Table Manners: Double-Handled Cups, Vol. 16, Issue 50

Dear Etiquetteer:

Dining out at a new restaurant recently, we were surprised to be served our cappuccinos in large cups with two handles.


How on earth do you drink your coffee in a cup with two handles? Just use the handle you like, or both, or what?

Dear Handled:

Oh dear. This appears to be yet another attempt to introduce Novelty to the jaded palates of the cognoscenti by misusing the china. Etiquetteer's first thought was the trend in Manhattan to serve cocktails in Mason jars, the antithesis of New York Sophistication. Here it appears the restaurant is serving its cappuccino in bouillon cups. One drinks bouillon from a bouillon cup using both handles, but if you're served coffee in one, it might be more Perfectly Proper to use only one handle. It might also be Perfectly Proper to request a regular coffee cup, but that would only delay the service; Etiquetteer does not really recommend that.

Now all that said, Etiquetteer was quite surprised to find lots and lots of double-handled mugs for sale. Far from being a novelty, they appear to be of great use to those with medical issues that affect their grip, such as carpal tunnel syndrome or arthritis. This seems like a more enduring trend than the moustache cup of yore, which had a china bridge across the top to protect Monsieur's moustache from the coffee.