A senior VP of a Japanese company shared online that:
Nobody (customers) cares if it spills over a bit like this picture in Singapore.
People may get angry if it is served like this in Japan.
It is a difference on culture of service industry. But it is more like the difference of expectation of services.
A service level depends on an expectation of service level by people.
Services in Japan are often said that it is the best service/hospitality. But it means higher pressures to do better services behind the scenes.
I feel like this has pros and cons.
By the way, I am totally fine with this spilled over tea.
This is not the post to complain. I love this shop a lot and having tea almost every day. Here I am just sharing different views by different cultures.
I am Japanese living in Singapore over 3.5 years, posting mainly culture gap related topics.
But as always, no matter what you post, there’ll be a smartass who responds.
Here is a response from one:
I think there has been a misunderstanding about this practice of filling a coffee cup until it spills into the saucer.
In fact, in the old days at many Chinese coffee shops in Malaysia and Singapore, the cup would not be filled with coffee or tea until only a little was spilt into the saucer like in the photo; rather, the cup would actually overflow so much that the saucer would also be filled almost to the brim. Back then, people usually drank their coffee or tea from the saucer.
This wasn’t a symptom of carelessness, but rather a sign of generosity. It’s somewhat similar to the Japanese practice of filling a cup with Nihonshu (sake) until it overflows and fills the lacquered box holding the Nihonshu cup with the alcohol.
Right from day one, anyone pouring coffee or tea into the saucer to drink from is considered a retard. It is OK only if it’s done for a child or a spastic.
The Japanese practice of filling a cup with sake until it overflows has nothing to do with this.
A little knowledge is not only a dangerous thing, it makes you look like a world-class moron.
Spilling coffee or tea into the saucer is not a sign of any bullshit generosity – it’s sloppiness and a total disregard of aesthetics and the concept of customer service.
I lament the tragic fact that morons reproduce.
They walk among us.
They proliferate and populate.