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Size and Shape Matters- Does Your Espresso Cup Measure Up?

by Elvira Di Gesu - Iarusso March 01, 2017

Size and Shape Matters- Does Your Espresso Cup Measure Up?

5 things to consider when choosing your espresso cup. 


Just ask an oenophile if the glass in which their wine is served matters. Connoisseurs of any drink will tell you their drink of choice tastes better when served in the right vessel. This is also true of espresso. Here are five things to consider when choosing your next espresso cup: 

Size
Ideally, an espresso cup should be 2-3 oz. If the cup is too big, the crema spreads out, becomes thin, and disappears quickly. Additionally, a large cup effects the temperature of the espresso and you run the risk of it becoming cold quickly. Of course, if you regularly drink a doppio espresso, a 3.5-4 oz. cup is better.

Shape 
You want a shape that hugs the espresso.  A cup that tapers at the bottom allows the crema to float on top.  It also allows the aroma of the espresso to be enjoyed before the first sip. A rounded bottom, allows the liquid to swirl easily permitting you to get every last drop. 

Material
Porcelain is king and the material of  choice when choosing the iconic espresso cup. Other materials may be fashionable, but you will find that espresso served in anything but porcelain runs the risk of going flat quickly.  Also, porcelain ensures temperature is distributed evenly, which is not always the case with other materials.

Rim
Consider whether it is rounded or sharp, thick or thin. Espresso aficionados will tell you a thick rounded rim allows their lips to sit comfortably on the cup allowing the liquid to roll easily into their mouth.


Color
While the exterior may be chosen based on color preference or décor, the inside of the cup must be white. Only with a pure white interior can one appreciate the caramel tones of the crema and the rich color of the espresso.  It is not a coincidence that Italian cafés serve espresso in cups that are white on the inside and outside.

Elvira Di Gesu - Iarusso
Elvira Di Gesu - Iarusso


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