What size coffee cup should I get? How much espresso should I order? These questions can seem overwhelming at times, especially if you don’t know where to start.
Coffee is a beverage that has become very popular around the globe. There are many types of coffees out there, ranging from regular coffee to specialty drinks such as cappuccino or latte.
The standard sizes for coffee cups vary depending on the type of coffee being served and the drinker’s preference.
A typical coffee cup will be between 8-12 ounces in capacity, although some people prefer to use smaller or larger sizes.
In this article, we discuss the standard coffee cup size for a range of coffee drinks — from espresso, lattes, cappuccinos, and more!
Does The Size Of A Coffee Cup Actually Matter?
Many of you are probably wondering if the size of a coffee cup actually matters. After all, it’s just a cup, right?
Well, no, that’s incorrect.
The size of a coffee cup greatly impacts the coffee. That’s why in coffee shops, they’ll be different size glasses for different coffees.
It’s not just because some glasses, or mugs, look cooler than others, specific types of coffee require a specific coffee cup.
We’ll explain below why the size of a coffee cup has an impact on specific coffee beverages. However, the premise is really simple.
Each type of coffee is designed to taste and look a certain way. The type of cup that the coffee is placed in can alter the taste of the coffee.
This may not be overly obvious to some people, but any barista or coffee fanatic can tell you that the type of cup used is very important.
Espresso Cup Size
An espresso is a very strong type of coffee. It is only drunk in moderation, because the caffeine content of the espresso is extremely high.
Generally speaking, most espresso cups will be between 2 – 4 oz. It depends on whether it’s a single shot of espresso, or double, and so forth.
The name of an espresso cup is called a demitasse cup.
Demitasse cups are very significant to the structure of an espresso. As espressos only arrive in very small amounts, the size of the coffee cup is small.
This isn’t just because the demitasse mug looks chic, it’s because the small size of the demitasse keeps the espresso thick, which is vital to an espresso.
It also helps contain the heat of the coffee. If the espresso was poured into a larger cup, then there would be an increase of surface area.
The increase of surface area would mean that the espresso would change texture, because it would cause the espresso to thin out.
This whole process is going to make the drink lose heat much quicker, than if the espresso was poured into a demitasse cup.
Cappuccino Cup Size
A cappuccino is a coffee beverage that is made by preparing one shot of espresso with an equal amount of steamed milk.
The beverage is then topped with foam, and transformed into a cappuccino.
The standard size of a cappuccino cup is 5 – 6 oz.
A cappuccino is also served in a mug which has a narrow base, with a wider rim.
The reason for this shape is that the espresso will become more concentrated, due to the narrow base, and by having a rim which is wider, it allows for the foam to be perfectly and equally balanced.
If the cappuccino was in a tall and narrow glass, it would be more difficult for the espresso to stay concentrated, and more difficult for the foam to remain balanced at the top.
Latte Cup Size
So, a latte is similar to a cappuccino, except that it uses more milk than a cappuccino.
The standard size of a latte is 8 oz.
Latte’s have the most iconic coffee cup. The latte cup is huge, and it looks like a bowl.
This is because having a bowl-like mug is much easier, and much better, for steamed coffee to be poured.
It also means that baristas can be creative with their latte art, as they have a larger surface area to create art.
A latte can also be served in a slim glass so that you can see all of the layers of velvety smooth coffee, and that light, thin layer of foam on the top.
The Iced Coffee Cup
Iced coffees use a very different type of cup. This is because the amount of liquid in iced coffees is much higher than most coffee beverages.
The standard size of an iced coffee is 12 oz.
Iced coffees are always prepared in a narrow and tall cup. The amount of volume that the cup can fill is important for two reasons.
The first is that it creates a balance of coffee flavor throughout the drink. The second is that it accounts for the excess liquid of the ice.
This means that the coffee will not spill, as the volume of the cup is sufficient.
Does The Material Of The Coffee Cup Impact The Coffee?
Yep, that’s right!
The material of the coffee cup definitely does impact the coffee.
Stainless Steel – stainless steel cups and mugs are generally used as travel mugs. They’re fairly popular, as stainless steel keeps drinks warm for a long time.
The great thing about stainless steel is that it has absolutely no impact on the taste of the coffee. So, stainless steel is a great option for coffee drinkers.
Ceramic – ceramic coffee cups and mugs are pretty traditional, and common. Most coffee shops will have ceramic coffee cups.
This is because ceramic cups and mugs are very durable, which means they will last a long time.
Ceramic cups and mugs also do not impact the flavor of the coffee. Ceramic mugs do not absorb flavors, or aromas, which is ideal for coffee.
Plastic – Plastic is not a friend of coffee. Plastic coffee cups and mugs actually absorb flavors. This means that the plastic can alter the flavor of the coffee.
If you’ve ever wondered why a barista seems to make great coffee in mugs, but awful coffee in (plastic) cups, it’s probably not the barista.
For coffee fanatics, plastic cups and mugs are seen as a last resort. Most coffee fanatics will carry their own coffee mugs and cups with them.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should An Espresso Always Be Served In An Espresso Cup?
Yes, an espresso should always be served in an espresso cup. The type of cups used for an espresso have a big impact on the flavor and the texture of the espresso.
Should I Not Buy A Plastic Reusable Coffee Cup?
Using a reusable coffee cup is great for the environment.
Most people will not notice that their coffee tastes different when poured into a plastic cup, but coffee fanatics and baristas can.
There are other options for reusable cups and mugs. Ceramic and stainless steel mugs and cups are a more favorable option.
Does The Size Of The Cup Used For Specific Coffees Really Matter?
From a technical standpoint, yes, the size of the cup used for specific coffees really does matter.
While an ordinary person does not need to buy an array of coffee cups and mugs, establishments should, so be careful where you buy your coffee!
Overall, the size of a coffee cup is very important. It greatly impacts the structure of the coffee.
Coffee cups do not only look chic, but they have an essential purpose. If a specific coffee is not poured into the right mug, it can impact the quality and taste of the coffee.