The espresso is a beautifully complex drink. Experiencing those intricate flavors and aromas with each well-made shot is just something else.
But, It’s a lot smaller than regular brewed coffee, so most cups will be too large for a shot or two.
This is why demitasse cups are a worthwhile investment for espresso lovers. Below we take a look at some of the best espresso cups available today, and if you’re in a rush here’s our top pick:
The 8 Best Espresso Cups In 2021
Below is a collection of the 8 best espresso cups we love that you can buy to complement your home espresso machine.
I usually end up using stainless steel demitasse cups because of how durable they are in cafe settings. With the amount of espresso coffee pulled daily, we resort to shot glass options that can stand the test of time. And a falling portafilter. Hence the love for steel.
This is dishwasher safe, the appropriate size, and built to support latte art for small espresso-based drinks. I love the powder-coated finish that is advertised to stand the test of multiple washes.
Another advantage of stainless steel is simple cleaning! Espresso cups are crucial to a cafe (or coffee aficionados) because we calibrate with them. Steel is easy to clean as long as you do so right after brewing. We simply run hot water through these and rinse them off. This keeps soapy notes away from our espresso.
If you can do the same at home, steel could be a good pick for you too!
The Delonghi double-walled thermo espresso glass is the perfect size for small-coffee drinkers. They fit in pairs in almost all drip trays.
It’s a break from stainless steel and other modern pieces and brings you back to basics. As part of your home coffee kit, it’s easy to clean, nice to look at, and effective in keeping your cups of joe warm and flavorful.
Fellow is a premium brand when it comes to coffee and these ceramic cups look the part as well as being functional. They come in sets of 2, allowing you to pull a split shot with 2 good looking cups.
It’s a classy ceramic set that is bigger in size than the usual but still within an allowable range for espresso coffee cups.
This also happens to be a dishwasher friendly option in case you chuck your coffee gear into such machines after brewing.
The feel of this double walled mug is amazing. It’ll be hard for it to slip from your grip for sure, and it totally insulates your coffee. Premiumly priced cups, with a premium feel!
This double walled glass espresso glass is my favorite because of its functionality.
You get a microwave and dishwasher safe option for your daily coffee. It’s also the kind that you can make multiple stacks of wherever you choose to store your cups.
The size is perfect for coffee drinks 5oz and below. Depending on your recipe, you can do a flat white on this!
If you like a mix of classic and modern in your coffee wares, this could be a good pick for you too!
My first experience with these glass cups was with a Nespresso machine. I wasn’t used to non-scalding coffee then, so I thought I could touch it outside the handle. Boy was I wrong.
Fast-forward to the present day, and I happen to be a professional barista. Even if this isn’t your usual double walled cup, the handle makes it feel sturdy in your hand. If you can overcome curiosity about touching the sides, this will serve you quite well.
It looks amazing for a glass option and is the right size for your small espresso drinks.
The downside is that you can’t pour boiling water into them. And the tradeoff with looking great is that they do tend to break easily with a little mishandling.
This is a perfect match for you and your espresso coffee needs if you need a bulk purchase of 6.
This porcelain option from Sweese looks more like the classic cups you see in coffee shops.
Just by being porcelain, you’re assured that it’s BPA free, microwave safe, and in this case, dishwasher friendly!
It’s also a little-known fact that porcelain is denser than ceramic. It’s rooted in the way that they’re made. The higher heat and better clay used in porcelain wares make it more durable than the same ceramic options.
Each set comes in 4 pieces, with a 3.5 oz capacity. You can use these cups for single shots, double shots, or split-shots, depending on your coffee menu.
Made of mouth-blown borosilicate glass, these coffee cups are light, stylish, and as durable as any of the same style.
They’re microwave and dishwasher safe, as long as you secure them properly. Also keep them away from larger and heavier objects in the dishwasher! Being microwave safe gives these cups a one-up over stainless steel options on this list.
This is more like the usual ceramic coffee cup you encounter in diners and hotels. They choose cups like this for a reason: durability.
They may look simple on the outside, but these ceramic wares do what they’re supposed: hold your espresso double shot.
These aren’t double-walled, but they are thick-walled. Your palms and fingers will still be safe. Sets also come with spoons and saucers, so if that’s part of your home coffee vision, this could wind up being the most cost-effective pick for you.
Espresso Cup 2021 Buyers Guide
You’ve had a quick look at some of the best available espresso cup options in the market today.
Up next is a quick buyer’s guide to help you decide on the perfect espresso shot glass for you!
Number of Cups
This is a test of self-awareness.
How many coffee cups in a shot form do you drink a day? Do you brew a single cup or enjoy it with other espresso drinkers? In case you tend to lose or break kitchen gear, will you need back ups?
It depends on how many you need to serve or wash up to brew with, sometimes a set of four will suffice. Other times you might need more.
Having back ups can come in handy, so you only need to order once. But if you’re careful to the point where you’ve used the same espresso mugs for 15 years, then purchase accordingly.
It depends on how you take your espresso. Do you add sugar to your cup? Cream? Salt? Do you like breaking the crema with a spoon to take in the aromatics before you sip?
If you drink your shot straight, then I don’t suggest getting an espresso cup and saucer set. But if you have add-ons, getting cups and saucers to rest your teaspoon on should be able to help your daily routine.
Related Read: How To Drink Espresso
In case you choose an option that looks great but can’t be held outside its own handle when hot, then a saucer becomes a necessary pairing.
Burning your fingers is never a pleasant experience. Part of selecting good espresso cups is protecting your hands.
Choosing to pay extra for shatter-resistant material can be an investment. Strive for balance between functionality, aesthetics, and your skills.
There are dishwasher safe options. If there’s one thing I feel strongly about, it’s choosing microwave safe espresso mugs. These are usually lead free, and BPA free espresso cups and saucers. Anything that comes into contact with food and drink should be non-toxic.
Double walled glass demitasse cups are beautiful. They show one of the indicators of a good shot: crema.
While it isn’t the only indicator for good extractions, it’s definitely beautiful to look at. It rarely even gets old, and it’s an extra variable that you can keep track of in your daily espressos.
Stainless steel is virtually impossible to break. Some have great designs. Others look good with a minimalist, brushed finished. Depending on the type of home barista you are, decide which material is most ideal for your routine!
As mentioned earlier, insulation is important to maintain cup quality. Borosilicate glass can survive rapid temperature changes.
Porcelain can be thick and cool to touch in some areas when designed well. Double walled espresso shot glasses are amazing to look at, and they insulate well. They prevent heat transfer between your hand and your coffee.
Given the ideal size, it’s best to select narrow-mouthed cups. Cups are made with different types of material, so choose one that you like best. Also make sure to choose the one that best fits your espresso routine.
Cups come in all shapes and sizes and the right cup for you depends on your specific espresso experience.
Ask yourself which features are important to you. Do you like stacking them on top of your home brewer? Does your cup set have to match the modern theme of your other kitchenware?
I’ve noticed that there are more variations in shapes with borosilicate glass cup options. Some double wall espresso cups come in the shape of skulls. Choose whatever design you feel will work best with your coffee. It is, after all, your own cup.
When you’ve chosen high quality, heat resistant ceramic or borosilicate glass espresso cups, the last deciding factor is dimensions. Where will you store them? Are there lots of things you can accidentally snag your cup on? Can you keep your set of six mugs in the cupboard or on top of your coffee machine?
This is something extra to consider. Picking a 2-3 oz cup can accommodate single and double shot espressos anyway, so you won’t have a problem in that area.
At the end of the day, choosing the best demitasse cup for you involved matching your space, machine, ritual, and personal menu.
The Final Verdict
I personally love the stainless steel espresso cups. It’s dishwasher safe, non-toxic, and a high-quality product for different types of coffee drinkers.
It stacks nicely on espresso machines, and the double wall feature allows the product to protect your hands.
If you have similar home coffee quirks as I do, this set of espresso cups is something you should look into further. Good luck, and keep brewing!
Frequently Asked Questions
What size should an espresso cup be?
The 3 types of shots you can brew (ristretto, espresso, and lungo) range from 1-3oz in size. This means that an ideal cup size for all 3 types is 2-3 oz. It’s small enough to preserve your crema by not spreading it out too thinly, therefore maintaining insulation and keeping your drink warm longer.
What are espresso cups called?
Espresso cups are commonly called demitasse cups – it’s the same product and both are paired with espresso machines. The word “demitasse” literally translates to “half-cup” in French.
What is the difference between espresso and demitasse?
Espresso is a more specific term for demitasse cups. It’s not incorrect to call “demitasse cups” espresso, because as a drink and a brew method at the same time. You’re essentially describing what you end up putting inside demitasse cups anyway.