If you're part of the 84% of the British population that enjoys tea, there's a good chance you've considered purchasing a tea set. Not only do they transform afternoon tea into something of a Bridgerton-style event, but tea sets are also visually appealing and can make a terrific gift set! With 100 million cups of tea being consumed daily in the UK, you can rest assured that it will get plenty of use!
You may be wondering where to start looking for your new teapot set, as they come in all shapes and sizes. From traditional and Japanese tea sets to vintage bone China sets. Luckily, our buying guide runs through everything, from style preferences to practical considerations. We'll even count down our top ten, including tea sets from Amazon, John Lewis, and Japan Centre, for further inspiration. Put the kettle on and get reading!
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We've been drinking tea since the 17th century in Britain. If you include yourself as part of a tradition that spans over three hundred years, it makes sense to opt for a tea set with a vintage style. Floral patterns, subdued colours and gold edging have stood the test of time and are all commonly found on tea sets with traditional designs.
However, maybe tradition isn't for you. Perhaps you'd rather buck the trend with a tea set that looks just as contemporary as your home. Modern tea sets utilise bright, vivid colours and often feature unique illustrations and embellishments. If the tea set is supposed to be the centrepiece of the afternoon tea ceremony, it makes sense to go with one that'll catch the eyes of your guests!
The term 'tea set' can be a little vague as it doesn't usually indicate how many people it's for or what types of utensils are included. That said, all tea sets have cups, and most include saucers, but you can also find ones that contain extra items such as spoons, milk jugs, and sugar bowls.
Consider how useful these extras will be to you. Those who love a spoonful of sugar will appreciate a sugar bowl far more than those who prefer their tea sugar-free, but every tea drinker can appreciate a teaspoon. Or perhaps practicality isn't a concern for you, and you simply want your tea set to be as visually impressive as possible. In this case, the more utensils, the better!
Looking for a brew that'll 'wow' your guests? Take a look at the Best English Teas.
Tea sets can be made from different materials, and though you might not be able to tell at first glance, there's enough of a difference between them that a tea set made from one material can look considerably different to one made from another. If the visual effect of your tea set is important to you, it's worth considering the material before buying.
The two most commonly used materials are porcelain and china. Bone china and fine bone china have been used to make tea sets for hundreds of years, as they're lightweight materials that remain strong and resistant to chipping. Bone china is snow white, while fine bone china possesses slightly warmer hues.
The other most commonly used material is porcelain. Porcelain is a hard, non-porous material with a bright, white appearance. However, porcelain is heavier than china and more brittle, meaning it's easily chipped. Also, don't be confused by the material 'ceramic', as this is actually a broad term that encapsulates both porcelain and china.
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Ceramic Afternoon Tea Set
A Full 6-Piece Tea Set for a Reasonable Price, Complete With a Fancy Metal Stand
Pink Rabbit Ceramic Teapot and Mug Set
An Elegant, Hand-Painted and Colourful Feast for the Eyes
Creatures of Curiosity 22-Carat Gold Band Set
A Pretty Design Featuring a 22-Carat Gold Rim for a Fair Price
British Royal Afternoon Tea Set
An Ornate Tea Set That’s Fit for a Queen and Includes 5 Cups and Utensils
Butterfly Bloom Cup and Saucer Set
A Charming Cup and Saucer From a British Institution With a Hand-Printed Design
Grandpa Cup and Saucer Tea Set
A Pricey Set of Colourful Tea Cups That Combines Tradition With Playfulness
Ceramic Polka Dot Tea Set
Hold Your Own Tea Ceremony With This Traditional Japanese Set
Portable Japanese Tea Set
A Portable Japanese Tea Set for Four People That’s Perfect for Picnics
Rainbow Tea Set
A Colourful Tea Set Embellished With Illustrations That’s Guaranteed to Raise a Smile
Chelsea Collection Teapot & Tea Cup Set
A Bright and Luxurious Tea Set With a Touch of Traditional Elegance
If you're looking for a decently-sized tea set that looks classy while remaining reasonably priced, this is the one for you. As well as a teapot, it contains enough cups, dishes and spoons for six people.
The cups are made of porcelain, and although they're plain white, the gold rim gives them enough edge to prevent them from looking dull. The set also comes with a metal stand, making it incredibly easy to keep it nice and organised.
We love this pink ceramic set so much that we think we'd enjoy looking at it just as much as drinking from it! As well as that cheerful colour scheme, it also includes a series of understated, handpainted rabbit motifs.
Afternoon tea is about appearances just as much as it's about drinking tea, and this set is sure to create the perfect centrepiece - providing you don't mind pink, that is! To top it all off, it also comes at an incredibly reasonable price.
Founded in 1770, Spode has produced fine ceramics for over 250 years. This cup and saucer set forms part of their 'creatures of curiosity' range. It's decorated with a colourful assortment of flowers and insect life.
This cup and saucer set comes at quite a reasonable price compared to similar offerings, especially because it features 22-carat gold embellishments. It even comes in a pretty box, making it perfect for gifting.
Afternoon tea has been an integral part of British culture for centuries, and if you wish to celebrate our heritage, look no further than this elegant set, which looks like it might have jumped straight out of the pages of a Jane Austen novel.
Befitting its regal appearance, it's quite a pricey tea set, but it comes with 6 cups and plenty of utensils, such as a sugar bowl and milk jar. Its opulent appearance will ensure an afternoon tea that your guests will never forget!
If teaware is your passion, you've likely heard of Wedgwood. Founded in 1759 by Josiah Wedgwood I, Wedgwood has produced fine pottery in England for over two and a half centuries. That's surely a sign of top craftmanship!
This cup and saucer set is a fine example of Wedgwood's craft. It's made from fine bone china and features a beautiful hand-printed design. It's a high price to pay for a single cup and saucer, but this is an item to treasure as well as drink from!
Dutch designers Pols Potten are all about injecting playfulness into their homeware. This philosophy is especially apparent in this tea set, which combines an eclectic assortment of colours with a vintage style.
Pols Potten are expert designers, and this set contains luxurious materials such as glazed porcelain and real gold. This means a hefty price tag, but this is the one to pick if you want a tea set that's quite unlike any other.
At first glance, this Japanese tea set doesn't look too different from a traditional English one. The crucial difference is that its cups are handleless, while its pot includes a side handle and a detachable strainer.
It's perfect for Japanese tea ceremonies, but its side handle and tea strainer also make it practical enough for everyday use. It's a little expensive, but it'd make the perfect gift for a lover of green tea or a fan of Japanese culture.
This adorable little tea set takes everything you'd find in a traditional Japanese tea set and translates it into a portable version that you can take on the road. It includes a teapot, four cups, a canister, a towel, a tea pod, and a travel bag.
Naturally, it's a fantastic choice if green tea is your thing, but its portability and beautiful blossom tree design make it perfect for many types of hot beverages. Be aware, however, that these teacups don't have handles, so they may not be for you if you're looking for something regal!
Afternoon tea is traditionally about elegance and etiquette, so this fun set offers a refreshing change. It features an assortment of patterns, designs and colours, all of which resemble children's illustrations.
It's a little on the pricey side, and the unsophisticated design scheme may not be for everyone, but what is afternoon tea for if not to make you happy? There's no doubt that this tea set will raise a smile!
This tea set from luxurious lifestyle brand, Sara Miller, takes traditional designs and updates them for the modern-day. The elegance is still there in the ornate designs and the touches of 22-carat gold, but the bold colours are bang up to date.
There's no doubt this is an expensive tea set - especially since you only get a teapot, two cups and two saucers - but the fine china material is a pleasure to hold and a joy to behold. This is a set to treasure.
No. 1：ruxinggu｜Ceramic Afternoon Tea Set
No. 2：Japan Centre｜Pink Rabbit Ceramic Teapot and Mug Set
No. 3：Spode｜Creatures of Curiosity 22-Carat Gold Band Set
No. 4：fanquare｜British Royal Afternoon Tea Set
No. 5：Wedgwood｜Butterfly Bloom Cup and Saucer Set
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