Difference between Teaspoon and Tablespoon

Key Difference: Teaspoons and tablespoons are two different pieces of spoons that are part of the cutlery. The teaspoon is the smaller spoon, while the tablespoon is the bigger one.

Every home has stacks of cutlery in the kitchen. Cutlery is the sets of spoons, forks, and knives that one uses to eat with. Teaspoons and tablespoons are two different types of spoons that are part of the cutlery. The easiest way to distinguish between the two spoons is that the teaspoon is the smaller of the two, whereas the tablespoon is the larger one. However, this of course does not take into account the soup spoon, the dessert spoon, etc.

In an average dining set, the teaspoon is generally the smallest spoon in the group, unless a coffee spoon is present. As its name suggest, its primary usage is for tea. It is the spoon used for adding sugar to and stirring hot drinks such as tea, coffee, etc. However, teaspoons may also be used to eat certain types of foods, such as dessert, if there is no dessert spoon.

A tablespoon is generally the biggest spoon in the average dining set. It is commonly used to eat dinner, and may also be used to serve some foods on the table.

Both, teaspoon and tablespoon are also used as a measure of volume. As previously stated, a teaspoon is smaller than a tablespoon. Hence, a teaspoon measures less than a tablespoon. The actual amount that a teaspoon and a tablespoon measures may differ from country to country or from region to region. The measurement is usually considered to be 5 milliliters for a teaspoon, and 15 milliliters for a tablespoon. According to this, a tablespoon measures three times as much as a teaspoon. However, most people consider that a tablespoon is the equivalent of 2 teaspoons, which is wrong.

Comparison between Teaspoon and Tablespoon:





Tsp or less commonly as t., ts., or tspn.

tbsp or T

Definition (Oxford)

A small spoon used typically for adding sugar to and stirring hot drinks or for eating some foods.

A large spoon for serving food.


Measure of Volume


Measure of Volume






5 millilitres

15 millilitres


1 Tablespoon = 3 Teaspoons [US, UK or Metric]

1 Tablespoon = 4 Teaspoons [Australia]

Image Courtesy: yuppiechef.com, thefauxmartha.com

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The definition of a tablespoon "A large spoon for serving food" as shown above. Differs from a dessert spoon "a spoon, larger than a teaspoon and smaller than a tablespoon, used for eating dessert". A teaspoon is 5ml, a dessert spoon is 15ml and a tablespoon is 25ml. Why do recipes not be specific about amounts by using measurements in mls?.

Hi thanks, a big deal my friend. I was giving the wrong measurement in my ingredients list in my website, until someone pointed it out to me. I was searching for some information on it, and I found your page to be very precise, with the clear picture. Thanks a lot. Regards Vaishak S

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