From Soup To Dessert: How To Pick The Right Spoon

From Soup To Dessert: How To Pick The Right Spoon

Apr 22, 2024Anita MacKenzie

Spoon: a utensil with a small shallow bowl and a handle that is used especially in eating and cooking.

As long as we human beings have been eating, there’s been a need for some sort of tool to scoop up the food and put it into our hungry mouths! Our hands may have been all we had to use at first, but that was probably very messy and not the cleanest option. It’s easy to see that someone clever soon took a shallow bowl and attached a handle to it to form a spoon.

How did the table spoons of today get their name?

The early spoons, which appeared in the Paleolithic period, were made using seashells, which were often attached to sticks or bones as handles. The word “spoon” originates from the Latin and Greek “cochlea” or snail shell. Table spoons were made out of horns, bone, wood…whatever could be bowl-shaped. Metal spoons came about during the Industrial revolution, and since the early 1970s, most of our eating utensils have been made of stainless steel.  

What are the different types of spoons?

There are many different types of spoons, each designed for a unique purpose. The types of spoons you’ll see in your dinner place settings will vary, depending on whether it’s an elaborate affair, a typical weekday meal, and, most importantly, what kind of food is being served.

The most often used types are spoons:

Table spoon. A standard, multipurpose spoon, table spoons have become a customary addition to the 5-piece flatware setting.

Soup spoon. Generally smaller than a table spoon, but with a deeper, rounder bowl.

Tea spoon or dessert spoon. Tea spoons, coffee spoons, or demitasse spoons come in various sizes, often depending on the size of the cup.

Dessert spoon. These spoons are typically smaller in size than tea spoons.

Sugar spoon. Used for scooping and serving refined sugar, these spoons have a deeper bowl than tea spoons. Sometimes called shell spoons, sugar spoons are often molded into the shape of a seashell. Our sugar spoons have a nice round bowl and are slightly longer than our demitasse spoons, perfect for afternoon tea.

Caviar spoon. These spoons are not made from metal, as it is known to change the flavor of the caviar. Often caviar spoons are made from mother-of-pearl, obtained from the inner surface of seashells.

Citrus spoon. This unique spoon has a jagged edge on the bowl for cutting into grapefruit, oranges, and melons.

Beverage or iced tea spoon. These tea spoons have a long handle for iced tea or ice cream parfaits.

What types of serving spoons are there?

Standard serving spoon. These extra large table spoons are for serving potatoes, vegetables, and other side dishes. They are usually included in a hostess serving set.

Ladles. These unique spoons are for serving soup but can also be used to scoop and serve sauces and gravy.

Slotted spoon. This spoon allows liquids to drain through when serving vegetables or even beef au jus.

Artisan-crafted Celia coffee demitasse spoon sets

Now that we’ve gone through the main types of spoons, let’s talk about some of the unique spoons you’ll find in our artisan-made spoon collections.

During the 1800’s these little spoons were created especially to accommodate the demitasse cup, which was the diminutive cup used for drinking black coffee after a meal. The demitasse was served with the coffee and used to mix sugar into the coffee.  

Espresso didn’t come onto the scene until the early 1900s, so calling these little spoons espresso spoons is technically incorrect, although many people use the demitasse spoon nowadays for espresso and other coffee drinks.

Today, the demitasse spoon has gone the way of formal dining, so it is rarely used. However, many people still appreciate the elegance and ease it adds to coffee or espresso enjoyment. Our demitasse spoons are less formal in design, but they come in a set of 4 spoons, making a great coffee spoons gift for espresso lovers.

Unique table spoons gift sets

Our collection of table spoons gift sets includes some very unique spoons. The versatile spoon collections will capture attention on your coffee station or at the dessert table.

Jason Heart Coffee/Dessert Table Spoons

Coffee and tea are the most popular beverages worldwide. In the US, coffee has been the top choice, but tea is gaining popularity. A popular tea drink in the South is sweet tea, a black tea sweetened with sugar while hot and served cold, over ice.

Photo by: @pantrytotableblog

The Sundance Copper Antique Sugar Spoon 4 Pc. Set has a deep bowl for scooping up granulated sugar. 

Photo by Hannah Grapp:

Spoons on the table vs measuring spoons

Since tea spoons can refer to spoons you use for stirring your tea or the 5ml powder or liquid volume measure, it's important to note that your tea spoons may not hold the same amount of liquid as the measuring kind.

The same can be said for table spoons. The spoons on the table hold a bit less than a tablespoon (15 ml) used for measuring.

The bottom line? If a recipe requires precise measurements, you’ll want to use your actual measuring spoons.

When it comes to deciding on which type of spoons to add to your flatware collection, it depends on the foods and beverages you tend to enjoy. From classic table spoons and tea spoons to special demitasse spoons we have a variety of artisan-crafted spoons to explore.

You might have inherited a beloved demitasse spoon from your childhood or own a modern stainless steel sugar spoon set that your friends adore using at your tea parties. Spoons can bring back fond memories or create new ones. What’s more, they have the power to elevate our dining experience and make us happy.


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