Differences & Abbreviations of Tablespoon vs. Teaspoon

The baking abbreviations tablespoon and teaspoon are easy to mix up which is a problem since baking needs precise measurements and adding too much or too little of an ingredient can be problematic. The wrong amount of baking soda can mean the difference between your banana bread rising or becoming banana pudding. Nobody wants banana pudding when they thought they were making banana bread.

Tablespoon Abbreviation 

The abbreviations for tablespoon are:

  • “T” (uppercase only)
  • TB
  • tbsp
  • tbl
  • tbs.

A teaspoon is the other commonly abbreviated baking measurement. Let’s learn more about those abbreviations so that one does not get confused.

Tablespoon abbreviation
Tablespoon can be abbreviated with T, TB, tbsp, tbl, or tbs.

Teaspoon Abbreviation

The abbreviations for teaspoon are:

  • tsp.
  • “t” (lowercase only)
Teaspoon abbreviation
Teaspoon can be abbreviated with tsp. or t

Differences Between Teaspoon vs Tablespoon

Teaspoons and tablespoons are used to measure ingredients in the kitchen. A teaspoon is smaller than a tablespoon such that 3 teaspoons equal 1 tablespoon (3 tsp = 1Tbsp). To understand the differences further, let’s dive into the history

Why Is a Teaspoon Called a Teaspoon?

The teaspoon was introduced in London in 1686 as the perfect-sized spoon to measure any amount of tea. It could also be used for the sugar and cream afterward. However, these teaspoons were not standardized and could range anywhere from 2.5 ml to 6 ml in volume.

That’s why the modern-day measuring teaspoon is exactly 5 ml and is standard across the board so that any chef or cook can measure the exact same amount of ingredients.

Why Is a Tablespoon Called a Tablespoon?

The tablespoon originated in about 1760 as the ideal spoon for use as a serving spoon. The word literally comes from “spoon for table service”.

Differences in Abbreviations

The thing to watch out for when trying to discern if you want to use a tablespoon over a teaspoon is a big “B” or a little “b” in the middle of the abbreviation. If you are like me, you are more likely to miss the difference when not wearing your glasses. 

Do not rush your baking. You could end up with a very cinnamony banana bread if you mistake a teaspoon in a recipe for a tablespoon. Just remember teaspoon abbreviation is a lover case “t” or a tsp sans b. 

We think you will like this cute tablespoons and teaspoons set on Amazon.

Tablespoon to Teaspoon Conversions

Use the following chart to understand common tablespoon to teaspoon conversions.

Tablespoons (Tbsp)Teaspoons (tsp)CupsFluid Ounces (OZ)
16 Tbsp48 tsp1 C8 oz
12 Tbsp36 tsp3/4 C6 oz
10 Tbsp + 2 tsp32 tsp2/3 C5 1/3 oz
8 Tbsp24 tsp1/2 C4 oz
5 Tbsp + 1 tsp16 tsp1/3 C2 2/3 oz
4 Tbsp12 tsp1/4 C2 oz
2 Tbsp + 2 tsp8 tsp1/6 C1 1/3 oz
2 Tbsp6 tsp1/8 C1 oz
1 Tbsp3 tsp1/16 C1/2 oz

For more conversions, read our article about tablespoons to cups conversions.

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