Formal Place Settings Now Include White Ceramic Coffee Mugs

As the Specialty Coffee Association of America has proven, Americans enjoy coffee, so it is no surprise that contemporary dinnerware sets include mugs. Although Emily Post and Martha Stewart say very little about this trend, it is obvious that formal dining has embraced coffee culture. However, there is the question of where this newest member of the formal table should be placed.

Stemware and Ceramics

A formal dining place setting includes silver utensils, white plates and platters and stemware of various shapes and sizes. The stemware resides on the right-hand side of the setting, directly above the knives, where the various pieces can be arranged in a triangular shape or in a specific order from left to right.

The water glass is the first and most accessible vessel, followed by three or more additional glasses. One is for red wine, another for white as well as delicate flutes for champagne and tiny goblets meant for sherry. Traditionally, coffee cups arrived at the table with the dessert course. In contemporary formal settings, this arrangement is adjusted to include a ceramic mug that is often used when the dessert course commences. 

A contemporary table is also open to smart technology, and an intelligent mug is no exception. Formal white ceramic mugs, such as those produced by Ember and other dining tech companies, are adjusted to maintain coffee at the table guest’s desired temperature, either during the dessert course, throughout the meal or as the evening conversation progresses.

Ceramic Mug Placement

Ceramic mugs can be placed on the far right-hand side above the knives. The water, or all-purpose glass, remains above the tip of the first knife. Other stemware is placed directly to the right of the water glass. The ceramic mug is placed next in line, or at the farthest edge of the triangle. You can hop over to this site for a better visualization. The mug may also be placed above the dessert plate or to the left of the dessert plate, located in the area that was traditionally reserved for the butter dish and butter knife.

Culinary trends drive table setting changes. People no longer consume sherry with dessert, nor do they drink three or more glasses of wine at dinner. The craft beer movement and the popularity of specially roasted and brewed coffee has led to these changes in formal table settings.

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