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Set the coffee table: where is the cake fork?

It was noon a few hours ago and coffee time is already approaching. One of the most popular snacks between meals, but it is more a place to get together and relax than to fight hunger.

The designation Coffee time is just one of many that the people of Europe have found for a snack:

  • Snack (you probably already knew)
  • Snack (yes, not very exciting)
  • Snack (now it's getting interesting, isn't it?)
  • Znüni (as the Swiss say)
  • Marend (common name in Tyrol)
  • Vespers (no, not the scooter, that's the Vespa)

The term “coffee time” is therefore one of the more precise ones. Because here at least the dominant drink is specified; the coffee.

A piece of cake or tart goes perfectly with that, right? It's good that we agree.

What we like to argue about is when the coffee time should be classified on the clock face. In my opinion, 4:00 p.m. is a good time for it. But who, as a working person, has the leisure to drop everything at four on the dot to sip a cup of coffee? At this time of year it is much more fun to scroll through files, curse the rush hour traffic or, alternatively, public transport.

I completely agree if you put your own personal coffee time in the lunch break, or let it take place in the late evening.

Now that we almost exactly know by when the coffee table should be set, let's see how it works:

  • Where does the plate go?
  • Where is the cup going?
  • What to do with the teaspoon?
  • Where is the cake fork?
  • Damn it. A guest is left-handed !?

Calm down; we sort it out very comfortably.

This is how you set the coffee table

I am proud of you that you even look at a text about setting a coffee table. That is an extraordinarily specific topic. This love for detail connects us!

The tablecloth

In principle, tablecloths are not necessary. Whether social pressure can induce you to hang up is up to you.

If you decide to do this because it recommends a festive occasion, for example, then note the following points:

  • Before something lands on the table, remove dust and crumbs from it
  • Make sure the table doesn't wobble. Countermeasures are not so easy to implement when the table is set.
  • Tablecloths have folds.

The latter can become a problem: the creases in a tablecloth can hardly be prevented. After all, they only fit in the closet when folded. These folds are either inclined towards the table (negligible) or they form a wave that points towards the sky.

Pull the tablecloth as smoothly as you can and make sure to fix the tightening with the first things you put on it (plate, saucer and the like).

If you are particularly fond of the table or if the circumstances dictate that as little noise as possible should be heard when placing coffee cups, then choose a suitable mat. A Molton cloth * is ideal. It offers the table surface more protection and dampens noise.

Once the tablecloth has been placed, continue with the plates:

plates and cups

The plate is in the middle in front of the guest. The edge of the plate is a good centimeter away from the edge of the table.

The saucer of the coffee cup is on the top right next to the plate. Assuming the plate had a clock face, the coffee and saucer would be at half past one - round 5-8 centimeters from the edge of the plate.

The handle of the cup points to the right so that the guest can grab the cup immediately by the handle.

Place cutlery on the coffee table

Almost there! Now all you have to do is position the cutlery correctly.

Cover the coffee spoon

The coffee spoon is placed on the saucer.

It lies above the cup. The style of the spoon points to the right and slightly downwards. The bowl of the spoon faces up; the lying spoon could hold a few drops of water.

Where is the cake fork?

The cake fork is above the plate.

The fork is also parallel to the edge of the table. Their prongs point upwards and are on the left. The style points to the right. In this way, the guest can directly reach the handle with their right hand.

Additional knives & forks

If there are other dishes in addition to cakes and tarts planned for coffee time, then table forks and table knives may be needed.

The fork is to the left of the plate, with the prongs facing up. The knife is to the right of the plate with the blade facing up, with the sharp edge pointing towards the plate.

August 14, 2018

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Product tests or ratings of products on this page are based on research about ratings in online shops, forum entries, manufacturer websites, etc. Unless expressly stated, I did not test the products in physical form.