If you are an espresso lover you will know that good coffee deserves- and tastes better- in the right vessel! Can you imagine drinking your short, intense shot of espresso out of a huge mug? It just doesn’t work!
The cup you drink out of is almost just as important as what you drink. And that is why we have compiled a list of the best espresso cups.
What is Espresso?
If you are not a coffee aficionado you may be wondering ‘what is espresso?‘. An espresso is basically a strong and concentrated shot of coffee, topped with a thick layer of golden crema. It has a rich aroma and velvety mouthfeel. While espresso is served as a shot, it is not meant to be drunk in a single mouthful. It is meant to be slowly sipped, savoring the flavor profile, aroma, and aftertaste.
Espresso is a 45ml (1.5 ounces) beverage that is prepared from 7-9 grams of coffee through which clean water of 192 – 198 degrees F has been forced at 9-10 atmospheres of pressure, where the grind of the coffee has made the brewing “flow” time approximately 22-28 seconds.SCAA definition of espresso
What is an Espresso Cup (or Demitasse cup)?
Espresso is commonly served in an espresso cup or more correctly, a Demitasse cup. Demitasse is a French word meaning half-cup. And as you might have guessed this is exactly what an espresso cup is. It is a small cup, typically half the size of a normal cup, that holds between 2-3 ounces of liquid. They are generally used to serve small, sharp drinks such as espresso or Turkish coffee.
Espresso is usually served in a small cup for several reasons. Firstly, a small cup prevents the layer of crema from spreading out and becoming too thin. A small cup also prevents the espresso from cooling too quickly and allows you to enjoy and savor the rich aroma and depth of flavor.
What to look for in an Espresso Cup?
Now that we have covered why you should use an espresso cup we will discuss what to look for in a Demitasse cup. While it may seem like a simple decision when seeking out the best espresso cup for yourself there are a few things you ought to consider before making your purchase…
The first and probably most important decision you need to make is what material you want your espresso cup to be made of. There are several different options each of which has its pros and cons that we have listed below.
Ceramic or Porcelain is perhaps the most common type of material used in espresso cups. They are available in a wide range of colors and designs to suit any decor. Ceramic retains heat well ensuring your shot stays warm for longer. Ceramic is also safe in the microwave and dishwasher. Additionally ceramic does not impart any flavors to your brew, which some cheaper materials do. Overall ceramic is a great option that has long been favored by baristas and cafes around the world. Ceramic espresso cups often also come with a saucer which is handy for those who enjoy their espresso with a cube of sugar or biscotti.
Glass is another good option of material for espresso cups particularly if you are looking at double-walled glass cups. Glass has good heat retention properties, in fact a double-walled glass espresso cup will keep your espresso hotter than any other option on this list. Similar to ceramic, glass is microwave-safe and safe in the dishwasher for easy cleaning. Another added benefit of glass is that you can see the crema and subtle colors of your espresso shot, adding to the aesthetic appeal. The only downside of glass is that it is quite fragile, especially if you drop your cup. If you are opting for a glass demitasse we would recommend that you opt for Borosilicate glass which is more durable.
The final material you could consider is stainless steel. Stainless steel is not all that good at retaining heat unless you get a double-walled cup. The positive side of stainless steel is that it is very durable, making it good if you are wanting a travel cup. Stainless steel is also dishwasher-safe for easy cleaning. On the downside, you will not be able to put your espresso cup in the microwave. Also, some stainless steel cups (particularly cheap ones) can leave a nasty metallic taste in your mouth. So make sure if you are buying a stainless steel espresso cup, that it is a good quality one.
Type of Espresso shot
There are several variations of your typical espresso shot that are commonly made
When deciding on an espresso cup, it is important to consider how you enjoy your espresso and what capacity of cup you will require.
The next thing to consider is what color espresso cup you want? As you can imagine espresso cups are available in nearly every sort of color or pattern imaginable so you should opt for one that will match your decor or other crockery. You will find most ceramic espresso cups have a white interior so you can see the depth of color of your carefully crafted shot. If you are wanting to opt for the traditional espresso cup you should choose a plain white ceramic cup. Alternatively you will find a glass is a good option for showing off your espresso.
Saucers and Handles?
The final thing to consider is whether you need a saucer with your cup? This can be handy if you enjoy your espresso with sugar or a treat. Similarly, you might also consider whether you require a handle or not. This can be handy if the cup gets hot. However some handles on espresso cups aren’t very practical to hold, being too small. They can also make the cups difficult to stack, which is an important consideration if you short on space.
Best Espresso Cups
Espresso Parts Porcelain Demitasse
Espresso Parts is a well known name in the coffee world for producing high quality cups and their demitasse is no exception. Their demitasse have a simple design, holding 2.3 oz. and are available in a range of both neutral and bold colors. The espresso cup comes with a matching saucer and is available in either a set of 2 or 6 cups. Being made of porcelain the cups are microwave and dishwasher safe. If you are after a durable and classic looking espresso cup look no further than Espresso Parts Demitasse.
Sweese Porcelain Espresso Cups
Sweese is another good option if you are looking for a set of espresso cups. Similar to Espresso parts, the cups are made of porcelain and have a more classic style with a matching saucer. The cups are available in a set of either white or multicolored. They come in 2 sizes either 2 or 4 oz. The only downside of these cups is that they don’t stack well so may not be the best option if you are short on space. If you are looking for a set of espresso cups at a good price check out Sweese Espresso Cups.
Kinto Cast Espresso Cup
We love the Kinto espresso cup! It has a simple, but beautiful design. Made by the Japanese brand Kinto, these cups are made of borosilicate glass and come with a modern white saucer. They are designed to be easy to handle and wash. These are high quality cups, and while they cost a bit more, they provide the perfect balance between usability and aesthetics. Kinto also has a large range of both coffee and tea products if you are wanting to get other matching crockery. If you would prefer a double walled glass they also have that option here. Overall we think these beautiful, minimalistic cups will definitely add something to your espresso experience.
Fellow Monty Milk Art Cups
Fellow is another name in the coffee industry known for producing elegant, modern coffee equipment. Their Demitasse have been thoughtfully designed, made of double wall ceramic, to keep your drink piping hot. They feature a hidden parabolic slope that helps with the formation of crema. The demitasse have a 3 oz. capacity and come in a set of 2. The cups feature a sleek design in either black or white with a metal bottom. They are easy to stack and dishwasher safe.
JoyJolt Double Walled Glass
If you like the look of a glass cup JoyJolt is another good option. They aren’t as elegant looking as the Kinto cup however they are made of double walled glass, so will keep your espresso warmer for longer. These cups are one of the larger options on this list, holding up to 5.4 oz. so they could also work for nespresso as well. The glass is borosilicate glass making the cups more durable. And as is typical of glass cups, these are dishwasher and microwave safe. If you don’t like the look of the handle, Joyjolt also has double walled espresso glasses without the handle here. These glasses don’t hold as much, however they are easy to stack.
ReCaps Stainless Steel Espresso Cups
If you are wanting to get a stainless steel espresso cup, these look like a good option. They are a double walled cup, so will keep that espresso nice and hot, while not burning your hands. They have a simple design, with brushed stainless steel on the outside and a shiny interior. The demitasse comes in a set of 2 with a capacity of 2.7 oz. These cups will be very durable, so will last a long time, however can’t compare to the design of some of the other cups on this list.
Felt and Fat Espresso Cup
Finally we couldn’t resist adding these sweet looking espresso cups to our list. These fun cups are a work of art and will add a pop of color to your kitchen. Available in 10 different colors like lemon yellow or forest green you are sure to find one to match your decor. The cups are made of porcelain, with a unique handle. They hold 3 oz. and are dishwasher and microwave safe.
Best Espresso Cup- The Verdict
So if you are looking for a new cup to drink that carefully crafted espresso shot in we think any of the options in the list above would hit the spot. The Sweese and Espresso Parts espresso cups offer a more classic design. If you are looking for something a bit more modern you could try the Kinto or Felt and Fat Espresso cups.
How Many Ounces Is An Espresso Shot?
A single shot of espresso is considered to be 1 fluid ounce or 30ml. While a double shot of espresso is 2 fluid ounces of 60ml.