If you're a big fan of coffee in general, you know that certain brewing methods have their very own style of cups. Espresso is no exception. The cute, small cup in which your carefully crafted shot is served is an integral part of the espresso experience. But which are the best espresso cups and why? What should they be made of? Does it even matter?
If you’re a big fan of coffee in general, you know that certain brewing methods have their very own style of cups. Espresso is no exception. The cute, small cup in which your carefully crafted shot is served is an integral part of the espresso experience. But which are the best espresso cups and why? What should they be made of? Does it even matter?
The short answer is yes, it all matters! Today, we’re going to take a look at my picks for the eight best espresso cups available on Amazon. I chose a bunch of assorted styles and sizes to help you get a good idea of what’s out there.
Read on to learn more about what to look for in a good espresso cup and see which ones you like best.
Best Espresso Cups at a Glance
What Are Espresso Cups Called?
Another name for espresso mugs or cups is demitasse cups. Demitasse is a French word that means “half cup,” and it’s pretty fitting since it’s roughly half the size of a traditional cup of coffee. Demitasse can indicate the amount of coffee in the cup, too.
With that said, espresso cups aren’t exclusively for espresso. You can serve Turkish coffee in these small demitasse cups, in addition to a few other rich or strong coffee drinks such as the concentrate you get from a moka pot or aeropress.
Choosing the Best Espresso Cups: What to Consider
Now that we’ve got names out of the way, let’s continue this guide by looking at what to consider as you search for the best espresso cups.
If you follow as many coffee world Instagram accounts as I do, you’ll know that glass is the on-trend material for espresso cups.
To be honest, I’m a sucker for double walled borosilicate glass cups for espresso. Not only do they offer the best heat retention, they just look so darn cool. And what’s better than watching your perfectly extracted espresso shot pouring into a glass?
Of course, porcelain and ceramic will always be popular materials for espresso cups, and for good reason. They also offer excellent heat retention as well as a more classic look.
Lastly, there are the stainless steel espresso cup options, which are frowned upon by coffee connoisseurs due to the fact that they can impart a metallic taste.
You don’t need me to tell you that espresso cups are small. Still, do they have to be that way? Well … yes. Thing is, an espresso shot is a concentrated version of coffee that’s meant to be sipped. Plus, you want to keep all that aromatic goodness enclosed in a small space.
Finally, a smaller cup is more suitable for preserving the temperature of a limited amount of liquid.
In a nutshell, the best espresso cups should have a volume of between 2.5 and 3 ounces (74 and 89 milliliters). And anything over 5 ounces (148 milliliters) should be considered unsuitable, especially seeing as it might not fit underneath your espresso machine portafilter spouts.
It used to be the case that all espresso cups had straight sides and small-diameter rims. However, in recent years espresso specialists have realized that a tapered shape is ideal for maximizing enjoyment and appreciation. Not only does a tapered glass or cup make sipping easier, it also aids in the formation of crema as your shot is being extracted.
As for handles, they’ve become less important with the rise of double walled construction.
Still, choosing a design for your espresso cup really comes down to personal preference. So, some folks will tell you that a saucer is essential for serving espresso, while others will tell you it’s completely irrelevant.
Personally, I can go either way, which is why I have such a huge collection of espresso cups in my kitchen!
If you hate washing dishes by hand, be careful to go with espresso cups that are (supposedly) dishwasher safe. On the other hand, espresso cups are small and don’t take long to wash by hand. Heck, a quick rinse under warm water is all they really need.
Some manufacturers advertise their cups as being microwave safe, so bear that in mind if you like to microwave your espresso. Then again, why would you ever want to do that?!
The 8 Best Espresso Cups
OK, by this point you should have a better idea of what you want in an espresso cup. So, without further ado let’s jump into my list of the 8 best espresso cups.
Kruve Propel Espresso Glass
The folks at Kruve take their coffee glassware very seriously indeed. With that in mind, they reimagined the espresso drinking experience with the Kruve Propel Espresso Glass.
Costing $39.99 for a set of two, these double walled glass cups ain’t cheap. However, a lot of scientific research has gone into the Kruve Propel’s design. The end result is an espresso glass that’s not just pretty – it also enhances espresso enjoyment.
For starters, there’s a double walled base that keeps espresso hot and protects your fingers from getting burned. What’s more, the top of the glass is single-walled and the generous opening allows you to really get your nose in there and capture more aroma as you’re drinking.
Finally, the Kruve Propel features internal fins and a convex-shaped bottom. This allows you to swirl the espresso, keeping all the flavors together and maintaining consistency throughout the shot.
Fellow Joey Double Wall Espresso Cup
Regular Coffeeness readers know how much I love Fellow products, so it’ll come as no surprise to find the Fellow Joey on my list of the best espresso cups.
This “Junior” version of the Fellow Joey has a 2.3-ounce (68-milliliter) capacity, and comes in a set of two for $35.00. While that might seem like a lot to spend on a couple of demitasse cups, those who value both form and function will appreciate everything the Fellow Joey Junior has to offer.
Personally, I just love the sleek, minimalist design of this espresso cup, and the polished copper base perfectly accents the matte ceramic body. Then again, Fellow excels in the design department; check out the Fellow Stagg Pour Over and the Fellow Ode grinder if you need more proof.
Another double walled espresso cup, the Fellow Joey will keep your coffee nice and toasty while protecting your fingers. Plus, the cup’s tapered design makes it ideal for savoring every last drop of espresso.
Real Deal Steel Espresso Cup
Moving forward, we have the Real Deal Steel Espresso Cup. Made of double wall 18/8 food grade stainless steel with a powder coat finish, these espresso cups are the real deal! Sorry, I just had to.
As it happens, plenty of purists will tell you that stainless steel cups can negatively affect the taste of espresso. While that might be true, these babies will really keep coffee warm, thanks to their double wall construction. Besides, I can’t think of a better cup to pair with a portable espresso maker when you’re on a camping trip.
These stainless steel espresso cups are available in natural steel, white, black, blue or a combo set with one of each color for $39.99. A set contains four cups.
Real Deal Steel espresso cups are durable and come with a versatile handle. They are easily the best stainless steel espresso cups I’ve found.
Folk Ceramics Leonard Espresso Cup
Perhaps you’re looking to maintain a more rootsy and rustic vibe in your kitchen’s coffee corner. In that case, consider the Folk Ceramics Leonard Espresso Cup.
Available in a range of colors with esoteric names like Whisper White and Fog Grey, a set of two 3-ounce (89-milliliter) cups will set you back $24.95.
Made from ceramic with a lead-free glaze, the Folk Ceramics Leonard features an attractive handleless design and thick, double wall construction. Best of all, these espresso cups are stackable for easy storage.
Oh, and the manufacturer wants you to know that the Leonard espresso cup is microwave, dishwasher and oven safe. I’m pretty sure you won’t want to put your espresso in the oven, but maybe you could use this espresso cup for baking tiny muffins or something!
Kinto Kronos Double Wall Espresso Cup
Kinto is a Japanese company that produces a wide range of sumptuous glassware for hot and cold drinks, ceramics, travel mugs and much more. Seriously, I’d recommend hiding your credit card before visiting the Kinto website. Don’t say you weren’t warned!
Getting back on track, the Kinto Kronos Double Wall Espresso Cup is another double walled glass beauty that’ll really showcase your perfectly extracted shot.
What sets this espresso glass apart is its slightly angled inner wall, which makes the liquid inside look like it’s floating. Plus, the angle makes it easier to enjoy your espresso without having to tilt your head back too far. Finally, the Kinto Kronos features a cool outer ring that’s both aesthetically pleasing and useful for gripping the glass.
The Kinto Kronos has a 2.7-ounce (80-milliliter capacity), and a set of two double walled espresso glasses costs $24.99 on Amazon.
DeLonghi Double Walled Thermo Espresso Glass
While I’m a fan of DeLonghi espresso machines in general, I do find them lacking in the included accessories department. Let’s just say that the plastic espresso tamper thing the Italians often throw in is a disgrace.
With that said, the company does produce a range of excellent espresso accessories, including the gorgeous DeLonghi Double Walled Thermo Espresso Glass.
Not as flashy as some of the other espresso glasses on this list, the DeLonghi Thermo features a sleek, classy and understated look. And plenty of thought has gone into this espresso glass, resulting in a tapered design that ensures you’ll enjoy every last sip of espresso.
Oh, and you won’t burn your fingers in the process thanks to the extra-thick double walled borosilicate glass.
Competitively priced at $19.95 for a set of two, the DeLonghi Thermo glass cup often tops out the best espresso cups lists you’ll find elsewhere. Not that you’d ever consider cheating on me, that is!
Mora Ceramics Mini Espresso Cup
For some folks, the best espresso cups simply must include saucers. If you’re one of them, you’ll be happy to see a saucer included with the Mora Ceramics Mini Espresso Cup.
Personally, I just love the design of this 3-ounce (89-milliliter) Italian-inspired demitasse cup. There’s a classic 70s vibe going on here, extending to the retro-style solid handle and two-tone color scheme.
Featuring a lead-free glaze, this stylish espresso cup is both microwave and oven safe. For $29.99, you’ll get a set of four cups in one color or an assortment of different understated colors. Either way, these stackable cups and saucers will look great displayed in your kitchen.
Fima Deruta Italian Espresso Cup
I thought it was important to include one artisanal piece on this list. Each Fima Deruta Espresso Cup is made and painted by hand in Italy. The look is based on the work of Raphael, the Italian painter who introduced such works in many of his frescoes.
My goal in including these works of art is to remind you that espresso is not just something you drink. It’s something to be enjoyed. Time should stop and to-do lists be put on hold when a cup of espresso is in your hand.
Fima two-ounce (59-milliliter) espresso cups can be purchased for $65.00 on Amazon, which is a lot of money. However, remember that this is an artisanal Italian product from which you can savor Italy’s greatest gift to mankind.
Winding Down Our Demitasse Discussion
In short, there are a ton of different styles of espresso cups. Pick out the one that best suits your style and taste or perhaps something that matches your other coffee gear.
Another important consideration is your daily espresso routine. That to say, whether you regularly pull a single or double shot determines the cup size you’ll need.
Likewise, if you have other espresso drinkers over to visit, it probably would be nice to have cups and saucers for serving. After all, espresso makes a nice accompaniment to a sweet dessert!
Whichever cup you choose to go with today, make sure it brings you joy. Life’s too short to waste on something that you’re not crazy about!
What’s the very best espresso cup in your opinion? Tell me all about it in the comments section!
Espresso Cups FAQ
As you may know, espresso is a concentrated and very flavorful way to enjoy coffee. Part of that enjoyment is the thin layer of foam on top. This foam, called crema, keeps all the goodness, heat and aroma of espresso inside the cup.
Small cups prevent the crema from spreading out and dissipating. Ideally, you want to have a nice, thick crema over your espresso. Therefore, a cup that is taller rather than wider is best.
Demitasse is the proper name for the cup used to serve espresso.
Aside from keeping your cup steady, the main reason you’d want a handle on your espresso cup is to keep from burning your fingers. If you have a cup that tends to get hot on the outside, you would want a handle. Double walled cups don’t need handles since the heat won’t travel to the outer part of the cup.
The best way to clean an espresso cup is to hand wash it with warm water and mild dish soap. Stainless steel and glass are dishwasher safe. As always, check with the manufacturer for proper cleaning methods for your cup.