We Brew Coffee

The Ultimate Guide to Selecting the Best Espresso Cups in 2021

For the Coffee Connoisseur: Choosing the Perfect Espresso Cup

For any avid coffee drinker, the cup in which their espresso is served holds just as much importance as the quality of the coffee itself. A good espresso cup can enhance the overall coffee-drinking experience, making it more enjoyable and satisfying.

However, with so many options on the market, it can be challenging to select the best espresso cups. In this article, we will examine the different materials, sizes, and styles of espresso cups to help you make an informed decision.

We will also present the top seven espresso cups available in 2021.

Materials for Espresso Cups

There are four primary materials used to make espresso cups: stainless steel, ceramic, glass, and porcelain. Each material has its unique advantages and disadvantages.

  • Stainless Steel: This material is durable, doesn’t break easily, and retains heat well. Stainless steel is an excellent option if you like your espresso to stay hot for an extended period. However, these cups are prone to scratching and denting and do not retain the flavors of the coffee as well as other materials.
  • Ceramic: Ceramic espresso cups come in a wide range of colors and designs, making them an aesthetically pleasing option. They are also dishwasher and microwave safe, making them easy to clean and use. The downside of ceramic is that they have a high risk of cracking or breaking incurring losses.
  • Glass: Glass espresso cups are visually appealing, allowing you to see the different layers of the crema and espresso, creating an aesthetically pleasing experience. These cups are durable and dishwasher safe, but there is a risk of breaking if not handled delicately.
  • Porcelain: Porcelain cups are slightly thinner than ceramic cups, giving them a more delicate and elegant appearance. They hold heat well but are prone to chipping if not handled properly. They also come in a variety of designs, colors, and patterns.

Cup Size for Espresso Drinks

The size of your espresso cup plays an important role in the overall espresso experience. The size of your espresso cup determines how much coffee you will drink and the strength of the coffee.

  • Demitasse: The most popular size for espresso is the demitasse cup. These cups hold between 60-90 milliliters of coffee. Demitasse cups are ideal for espresso shots that can be enjoyed at once.
  • Cortado: Cortado cups are slightly larger than demitasse cups, holding up to 120 milliliters of coffee. These cups are ideal for those who prefer a slightly less intense espresso taste.
  • Flat White: Flat white cups are similar in size to cortado cups, but they have a wider mouth, allowing for the addition of steamed milk. These cups hold up to 170 milliliters of coffee.
  • Latte: Latte cups are larger holding up to 240 milliliters of coffee. They are ideal for those who enjoy a milky taste to their espresso drinks.
  • Cappuccino: Cappuccino cups hold roughly the same amount of coffee as latte cups. However, they have a wider surface area, allowing for more space for milk foam.

Style of Espresso Cups

The style of your espresso cup can affect the overall aesthetic and experience of your espresso drink. Here are some things to consider when selecting the style of your espresso cup:

  • Saucers: Espresso cups are often paired with saucers that can be used to hold biscuits or sugar cubes. Saucers also provide a stable surface for the cups, making them less likely to spill or tip over.
  • Handles: Espresso cups can come with or without handles. Handle-less cups are a modern look, while cups with handles offer more traditional Italian-style.
  • Stackable: For those who are short on storage space, stackable espresso cups are a great option. They make for easy storage and are ideal for those who enjoy entertaining guests.
  • Design: Espresso cups come in a variety of designs, colors, and patterns. You can find cups with unique prints or patterns that can add a touch of personality to your coffee drinking experience.

The 7 Best Espresso Cups in 2021

Now that you are familiar with the different materials, sizes, and styles of espresso cups let’s take a look at the top seven espresso cups available in 2021.

  1. Real Deal Steel Espresso Cups: These durable stainless-steel cups are perfect for those who like their coffee hot and enjoy a modern aesthetic. The cups are powder-coated for a sleek finish and are mirror stainless on the inside, making them easy to clean.
  2. ComSaf White Espresso Cups and Saucers: These affordable ceramic cups and saucers are elegant, simple and timeless allowing you to enjoy your coffee in style. They are food-safe and dishwasher and microwave safe, making them easy to clean and use.
  3. Sweese Stackable Espresso Cups and Saucers: These porcelain cups and saucers are space-saving and stackable, making them perfect for those with limited counterspace. The cups are high-quality porcelain and are dishwasher, oven, and freezer safe.
  4. Recap Double-Walled Espresso Cups: These inexpensive double-walled thick-walled glasses are ideal for those who enjoy basic and classic styling. They are stackable and can also be used as liquor glasses.
  5. DeLonghi Glass Espresso Cups: These elegant double-walled borosilicate glass cups are perfect for those looking for a premium experience. They are heat-proof, making it difficult to burn your hands while handling.
  6. Bruntmor Ceramic Espresso Cups and Saucers: These decorative porcelain cups and saucers come in various unique designs and are perfect for those looking for functionality and style. The cups are microwave, freezer, and dishwasher safe.
  7. Fellow Monty Latte Art Espresso Cups: These double-wall ceramic cups are designed with fluid dynamics, making them ideal for pouring your latte art. They have a sleek and minimalist design, with metal bottoms that can keep your coffee warm for longer.

Beyond the Cup: The World of Espresso

Ounces of Espresso in a Cup

When it comes to the amount of espresso in a cup, it is usually measured in ounces. An espresso shot, also known as a single shot, is typically 1-1.5 ounces in volume. This is the standard measurement for an espresso shot. However, some coffee shops may serve larger espresso shots, often referred to as a double shot, which is usually 2-2.5 ounces in volume.

It’s important to note that the volume of an espresso shot can also depend on the type of machine used to make the espresso. Espresso machines typically have a set amount of water that they dispense, and this can vary between machines.

Why Espresso Is Served in Small Cups

Espresso is traditionally served in small cups, generally referred to as demitasse cups. The reason for this is that espresso is a highly concentrated coffee beverage.

A typical espresso shot has roughly the same amount of caffeine as a regular cup of coffee, but it is a much smaller volume. The small size of the demitasse cup allows the aroma and flavor of the espresso to be more concentrated and intense, as the crema is preserved, and the coffee cools at a slower pace, creating a more enjoyable drinking experience. This is because the smaller surface area allows for less air to come in contact with the coffee, allowing for the retention of the coffee’s aroma and flavor.

Difference between Demitasse and Espresso

While demitasse cups are traditionally used to serve espresso, the two are not the same thing. Demitasse translates to “half cup” in French and is a cup that is typically between 2-3 ounces in volume. Espresso, on the other hand, is a concentrated coffee that is brewed by forcing pressurized hot water through finely ground coffee beans. Demitasse cups are used to serve espresso, but espresso can also be served in a larger cup, providing a milder taste that may be less stimulating as a result of extra water in the cup.

Best Beans for Espresso

To create the perfect espresso shot, choosing the right beans is crucial. Espresso beans are different from regular coffee beans. They are roasted for a longer time, allowing for the coffee’s oils to come to the surface. This produces a stronger, richer, and bolder tasting coffee.

Here are some of the best beans for espresso:

  1. Ethiopian Yirgacheffe: A light to medium roasted bean with a bright acidity, a floral aroma, and a fruity flavor.
  2. Brazilian Santos: A medium to dark roasted bean with a smooth flavor profile that is low in acidity. Perfect for those who prefer a milder flavor.
  3. Colombian Supremo: A medium roasted bean that has a balanced flavor profile, citrus notes, and a moderate acidity level.
  4. Guatemalan Antigua: A medium to dark roasted bean with a smoky flavor, bold body, and moderate acidity.
  5. Sumatra Mandheling: A dark roasted bean with earthy tones, a syrupy texture, and low acidity.

When selecting the best beans for espresso, it is essential to choose whole bean coffee that is freshly roasted and ground just before brewing.


As coffee drinkers become increasingly discerning and particular about their coffee, it’s crucial to understand the fundamentals of espresso sizing, beans, and flavor profiles. With the small size of a demitasse cup, a good quality espresso shot still packs the same caffeine, with more intensity in concentration, making it an enjoyable and engaging drink for all coffee lovers.

With so many options for beans available, it’s important to find the right roast and origin for your personal tastes. Ultimately, the perfect espresso shot is a combination of high-quality beans, skillful brewing technique, the right amount of water, and attention to detail.

In conclusion, selecting the best espresso cups is essential for enhancing the overall coffee-drinking experience. The choice of material, size, and style can significantly impact the flavor, aroma, and aesthetic appeal of your espresso.

Stainless steel, ceramic, glass, and porcelain are the primary materials used for espresso cups, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. Demitasse, cortado, flat white, latte, and cappuccino cups vary in size to suit different preferences.

Saucers, handles, stackable designs, and various colors and patterns add to the style of espresso cups. Additionally, understanding the ounces of espresso in a cup, why espresso is served in small cups, the difference between demitasse and espresso, and the best beans for espresso contribute to a comprehensive knowledge of this beloved beverage.

It is imperative to choose the right espresso cup and bean combination to optimize your coffee-drinking experience. By paying attention to these details, you can elevate your enjoyment of espresso and savor every sip.

Popular Posts