as porcelain wasn't even manufactured in Poland until the nineteenth century and had to be imported.
Yes, I know - my region is home to the oldest porcelain factory in Poland (in Ćmielów), the factory and the Porcelain Museum was a typical school trip destination during my school days (and probably still is) :) However, before it started with porcelain it produced faience - wasn't that more affordable?
I get what you mean about mass production of porcelain in England and it being a luxury item in Poland, but for some time Poland didn't officially exist - it was a part of three different countries. Porcelain seemed common enough in Russia and since a chunk of Poland was part of Russian Empire porcelain wasn't really "imported", and, I'm guessing, could be popularised to some extent by Russians. In 1939 only 15% of porcelain in Poland was imported. Ćmielów factory was even exporting porcelain to the US, the Netherlands, Turkey, Egypt, Palestine and covered almost the whole porcelain market in the Free City of Danzig (Gdańsk). Those were the times when Polish porcelain was valued more and was more expensive in Poland than the one made by "young" German manufactory Rosenthal. Also, I wasn't writing about using glass in general - I can imagine its use was more common - I meant drinking tea from a glass with a holder (that was what you wrote about) which is, apparently, a specifically Russian custom.
Here's a fragment from an article about Ćmielów factory (article titled '220 lat najstarszej polskiej fabryki porcelany - "Ćmielów"' on budnet.pl):
"It was the time of great prosperity. The nobility and the growing rich burgesses wanted to have the most beautiful dinnerware sets - the evidence of wealth and a wonderful dowry for their daughters. Bolesław Prus wrote in "Lalka" ("The Doll") that Miss Izabela Łęcka 'would eat from silver plates and porcelain as expensive as gold'".
So it looks like not only the nobility were using porcelain, but also the burgesses.
Do you mean names of glasses in English?
Not exactly, I meant the distinction between "kieliszek" and "szklanka". "Kieliszek" is used for alcohol only (vodka, wine, liqueur, champagne) and looks different than "szklanka". I guess the only "pure" alcohol drunk in a "szklanka" (from Polish perspective) is whiskey?
Btw, I've never heard the word "beaker" before. Is it used in the same way in the US as in the UK?
In Polish it's always called "kubek" no matter whether it has a handle or not.
What about Polish "kufel" (for drinking beer)? What are the British and American equivalents?
@Ironside, that's true, Poles were (in the second half of the 18th century in Poland 470 tons of coffee were sold a year and only 19 tons of tea!) and still are, apparently, a coffee nation (a bit surprising for me since all my family, except for me, drinks tea as if it was water lol):
It looks like the British, Irish and Russians are the biggest drinkers of tea in Europe ;)
And, yes, porcelain sets were also manufactured in the communist Poland... My parents still have a few Ćmielów sets from those times (most of them belonged to my late grandparents) - one of those sets is from Goplana series from the 1960's, and some other porcelain stuff from Ćmielów, like this Calypso vase (pity it's damaged at the top though):
Another fragment from that article about the factory in Ćmielów:
"The factory in Ćmielów survived also those years when the love for anything 'pre-war' was frowned upon and the mass production of ordinary, practical crockery was the most profitable."
Actually, the history of this factory is, in a way, a reflection of Polish history. It was almost completely destroyed during the World War I. Word War II was also a difficult period - the factory was taken over by Germans - not only did they focused more on faience but also later on they replaced it with the production of porcelit (in that part of factory in Chodzież). In that article about Ćmielów factory a bitter fragment of the poem by Stanisław Barańczak is quoted: "If porcelain then only of the kind that won't be pitied under the boot of a porter or a tank's caterpillar." I also remember very well from my high school times a sad and beautiful poem by Czesław Miłosz "Piosenka o porcelanie" ("Song of Porcelain"). It contains a refrain: "Sir, nothing else do I pity more than porcelain". Of course, the poem is about World War II and porcelain is interpreted as a metaphor of all that was beautiful, cultured, fragile and good which was destroyed by the war. I remember that I couldn't get that poem out of my head because of that touching metaphor.