# How is the volume of a 6 oz tea cup measured?October 26, 2006 2:45 PM   Subscribe

How are the volumes of (tea) cups commonly measured? For instance, does a “6 oz” tea cup hold 6 oz of liquid when filled to a normal level, or must it be filled to the brim to reach 6 oz?

I’m thinking about getting some tea cups like these. Like the premise, those are “6 oz” cups; however, in the photograph on that page, is the tea shown at about the 6 oz level or would the cup have to be filled to the brim to hold 6 oz?

On a related note, is 6 oz a respectable volume for a cup of tea? I suppose what I'm looking for is roughly “standard mug size” (?) — an amount that would be suitable for, say, pouring oneself to accompany reading the paper on a Sunday morning. And, in case 6 oz is deemed too small, I see that Adagio also offers 10 oz tea cups (unless that would be too big?). Then again, I’m not ruling out other retailers; I like the look of transparent tea cups, but I’m open to other shops if you have someone else to recommend.

PS For our metric-system friends:
• 6 oz = 177 ml
• 10 oz = 295 ml
posted by Handcoding to Food & Drink (7 answers total)

Its impossible to tell the volume of that tea cup by the photo without dimensions. I'd like to point out that 6oz. is half the volume of a can of pop / beer - an amount less than the optimal amount of warm morning beverage for me.

Might I suggest you pick up a small tea pot to steep your tea in? Then you can continually refill your cup until satisfied - and the tea stays warm for longer. Maybe something like this is to your liking and would match a set of those cups?
posted by dendrite at 2:59 PM on October 26, 2006

8 oz is one standard measuring cup sized cup. 6 oz is small for tea. A normal coffee mug with about 1/2" of room at the top is 10 oz.

Go for the 10 oz cup.
posted by aubilenon at 2:59 PM on October 26, 2006

A standard cup is 250ml, as far as I've ever seen, which is, I guess, 9 oz? Go for the 10s.
posted by blacklite at 4:01 PM on October 26, 2006

For one tea bag, 4-8 oz is ideal. 8 oz might be considered a true US cup, but 4-6 ounces is the standard measurement for coffees and teas. If you're using loose tea, obviously the amount of tea used and size of mug are both variable, so YMMV.

Mugs can be any size. aubilenon mentions that a normal coffee mug is 10 oz. My coffee mug, which is pretty standard by itself, is 16 oz, WAY too big for one tea bag. But I agree that purchasing 10 oz mugs is a good balance of big and small. It also prevents you from getting hopped up on too much caffeine by limiting your intake.

Tea can be oversteeped, understeeped, and diluted significantly. The amount of time you use to steep is up to you, but remember that significant exposure to water turns good tea into bitter tea. Some people tell you that that's the only way to get the good flavor. That's BS. That "flavor" is oversteeped, bitter tea that people have gotten used to calling "good".

While glass mugs are very nice to look at, be aware that they get cold VERY quickly. Glass is a terrible insulator (especially the cheap shit they use for inexpensive mugs) and forces you to chug your tea much more quickly, lest it get too cold.

I've always been a fan of Japanese style tea glasses and a matching teapot because style is, IMHO, just as important as substance with the practice of drinking tea. It's a cleansing feeling,that can have all sorts of accompanying toys that go along with the ritual, if you care to indulge in that sort of thing.
posted by SeizeTheDay at 5:41 PM on October 26, 2006

My 24-oz coke tumblers hold 28 ounces of liquid (to the brim). I've noticed before that eight-ounce cups generally hold a little more than that, as well.

On the other hand, the paper/plastic cups I serve drinks in at work are measured in sizes to the brim--presumably because they're expected to have lids and thus to be filled to the top. Beer mugs tended to hold twelve ounces plus a half-inch of foam at my previous employer. Based on experience, I'd say that the stated volume measurement of a cup has more to do with the manufacturer's expectations of how the cup will be used than with a set standard.
posted by Cricket at 6:01 PM on October 26, 2006

For one tea bag, 4-8 oz is ideal. 8 oz might be considered a true US cup, but 4-6 ounces is the standard measurement for coffees and teas. If you're using loose tea, obviously the amount of tea used and size of mug are both variable, so YMMV.

@SeizeTheDay: As it turns out, I am using loose tea. All the same, thanks for your insight there.

@aubilenon & @blacklite: It looks like I'll be getting the 10oz cups, then -- I've marked your answers as "best" accordingly :).
posted by Handcoding at 10:03 PM on October 26, 2006

I did an experiment with some co-workers at a restaraunt measuring all of our glasses and mugs and found that everything that we carried was slightly larger then what was specified to give room for a rim, by about 1 or 2 ounces, generally leaving 3/4 of an inch from the brim of the glass to the top of the liquid.

These are the things we do in that middle part of the day when noone comes to eat.
posted by trishthedish at 11:44 AM on October 27, 2006

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