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Mote Spoon

A Mote Spoon was a small slotted teaspoon to help with serving loose tea. It was used to fish out floating tea leaves from a cup.

The spoons were about 6 inches (15 cm) long altogether. The bowls of the spoon had perforations in them, ones that were usually decorative as well. Some perforations were cartouche or cross shaped, for instance.

The end of the handles of the spoons was also pointed, so that the spoon could be used to unclog the spout of a teapot clogged up with leaves.

They were usually sterling silver or gilt.

History Notes

Mote Spoons were made starting in the late 1600s in the UK, and in the first half of the 1700s in America. The holes were drawn on the bowl of the spoon by the silversmith. A small hole would be drilled into a marking, then a very small saw blade pulled through, then the hole sawed out. Even fairly plain ones could take four days to make (versus one day for a regular teaspoon.)

Language Notes

A "mote" is a tiny piece of something.


Ice Cream Scoops; Ladles; Mote Spoon; Pouring Spoons; Pudding Sticks; Slotted Spoons; Spurtles; Stir; Wooden Spoons

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Also called:

Mote Skimmers


Oulton, Randal. "Mote Spoon." CooksInfo.com. Published 18 April 2006; revised 19 February 2007. Web. Accessed 03/23/2018. <http://www.cooksinfo.com/mote-spoon>.

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