We all love coffee. And our enjoyment of the King of Beverages is further enhanced by drinking our preferred brew from the right cup.
At A Glance: Our Top 6 Picks for Cappuccino Cups
So, this article is aimed at those of you who drink (or have friends who drink) cappuccino. Your dedicated crew here at Roasty have scoured the internet for the very best cappuccino cups the current market offers, and we’ve compiled a comprehensive buyer’s guide. Just for you.
Quick Summary: The Best Cappuccino Cups
|Espresso Parts Porcelain Cappuccino Cups W/Saucers||Check on Amazon →|
|Cappuccino Cups & Saucers by Loveramics||Check on Amazon →|
|Glass Cappuccino Cups Double Walled Coffee Glasses||Check on Amazon →|
|Konitz Coffee Bar Cappuccino Cups and Saucers||Check on Amazon →|
|HIC Harold Import Co. 9-Piece Stackable Cappuccino Coffee Tea Set||Check on Amazon →|
|Le Creuset Stoneware Set of 2 Cappuccino Cups and Saucers||Check on Amazon →|
But first, let’s discuss why choosing the right vessel for your drink even matters …
Demitasse, cup, mug … does it matter?
Most of us have an old favorite cup or mug that we habitually reach for when we make a brew. But let’s just take a moment to consider whether that’s the right vessel for the drink. Each drink has its own particular profile that can be enhanced, or indeed damaged, by the cup in which it’s served.
Classic espresso is the base for pretty much every specialty coffee-based beverage. According to the renowned World Barista Competition (WBC), a shot of espresso must be served in a 2 to 3-ounce demitasse with a handle.
Size does matter when it comes to serving espresso. The small size of the cup in which the shot is served helps to preserve the temperature of the drink and minimizes exposure of the brew to air. Also, you’ll notice that most demitasses (espresso cups) are narrow at the base and wider at the rim. That design is perfect for concentrating the flavor of the shot and also helps to enhance crema presentation.
Cappuccino is prepared with a single espresso shot and steamed frothed milk in equal parts. WBC standards state that a 5 to 6-ounce handled cup should be used for correct presentation of a cappuccino beverage.
For the correct aesthetics to be observed, the volume of the drink and cup must match. As with espresso cups, and for the same reasons, most cappuccino vessels are narrower at the base and wider at the rim. Cappuccino cups should always be accompanied by matching saucers.
Also, using this size cup will give the correct dome shape of the foam topping on the beverage. That’s all part of the aesthetic charm and tradition of a cappuccino.
A café latte should be served in a wide, bowl-shaped cup with a capacity of 11 to 15-ounces. The cup volume and content should be equal; in other words, the cup should be filled right to the brim.
The idea behind the wide cup shape is to make it easier for a barista to pour steamed milk over the espresso shot to create latte art.
A good old-fashioned coffee mug should have a capacity of between 10 and 16-ounces. Aside from espresso, latte, and cappuccino, you can pretty much go freestyle with your mug; pour over, French press … etc.
6 Best Cappuccino Cups
So, you’re now fully appraised of the reasons why different drinks need different cups, and you won’t embarrass yourself by serving cappuccino in a mug.
Okay, let’s check out the cream of the crop of cappuccino cups that you can buy.
Espresso Parts Cups & Saucers 6 Pack
Espresso Parts is a global leader in cafe supplies and when it comes to specialty coffee gear, they are revered as the best in the business. They are often featured in places like Barista Magazine for offering truly special products.
These heavy-weight, porcelain cups are of very high-quality, and they’re available in a range of classic colors to match your décor scheme. The inside of the cups is finished in a creamy white, to show off the color of the brew.
The set of six cups (with handles) come complete with matching saucers. The cups hold the right amount for a perfect cappuccino and the mugs are microwave and dishwasher safe.
Cappuccino Cups & Saucers by Loveramics
Loveramics is an exciting new brand to the coffee space and their unique line up and colors hit the mark. The quality and sizes meet the stringent Speciality Coffee Associations requirements which makes it great for serious coffee makers. These cups are a great porcelain option for any location, at any time.
In fact, my friends at EspressoParts.com sent me a couple of free sets to try out. Here’s my steamed milk + French Press coffee looking good in the classic white Loveramics cup:
Glass Cappuccino Cups Double Walled Coffee Glasses
This set of four double-walled glass cappuccino cups are elegant and perfect for showing off your layering technique. The double-walled cups keep your beverage piping hot via thermal insulation while ensuring that you won’t burn your fingers when you pick the cup up. The double wall also prevents the formation of condensation on the outside of the vessel.
The borosilicate glass from which these cappuccino cups are made is resistant to breakage and they’re dishwasher-safe too.
If you’re a committed caffeinating traditionalist, you might miss the handles and saucers that these cups lack, but we love their simple, elegant style.
Konitz Coffee Bar Cappuccino Cups and SaucersKönitz has been around since 1909, producing a wide range of crockery, including cappuccino cups.
This best-selling set of traditionally styled, 6-ounce white cups is thick-walled to help keep your drink hot. The set of four handled cups comes with matching saucers.
HIC Harold Import Co. 9-Piece Stackable Cappuccino Coffee Tea Set
The cups and saucers are microwave and dishwasher-safe. They can also be safely placed in your oven up to temperatures up to 500-degrees F.
Le Creuset Stoneware Set of 2 Cappuccino Cups and SaucersLe Creuset?
This two-cup set is made from top-quality stoneware. That means they’re very strong and durable and will withstand regular use. A non-porous enamel glaze is used to finish the stoneware, which prevents cracking, staining, and chipping. Le Creuset is so confident in the quality of their products that you’ll receive a lifetime warranty with your purchase.
Aesthetics versus functionality
So, we’ve shown you an exciting variety of different cappuccino cups, one of which is sure to appeal to you. But before you make your final selection and place your order, we should consider aesthetics versus functionality.
From a functional perspective, you need to consider three main areas:
- Size and volume
- Thermal insulation
Size and volume
We’ve already touched on this one a bit. But for those with short memories or who skipped straight to the buyer’s guide; the cup volume should be between 5 and 6-ounces, and the drink should fill the cup with a beautiful domed foam on the top.
The shape does have its place when choosing a cappuccino cup, at least according to both the WBC and the Istituto Nazionale Espresso Italiano. Yes, really. We didn’t just make that up; it does exist.
Both these venerable barista bodies assert that the ideal cappuccino cup should:
- Be made of china
- Be thick walled
- Have a narrow, elliptical base
- Have a large top with a thin rim
Also, the bottom of the cup should be made thicker than the rest of the vessel to improve heat retention.
Choosing a cappuccino cup with good thermal insulation is crucial. After all, no-one wants a beverage that quickly becomes tepid.
The best material for well-insulated cappuccino cups is bone china porcelain. Stoneware is also good, as long as it’s a good-quality make such as Le Creuset. Glass looks très sexy and contemporary, especially if you’re good at layering your drinks. Just be sure to choose a double-walled design that’s made from borosilicate glass for the best heat retention and strength.
And the aesthetics …
They say that what’s most important about how something looks is that the appearance should “suit the wearer, not the starer.” That is true. However, the traditional cappuccino cup is always bright white. It’s really down to personal preference.
Glass, colored porcelain, or color-glazed stoneware; it’s all good. Just pick your favorite!
Most cappuccino cups have handles. Handles are traditional and practical too. But again, they’re a matter of personal preference.
Traditional cappuccino cups come with saucers. Saucers aren’t essential, but they are useful for holding a spoon, a biscotti, or a couple of sugar cubes. We also love a saucer with our cappuccino cup, simply because it just looks right.
Wrapping it up
Most coffee houses use traditional white porcelain cappuccino cups to serve this beverage. The size, shape, and material of the cup are important for flavor enhancement, heat retention, and for presentation.
Although home baristas can play fast and loose with tradition if they want to, using a cup from our carefully chosen selection will ensure that your brew tastes great and stays hot. And any of our favorites will look great on your coffee table too!