's small triumph.



23 comments:

  1. That is definitively an example of enjoying the small things. Good, Diane. I like tea too by the way. Really HOT. :)

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  2. Thank you, Al! Hot is the way to go!

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  3. I have to admit, teacups are very nice indeed! :)

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    1. Even better when they are filled with tea!

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  4. Thank goodness we have cup handles! Small but immensely important.

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  5. Such an interesting post. Yes, thank goodness for the cup handle.

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  6. Teacups (and Tea!) are a GREAT thing to celebrate!

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  7. I'm sending you all pots of steaming hot cyber tea fixed just the way you like it! (That is the best thing about cyber tea: Endless variety...)

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  8. Nice to meet you through the Celebrate! blog hop. Cups of tea are what get me through the day!

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  9. Ahhh. Again I have found a bit of civilization in this brusque cyberworld in which we work our craft. I shall go have a cup of Earl Grey now, to compliment this fine post.
    ~Just Jill

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  10. A great celebration of something we so often take for granted! [g]

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    1. thanks for stopping by - have a cuppa on me!

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  11. We've come a long way, baby - with tea cup advancement and dis-advancements? Tea is my daily hydrator.

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    1. Thanks, Nancy! I'm on my second cup this morning. Thanks for visiting!

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  12. Diana,
    You are not only a kindred writing-spirit, but I am totally with you when it comes to enjoying a restorative cup of fine tea. While a mug might be more practical in front of the computer (where most of us spend a lot of time), I treasure a porcelain cup and saucer sitting in front of the fire--reading.
    Thanks for the beautiful reminder of the small enjoyments.

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  13. Cup handles? I think we take them for granted. Thanks for the reminder of how important they are!
    My tea of choice is rooibos... refreshing and healthy... I'm off to have a cuppa now, and I'll definitely be reflecting on the value of the tea cup handle while I enjoy...

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    1. Rooibos - It's been a while. I must brew some - and leave my handle-less cups to one side.

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  14. What a fun post! I admit I take cup handles for granted, but thinking about drinking tea or coffee without them makes me realize that is a big mistake. I also love tea and you've made me want to go have some right now. Nice to meet you! :)

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  15. Grab a to-go cup and head on over to the nut-tree...
    I nominated you for a VERY SPECIAL award.
    ~Just Jill

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  16. I so know what you're talking about. I live in Egypt, and here they drink tea in small glasses. So not only do you have no handle to hold onto, but since glass conducts heat more than porcelain, you burn your fingers. What's wrong with them? I made my Egyptian hubby switch to mugs. :-)

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  17. I imagine he likes mugs now. Though...those little glass cups have a certain appeal (perhaps I should purchase asbestos fingertips...)

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