The Espresso Cup Set of Your DreamsElektra Espresso Cup Stack

An Espresso Cup? What's That?

Espresso cups.  Demitasse cups.  Cappuccino mugs?  What's the deal, you ask?  Here's the deal: espresso cups are really the same thing as demitasse cups.  They should hold approximately 2 to 3 ounces of liquid, which is partially for a shot of espresso and partially for a nice layer of crema.  Cappuccino mugs, on the other hand, can hold between 6 and 8 ounces, a larger capacity since the shot of espresso also happens to be mixed with milk.  We like a little logic!

Who Needs an Espresso Cup Set Anyway?

If you are an espresso afficionado, then you need an espresso cup set.  Or, if not a set, at least one espresso cup for yourself.  The cup is the final piece in completing an espresso experience, and sitting down to a fresh, intesne shot of espresso just isn't the same in an ordinary mug.  In fact, in most of Europe, particularly Italy, espresso cups are so revered that throughout the years they have been handmade and often decorated as their very own forms of art.  To put it mildly: in Italy you don't mess around with the espresso cups.Glass espresso cup

How to Choose "the" Espresso Cup

When you're serious about your espresso, chances are you're going to want a method for selecting the right espresso cup right?  You won't buy a package of freshly roasted beans unless you're in love with the mouthfeel they provide when brewed, so we don't want you to buy an espresso cup unless you're in love with they way it feels in your hand too.  Let's break it down.  Simple tips for picking the espresso cup of your dreams:

Material.  You can opt between a few choices here.  Generally you should be able to find ceramic, porcelain, glass and stainless steel.  If you want to go authentic Italian: go porcelain.  This is the highest quality that you will be able to find and will provide better heat retention than most.  Porcelain espresso cups are also generally handmade, which makes them unique/one-of-a-kind, which is always a plus.

Thickness.  Often you'll notice that espresso cups are labeled "double-walled" or "thick-walled."  The thicker the espresso cup, the longer your espresso will retain its heat.  For slow espresso sippers, this is crucial.  For optimum heat retention, you may want to opt for borosilicate glass.  It has suprememe heat retention capabilties and is often used as a material in high-end beverageware.  (It also happens to be dishwasher safe.)

Hand Feel.  The way an espresso cup feels in hand is extremely important.  The sturdier and heavier it is, usually the more secure and stable it feels.  Hence, most espresso drinkers perfer a heavier style.  If you're not into heavy and prefer something lighter or more delicate, opt for a glass option or a thin stainless steel style.

Your Time.  Do you have time to hand wash porcelain espresso cups on a daily basis?  If you don't, then we recommend going for a dishwasher safe option like the borosilicate glass varieties.  Glass, however can be harder to keep clean and free of drying spots, so weigh your investement in espresso cups.

Price.  We'd be amiss not to mention this.  WHen you can buy an espresso cup set of two for over $50 or buy an espresso cup set of six for under $20, clearly your budget is going to apply here.  If you've got a thick-walled porcelain mug, then generally you can expect good quality.  Prices start to hike up when you start apply brand labels like Illy, Ascaso and Elketra, or when you start adding on hand-painted detail.   

Spare Yourself the Effort, Choose from Our Recommended Espresso Cup Setsascaso espresso cup set

Ascaso Espresso Cup Set
We're really fond of Ascaso's 6 cup espresso set.  They are a ceramic construction, which makes them a mid-range price, but they hold an exact 2 ounces, come straight from the heart of Barcelona, Spain, and have two marvelous inscriptions: "ascaso since 1962" on the inside and "for coffee lovers" on the outside.  They're classy, feel good in the hand, and come with matching saucers.  Serve up a round of espresso for friends with an accompanying slice of cheesecake for good measure.

Elektra Espresso Cup Set

Elektra espresso cup set
If you wanna take things up a notch, then we recommend the Elektra TE set of espresso cups, also a set of six with matching saucers.  These are at the high end of espresso cups in term of price, but they are in fact made with 100% porcelain for fantastic heat retention, are designed to hold 1 shot of espresso, and feature the fantastic Elketra monogram in blue on the side of the cup and around the edge of the plate.