Bondowoso / Cultural Observations / Culture / Daily Life / Indonesia / Peace Corps / People

Cultural Observations, #2: Drinking Saucers

Did you ever wonder why tea cups or coffee mugs often come with saucers? It always seemed rather superfluous to me – just another dish to wash. But in Indonesia they actually put the saucer to good use. Because most of the water used to prepare hot beverages is brought to a boil right before it’s served, its temperature makes it undrinkable.


Introducing the saucer. You pour your steaming beverage in the saucer and voila – it’s quickly cooled and easily drunk from the saucer. Sure, it’s sort of weird at first, and one feels like one could be in the Mad Hatter’s tea party, but it’s actually an ingenious solution to a common problem – especially if you’re like me a constantly trying to drink coffee in a rush.

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