The eternal search for the perfect drinking cup

Want to talk espresso but not sure which forum? If so, this is the right one.
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cannonfodder
Team HB

#1: Post by cannonfodder »

I have been searching for the perfect espresso and cappuccino cup for years now. I just can't find anything that tickles my fancy. I have tulip shaped cups, Illy and Illy style cups, bowl shaped cups, white cups, clear cups and Illy collector cups, but I still have not found that one cup that screams 'drink from me!'.

I like my Illy collector cups but they are not for every day use. I thought I had finally found what I have been looking for when I came across the Bodum Paula series. Nice tulip shape and simple but elegant print with black on white cup. Unfortunately, these are only made in 3oz, the 5oz cup is plain white. Then I came across a nice hand painted set called Creme Brulee. Again, simple design, tapered shape but not what I would call a tulip. Once again, only in 3oz.

An HB member (olypdd) pointed me to some hand made and paintedcups that match my LaForza tamper. They are a bit large at 8oz, but at $50 per cup, that is not going to happen.

While mining the internet for 6oz cups I happened upon Luca's Blog. He had received a Terra Keramik cup and blogged about it. I really like the looks of these. 5oz tulip, simple yet elegant design, selection of colors with titanium trim. Hand crafted, signed by the artist craftsmen and a nice heavy glaze finish. They even make matching espresso cups. I thought I had finally hit a home run, then the sticker shock, $32 each for the 5oz and $28 each for the demi. I could get a set of Illy collector cups for that. I do find it somewhat strange that I am bargain hunting for cups but will drop several thousand on an espresso machine. But cups get broken and I would find myself crying over the sink when I drop one and it shatters. If the Terra cups were about half that cost I would jump on them, I just cant bring myself to spend that much on a simple cup.

So I am asking the good folks of the HB community for other suggestions. Any suggestions based on the preferences listed above?
Dave Stephens

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espressme

#2: Post by espressme »

cannonfodder wrote:I have been searching for the perfect espresso and cappuccino cup for years now. I just can't find anything that tickles my fancy. I have tulip shaped cups, Illy and Illy style cups, bowl shaped cups, white cups, clear cups and Illy collector cups, but I still have not found that one cup that screams 'drink from me!'.snip
So I am asking the good folks of the HB community for other suggestions. Any suggestions based on the preferences listed above?
Mornin' Cannonfodder,
I find that a trip through the Goodwills and secondhand stores finds all the daily usage cups I could wish. My friends know to look also. So, like one of the other posters, I have many onesies and twosies. If someone stops by, they grab a cup and I make the proper drink! So in your area, alert your family and friends. I would expect paying a buck or two apiece and having half oz. to 10 oz. in many shapes. Probably with two persons looking about one to two arrive in a week.
And, If all else fails, contact your local ceramic club or college art department and have what you want made to order. I've had ceramists from school come to hold and critique the stuff I have so they can have a better tactile design sense. Of course they get a drink of their choice. Also, if your time permits, you could give a talk at any school situation about the special needs of coffee geeks. Artsy Fartsy is ok but comfortable and useful pay the bills!
my 1¢
richard
richard penney LMWDP #090,

terrakeramik

#3: Post by terrakeramik »

Thanks for the comments about Terra Keramik cups.

As cannonfodder mentions, Luca has tested the cups and blogged about them.

Just a few comments about the design of the cups. Baristas consider our cappuccino cups to have the right size, shape and thickness to create a perfect cappuccino and retain the heat of the espresso and steamed milk (maintaining a better froth). In fact, the design of the cappuccino and espresso cups is a collaboration of Terra Keramik and Votum Design, which does design work for Alessi of Italy and other well known firms. The cups are tulip shaped (similar to ACF cups), have rounded inside bottoms, thick walls and a nice heft. They are triple fired for added durability, contain zero lead and cadmium for a food-safe finish, and are dishwasher safe. And as cannonfodder mentions they are handcrafted in Switzerland (not mass produced!), available in 8 funky colors, and have platinum rims and handles.

Since we launched the line in the US in November 2006 we have done well with both professional baristas and home baristas largely because of the design.

Thanks.

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keno

#4: Post by keno »

cannonfodder wrote:I have been searching for the perfect espresso and cappuccino cup for years now. I just can't find anything that tickles my fancy.
A few months ago I conducted a search for the perfect plain white cappuccino cup. It's surprising how little is out there if you want plain white, elegant, functional, and high quality. I eventually purchased some Ancap Roma cappa cups from a vendor in Montreal. They are very nice, but I'd prefer a more rounded profile. The quality of the Ancap cups is fantastic - a lot of others have said they are the best.

The perfect cup for me would be the Ancap Verona. Very nice and best of all for you Cannonfodder they are made especially for Elektra by Ancap with the Elektra logo. 1st Line sells them, here is a link:
http://www.1st-line.com/machines/home_m ... a_cups.htm

You can also check out all the Ancap cups here:
http://www.ancap.it/inglese/torrefazion ... tazze.html

Cheers,
Ken

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jesawdy

#5: Post by jesawdy »

cannonfodder wrote:I thought I had finally hit a home run, then the sticker shock, $32 each for the 5oz and $28 each for the demi. I could get a set of Illy collector cups for that. I do find it somewhat strange that I am bargain hunting for cups but will drop several thousand on an espresso machine.
At least your realize you have a problem..... :D

I like the 5 oz ACF tulips.... the Terra Keramik is very reminiscent of it. My current fave is the respective Intelly logo ACF cups for espresso and cappa.

I decree that you order one of each (ACF and Terra Keramik).... can't have too many, it's not like you don't have 4 or 5 machines or anything.

(I was just realizing this AM that I have one tamper per machine... I better not buy anymore tampers :oops: )
Jeff Sawdy

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cannonfodder
Team HB

#6: Post by cannonfodder »

keno wrote: The perfect cup for me would be the Ancap Verona. Very nice and best of all for you Cannonfodder they are made especially for Elektra by Ancap with the Elektra logo. 1st Line sells them, here is a link:
http://www.1st-line.com/machines/home_m ... a_cups.htm
Cheers,
Ken
I have been all over the HB sponsors pages looking at cups the past few days and I never noticed those Elektra cups. Those do look quite snazzy but still a little pricy at $105 for the cappa cups, but that is a set of 6 which breaks down to $17.50 each. That I can live with, although I don't really need 6. 4 demi and 4 cappa would work nicely along with my current hodge podge assortment of cups. I count 7 different styles sitting atop the Elektra, not counting the Illy collector which sit in the china cabinet. That is 7 styles, not 7 cups, the cup warmer on that beast holds them all with room to spare, plus three tampers.

While looking around, I wondered why no one made Elektra logo cups. You can get Gaggia, Saeco, LaMarzocco, and a host of others but I have never seen any Elektra. I just may end up with some of those. Lord help me :roll:
Dave Stephens

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cannonfodder
Team HB

#7: Post by cannonfodder »

terrakeramik wrote:Thanks for the comments about Terra Keramik cups.

As cannonfodder mentions, Luca has tested the cups and blogged about them.

Just a few comments about the design of the cups. Baristas consider our cappuccino cups to have the right size, shape and thickness to create a perfect cappuccino and retain the heat of the espresso and steamed milk (maintaining a better froth). In fact, the design of the cappuccino and espresso cups is a collaboration of Terra Keramik and Votum Design, which does design work for Alessi of Italy and other well known firms. The cups are tulip shaped (similar to ACF cups), have rounded inside bottoms, thick walls and a nice heft. They are triple fired for added durability, contain zero lead and cadmium for a food-safe finish, and are dishwasher safe. And as cannonfodder mentions they are handcrafted in Switzerland (not mass produced!), available in 8 funky colors, and have platinum rims and handles.

Since we launched the line in the US in November 2006 we have done well with both professional baristas and home baristas largely because of the design.

Thanks.
You never know who will read your posts, isn't it a small world.

I really do like the looks of the Terra Keramik and the size appears to be just right. The platinum trim adds nice contrast to the cup. My cup selection does include a couple of ACF's and I find them to be very good, just a bit boring in white. Quality is not cheap and hand craftsmanship is a slowly dying art in today's mass produced, disposable world. I may still end up with one or two in the future just to try them out but for a set of 4 cappa and 4 demi, they get real expensive, real fast.
Dave Stephens

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cannonfodder
Team HB

#8: Post by cannonfodder »

jesawdy wrote:At least your realize you have a problem..... :D
:lol:
jesawdy wrote:I like the 5 oz ACF tulips.... the Terra Keramik is very reminiscent of it. My current fave is the respective Intelly logo ACF cups for espresso and cappa.

I decree that you order one of each (ACF and Terra Keramik).... can't have too many, it's not like you don't have 4 or 5 machines or anything.

(I was just realizing this AM that I have one tamper per machine... I better not buy anymore tampers :oops: )
I believe Jim and I were among the first to drink from the tulip style Intelly logo cups. When I was in Chicago we took an evening and hit Metropolis and Intelly. We were served in the logo cups. I overheard one of the Barista's telling a regular that they were new cups and had just come in that day. I did like them which may be part of the reason I am drawn to the Terra Keramik.

Lets see, right now my machine lineup includes my beloved Elektra A3, a two group Faema, heavily modified Isomac Millennium, Gaggia Factory lever, Gaggia Achille lever, Mazzer Mini, LaCimbali JR, soon to be temporarily housed 4 monster grinders and an undisclosed E61 machine, then there are all the accessories, green beans and two roasters. I don't have a problem, just an obsession. And I wonder why the wife looks at me like I am nuts when I start talking about coffee stuff.
Dave Stephens

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JB130

#9: Post by JB130 »

These look nice (from http://www.manufactum-gmbh.de/resources ... pia_tassen),
but haven't seen them in person to know for sure:
Image

k7qz

#10: Post by k7qz »

Abe C. tipped me off to Danesi here (2nd post in thread). Been a fan ever since-

importance of espresso cup shape

Image