Coffee cups

In 1967 my uncle was coming to visit. He had immigrated to USA as a young man. Now he, and his wife, were coming to see us, forty two years later. 42!!!

Me, my mum and my other uncle lived in the same house … there were two apartments, and they were going to stay at our place. My mum was all excited about this upcoming visit. Bear in mind that this was 1967. There was no Internet and phone calls back then were extremely expensive! There had not been much contact over all these years. USA felt much farther away than it does today.

My mum was a bit of a neat freak. The Big House Cleaning started long before their expected arrival. Every closet was emptied and washed down, windows were cleaned … the whole house was immaculate. Not only was she a neat freak, she also had a thing for glass ware and dishes … all kinds of designer glass art and stuff like that. So … in order to ‘impress’ them, or whatever the reason was … I wouldn’t know because I was only twelve … she bought a whole bunch of new coffee cups. Twelve of them, to be exact.

coffee cup

They were Royal Copenhagen and she made a very big deal about these cups. They were small! I mean, really small — like espresso cups — and extremely expensive. They were all put away in a special cupboard — awaiting the big visit from the States šŸ™‚

Eventually they arrived, the cups came out … my uncle and his wife never made any comment about them but they had a lot of coffee. At one point during this stay, they took us out for supper in a restaurant. When we ordered, and the waitress asked what they wanted to drink with their food, they both said coffee. I heard my aunt asking the girl if they possibly could have their coffee in tea cups or mugs or something…

Not until then did it dawn on both my mum and I, that the coffee culture was somewhat different in North America. Well … not so much different nowadays, and not really then either — nobody drank coffee from such small cups in Sweden (mocha cups, they were called).

We often laughed about it afterwards, the cups were put back in the cupboard and never came out again, from what I can remember.

In 1979 my mum and I went to see my uncle and aunt, by then they were retired and living in Florida. We drank coffee from big mugs šŸ™‚

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18 thoughts on “Coffee cups”

  1. Good morning Rebby: What a lovely blog for a snowy Sunday morning!! That cup & saucer are lovely….Royal Copenhagen one of my favorite makes also. My Mother had 'special" dishes & cups also for relatives/ company.
    I am not so organized; altho' I keep the sunflower mugs for comapny. I have my "coffee" mugs & my TEA mug which has its own lid. Funny how we have our little ways of doing things, isn' t it??
    Hope the weather setled down there. Lightly snowing here; has been on & off all weekend….pretty to look at if nothing else……:)

    1. Thanks Sherriellen! Yeah, we all have our little ways and hang-ups. I have favourite mugs now, and back home I had a set of porcelain set aside for company. The weather is calm … it's just a gray, overcast Sunday.

  2. I'm chuckling here…How typical Swedish to want to have just the right thing to put out for your guests. I had the reverse happen here when an older Swedish couple visited me and the woman refused to drink coffee from our American mugs. Fortunately, I had some china cups for her to drink from. I love the cup though, so pretty…I used to collect them, mocha cups, I had forgotten that word, and I have a whole lot of them now, but no one to drink from them. Have a great Sunday.

    1. Louise,
      That's a pity that all the cups were broken. These are very thin too … Yes, I really loved my uncle. 1979 was the last time I saw him. They're all gone.

  3. I love this story! I collected beautiful tea cups until I ran out of space. I too have a thing for pretty glass ware and cups. Every now and then I get one out and have my tea in it. Sometimes it just perks me up.

    1. Suz,
      Good to see you! šŸ™‚
      I have a thing for that too, but it isn't as bad as it used to, or as bad as my mum had it. I've bought quite a few, different mugs since I came here. I have one special favourite that I bring out now and then.

  4. I love your story about your mum and the coffee cups! Cleaning the house from top to bottom is just typical of how people were back then – everything had to be spic and span for the important visitors! Not such a bad thing.
    Love the cups by the way!

    1. Barb,
      No, it wasn't such a bad thing — at least it got done, and thoroughly! Imagine the cleaning that took place before we went on that trip to Florida … that was her first time abroad! Will write about that too, some time.

      Yeah, they are cute, little cups šŸ™‚

  5. Mugs are fine if you're thirsty, I suppose.
    But I always loved Alice in Wonderland and tea parties and little things of all kinds (miniature rooms, doll houses) — and tiny cups!
    This Royal Copenhagen pattern is one of my all time favorites, I loved seeing it in the post.

    1. Judith,
      It was my Mum's favourite pattern too … Had I been collecting porcelain it would have been this: LINK.

      I drink my coffee from mugs, but I do find that it tastes better drinking it from a really thin cup. It could all be in my head though LOL

  6. I love this story — what a sweet, funny memory. And I love the china pattern, it reminds me a bit of my mum's set of Old Willow. I'm a "coffee in mugs, tea in china cups" kind of person, although I've recently discovered I prefer espresso to the relatively tasteless drip coffee served in most places here. And I sometimes use my souvenir demi-tasse cup from Paris for my version of café créme — I suspect it's probably the same size as your mocha cup — it seems the perfect size when the coffee is really strong!

    1. I like espresso too! When I first came here I had a hard time finding a coffee that I liked. The watered down coffee served here is rather … 'bleak' compared to what I was brought up on šŸ™‚ Now I buy the black Arabica stuff in the Super-store, and am very happy with that.

      I really like tea and I don't know why I almost never drink it?! Force of habit, I guess..

  7. I remember my last trip to Sweden. I got hot tea in a mug and was never offered a refill. but coffee came in a bit smaller cups with refills. Love the beautiful cup! I have a set of small cups made by a local artist. No idea what they are called. I used them sometimes, just for me.

    1. Hej Julie,
      I think tea in mugs has been around longer than coffee in mugs. Amongst younger people in Sweden nowadays, I think coffee in cups is becoming more and more rare. We have coffee cups here, in the same set as the dish ware with ducks on them, but we've used them maybe once..

  8. I love Coffee :-D…Im more of a Cold Coffee kinda guy & thats why You'll see me ofter at Cafe Coffee Day šŸ˜€ This is a nice piece of article & I must say that you have a very nice website going on here… Will keep visiting for new articles šŸ™‚

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