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What are Demitasse Spoons?

By Y. Chen
Updated May 16, 2024
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Demitasse spoons are a type of flatware typically used in European countries and the United States. Tea or coffee drinkers often use them in conjunction with the teacup and saucer. These dainty and delicate little spoons measure approximately 3 to 4 inches (7.62 to 10.16 cm) and are used to stir sugar, milk, or cream into a hot beverage. Afterward, they can be set to rest in the saucer or used to eat a dessert like custard or sorbet.

These little spoons are essential for the traditional practice of drinking coffee, cappuccino, tea, chai and other hot drinks. Appropriately, demitasse means "half cup" in French and Italian, and is defined in American English as a small cup of strong black coffee or espresso. Thus demitasse spoons are often found in the home and at restaurants that serve hot drinks.

Demitasse spoons are always made of a type of metal. They often come in highly polished silver, gold, or stainless steel. While the convex end is the same for most spoons, the handles are often varied, and usually are ornate. Frillier ones may feature a floral pattern, an interesting handle shape, or have a small object melded to the end. However, they also come in plain styles for a more low-key look. Rare editions of demitasse spoons, namely imported and vintage ones, can be found if one scours hard enough for them. Therefore because of the assortment of styles, polish, and type of metal, these spoons are considered collectible items, and may be bought for collectible rather than practical purposes.

In addition, people buy the spoons as souvenirs, as home decor elements, or as luxurious gifts for special occasions. When bought for regular use, they come individually, in a set, as part of a flatware collection, or in a set with matching teacups and saucers.

HomeQuestionsAnswered is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Discussion Comments
By anon201325 — On Jul 30, 2011

@afterall: i can't figure out why using a demitasse spoon is nice for yogurt, ice cream, or any food where you can use a spoon.

By lightning88 — On Aug 30, 2010

I would warn people not to get stuck on the idea of silver demitasse spoons when choosing flatware. Sometimes, with the right cup and saucer set, gold demitasse spoons can look just as good, if not better.

So branch out people -- not all silverware has to be silver!

By TunaLine — On Aug 30, 2010

Is a coffee spoon the same thing as a demitasse spoon? A cousin of mine just put coffee spoons on her wedding gift registry, and for the life of me I can't figure out what they are.

Help please!

By rallenwriter — On Aug 30, 2010

My grandmother was crazy about her antique silver demitasse spoons, she always kept those things in sterling condition.

However, she would always let us use those sterling silver demitasse spoons with her espresso cups for out little girls' tea parties -- they were the perfect size form my cousin and my little hands; we just had to make sure they were clean afterward.

Very nice article, brought back a lot of good memories.

Thanks.

By afterall — On Jul 19, 2010

Some antique demitasse spoons can be worth a great deal if kept in good condition. They also make nice souvenirs and heirlooms, as they have a practical purpose in addition to a decorative one. They’re also nice to use for eating yogurt, ice cream, or any food that might be eaten more slowly or in a smaller bowl or container.

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