Trying to pick the best Espresso cup is easy right? I just want the Starbucks one or the same Italian espresso cups I had on vacation. Well for some of us it is that simple (lucky) in which case we have options for you just scroll past all of our nerding out below for our round-up of the best espresso cups. For those looking to find the perfect taste temperature & aesthetics for them let’s get into it!
What size should an espresso cup be?
Really you’re looking for a capacity of 2-3 ounces or 50-85ml. Any smaller and your gonna have a tough time filling, holding, or trying to walk around with your cup. Any larger and your crema will spread and dissipate quicker and you’ll lose heat from the larger surface area.
Does the shape of the espresso cup matter?
Totally, you’d be surprised how much different your espresso drinking experience will be from the wrong shaped mug here’s a few things to look for:
If your cup is too thin it’s going to lose heat, fast. Such a small cup should also be relatively thick so when you put it to your lips it has a nice rounded feel, not a sharp edge, plastic shot glasses come to mind…ok ok caffeine isn’t my only vice.
Mouth / Opening
The mouth of this cup is more important than you think. 80% of what we taste comes from what we smell this is why beer served in glass tastes better than beer from a can… ok last alcohol reference, I promise! if you keep all the beautiful coffee aroma locked away in an espresso cup with a small mouth you’re not gonna have as good an experience so look for one with a reasonably wide mouth.
Avoid tiny handles at all costs they feel fragile and you will end up not using them and just grabbing the cup (burned fingers be damned I won’t do a silly two-finger crab pinch!)
Either go double-walled and handless or find a sturdy good-sized handle.
Glass or ceramic Espresso cups which is best?
Really this one is personal preference but if you decide to go glass I would only recommend double walled glass espresso cups. They will actually keep your coffee hotter than ceramic cups kind of similar to how a thermos works. Ceramic are classic and have been doing a pretty good job for the last 100 years give or take so you can’t go wrong!
Where to buy espresso cups?
Why is it so hard to find anywhere that has a range of espresso cups! Most places seem to sell them as an afterthought. That being the case all the ones I’ve recommended below are from Amazon because well they sell everything so it keeps things simple, that being said check out Walmart, bed bath and beyond, or even IKEA although I only found a couple of okay options from those above.
Should I get a branded cup?
Starbucks, Illy, Lavazza, la Creuset with all their years of experience these giants have surely designed and sold the best espresso cups in the world right!? Well not really.
Starbucks actually has a beautiful range of ‘been there’ espresso cups that have cute illustrations of states, cities, and countries. Whilst they look great they aren’t really the best designed for a drinking experience and maybe something you would want to pick up on vacation.
Illy has espresso cups that tick all the boxes for physical design but to me, they look a bit 90’s chic but maybe that’s your thing I don’t judge! The real sticking point for me is that they can come in over $30 for one espresso cup. I’m sorry illy but you’re hardly Gucci.
What are Demitasse cups?
The ‘proper’ name for an espresso cup is actually a Demitasse cup which is french for half-cup. Drinks like macchiato, Turkish coffee, espresso, and even piccolo or cortado ( same thing) are served in these types of cups. You might see places selling demitasse cups trying to sound all fancy and French but it’s totally interchangeable with an espresso cup. Just be aware that half cup doesn’t refer to the measurement of a ‘cup’ which would be just over four ounces.
Best Espresso Cup reviews
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Best Glass Espresso Cups
Visually I love the look of glass espresso cups, not only that they will keep your espresso hotter than ceramic cups. At 2.7 oz this set of four cups are pretty much the perfect sized cups for espresso. They are scratch-resistant and dishwasher-safe.
These Bella Lusso cups have a really nice design (they would make a great gift) but also tick all the boxes design-wise. They are so fine they may feel a little delicate so they might be for when you have company, not for everyday use!
Ok, this may not be the best espresso cup but it would be seriously useful if your espresso machine is small and you have to use a smaller cup to transfer for lattes, etc. We definitely could use some of these in the cafe. They also look pretty cool if you’re willing to put form over function!
Best Espresso Cups (Porcelain)
These seem like a very grown-up “I have my life together” sort of espresso cup set. You get six cups and saucers with a nice carrier (although let it be noted it may look like brass but I believe it’s actually painted iron) The cups and saucers are Microwave, dishwasher, oven, and refrigerator safe!
Wouldn’t these look nice sat next to your coffee machine? I love that vibrant red! I really nice set for a good price the only drawback would be the boxy shape which isn’t so nice for drinking espresso from but It does make the stackable and neat!
Lavazza Espresso cups Cups
With Lavazza espresso cups you can be sure they have stood the test of time in cafes and coffee shops the world over. The shape is a little strange but not bad. Six espresso cups might be too many for some people and they are slightly on the more expensive side but you get what you pay for I suppose!
These are really cute, very modern-looking espresso cups. They are microwave, Dishwasher Oven, and freezer safe. Who are yall freezing your cups? Either way these a nice little chic cups in a nice holder I could see them looking good on your countertop. The artwork on them says ‘charming’ which I think is accurate!
How cool are these! Stainless steel double-walled espresso cups. The Vacuum Insulation will keep your espresso hot really well. I think they are pretty cool-looking as well. If you are into camping or van life these would be awesome (they come in larger sizes too) The only drawback I can imagine is the fact that they are made of metal which might not be so nice to drink out of. other than they would be a really sturdy option!
Probably the coolest glaze yet on these espresso cups! Makes them feel quite individual not mass-produced. Surprisingly they are dishwasher friendly. I wish it was a set of four as two seem like a small number to have but maybe that works for you.
It’s that strange boxy shape again! I suppose it helps them stack. None the less they are really cool-looking dishwasher, microwave, and oven safe. Not bad!