How to Guides

The right Espresso Cup

Ok let’s face it if you’re a huge espresso fan you’re much more likely to make a big deal out of the cups you drink it from, however most regular coffee drinkers care about the cup from which they drink it too. In many countries (especially outside of America) espresso cups are actually thought of as more of an art than anything else.If you go to places like Italy and Europe you’ll see the pride that people take in the type of cup you drink the espresso from. If you have  lovely friends you may have also have been bought some espresso cups as a gift (I have and I use them everyday). So whatever your reason to think about espresso cups (even if you’re finding cups to go with the perfect office coffee machine), here’s a few things to be aware of when making a purchase for yourself or for your friends:

Photo by Cath Smith

Style of your Espresso Cup

Most better cups are made from porcelain and the main thing you’ll need to be considering here is whether they are thin and delicate or thick and chunky. The advantage with a nice thick espresso cup is that it holds the heat well and typically you’ll find that you should heat the espresso cup to keep it warm before you serve your espresso. Normally this is done by leaving your espresso cups on top of the espresso machine for a few minutes before pulling the shot.  Thin espresso cups look nice but aren’t quite as functional. You may find small coffee cups that look like espresso cups that are thin and porcelain but these are probably designed for strong filter coffee Typically there are two styles for espresso cups short and rounded or straight and contemporary Style.

Quality of your Espresso Cup

Obviously cups come in a range of different qualities and the driving factor for quality comes from either the manufacturing process or the material used. I suggest that you don’t try using anything other than ceramic espresso cups (e.g. porcelain). There’s no hard and fast rule as to whether handmade or machine made espresso cups are better. You’ll have to take your preference here.

Size of your Espresso Cup

white ceramic cup on silver espresso machine
Photo by Jess Eddy

Size of the cup does obviously make a big difference. Traditionally cups used for espresso come in 2 or 3 oz sizes but that’s not to say that you will be filling the entire espresso cup. If you like things like cortado you may wish to go for a larger cup however given the espresso is only about 1 ounce most cups will leave enough space for room on top (I’m guessing you’re thinking of adding micro-foam, foam, cream or maybe even ice cream)..

The Perfect Espresso Cup?

Espresso cups can be a form of expression and give you the chance to show your interest in style quality or artistic flair.