Are cup size and shape too often everlooked factors?

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CoffeeCoffeeCoffee
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#1: Post by CoffeeCoffeeCoffee »

Hi all,

I am opening this thread because I have the feeling that the cup itself is too often overlooked among espresso lovers. As much as wine is best enjoyed in a proper glass, a great espresso is best enjoyed in a proper cup. But what is a proper cup? I'll show a few examples of cups that I have at home and briefly detail the pros and cons. I have Olympia machines with 49' baskets and dose 12ish g so I get around 24g of beverage.

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The glass (vol approx. 90 cc) is nice because you can see the crema building up. But besides that, independently of size and shape and for some other reason, I prefer drinking espresso in a porcelain cup.

The slender one with the maya design (vol approx. 55 cc) seems to be designed for ristrettos. Unless you use it for a 15cc ristretto, I do not really like it because of its slender shape: the first sip will be only crema and the last on the sour side.

The red Lucaffe cup (vol aprox 70cc, fill line at 25 cc) is a bit wider but still to tall in my opinion. Same issue a with the previous cup if using 25g of beverage


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With the classic 'Roma style' cup (vol approx 75cc): similar to the two previous ones. Also not designed to hold 25g of beverage and, at least with that amount of beverage, the different fractions will not mix and the last sip will be on the sour side.

The plain white one (vol approx 85cc) is my preferred. Size is good for a 25g beverage. The base is wide so the different fractions of the extractions mix well when drinking. Cup volume and width also allow for an excellent olfactory perception of the coffee aromas

The last one is a cappuccino cup (vol aprox 170cc). It is here for reference. I feel that it is nice to have a cup with significantly more volume than the beverage, partly because the aromas and smell remain trapped in there and become part of the drinking experience. This is also in line with the italian tradition: for example, if you order a double espresso in southern italy, they will serve you a 35 cc beverage in a cappuccino cup. This is maybe a bit exaggerated but I still think too big is better than a bit small.


To sum it up, in my opinion there are two main points:

- Width: Width should be superior to height. This allows (without swirling or mixing) to enjoy the first fractions of the extraction and the crema simultaneously, resulting in a balanced drink. If you have a tall cup the first sip will be mainly crema and on the bitter side and the last sip on the sour side.

Please share your thoughts on the topic :)

- Volume: Cup volume should be at least twice the shot volume. The smell and aroma will "be trapped" in the remaining room and enhance the total aroma perception.
The only criteria that really matters is how much you enjoyed your coffee

Rustic39

#2: Post by Rustic39 »

What about ergonomics of the cup?

MikeTheBlueCow

#3: Post by MikeTheBlueCow »

If you look at the Kruve glassware, Tim Wendelboe ceramicware, and others following suit - you see the same line of thinking found in the wine, beer, and spirits industries where shape of the drinking cup matters. In my experience with espresso specifically, a narrower cup highlights acidity, where a wider cup highlights sweetness and rounds out the taste. Sometimes I switch out my cup style for certain coffees.

wachuko

#4: Post by wachuko »

Following... I keep buying different espresso cups looking for my favorite one.

I agree, prefer porcelain over glass or stainless steel.

Got some illy cups and many others... stainless cups got removed from the machine early on, did not like those for espresso... and I keep moving out those that just sit there... some I only used them once and were not to my liking...

I flipped a few around for the photo...

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Now looking at the photo, I forgot to remove the illy that has the mirror finish (illy Art Collection Marc Quinn)... those are also porcelain, but the mirror finish gets so hot on the outside that makes them not easy to handle. Beautiful to look at but those will go into storage as well.

Yesterday I ordered these to test. Double walled ceramic... will see how they feel... Fellow Joey Double Walled Ceramic cups

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Searching for that perfect espresso!

Wachuko - LMWDP #654

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CarefreeBuzzBuzz
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#5: Post by CarefreeBuzzBuzz »

There is no doubt in my mind.

My favorite cups are my Chris Kings, made by Inker in Croatia. You can't buy Inker in the US now but iDrinkCoffee in Canada sells Inker. Chris King branded are sold out everywhere best I know. It's the mouthfeel of the Inker porcelain, and the shape of the cup that I believe make them special.

In addition, the middle cup from a shop in SF, is a bit larger and it allows a bit more surface area and a more olfactory experience. It also accommodates a little milk if I want a machiatto.

These are most often chosen over the variety of others.

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CarefreeBuzzBuzz
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wachuko

#6: Post by wachuko »

CarefreeBuzzBuzz wrote:There is no doubt in my mind.

My favorite cups are my Chris Kings, made by Inker. You can't buy Inker in the US now but iDrinkCoffee in Canada sells Inker. Chris King branded are sold out everywhere best I know. It's the mouthfeel of the Inker porcelain, and the shape of the cup that I believe make them special. ...
Wish I had known... I ordered a knock drawer from them (arrives tomorrow)... I would have thrown in some of those in the order...

These?

https://idrinkcoffee.com/products/inker ... -8-colours
Searching for that perfect espresso!

Wachuko - LMWDP #654

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CarefreeBuzzBuzz
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#7: Post by CarefreeBuzzBuzz » replying to wachuko »


Yep, call or email them and see if they can add them. Definitely my favorites.
CarefreeBuzzBuzz
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lancealot

#8: Post by lancealot »

I like the NotNeutral Lino series for ergonomic reasons.

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CarefreeBuzzBuzz
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#9: Post by CarefreeBuzzBuzz »

CarefreeBuzzBuzz
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wachuko

#10: Post by wachuko »

lancealot wrote:I like the NotNeutral Lino series for ergonomic reasons.
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Love how those look!! Let me order a set before my wife takes away my credit card. :)

All joking aside... I think these are the ones... I might have just found my favorite espresso cup. Thank you!

Order placed with the folks at Seattle Coffeegear... and they had a discount coupon that I got this morning via email... we needed a new electric kettle so ordered that as well.

EDIT: Man... Clive Coffee has them in black :x ..must... have... one... in... black...

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Back to normal programming...
Searching for that perfect espresso!

Wachuko - LMWDP #654