The Perfect Coffee Cup: Four Categories to Consider

December 22, 2022 3 min read

4 caractéristiques de la meilleure tasse à café - Café Barista

There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to finding the right vessel for your coffee. There are plenty of designs, sizes, and materials out there to make everyone happy. With all that choice we are hoping to help with some of our top tips on how to choose the perfect coffee cup for your favourite espresso-based drinks.

Think any cup will do for any kind of coffee? Well, think again! Like with wine, you have specific glasses for specific wines; you wouldn’t serve champagne in a shot glass, would you? Well, we wouldn’t unless we were really in a pinch. Similarly, the cup you use for your coffee can have a real impact on your experience and, according to recent scientific studies, can actually improve the flavour.

1. Ergonomics

Every coffee drinker gravitates towards a specific coffee cup design, so keep that in mind as we provide you with some of the things to consider as you shop!

First, if you are looking for a pure espresso cup (with no added milk or water), a good general rule is to look for cups with an egg-shaped bottom. This will keep the crema compact, bubble-free, and thick.

If you are planning on practicing your latte art in your new cup, then be sure to play around with the cup a bit to see if you find it easy to handle. You should be able to hold it with one hand, without using the handle, for maximum stability for your creations.

Another important factor in choosing the perfect cup is the wall thickness. The thicker the cup, the better it retains heat, and the more it protects your hands from getting burned. This is less important for an espresso cup, since this beverage takes only one or two minutes to drink. But if you’re looking for a larger cup, thickness is a very important consideration.

Of course, if you’re a real coffee aficionado, who enjoys a bit of everything (espressos, macchiatos, lattes, americanos, etc.), you should have a variety of cups in your kitchen so that you’re ready for anything when the craving hits.

2. Quality Materials

From ceramic to porcelain to glass, materials are another key factor when it comes to your coffee cup. Ceramic is the most popular, mostly because it’s inexpensive, however it does break easily and doesn’t retain heat very well.

So, porcelain is probably the best option, as long as you buy a high-quality, thick cup (not the little flowery tea cups!), as they will retain heat very well, and are relatively very durable. This means you can keep your cups for years!

Speaking of heat, if you’re looking for a glass vessel, make sure you buy one that’s made to safely hold hot beverages. Otherwise, you might end up with a mess of broken glass in your hand!

3. Cup Size Based on Beverage

To compare it once again to alcohol, you wouldn’t serve a digestif in the same glass as you would a beer, right? Apply this same logic to coffee, where each drink has its ideal cup size. For short espressos, you don’t need anything bigger than three ounces, and the liquid should not reach the cup’s rim.

If you are a latte lover, look for anything between eight ounces, for a single latte, and sixteen ounces for a double. You can always go bigger if you like your latte extra-long, but with this drink, you always want the liquid to go right up to the rim! Smaller sizes, from twelve to 14 ounces, will make latte art a lot easier.

Watch out for oversized mugs. Unless your goal is to sit around a campfire with both hands around a big hot chocolate, we recommend to go for a cup that fits in one hand.

4. Colour

Believe it or not, the colour and transparency of your cup is said to have a significant impact on the way you taste your coffee. In 2014, a study conducted in Australia, found that depending on the colour of the cup (out of white, blue or clear) a subject chose, they had different perceptions of the flavours of the coffee in terms of bitterness, intensity, and sweetness! So why not opt for different colours in your coffee cup collection? Read more about the study here.

Psst! Apparently, this rule applies to food too…so maybe it’s time to add some colour to your dinnerware!

Coffee geeks can now find whatever they’re looking for either online or in specialty stores, where highly sophisticated tasting glasses are becoming more readily available. There’s an impressive variety, and if you have the chance to try some of these glasses out, please let us know about it!

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