Teatime is an occasion where you can pause and enjoy a soothing beverage. However, it is necessary to use the correct equipment such as the proper cup for your event.
Double-handled teacups are not teacups. A teacup usually has one handle or no handles to grasp. European cups traditionally will have handles but the style will vary by manufacturer. The teacups from Asian countries do not usually have handles because the cups are smaller and squatter than European cups to better catch the taste and aroma of the tea leaves.
Double-handled teacups are consommé or bouillon cups that a hostess uses to hold a light snack when tea is not filling enough as a beverage. The hostess uses these when she does not have the time or energy to bring down a soup tureen or bowls. The double handles offer a halfway measure between a soup bowl and a tea-cup. The double handles are also useful for giving, especially in Victorian times, broth to invalids who may not be able to grasp a tea-cup with one or no handles without spilling.
Hostesses also use double-handled cups for hot chocolate, again for a halfway measure between a tea-cup and for stability.
References and ResourcesFamily Education: Facing a Formal Dinner Gracefully
Pots de Creme: History and Information
The Regimental Rogue: Mess Etiquette and Mess Dinners
ResourcesUniversity of Pennsylvania: Island of Zanzibar
Old And Cold: Cookery for Invalids
Victoriana: Tea Party