Difference Between Tablespoon and Teaspoon

Tablespoon vs Teaspoon

Teaspoon and tablespoon are two of the several types of spoons that are used in cutlery. Those who use this cutlery know their size difference very well, but there are many who remain confused between these two spoons used in cutlery. In cookbooks and cookery shows, recipes are mostly described with the help of these two spoons as ingredients are measured with them. Apart from size difference, there are also differences pertaining to their usage that will be talked about in this article.


Why would a spoon be called a teaspoon? In the early 17th century, tea in Europe was loved a lot but was very expensive forcing the size of a tea cup very small. This required the size of the spoon to be used to stir sugar inside to be small too. It was when tea became cheaper that the size of tea cups and teaspoon increased. A teaspoon is made of silver or stainless steel and is mainly used for adding sugar to tea and for stirring the ingredients in the tea cups.

A teaspoon, abbreviated as tsp, is also a unit of measurement when adding ingredients in different recipes. Teaspoon is a small spoon that roughly measures 1/8 of an ounce of fluid (1/6 fl. oz or 1/48 cup in US). In culinary measurements, in US, it is taken as equivalent to 1/3rd tablespoon or approximately 5ml, but in some countries like Australia, it is taken as equivalent to 1/4th tablespoon.


In cutlery, a tablespoon is a large spoon that is much larger in size than a teaspoon. In fact, in US and Canada, a tablespoon is the largest spoon that is used for eating or drinking from a plate or a bowl. In UK, a tablespoon is also known as serving spoon.

Tablespoon, abbreviated as tbs or tbsp, also serves as a measure of quantity or volume and used extensively to add ingredients into recipes. A tablespoon, in US, is approximately 15ml (1/2 fl oz) and is taken to contain roughly three times solid material than a teaspoon whereas, in some countries like Australia, it approximately holds 20ml fluid and four times capacity of a teaspoon.

Tablespoon vs Teaspoon

• Both spoons are items of cutlery, but teaspoon is much smaller than tablespoon.

• In many countries, a standard tablespoon contains three times the material than a teaspoon.

• Teaspoon is used to add sugar to tea or coffee and also to stir ingredients in a cup of tea.

• Tablespoon is used to eat or drink from a bowl.

• For culinary measurements, in US and many other countries, I tablespoon = 3 teaspoons = 14.8 mL = 1/16th US Cup

• In Australia, I tablespoon = 4 teaspoons