A teaspoon, an item of cutlery (in American English, also called flatware), is a small spoon, commonly part of a silverware (usually silver plated, German silver or now, stainless steel) place setting, suitable for stirring and sipping the contents of a cup of tea or coffee. Utilitarian versions are used for measuring.
Teaspoons with longer handles, such as iced tea spoons, are commonly used also for ice cream desserts or floats. Similar spoons include the tablespoon and the dessert spoon, the latter intermediate in size between a teaspoon and a tablespoon, used in eating dessert and sometimes soup or cereals. Much less common is the coffee spoon, which is a smaller version of the teaspoon. Another teaspoon, called an orange spoon (in American English: grapefruit spoon), tapers to a sharp point or teeth, and is used to separate citrus fruits from their membranes. A bar spoon, equivalent to a teaspoon, is used in measuring ingredients for mixed drinks. The tablespoon is a larger version of the teaspoon, generally with three times its capacity.
A container designed to hold extra teaspoons, called a spooner, usually in a set with a covered sugar container, formed a part of Victorian table service.
Measure of volume
In some countries, a teaspoon full is a unit of volume, especially in cooking recipes and pharmaceutic prescriptions. In English it is abbreviated as t., ts., tsp. or tspn. ), never capitalized, as capitals are customarily reserved for the larger tablespoon ("T." or "Tbls." or "Tb."). In German and Dutch teaspoon is abbreviated TL, for Teelöffel and Theelepel respectively.
In the United States one teaspoon is 1⁄3 tablespoon, 1⁄6 U.S. fl. oz, 1⁄48 of a cup, and 1⁄768 of a U.S. liquid gallon (see United States customary units for relative volumes of these other measures). This is approximately 5 mL and 1⁄3 of a cubic inch. For nutritional labeling purposes on food packages in the U.S., the teaspoon is, by federal regulations, rounded to precisely 5 mL, per 21CFR101.9(b)(5)(viii).
Full article ▸