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July 6, 2011 4:49 PM   Subscribe

I like drinking out of teeny tiny cups. If drinking a beverage involves repeatedly pouring it out of a large container into a cup that holds like 5 sips, I'm into it. Please tell me every conceivable example of this.

There's something about the methodical nature of constantly refilling your cup that I love. Also, hot stuff tends to stay hotter when served this way, rather than in a big cup.

Examples: My favorite coffee shop serves a big french press full of tea with a little bowl-shaped cup about the size of an espresso cup. I enjoyed my friend's portable yerba mate setup, which was basically a little leather tea-containing bowl with a metal straw that you had to refill from a big ol' hot water container. Turkish coffee, with the tiny, tall, skinny coffee cup: awesome. And, sake! Yay, sake!

What else ya got? Give me a world map of tiny cup/huge storage vessel drinks.
posted by showbiz_liz to Food & Drink (37 answers total) 35 users marked this as a favorite
posted by J. Wilson at 4:53 PM on July 6, 2011

It sounds like you like the ritual more than the actual size. For that, I'd try a japanese tea ceremony.
posted by TheBones at 4:53 PM on July 6, 2011 [2 favorites]

Almost every time I go over to my (Japanese) Mom-in-law's house, she serves me beer with dinner. An ice-cold can of beer, served with a ridiculously tiny glass, a straight-sided cylindrical glass holding about 2 oz./50 ml. I like it, for non-specific reasons.
posted by planetkyoto at 4:57 PM on July 6, 2011

I used to drink whiskey this way...
posted by mazola at 5:00 PM on July 6, 2011

Turkish coffee, with the tiny, tall, skinny coffee cup: awesome. ... Give me a world map of tiny cup/huge storage vessel drinks.

It is not the norm to make Turkish/Greek coffee in a large storage vessel, however. Ideally, you boil it in a very small briki/cezve roughly the size of your cup. You can get larger pots, but that's generally for serving multiple people simultaneously (and, IMHO, it's not as good as just boiling up an individual-sized portion from a small pot). It's best drunk freshly boiled, anyway, rather than sitting in the pot and poured out when you want more.

Turkish tea, on the other hand, comes in two vessels of strong tea with hot water for diluting and is poured into small glass cups.

The other obvious example is shotglasses of strong liquor.
posted by deanc at 5:01 PM on July 6, 2011

posted by gyusan at 5:02 PM on July 6, 2011

melt chocolate (lots and pure is good) into milk, add a drop of cream, a bit of sugar maybe. keep this hot. this will be your next crack.
posted by ouke at 5:07 PM on July 6, 2011 [3 favorites]

posted by likeso at 5:10 PM on July 6, 2011

Kölsch, the beer characteristic of Cologne, is served in relatively small glasses (compared to the average beer glass). I think this is due to the smaller amount of carbonation in this beer compared to others, which would get flat by the time the drinker finished a larger glass.
posted by that possible maker of pork sausages at 5:14 PM on July 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

I like dark rums savored in tiny cups. I have a collection of tiny cups with different clays from Japan, grey, terracotta, white, black. So collect the cup types, too. Also, Oolong tea is the type for special blends savored in small cups, with different fermentation styles, very much like alcohol.
posted by effluvia at 5:16 PM on July 6, 2011

Kirschwasser (or other digestif) served with traditional cheese fondue. Tiny pieces of bread on tiny forks with tiny glasses of brandy: win-win!
posted by plinth at 5:21 PM on July 6, 2011

Akvavit, the anise-y drink produced in Scandinavia is often served in small glasses with very tall stems. Something like this.
posted by 2ghouls at 5:25 PM on July 6, 2011

passed hors d'oeuvres such as soup shooters
posted by Jason and Laszlo at 5:35 PM on July 6, 2011

In most Australian states you can buy a pony (5 oz, 140ml) of beer. Getting a pony glass and a jug to go with it (40 oz, 1140ml, a scant two pints) can be a pleasant way to spend an hour.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 5:45 PM on July 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

Snaps. Skål!
posted by Sys Rq at 5:46 PM on July 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

Our Brazilian office taught us how to make cafezinho.

Refills are probably not encouraged, as the stuff can be STRONG!
posted by xingcat at 5:49 PM on July 6, 2011

In morocco they serve delicious mint tea out of tiny cups. The ritual as I learned it is to pour it into the cups three times (I guess so the mint mixes in well). I bought a bunch of these cups as presents when I got back, they make beautiful, if a little oversized, shot glasses.
posted by boobjob at 6:10 PM on July 6, 2011

Some decidedly low-class examples:

Wendy's sells these little $1 keychains that purport to get you a free Frosty with every purchase. Of course, the Frosties are hilariously tiny. I'm not sure about refilling it, though.

You could also start toting soups or beverages in a thermos designed with a drinkable cap. Pour some of the contents into the lid, sip, repeat.

And there's always water bottles...
posted by Rhaomi at 6:35 PM on July 6, 2011 [2 favorites]

For tiny cups and not-so-large vessels, I would recommend sake! You can refill the carafe, and then refill the cups. Hot or cold is up to you.
posted by Gneisskate at 6:45 PM on July 6, 2011

In Taiwan but also Hong Kong there are a lot of beer halls where scantily-costumed women hired by beer companies will sell your table bottles which are then poured into the tiny glasses that planetkyoto described. I'll agree with the OP that it's strangely enjoyable drinking out of small cups, plus it makes it much more practical to gan bei!
posted by villanelles at dawn at 6:50 PM on July 6, 2011

Jello shots?
posted by en forme de poire at 7:16 PM on July 6, 2011

Chinese gong-fu tea sets! They're the espresso of tea. My gf got me one and it's so cute. The pot is like 4 oz and the cups probably less than half an oz each.
posted by Earl the Polliwog at 7:17 PM on July 6, 2011 [2 favorites]

I've had Baijiu in an incredibly tiny glass.
posted by Confess, Fletch at 7:23 PM on July 6, 2011

Drinking beer in Brazil often involves a big bottle and several small cups. Not quite five sips small, but close.
posted by umbú at 7:26 PM on July 6, 2011

When I was particularly upset as a child, I used to get a gallon jug of milk and a shot glass and drink this way.
posted by yeolcoatl at 7:50 PM on July 6, 2011 [23 favorites]

When I was particularly upset as a child, I used to get a gallon jug of milk and a shot glass and drink this way.

That is too terrific for words. I hope you were wearing spurs while doing this.
posted by villanelles at dawn at 7:52 PM on July 6, 2011 [12 favorites]

When I stayed in the Vietnam countryside, refrigeration space was limited. So things like beer and soda never got refrigerated. The solution was to take a couple small metal tumblers (about the size of a whiskey glass), fill them about 80% full of water and freeze them. Crack open a warm beer, pour a bit on top of the ice, drink a few sips of cold(ish) beer, repeat.
posted by gnutron at 7:56 PM on July 6, 2011 [2 favorites]

You need to move to Korea. Or at least visit.

When I was there, every single restaurant we were taken to had three bottles on the table: soju, beer and pop (usually 7-up). Everyone had at their place setting a small cup, like a diner juice cup for the beer or pop and essentially a shot glass for the soju (the Korean analogue of sake). After special dinners "chinese wine" would come outwith even teenier ceramic cups, little bigger than thimbles really, bu that was all t the good as you were expected to loudly and drunkenly toast each other with the 50% brandy.

So you definitely need to see Korea. Not only do they have teeny tiny cups for everything, they insist on teeny-tiny side dishes with every single meal as well. Six is considered a barely politie minimum, someplaces in the south don't feel comfortable without at least twelve little side dish plates.
posted by bonehead at 7:57 PM on July 6, 2011

You might enjoy an Ethiopian coffee ceremony.
posted by bluedaisy at 8:22 PM on July 6, 2011 [1 favorite]

Tea brewed in a Gaiwan. Usually they're a bit smaller than gong fu pots, but the idea is the same. The tiny cups are used with both methods - they're usually about 1-2oz.

The tea is brewed in this way (it needs to be a good oolong or puerh to make many infusions): a lot of leaf is added to the gaiwan - depending on how dense the leaves are, it may be from about 1/4 volume to full volume; a bit of hot water is poured over then discarded, then you make a number of infusions, timing of which can vary widely based on tea and leaf amount, but for example it might be 5 seconds, 10, 20, 40, 1m, 1.5m, 3m, 5m, 10m, 30m for the first and subsequent infusions.

Number of infusions can also vary widely based the type of tea. I usually do about 5-9, but it can be as many as 20 or more. More expensive and high quality teas will yield more infusions.

Alternatively you can just make a large pot of black or oolong or darjeeling tea and strain it into a second pot and then keep pouring it into a tiny cup and drinking 1-2 oz at a time. I happen to share your love of drinking from tiny cups and I often do just that.

A good place to get oolongs and puerhs and gaiwans (their gongfu pots are unfortunately very expensive) is HouDe.

Here's a really cool gongfu clay small cup they sell (click on photo to see 3 high res views):

duan ni teacup

They don't have the type of tiny porcelain cup I bought at some other store I can't remember, but this one from o-cha is nice although on the expensive side, it's 1.35 oz:

porcelain cup
posted by rainy at 8:36 PM on July 6, 2011 [4 favorites]

How about these tiny, 2" high espresso cups from Ikea? Every time I pass them I think they're cute (and inexpensive at $3 each, including tiny saucer).
posted by citystalk at 8:55 PM on July 6, 2011

There are a huge range of tea and coffee options, I'd take a visit to my local tea specialty store. I can spend hours browsing around mine at all the little cups and pots.

I've had hot chocolate, made with real chocolate and cream served in a tiny little pouring jug that sat over a burner to keep it liquid and then you poured the lovely gooey goodness into tiny little cups to sip. It was very rich so it was the best way to drink it.
posted by wwax at 8:59 PM on July 6, 2011

I have a vacuum bottle from mec that came with a tiny cup for a lid. There is nothing quite as awesome as skiing into the back country, finding a nice rock with a view of the mountains and drinking the contents in 6 or 7 tiny servings, each as hot as the first... Damn I want some tea now...
posted by Pink Fuzzy Bunny at 9:50 PM on July 6, 2011

When I was little I distinctly remember having tiny plastic cups from church and playing "communion" with my cousins.
posted by IndigoRain at 11:04 PM on July 6, 2011

Also, not all of them are functional, but I have over 100 miniature tea sets. You can actually use some of them.
posted by IndigoRain at 11:06 PM on July 6, 2011

Seconding deanc about Turkish tea cups - "tulip" shaped. They're glass, sort of hourglass-shaped, and you're meant to hold them by the top rim only.

Also, if you don't know this term it will bring you delights: demitasse. It's the name for mini-coffee cups. You can get ornately decorated china sets. Look in thrift stores and you can build a collection of miscellaneous demitasse cups to have at home.
posted by LobsterMitten at 11:12 PM on July 6, 2011

This is how our year-old daughter drinks water at every meal. We set her up with a little ceramic pitcher full of water and one of these little two-ounce glasses. Maybe when she's older she'll follow in yeolcoatl's footsteps!

See also this family's water cooler setup with the same tiny glasses.
posted by redfoxtail at 10:52 AM on July 7, 2011 [1 favorite]

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